9780140289022

My Family and Other Animals (Classic, Nature, Penguin)

Durrell, Gerald

ISBN 10: 014028902X / 0-14-028902-X
ISBN 13: 9780140289022
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
Soaked in the sunshine of Corfu, where Gerald Durrell lived as a boy with his "family and other animals," this book evocatively chronicles his five-year sojourn on the Greek island. With hilarious yet endearing portraits of his eccentric family and their many unusual hangers-on, My Family and Other Animals also captures the beginnings of Durrell's lifelong love of animals. In its passionate understanding of Corfu's natural history, this is an entertaining and enduring memoir.

Review:
As a self-described "champion of small uglies," English writer Gerald Durrell (1925-1995) devoted his life to writing and the preservation of wildlife, from the Mauritius pink pigeon to the Rodriques fruit bat. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the Greek island of Corfu, but ended up as a delightful account of his family's experiences that were, according to him, "rather like living in one of the more flamboyant and slapstick comic operas."

As a 10-year-old boy, Gerry left England for Corfu with "all those items that I thought necessary to relieve the tedium of a long journey: four books on natural history, a butterfly net, a dog, and a jam-jar full of caterpillars all in imminent danger of turning into chrysalids." Durrell's descriptions of his family and its many eccentric hangers-on (he stresses that "all the anecdotes about the island and the islanders are absolutely true") are highly entertaining, as is the procession of toads, scorpions, geckos, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, the puppies Widdle and Puke, and the Magenpies. This is a lovely book.

Review

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