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4.7 out of 5 stars76
4.7 out of 5 stars
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 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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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2002
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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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2010
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 25 January 2011
I approached this biography with some trepidation. A son writing a book about his beloved father could not be balanced, could it?

How wrong I was. The affection is there but Jim Wight tackled the difficult issues head on, such as his father's earlier financial difficulties; his nervous breakdown and complex relationships with the true life 'Siegfried'. Facts that some might have left out to save any potential embarrassment are included. After reading this book I know the real James Herriot better and like what I see.

I did not want to put the book down, such was its impact. Background to some of the stories in his father's books are there as well as the climb from obscure Yorkshire vet to international author. First and foremost 'James Herriot' remained a vet with 1% dedicated to being a writer. Buy this book - you will not be disappointed.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 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
on 1 February 2009
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
on 7 February 2001
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2013
As a veterinarian for over 30 years I can strongly recommend this book to anyone with any interest in the life of a vet. Many have the idea that it must be wonderful working with animals all day and all the hilarious things that must result from that. Well it is but balancing the long arduous working hours with a family life for not a very high income can be difficult for vets. Veterinary work is not just about the animals, it's about the people as well and this where it becomes an art rather than a science. Jim brings this out very well in the book and he gives a real insight into 'behind the scenes' of a veterinary surgeon's life: the highs and the lows, the laughter and the tears. James Herriot should be on the reading list for all trainee vets!

What constantly amazes me is that his father, Alf Wight aka James Herriot, had the energy to sit down at night after a long day at work with a typewriter and create his wonderful stories. Jim tells a few tales himself and he describes his father's life from his birth in Sunderland, growing up in Glasgow, his life as a vet in Yorkshire and his eventual rise to international fame as an author while trying to hang onto his career as a vet and his normal family life.

A son's ultimate dedication to his father, a thoroughly good read for all ages.
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