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Publisher's 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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  • 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.

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  • Mark
  • 01-12-20

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.

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  • Jenny J
  • 22-10-20

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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  • LA Quilter
  • 13-10-20

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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  • mrs julie petrie
  • 12-10-20

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.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-02-21

how to raise an elephant

the story was very pleasant
unfortunately I did not like the accents of the main characters which let the book down

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-01-21

Entertaining from start to finish

Another lovely tale of Botswana and Precious Ramotswe. The world could take a few lessons from them....

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  • David J James
  • 26-12-20

As good as the other twenty titles.

If not one of the best, although I feel a sense of dissatisfaction at not really seeing a continuation of the Charlie Vs Queenie Queenie family story arc. Hopefully we will get back to that.

Chapeau bas as ever to the wonderful work of Mma Andoh. I have no idea how she does it with roots in a very distant part of Africa, but she does

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  • Bernard M.
  • 24-11-20

A brilliant series coupled with a brilliant narrator

Another captivating story from the No. 1 ladies detective series. Engaging from start to finish with all the usual characters we’ve grown to love doing their bit to carry the narrative. Made all the more enjoyable but perhaps the best narrator in the business the wonderful Adjoa Andoh. I liked it so much I’ve listened to it thrice already.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-10-20

another wonderful African story

Alexander McCall Smith manages to capture the essence of life in the simple people of Habrone

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  • Michael and Jane Bochenski
  • 23-10-20

A winning combination

The partnership of author and narrator in this series is always a winning combination. I have listened to all 21 of these books over the years. They have become an annual treat. (Michael)