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Download The Careful Use of Compliments Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Careful Use of Compliments Audiobook, by Alexander McCall Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,237 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alexander McCall Smith Narrator: Davina Porter Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Isabel Dalhousie Series Release Date: August 2007 ISBN: 9781428193727
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Love, politics, and mystery test Isabel's penchant for philosophy. She questions her relationship with her son's father and his ex-girlfriend. Her job is threatened as editor of the ethics magazine. And how did the talented Scottish painter really die? Wa Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Enchanting…Delicious mental comfort food…The ‘intimate’ city of Edinburgh is an appealing character is its own right."

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Completely absorbing…will captivate and enthrall.”

    Detroit Free Press

  • “McCall Smith, a fine writer, paints his hometown of Edinburgh as indelibly as he captures the sunniness of Africa. We can almost feel the mists as we tread the cobblestones.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Witty, ruminative, and wise.”

    Times-Picayune

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charlotte | 2/10/2014

    " I finally finished. Not because this is a difficult book, just the opposite. I kept finding other things that were more compelling. It's a pleasant enough book to have kept me coming back, even though the plot is mostly musings of the main character and descriptions of Scotland scenery. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Trudy | 1/15/2014

    " Smith's books are read and enjoyed by many, but I can't really get into them. This was just okay for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy (NE) | 1/12/2014

    " I LOVE Alexander McCall Smith. His books are just plain delightful. They are my comfort zone. Like-able characters, fun plots. While his writing does make me think, he has a light handed touch at ethical dilemas and current events. I love the way the main characters often have a rambling train of thought that allows the author to weave around lots of life's little issues without hitting you over the head with it. Fleeting references to a world view. The books are like those old "Little House" type TV series - that always had a message and ended well. McCall's books make me feel good when I've been dealing with other heavy reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bria | 1/9/2014

    " Compliments hooked me almost immediately and lost me shortly thereafter. I had expected a witty mystery story and instead found a rather pretentious tale with no intrigue at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 1/2/2014

    " This is the fourth of the Isabel Dalhousie series and I've enjoyed each a bit more than the one before. I think Smith has come into his characters in this one...I sensed more emotion in the book and the smart wit seemed smarter and wittier. I'm officially hooked. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anne | 12/17/2013

    " I gave up on this a third of the way through. The atmosphere is far too cosy, the characters are boring, and the constant soul-searching eventually becomes rather tedious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shaddi | 12/17/2013

    " I am listening to this book which I downloaded from Audible.com. I'll let you know how I like it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharron | 12/11/2013

    " Davina Porter and Isabel Dalhousie - what could be more enjoyable! My idea of a perfect way to spend a cold rainy Sunday afternoon is to listen to Porter narrate this series while I sit by the fire knitting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kay | 11/25/2013

    " Forgot I had read this book. I liked it. Isabel seems like the most unlikely person to have a child without having a husband. It's one of the unusual things about this series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nan | 11/17/2013

    " Isabel Dalhousie is a wonderful creation. I love the ethical dilemmas she finds herself in, but the series isn't all that compelling. I've only read two in the group...and that's because they've ended up on a book club list. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alasse | 11/9/2013

    " Fast read, but nothing much really happens. The "mystery" is sort of revealed halfway through, and then is resolved quite easily. The protagonist got annoying after awhile, and I wanted to tell her to shut up a few times. But it made a nice beach book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caitlin | 10/1/2013

    " The struggles between Professor Dove, Professor Lettuce, and Isabel are delightfully catty and probably a fairly realistic problem of academia. Isabel's relationship between her and Jamie take backseat to the mystery and her relationships with the other characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shivanee (Novel Niche) | 7/24/2013

    " This Isabel Dalhousie ties with 'The Right Attitude to Rain' to be my favourite of the series so far. This is McCall Smith at his (comparative) best. Isabel has never been more alluring, and maddening, in equal measure...and a bit of Brother Fox in the world makes everything better. <3 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole Marble | 7/20/2013

    " Philosophy, Scotland, a mysterious painting, and a terrifying whirlpool are brought together in a sweet gentle story. My good luck is to listen to the story voiced by the excellent Davina Porter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pito Salas | 4/7/2013

    " Pleasant light book. Makes me want to go to the start of the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Johnvano | 3/9/2013

    " A pleasant novel, comforting. A bit long. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannette | 1/13/2013

    " I love the Isabel Dalhousie series. These books always make me smile. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 12/23/2012

    " Always nice to spend a little time with Isabel, who spends even more time in her head than I do. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 9/19/2012

    " This series gets better and better. I find that I like a bit of intellegent intrigue and the idea of an older woman getting a bit of sweet in her life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela | 9/11/2012

    " An Isabel Dalhousie Novel, a very nice Scottish mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melanie | 8/6/2012

    " I'm continuously flummoxed by why this series is classified as "mystery." Epic fail on the part of Library of Congress cataloging-in-publication data? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 3/21/2012

    " An enjoyable read, though not nearly as clever or well-written as his Mma Ramotswe books. It is nice reading a mystery/puzzle that doesn't involve murder though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terri | 8/9/2011

    " this was the best of the Dalhousie/SUnday Philosophy club in my book.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Genevieve | 5/19/2011

    " Just starting it. Wow, he just jumped 12 months in time forward. Will be interesting to see how the time-lapse is handled. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Celia | 5/9/2011

    " This series is a wonderfully easy read with a little mystery thrown in for interest, but really, the visualisation is the big things in these books. The author creates a delightful world of imagery that I enjoy re-visiting over and over. Nothing too confronting in this series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brett | 4/11/2011

    " Isabel Dalhousie's character & surroundings continue to develop in a way interesting enough that you almost forget there's a mystery happening - which turns out to be interesting, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/30/2011

    " Another enjoyable read. Surprised at the complex thoughts about love and relationships. Surprising end to the mystery. (Book 4 of this sweet series of Isabel Dalhousie, set in Edinburgh, Scotland.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/17/2011

    " While not as hilarious as the 44 Scotland Street series, Alexander McCall Smith spins a good yarn. I listened to this on CD in the car, and it was perfect for the short trips I take now that I ride the bus and train. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kay | 3/17/2011

    " Forgot I had read this book. I liked it. Isabel seems like the most unlikely person to have a child without having a husband. It's one of the unusual things about this series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 3/5/2011

    " I though this was slow moving and a little to philosophical for me. I did get somewhat caught up in the back story. Liked his other books better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 3/2/2011

    " Nothing ever happens in this series, but somehow I really enjoy it anyway. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 2/21/2011

    " What a great little book to take my mind off the pain of being home with strep throat. I finished it in one day. I am fully invested in all the characters of this series now. This author really does have a talent for creating such endearing characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 2/1/2011

    " A good book, fourth in the series. A lot of thinking goes along with reading this book, moral issues, good judgement, the proper thing to do, etc. Thought provoking! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenna | 1/5/2011

    " I liked this even more than the Ladies Detective Agency books. This author writes so upliftingly about the goodness of people while at the same time being honest about their weaknesses. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Misty | 1/3/2011

    " Another light read by Smith. Takes place in Edinburgh and follows Isabel, a philosopher who tends to get involved in solving other people's problems. She often gets lost in her musings of philosophy, so it's not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kelly | 12/14/2010

    " This character is just dull and so is the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannette | 12/12/2010

    " I love the Isabel Dalhousie series. These books always make me smile. "

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About the Author
Author Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He has also written numerous stand-alone novels, books for children, and nonfiction works. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana.

About the Narrator

Davina Porter has been enthralling listeners for over twenty-five years with her ability to mine the psychological depths of the characters she reads and bring them convincingly to life. In 2006, she won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Female Narration and in 2004 for Best Inspirational Literature Narration.She has been honored as an AudioFile Golden Voice and has won nineteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actress, she has appeared on stage at the Vineyard Playhouse and The Square One Theater, among others.