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Follow the Author
The Corfu Trilogy: My Family and Other Animals; Birds, Beasts and Relatives; and The Garden of the Gods Kindle Edition
From the Publisher
From the Illustrated Biography
Durrell Around 10 Years Old
Durrell, around ten years old, in typical natural history “exploration” mode—wellies, collecting bag, walking stick, and his loyal dog, Roger, at the ready. Roger traveled with the family when they went to Corfu in 1935 and when they returned to England in 1939; he and Durrell were inseparable companions.
Durrell often gave “illustrated” talks about his expeditions, brought to life by lightning-quick sketches of some of the animals he had nurtured during the long months spent in the bush. At the 1954 launch of his third book, The Bafut Beagles, about his second trip to the Cameroons, he brought a sketch of an African brush-tailed porcupine. His first two books, The Overloaded Ark (about his first trip to the Cameroons) and Three Singles to Adventure (about an expedition to British Guiana), appear on the stand.
A bronze statue of Durrell by sculptor John Doubleday stands at the entrance to Jersey Zoo, now called Durrell Wildlife Park. It was erected in 1999, the same year that the trust was renamed Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Durrell’s honor.
(Photo courtesy of Gregory Guida.)
“A most enjoyable idyll.” —The New Yorker on My Family and Other Animals
“A lot of frolic, fun, and charming ribaldry, as well as the warm feeling of having been transported to a lovely spot where worry is unknown and anything is believable.” —The New York Times on My Family and Other Animals
“A delightful book full of simple, well-known things: cicadas in the olive groves, lamp fishing at night, the complexities of fish and animals—but above all, childhood molded by these things and intimately recalled in middle age.” —The New York Times Book Review on Birds, Beasts and Relatives
About the Author
- ASIN : B01N1ETANI
- Publisher : Open Road Media (November 29, 2016)
- Publication date : November 29, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 16561 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 528 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #168,633 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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I heard about 'My family and other animals' a few times before, but finaly took it to read upon an acquaintance' recommendation. I took a trilogy because it paid off (t was a good one book price for three) and I like having books of a collection neatly sticking together.
It is also a good edition - I haven't got a complaint about it.
About the content.
As said, 'My family and other animals' is a must-read. The author poured his soul on the pages, his enthusiasm is tangible and contagious. There's also a faint child-like feel to the first book, to the stories about first encounters with earthly creatures and the family's reactions to young Gerald's growing "managerie".
The stories are hillarious, made me want to learn more about some of the animals (I knew only a few of them, like dogs and a donkey, but I had to search the web for geckos, spiders and various beetles).
The three books in the Corfu Trilogy were not written consequently, and it shows. While the language improved visibly, the style changed as well. Not necessarily in a bad sense (some of the best, the most funny stories are in the third book), but it's visible. The style difference is what prevented me from giving the Trilogy five stars.
What bothered me personally was reading the same chronology three times repeated. The stories are different each time, but to me it was a little boring knowing Gerry was through growing up once or twice already. So, I recommend reading the Trilogy in three chunks, with at least a few months in-between. Start with 'My family and other animals'.
I read a book last year where the author went in to excruciating detail about the settings for every scene. One might accuse Durrell of the same, but while the other author's descriptions just felt tedious, from Durrell it's just pure poetry. I once said that what made Isabella Bird so amazing is that while the rest of the world was writing in black and white, she was writing in technicolor. Durrell does much the same for all the living creatures and their habitat on Corfu.
Reading about his observations and interaction with all the various flora and fauna is just half the fun of this book. I will say that the first of the three books feels the most inspired, but they are all great fun. As you can tell, this gets a huge thumbs up from me.
That said, this book is also populated with untold stories about animals--pets, yes but also birds, snakes, toads, hedgehogs, etc. that young Gerry, a naturalist in the making, captures and cares for. Some might find these portions of the book uninteresting, but having been a Gerry in my youth, I simply found it charming. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who loves nature, beautiful descriptions, odd-ball characters and has the time to leisurely wend their way through The Corfu Trilogy.
Top reviews from other countries
Gerald Durrell’s writing is as warm, engaging and fresh as when it was first published some 60 years ago. His obsession with animals, from the smallest, writhing insect to the largest birds and mammals is prodigious and completely gripping. The most squeamish of readers cannot help but be enthralled by the extraordinary strategy of the trapdoor spider or the epic battle between a gecko, centipede, mantis and the massive toad that ends it all. Insects, fish, birds and mammals are all irresistible characters in his story. His wildly eclectic collection of pets is quite splendid.
In the midst of this zoological feast sits Durrell’s eccentric and equally fascinating family and the extraordinary people they befriend on the island. The young Gerald was no mere trainspotter of fauna, he also delighted in the foibles and charms of those around him as he roamed all over Corfu. We come to love the ever resourceful and fiercely protective Spiros, the gentle, erudite Theo and the peasants, farmers and other myriad Corfiots he meets on his collecting trips.
Durrell’s wonderment and curiosity in all animals - wild and human - is infectious.
Above all he makes you want to drop everything and get the on the next flight out to the magical island of Corfu - preferably in the 1930s before it was assaulted by war or tainted by mass tourism, although it was still idyllic when I went there in the early 1980s.
To my surprise, each of the books in the trilogy is as good as the first. I feel bereft that there are no more pages to turn. Durrell’s halcyon Corfu is such a wonderful place, it hurts to be forced to abandon it at the end.
Oh, and, unusually, in no way does enjoyment of the books spoil delight in the TV series. The stories are different, the balance between humans and zoology is different but the charm and love of life in all its forms and of Corfu remain.
Birds, Beasts and Relatives - the second book in Durrell’s Corfu Trilogy and another wonderful anecdotal read of his and his family’s life on the Greek island. Durrell’s style is very loose and gentle with lots of harmless humour at the expense of himself, his mother, siblings and the array of eccentric characters who cross his path. A really amusing and interesting read.
The Garden of the Gods - the third in Durrell’s Corfu Trilogy and another winner of a book. Durrell’s memoirs are told in his usual loose, witty and self-depreciating style that’s fun yet innocent. The characters who appear in this book are all unique and a bit wacky, making the chapters interesting and easy to read. Really enjoyable and heart-warming.