I had high hopes of being impressed, but the 8 stories fell short of the expectaions created by that fine novel 'My Family and Other Animals'.
Yes there are flashes of the Durell humour, but the quality of the writing is sometimes strained - especially apparant in 'Marrying Off Mother' where information about things and people ate given in terse little bites that do not have the charm of a more full-bodied development. Also some of the stories are too improbable for suspension of disbelief, ie. the story of the gambling nun. 'The Jury' is like something out of 'Tales of the Unexpected' or 'Tales from the Dark side', and bears some resemblence to Somerset Maugham's darker tales of Malaya. Also some of the world-weary author comes through in the stories, which means the wry and humourous 'voice' of ten year old Durell, created so beautifully in 'My Family and Other Animals' is merely imitated. The only place it fully succeeds is in Antoine's little speech in 'Marrying Off Mother' - which is worth reading the whole book for!
Perhaps I am being grossly unfair in expecting something like 'My Family and Other Animals' - each book and story should stand on its own. It is worth reading just to get a taste of what other things interested Durell. Some of the stories do not actually have animals in them!