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Summary

The next book in the perennially adored No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series sees Precious Ramotswe calling upon all her maternal instincts when she’s faced with a two-ton case.

Unusual requests are commonplace at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, but so are very ordinary ones, such as a plea for money: when a distant cousin calls on Mma Ramotswe to ask for help with another relative's hip operation, tricky questions arise in regard to family responsibility. Mma Makutsi and Mr J. L. B Matekoni are far from convinced of the merits of the request, but it is hard for Mma Ramotswe, with a heart her size, to turn people away. Meanwhile, Charlie has become involved in a mysterious transaction that involves an attractive but rather large animal. If it takes a village to raise a child, what does it take to raise a baby elephant?

©2020 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2020 Bolinda Publishing

Critic reviews

"Alexander McCall Smith novels never fail to delight." (The Guardian)

"It is hard to think of a contemporary writer more genuinely engaging ... [his] novels are also extremely funny: I find it impossible to think about them without smiling." (Mail on Sunday)

What listeners say about How to Raise an Elephant

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    3 out of 5 stars

is it the story or the telling.....

Once again I expected to relax to the telling of a story.I love Ms Andoh and her voice. Ma Makutsi, however, is becoming seriously annoying. I cant believe that Ma Ramotswe is completly bereft of any need or courage to tell her colleague that a constant distribe on the faults of others and sidetracking can become annoying. I cant imagine Obed Ramotswe sitting listeing to some of the arrogant and selfish rubbish Grace makutsi spouts without him trying to calm it down so why cant his daughter see how harmful Grace can sometimes be. It started to annoy me and I found myself wanting to skip forward to get the speechifying of Grace out of the way for the first time ever. It started to grate on me. .......maybe its me?

however i got through, soometimes with gritted teeth and was sad that my blissful 8 hours was a little marred.
On the whole it was lovely but not as lovely as before.

2 people found this helpful

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Mr McCall Smith never disappoints.

Mr McCall Smith never disappoints.
Same goes for Adjoa Andoh. Another Precious book (excuse the pun).

1 person found this helpful

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Great!

Loved this - wonderful narration, and it was like being back with old friends. Always a pleasure to listen to these books with their interesting, quirky characters.

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Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant

Another great Mma Ramotase tale with lots of ?different threads running through this episode. Precious has a beautiful personality, Grace shows a compassionate side and MMA Potawatomi is also involved. This is just great, the narrator does her usual fantastic job, the pictures it conjures in your mind are priceless.

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simple playback story

yes ok the narrator put in very high pitch voices which realy got to me. I was going to stop when I first heard it but as I'd paid for it I carried on. not a strong story line.

1 person found this helpful

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Poor narration and lacking a plot line

I enjoyed the earlier books but this was disappointing. The story line was vacuous and slow moving. The narration was very irritating. It would be better if she read the story straight instead of trying to characterise the different voices. I found it very hard to listen to.

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Good story, poor narration.

I love A.MCS books. The story is good , but the narration gave me a headache. Some of the characters voices were so high and shrill, it was painful to listen to.

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Another Charming Instalment

A wonderful relaxing listen - beautifully read. As with the other books in this series not a great deal happens but the characters are captivating and thought provoking. The comings and goings in Gabaronne are brought to life without endless description and the philosophical ponderings do not jar but blend into the story.

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a gentle tale spoilt by the irritating narration

I love Alexander McCall Smith but it was hard to listen to the voices of the characters. As well as being very similar in tone and inclination, they were so shrill that it really spoilt my enjoyment of what is a well crafted tale.

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Always a treat.

The no 1 Detevtive Agency books always leave me in a better place than where they found me. Thank you AMS.

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  • Amanda E
  • 12-07-21

Another great book in the Ladies Detective Series

I really enjoyed this book. I love the narrator, I think she does a really good job, and I thought this book was really sweet. I look forward to the next one.

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  • Web_mistress
  • 13-12-20

Needs better editor

The whole series need better editor. Mma Makutsi son was Itumelang Clovis in previous books but in this one he's suddenly Itumelang Anderson. Mma Makutsi was previously described as traditionally build even if less traditionally than Mma Ramotswe but in this one she apparently isn't. And the plot is... quite unremarkable, more and more details unrelated to either plot or character development. The only reason I listened to the end is because it's 21st book I've bought of the series. But even long-term loyalty has its limits.