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My Family and Other Animals [Paperback]

Gerald Durrell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Nov 2004
This book is soaked in the sunshine of Corfu where the author lived as a boy with his 'Family and other Animals.' It is a matter of personal taste whether one most enjoys the family, with its many eccentric hangers-on, or the animals Gerry studies and brings back to the strawberry pink, the daffodil-yellow, or the snow-white villa. The procession includes toads, and tortoises, bats and butterflies scorpions and geckos, ladybirds, glow-worms, octopuses and rose-beetles, Quasimodo the pigeon, the puppies Widdle and Puke, and of course the magpies.

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Impression edition (4 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140013997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140013993
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.7 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 357,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

As a self-described "champion of small uglies," Gerald Durrell (1925-1995) devoted his life to writing and the preservation of wildlife, from the Mauritius pink pigeon to the Rodriques fruit bat. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the Greek island of Corfu, but ended up as a delightful account of his family's experiences that were, according to him, "rather like living in one of the more flamboyant and slapstick comic operas".

As a 10-year-old boy, Gerry left England for Corfu with "all those items that I thought necessary to relieve the tedium of a long journey: four books on natural history, a butterfly net, a dog, and a jam-jar full of caterpillars all in imminent danger of turning into chrysalids". Durrell's descriptions of his family and its many eccentric hangers-on (he stresses that "all the anecdotes about the island and the islanders are absolutely true") are highly entertaining, as is the procession of toads, scorpions, geckos, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, the puppies Widdle and Puke, and the Magenpies. This is a lovely book. --Christine Buttery


* Hugh Bonneville gives a lovely reading...Delicious! Daily Express * Hugh Bonneville...relishes his succession of roles. The Times --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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First Sentence
JULY had been blown out like a candle by a biting wind that ushered in a leaden August sky. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
What can I say about this wonderful book that can possibly do it justice? I first read it 30 years ago, and I am convinced that it was on the strength of this book that I passed my English Literature G.C.E!! It is an incredible book. It is full of funny, warm characters, and of course, the amazing animals! It must have been like heaven to be a small boy on the island of Corfu. It was this book which made me determined to visit Corfu one day, and when I did, I wasn't disappointed. It evoked for me wonderful images of a country I had never visited, and made me long to see it. The Durrell family are a delight, and the way that Gerald tells the story makes you feel as though you are actually there! I loved it, and still do.My children have read it
and they also love it. It is I think an enduring book, one which will continue to delight readers for many years to come.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GERALD DURRELL MUST READ 15 Jun 2001
The first Gerald Durrell book I ever read,my mum recommended to me, I thought it would be very boring and in reply said no, but for my birthday she got me his fist 2 books written, I decided i should read it and, as I started to read it I couldnt put it down, set in the sunny country of Corfu, it was very funny, exciting and showed a real inside to that happy go lucky boy Gerald Durrell, full of laughs which he, his 2 brothers, his mother, his sister and of course his dog called Roger.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming story - Genuinely funny 5 Nov 2003
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The stories within each chapter are filled with animals, the wonderful eccentricities of Durrel's family and the other residents of Corfu. The island and the authors childhood sound wonderful and I would recommend this book to anyone seeking something light-hearted, interesting and amusing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my family and other animals 31 Dec 2004
By A Customer
A book I first read as a child, and still continue to read. I love it. Inspired me to become a veterinarian.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give it 6 stars! 23 April 2007
This book is absolutely, brilliantly funny. The wit and unique characterizations are woven with great descriptions of the animals and plants of Corfu. That Durrell can hold the attention of readers who have no interest in biology simply demonstrates what a fine work this is. Gerald's depiction of a larger-than-life expatriate family on a larger-than-life Greek island is a tremendous celebration of life. The variety of different Greek characters parading through this book rivals the variety of Corfu's flora and fauna. Absolute great read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dream-esque 14 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This is such simple yet wonderful book. It really does transport you into a world of dreams, hilarious oddities and unfazed youthfull dreams. Including heart-warming and trully individual characters, through the eyes of an endearing young boy, this creation of loveliness is a must for anyone who still remenices over hazy childhood summers with a rush of happiness.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true natural history classic 17 Sep 2004
By J. Charlesworth VINE VOICE
I hadn't read this for a while, and I'd forgotten how simply perfect it is. I was introduced to Durrell by my parents reading this aloud to me as a small child.
As a keen naturalist I loved the descriptions of the animals and his sheer enthusiasm for all kinds of life. I think my parents blame Gerald Durrell for all the animals I brought home after being inspired by his work. The descriptions are stunning and the family anecdotes endlessly amusing.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No reviews? 21 Sep 2005
By ajk77
I was surprised there were no reviews for this warm and funny book. I feasted on Gerald Durrell's animal books in my early teens and enjoyed revisiting this recently when I bought as a present for a friend's daughter. Those of his books that feature his rather zany family are always particularly delightful. Recommended for anyone who likes animals, Greeks or taking the mickey out of Lawrence Durrell.
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