A wonderful reminiscence of days gone by, and a book that will have you giggling throughout.
I first read this when I was in high school, and adored it. I shared it with my mother, who enjoyed it equally.
I'm now older than Mom was then, and have just re-read it -- and still got the giggles!
This book is one that sticks with you for many years. I read it when i was younger and also saw the movie that was made on PBS based off the book and life of Gerald Durrell. I love this story. Heart warming, good natured, funny and a great family story.
Durrell as a young boy comes into his own, and his family is going crazy around him, but I believe the overall tale of this book is no matter how crazy and insane life and your family can get they are still family! I loved this book, i reccomend it to anyone. Any age. older child to someone in their 80's.
And best of all its a true account of his own life. So its really awesome to see how people lived in different circumstances then our own.
I give This book 4.5 stars out of 5!
Hilarious, ribald, and interesting. Durrell tells his story with tongue firmly in cheek and a delightful look backwards at his wonderfully eccentric family.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a delightful story of the author's early years spent on the island of Corfu. His stories about his family and all the animals/insects on the island will keep you laughing and wanting to read more of his books.
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2013/07/my-family-and-other-animals.html
My Family and Other Animals is a memoir of the time Gerald Durrell and his family lived in Corfu, Greece. The family - Mother of uncertain age, Larry at age 23, Leslie at age 19, Margo at age 18, and Gerald at age 10 - tire of the English climate and decide to relocate to the Greek isle of Corfu. The book is a condensed description of the five years they live in Greece before returning to England.
The books co-mingles two purposes. First is a fictionalized and humorous account of their family life in Corfu. Second is a description of the some of the flora and fauna of Corfu which goes along with Gerald Durrell's work as a naturalist.
The account of the Durrell family is a liberalized, fictionalized version of their stay. The characters are true but exaggerated. The events and chronology are mixed to make a good story, "in order to compress five years .... into something a little less lengthy than the Encyclopedia Britannica." The eccentric characters are fun though. Larry is the budding writer. Margo is a teenage girl concerned about her appearance and her social life. Spiro is the taxi-driver they meet upon first arriving and who becomes a friend. Dr. Stephanides is the scholar who tutors Gerald and perhaps triggers his work as a naturalist. Gerald discovers his love for animals and the natural world.
The descriptions of the flora and fauna come through some of the pets that join the family. Roger the dog, Quasimodo the pigeon, Alecko the gull along with spiders, tortoises, birds, and other creatures become a part of this family's life. The book spends considerable time on the descriptions surrounding these creatures.
My biggest issue with the book was that of writing style. The book is very descriptive in nature. As such, I had difficulty staying engaged in the story. After a while, I found myself skimming through the descriptions to the parts that move the story forward. The story itself is told with humor and fun.
This book has been made into a movie and theater production. This is one instance I think that watching the story may be more fun than reading it.
If you've never read Durrell before - be prepared. This guy is wild, wacky, and wonderful. And so, apparently, is his family. A must for those who loved animals from the time the first bug crawled into your cradle.
This is one of the greatest childhood memoirs that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Durrell's insatiable curiousity for exploring nature reminded me of my own youthful outdoor meanderings. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, then this is a must read! I thoroughly enjoyed every anecdote. In fact, I am not willing to repost this treasure because I want to keep it in my collection forever.
I really loved this book. True i did watch the masterpiece theatre movie about it first. Fell in love with this book though on the very first page. This book remind alot of us of our family. Especially me, the craziness of it all and yet the comfort and togetherness of family.
I hold this book dear to my heart, Certainly not one of the best books ever penned, but if you order it and read it you will love it too! It has a certain magic to it (not literally) It grabs the reader and tells the tale of Geralds story of years ago.
It is beautifull and fun. And undoubtedly witty.
Now if i can only get my hand on another copy, well because my dog really did eat it! haha
Oh i give this book 4 stars out of 5 :P