READ THIS BOOK! Even people who don't normally read fiction will enjoy this. Almost every chapter could be read by itself and the book certainly doesn't have to be read after Herriot's other four compilations. Ostensibly about animals, but with wonderful take on their owners and people in general, I found myself appreciating my fellow humans a little more than I did before I read Every Living Thing. The book is heartwarming, funny, sad, triumphant, and all-together wonderful. You must read it!
If you're an animal lover, there's no better author of animal-related stories than James Herriot. A retired British veterinarian, Mr. Herriot's writing puts you right alongside as he makes his rounds caring for animals and dealing with the sometimes unique personalities of their owners, as well as the fellow vets he worked with.
From what I could see, this book is comprised of stories that appeared in previously published James Herriot books. It's a good read, especially if you're not familiar with his work and want to get a taste before committing to other books. That said, though, I would still recommend his "All Creatures Great and Small" series of books for the full "Herriot experience".
Reading Herriot's book is like listening to the stories of a very old friend. Familiar. Comforting. His stories of veterinary work in the Yorkshire dales ( All Creatures Great and Small , All Things Bright and Beautiful , ) have brought to many city folk a sense of wonder and an understanding of the life of a country vet and his patients, both human and animal. In this collection, an older and perhaps more tired Herriot struggles with bad - tempered farmers, difficult diagnoses, an assistant who travels with a live badger, and his own pet cats, who will have nothing to do with him. While the stories and settings hark back to his previous works, the humor and spark are wonderful. The older Herriot struggles to maintain the wonder and merriment of his youth but gets excited shopping for a house and seems heartbroken by the death of some of his patients.
I have read James Heriott many, many times and I never get tired of him. His new veterinary assistant , a veterinarian is very qualified but a bit odd, but a very interesting Character.
This is fun to listen to. Herriot must have worked in England as a veterinarian before World War II. Therefore, you get a real sense of what the world was like then--fairly calm, although he was rather poor. However, animals and their relationships with humans do not change. People do not change, only their environment. So today, we have to take our animals to the vet, rather than have the vet come to the animals. I suppose horse and cattle vets do go to the farms. I recall one coming to my uncle's farm to vaccinate the cows against brucellosis, a disease that can be passed to humans in the milk. Enjoy the listen.