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The Real James Herriot: The Authorized Biography [Kindle Edition]

Jim Wight
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Book Description

After qualifying as a vet in 1939, Alf Wight, aka James Herriot, moved to a veterinary practice in Thirsk. He was over fifty when his first book of stories about life as a Yorkshire vet was published, giving birth to some of Yorkshire's most famous and much-loved literary characters. Although he brought fame and fortune to himself and those around him, Alf Wight remained an intensely private person, respected and trusted by those whose animals he cared for, and adored by millions of fans. This illuminating biography reveals the real man behind the title 'The World's Most Famous Vet'.

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" Inspiring and heartwarming . . . A fascinating look at the man behind the bestselling books that touched so many lives." --JACK CANFIELD Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul " Detailed and thorough . . . The real-life models for the colorful characters and incidents in the Herriot books are lovingly explained throughout, making the book feel like an earnest 'making of' documentary." --The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

JIM WIGHT took time out from the veterinary practice in Thirsk, where he worked with his father for many years, in order to write and then publicise this book. He lives just outside Thirsk in North Yorkshire.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A son's tribute 1 April 2006
Any man who has lost a beloved father will identify with the sentiments of the author in wanting to pay tribute to the man who has gone. I went to school with the Wight children and knew James and his partner professionally before they were famous. I found Jim's book true to life and very moving.
I was surprised to learn that the famous vet had no professional detachment whatsoever when it came to his own dogs.
But what moved me most was his own perceived inability to express his love to his son. A man may be a brilliant communicator in print yet fail to express himself to his own child.
I am forever indebted to James for bringing my Yorkshire home back to life when I lived thousands of miles away. I am indebted to Jim for a fine biography of a great man. and a reminder to be open emotionally with one's children
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic insight into the real James Herriot 11 Jun. 2002
By A Customer
It may seem impossible for someone to follow in the steps of Alf Wight, but his son certainly has inherited his fathers ability to write. Although a different style, Jim Wight has managed to portray the life of his father perfectly. His account is both honest and sensitive and captures his enourmous respect for his father.
Jim Wight had an huge amount of information to draw on and more importantly he lived and worked with his father which is a perspective which most biographys lack.
An excellent book.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener 22 Jan. 2001
What is interesting about this book is how similar Jim Wights writing style is to his fathers.You could almost believe James Herriot had written it. Anyone who is a fan of James Herriot will enjoy this autobography and will be surprised by some of it. Who would have thought that James Herriot once had a nervous breakdown or that his partner threatened to sue him over his portrayal as the character Siegfried. There is plenty here that you will not have heard about before and plenty you would expect about the Yorkshire vet and world famous author.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a good read 4 Jan. 2010
By J. Kirk
I have enjoyed the Herriot books for years, both for their humour and also the genuine affection the writer showed for his subject. I'd always wondered about the real James Herriot and was very pleased to receive this book for Christmas. I read it very quickly and easily - the book is mostly factual, with little by way of analysis - but I did feel it could have used a slightly firmer hand in the editing process; there is a lot of duplication and an excess (in my opinion) of superlatives. It also lacks narrative flow in some chapters, but taking into consideration the writer and his subject, and also that this is the writer's first book, it is well structured and provides as honest a view as a son could ever hope to show of his father.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real inspirational story of a grand fella! 10 Jan. 2006
Having grown up with the TV series, and revisited the programmes thanks to Satellite TV in the UK - I thought I would read the book about the real man, behind James Herriot. I read a wonderful story about what is possible if you have a passion for something and try hard enough in life. However, I was most touched with a man who at heart did not seek fame, he just wanted to be a good vet, a wonderful father to his children and grandchildren and a loving husband. I believe that in the book you soon discover that Alf Wight was all of those. A great read, and a pleasure to know more about the man behind James Herriott. A must read for fans of the books or the TV series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real James Herriot 1 Feb. 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A thoroughly entertaining book, well written by the man who knew "James Herriot" best, his son.It brings to life the man behind the stories and his son has described with love and affection the man who was his father. I only have one criticism, I felt that Jim Wight tended to jump back and forth too much,
I would have preferred a smoother plot line, but that said I strongly reccommend this book to any James Herriot fan.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is an interesting and well written book. 7 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is written by James Herriot's son Jim Wight. Jim Wight's love and pride of his father shines through his book. It was delightful to read his perspective on their family life which was fictionalised by Jim Herriot, or Alf Wight, in his own books. It was particularly interesting to read of Alf Wight's childhood in Glasgow, which he did not write about himself.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thankyou for writing this book. 16 Mar. 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Many times I laughed, a few times I cried and so many memories were awakened. I did not want to finish the book as it was such a joy and I knew that it could only end unhappily. The real James Herriot was portrayed wonderfully and a person who we could all learn something from. The pictures were lovely, I wished that there could have been more.

This was a lovely book about people, yorkshire, relationships, family and of course a few animals.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 1 month ago by jen
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone who has enjoyed the Herriot books should read this volume
A superb book. It is very informative and entertaining, with the style echoing the author`s famous father in its more anecdotal passages. Read more
Published 1 month ago by PeterS
5.0 out of 5 stars worthwhile
Book in very good condition. We can see it's been read, but it was kept with care. I'm very happy with my purchase.
Published 1 month ago by DM
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
For my wife who has enjoyed all the series
Published 1 month ago by Mr Allen F Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved it started reading it staying in cottage in the dales
had to buy it and finish the read.
Published 2 months ago by Mr J M Worfolk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought this for my wife . She loves it
Published 3 months ago by David McCallum
5.0 out of 5 stars James Herriott
Very interesting story
Published 3 months ago by Ms. B. Langton
5.0 out of 5 stars ... a devotee of the James Herriot books I thoroughly enjoyed this...
As a devotee of the James Herriot books I thoroughly enjoyed this biography written by his son Jim. It gives a wonderful insight into the early life and career and his forays into... Read more
Published 5 months ago by valerie plater
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really good read
Published 7 months ago by Geoff
5.0 out of 5 stars The James Herriot Manual you have to read
You have to read this if only to put the whole James Herriot series into correct context and time line.
Published 7 months ago by R. A. Brown
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