7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"Chile. That was the first time I got gonorrhoea...",
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This review is from: Birds, Beasts and Relatives (Paperback)
The second book in the `Corfu trilogy' is just as charming and amusing as the first and had me laughing out loud in places, even on a crowded train, much to the consternation of fellow passengers.
This story of Gerry and his completely eccentric family is a further amusing chronicle of parts of his childhood spent growing up on the sun-drenched island of Corfu, (though is not actually a sequel) and I loved every word of it. It's funny and witty and by now you really do feel like you know Gerry and his madcap siblings and incredibly tolerant mother personally. Durrell has a vibrant, believable way with words and re-telling stories that really does make you think you were there, and is so humorous with it at the same time. He manages to bring people to life- the way he depicts his older brothers Larry (pompous) and Leslie (firearm crazy) is utterly hilarious and it never ceases to amuse me that his mother puts up with whatever insect/animal happens to end up on her veranda. I wasn't even allowed a hamster until I was a teenager, so I'm particularly envious of Durrell's assorted array of pets!
This book of course also recounts Durrell's exploits in studying and adopting the strangest of creatures that he finds on the island- in this book he quite happily watches tarantulas, captures seahorses and rescues more injured owls amongst other things. I'm also happy to report that Widdle and Puke, his naughty puppies are back, along with Roger the dog. There's also an abundance of eclectic characters introduced, from the drunkard Captain Creech (to whom the quote above is attributed to) to charlatan psychics to the hilarious Countess Mavrodaki. Spiro is also back- yay!
As much a study of characters as a book about the island and its animals, Birds, Beasts and Relatives really does immerse you into a young boy's wonderful sounding childhood. Durrell is one of my favourite writers and I really, really adore the Corfu books in particular. If you like funny, easy reading then I cannot recommend these highly enough.