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My Family and Other Animals [Paperback]

Gerald Durrell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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My Family and Other Animals (Penguin Essentials) My Family and Other Animals (Penguin Essentials) 4.7 out of 5 stars (140)
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Book Description

3 Aug 2006
Sometimes it's pretty hard to tell them apart... my family and the animals, that is. I don't know why my brothers and sisters complain so much. With snakes in the bath and scorpions on the lunch table, our house, on the island of Corfu, is a bit like a circus. So they should feel right at home...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (3 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141321873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141321875
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.5 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,143 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


* 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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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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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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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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aged five or Fifty this book will enthrall 19 April 1999
By A Customer
When I was younger I loved this book for the enthusiastic, humourous & accurate descriptions of the numerous little creatures the young Gerald encountered & collected during his time in Corfu. Revisiting this book recently I discovered that it had lost none of it's magic & had even managed to gain some. Opening this book feels like walking out into the hot Corfu sunshine & smelling the Cypresses in the air. Durrell's descriptions are wonderful, of the earwig with her babies, the different coloured houses, and last but not least the Durrell family & friends. Despite reading some of the excellent Laurence Durrell's books I can't help but to think of him as big Brother Larry yelling at Gerald to get rid of the latest creepy crawly brought into the house. All in all a wonderful book thoroughly recomended by myself & everyone I know who have read it.
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23 of 25 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
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting
Loved reading this on my daily commute to and from London. I am sure the other passengers thought I was odd chuckling out loud with some of the wonderful descriptions!
Published 4 hours ago by Cate
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 5 days ago by ray carter
4.0 out of 5 stars My Family and other Animals by Gerald Durrell
Great read but for older children and adults only - need a dictionary to hand to translate some of the words (which are in English) and I am an academic!. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Mrs. S. I. Bouvet
5.0 out of 5 stars my family and other animals
This book is almost the same as the programme I watched many years ago. Gerald Durrell has written some great books and this is on of my all time favourites.
Published 18 days ago by D. V. Ball
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift for my Grandson
I loved this book when I read it years ago and hoped that my Grandson would enjoy it also. I must ask him.
Published 19 days ago by Granny Gill
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless classic
An old classic , Gerald Durrell writes beautifully. His description of the island and the animals is so wonderful, can Thoroughly recommend.
Published 22 days ago by tweetart
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
Bought as a present for our grandson, this book hit the mark: informative and witty.

A classic of its type.
Published 27 days ago by Trevor
5.0 out of 5 stars Escape into a child's world
A disfunctional english family growing up in Corfu. This autobiography by the naturalist Gerald Durrell is a revelation that families can survive frogs, owls, bats and slimy... Read more
Published 1 month ago by peter dolman
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure joy
This is a book beautifully evocative of a time and a place, nostalgia for something I never experienced. I would recommend this to anyone at all.
Published 1 month ago by Susan Andrews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic humour
The classic story of the slightly bizarre Durrell family and their move to Corfu. Told through the eyes of 12-year-old Gerry, who is really more interested than animals than in his... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sue
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