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Marrying Off Mother [Paperback]

Gerald Durrell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 July 1992
A collection of eight stories featuring an eccentric cast of characters in a variety of settings. The author returns to the Corfu of his childhood, shares a picnic with a prize pig in the Perigord, stays with a hangman in Paraguay and dines with a gambling nun in Monte Carlo.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Fontana Press; New edition edition (19 July 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006378161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006378167
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 11.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 392,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
No one brings the beauty of the natural world home in quite the relaxed and convivial way that Durrel manages to. Accidents and incidents with odd people and unusual animals are told in a style that drips with escapism without the usual baggage of sentimentality. If you liked My family and Other animal then this is certainlky for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Replacing a worn copy 28 Feb 2014
By Dije
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Just love these stories! The humour is infectious and I still remember being in trouble at school years ago for laughing in a silent reading lesson!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing compared to "My Family and Other Animals" 25 Dec 2000
By "jaybilly" - Published on
I read this book hoping for another gem like "My Family and Other Animals". Unfortunately, I was disappointed.
Although "Marrying Off Mother" has much of the same wonderful timing & wit that's in other Durrell books, it seems to be missing their soul. This is a cynical book, and the timing & wit (that in earlier books shows Durrell's innonence and passion) conveys smugness and superiority in "Marrying off Mother". This attitude wears thin pretty quickly.
If you're interested in reading Durrell, I strongly recommend "My Family and Other Animals". But not this book.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read on to see what four "concerned" children can do... 27 Sep 1996
By A Customer - Published on
Another engaging, rambling account of Gerald Durrell's
interesting,to say the least, childhood.
The title story recounts the attempts made by the brood to
marry off their mother for her "benefit", in their words.
The chaos and tumult that follow must be read to be really
The other stories in the book describe in vivid detail some
of the amazing incidents that happened during the family's
stay on the beautiful island that is Corfu.
Definitely worth spending many afternoons re-reading this
book, with a cup of hot chocolate and cookies.You might think
you were one of the many guests this family has had.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sightly Disappointing 9 Mar 2000
By "pure-swallow" - Published on
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!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 6 Feb 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio Cassette
The only good stories in this book were "Marrying off Mother" and the story of Esmerelda the truffle pig. It tided me over until I found the sequel to "My Family and Other Animals" - "Birds, Beasts and Relatives".
Glad I borrowed this one from the library...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marrying off Mother 6 Aug 2006
By Kaye McKenzie - Published on
One of Durrell's best! Sadly he died in 1995 and he is missed by his many fans. Suggestion: Buy and read all of his books. There's an education to be had and many laughs to enjoy.
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