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All Creatures Great and Small: The Classic Memoirs of a Yorkshire Country Vet (James Herriot 1) Paperback – 17 Jan 2013
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Bulls with sunstroke, pigs on the run and a cake-eating Peke with a betting habit . . . I grew up reading James Herriot's book and I'm delighted that thirty years on they are still every bit as charming, heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny as they were then. (Kate Humble)
The attraction of Herriot's ever popular memoirs of a country vet . . . is their alternating highs and lows, humour and pathos, and gripping anecdotes about delivering lambs, grumpy farmers, hypochondriac pet-owners, stroppy cows and blunt Yorkshire characters. And, of course, there's a powerful nostalgia element in these stories about our green and pleasant land in the day before the ravages of ribbon development. (Daily Mail)
On original release in the 1970s, James Herriot's insights into the life of a working vet were so popular and enchanting to readers that the area of the Yorkshire Dales in which he practised became known as 'James Herriot country'. (Yorkshire Ridings Magazine)
The highs and lows of being a vet in the Yorkshire Dales are perfectly captured in James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small. This edition contains If Only They Could Talk and It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet.See all Product description
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Beautifully written in a descriptive, humorous style ,the stories unfold of a newly trained vet. His busy , non glamorous job tending farm animals all over the beautiful hills and dales. It will make you laugh out loud one minute and bring a tear to your eye another but you won't want to stop reading. If you love animals ,people and wonderful countryside this is book you will love and probably reread every few years.
They are a enjoyable, easy read, perhaps with a little touch of rose tinted glasses here and there but who cares, read and enjoy them.
In my opinion 'All Creatures Great and Small' represents excellent value,as it constitutes the first two books ('If Only They Could Talk' and 'It Shouldn't Happen To a Vet') and a small part of the third one ('Let Sleeping Vets Lie') as they were originally published as three separate titles in the UK.
Those who recall the BBC version of the Herriot series may well be interested in All Creatures Great and Small: Complete Series [DVD], a DVD box set, which contains every series together with the Christmas episodes. I would personally recommend it as an excellent complement to the books themselves.
I would also recommend The Real James Herriot: The Authorized Biography written by the author's son, as apart from being a worthy read in its own right, it provides a fascinating insight into the author, his characters and storylines.
In retrospect I also learned an enormous amount about life in those times, animals and their care, the personality of Yorkshire and its people, the effects of the War and changes in medicine and pharmaceuticals, that have stayed with me to to this day. But those things just happened as the plot unrolled.
I re-read these a few years back - ALL the Herriot books - and still found them compulsive reading. I'd pick the next one up as soon as I finished the last page. Now I have digital versions I can take anywhere, if I want to step back into the busy, troubled, hilarious, sad, beautiful and heartwarming world of a vet in one of the UK's most gorgeous and unforgiving regions.
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