[EPUB] ✸ My Family & Other Animals ✽ Gerald Durrell – Saudionline.co.uk

My Family & Other Animals files My Family & Other Animals, read online My Family & Other Animals, free My Family & Other Animals, free My Family & Other Animals, My Family & Other Animals 6993883af When The Unconventional Durrell Family Can No Longer Endure The Damp, Gray English Climate, They Do What Any Sensible Family Would Do Sell Their House And Relocate To The Sunny Greek Isle Of Corfu My Family And Other Animals Was Intended To Embrace The Natural History Of The Island But Ended Up As A Delightful Account Of Durrell S Family S Experiences, From The Many Eccentric Hangers On To The Ceaseless Procession Of Puppies, Toads, Scorpions, Geckoes, Ladybugs, Glowworms, Octopuses, Bats, And Butterflies Into Their Home

10 thoughts on “My Family & Other Animals

  1. says:

    A delightful, lyrical and altogether MAGICAL read ADVANCE WARNING Review includes mention of tortoise sex It s usually a huge mistake to return to a childhood favourite, imagining it would be just as good the second time around So when I found this book in the attic, with its dog eared cover held together with Sellotape and pages jaundiced with age, I had mixed feelings about reading it again A side note to any fellow Brits who once strode majestically in platform shoes the price on the book was a nostalgic three shillings and sixpence.

    My Family and Other Animals is the semi autobiographical account of prepubescent Gerald s expat life on the Greek island of Corfu with his upper crust, eccentric, English family.Happily, this entertaining book far exceeded my expectations I rediscovered the same Mediterranean island from my boyhood wish list a sun drenched idyll of olive groves, cypress trees and hidden coves.

    Durrell was better known as a leading naturalist and conservationist, but it would be a huge mistake to disregard his skill as an author.Without a shadow of a doubt, he was a formidable storyteller and his command of the English language would shame a lot of modern day scribblers Not only this, but his human imagery is up there with the best.Durrell generates genuinely laugh out loud moments with his impish, descriptive humour his sister Margot s acne ridden face, for example, is described as being swollen up like a plate of scarlet porridge.Animals on the island are cheerfully anthropomorphised, including Geronimo the gecko, Quasimodo the pigeon, plus Widdle and Puke, the gambolling puppies Durrell s overuse of similes and adjectives might cause some readers to grind their teeth to powder, but I personally adore this overkill of descriptive imagery.

    The author s personification of animals extends to goats, whose udders swing like bagpipes and also in respect of some tortoise shagging the tortoises with each other, not any deviant behaviour on Durrell s part.

    Set in the 1930s, before the hedonism of mass tourism had descended on the Greek islands, Gerald Durrell put the Cor into Corfu.This is not just a novel for bookish school kids I enjoyed it as a boy and I relished it even as an adult It was three shillings and sixpence well spent

  2. says:

    When I was a little girl, I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian someday I loved learning about animals We were never without a cat and a dog We were the proud owners of some clever parakeets One of them would perch on the back of the dog and hitch a ride around the living room Hobie the poodle was less enthused than Cocoa the bird I loved reading books about four legged critters Looking back, none of these things were all too astonishing didn t every little kid have pets and a desire to be a vet However, my parents drew the line at these domesticated, household pets Certainly a tortoise was out of the question, as was a lizard or a gecko A scorpion would not even have crossed my mind In fact, about five years ago I was cleaning out the basement, yanking down boxes that had traveled with my husband from his childhood home to his first home to the home we now share together There was a curious little wooden box among some of his old letters and cards to and from old teen aged flames yes, I peeked at these I opened the wooden box expecting to see a piece of jewelry or some curious memento from one of these girls Instead, what I found was the shell of a scorpion I m certain this would not have fazed Gerry Durrell in the least I, however, ceased my snooping for the day I later found out that this had been a treasured pet while my husband was away at college Cats and dogs weren t allowed in the dormitory, but apparently there were no rules about keeping a scorpion Gerry would have approved.This book is the first in Gerald Durrell s Corfu trilogy It s a memoir of his time as a youngster spent on that enchanting Greek island along with his mother and siblings It highlights his love for wildlife, his affinity with the natural world We get a glimpse of this conservationist and writer s first encounters with the animals he grew to cherish and protect on a professional level He tells his story with clarity and humor His family gets mixed up in the stories along the way, and this just added to the charm of the book I love the way he explains his intentions in the introduction It was originally intended to be a mildly nostalgic account of the natural history of the island, but I made a grave mistake by introducing my family into the book in the first few pages Having got themselves on paper, they then proceeded to establish themselves and invite various friends to share the chapters It was only with the greatest difficulty, and by exercising considerable cunning, that I managed to retain a few pages here and there which I could devote exclusively to animals I laughed at so many of the personal anecdotes, savored the beautiful descriptions of the island, and was entertained by his interactions with many of the island locals The encounter with the Rose beetle Man what a fantastic figure this man must have been , a meeting with a convict let out for a temporary jaunt, and the appointments with various tutors including one with quite the impressive bird collection all pointed to the fact that Gerry lived quite an extraordinary young life I expected to be amused by and pleased with this story, but what I found to be a pleasant surprise was that Gerald Durrell could really write I didn t just highlight the funny stuff although there are loads of those bits marked up too , but passages like this one left me gaga over his choice of words Gradually the magic of the island settled over us as gently and clingingly as pollen Each day had a tranquility, a timelessness, about it, so that you wished it would never end But then the dark skin of night would peel off and there would be a fresh day waiting for us, glossy and colourful as a child s transfer and with the same tinge of unreality Naturally, the stars of this memoir were the animals from Roger his faithful dog, to a pair of water snakes, to a tortoise wedding and honeymoon rated PG 13 , to a ferocious battle to the death between a praying mantis and a gecko, Gerry s descriptions are hilarious and compelling I loved the way he personified all of his creatures You can tell instantly that these are not just animals but an important and vibrant part of his life Don t forget that Roger is a dog Roger and I would squat by the hour in the heather, watching the tortoise knights in their ill fitting armour jousting for the ladies, and the contests never failed to entertain us Sometimes we would lay bets with each other as to which one was going to win, and by the end of the summer Roger had backed so many losers that he owed me a considerable amount of money Check out this rendezvous with a pair of toads They squatted there like two obese, leprous Buddhas, peering at me and gulping in that guilty way that toads have Holding one in each hand, it was like handling two flaccid, leathery balloons, and the toads blinked their fine golden filigreed eyes at me, and settled themselves comfortably on my fingers, gazing at me trustfully, their wide, thick lipped mouths seeming to spread in embarrassed and uncertain grins There are plenty of other tales for you to discover on your own, should you choose to pick up this book which I highly recommend It s a wonderful diversion and was just what I needed at the moment It may be considered light reading yes, it is but it is certainly not without value I was rather interested to learn that Gerald Durrell was dedicated to protecting endangered species during his adult life An admirable endeavor indeed.

  3. says:

    The first from the trilogy and the first of Durrel s I ve ever read No words can express my love for this author and his immense sense of humor, pure and light, nothing topical or scathing beneath I remember vividly laughing out loud on the streets and on buses while reading it, so wisely consider your reading spot Howling with laughter in public places might cause you troubles, but the best part you won t care a bit and will always consider it worthy

  4. says:

    I loved My family and Other Animals 1956 by Gerald Durrell from start to finish, thoroughly and in detail That s why I will tell you about it from A to Z.A is for animalsThe way Gerald Durrell describes them is unbeatable He casts a spell on you not only when he portrays quite spectacular species but also quite prosaic ones Gerry Durrell Image source B is for bathing costumeThe chapter in which mother purchases an extravagant garment, covered from top to bottom with hundreds of frills and pleats and tucks , is one of my absolute favourites Just to give you a foretaste What is it asked Larry at length It s a bathing costume, of course, said Mother What on earth did you think it was It looks to me like a badly skinned whale, said Larry, peering at it closely.C is for Corfu Here in Corfu, said Theodore, his eyes twinkling with pride, anything can happen A picturesque Greek island Gerry aged ten and his family mother, two older brothers and one sister moved to from Britain They lived there from 1935 to 1939 The beauty of the place depicted by Durrell is dazzling, in all seasons, in all times of the day Nowadays Corfu probably looks quite different, with thousands of tourists, but I m sure the magic captured in My Family and Other Animals still lingers there Outside, the island was striped and patched in black and silver by moonlight Far down in the dark cypress trees the owls called to each other comfortingly The sky looked as black and soft as a mole skin covered with a delicate dew of stars The magnolia tree loomed vast over the house, its branches full of white blooms, like a hundred miniature reflections of the moon, and their thick, sweet scent hung over the veranda languorously, the scent that was an enchantment luring you out into the mysterious, moonlit countryside The enchantment really works Since I finished My family and Other Animals , I have been dreaming of going to Corfu.Herbert List, Ionian island of Pondikoisi seen from Kanoni, Corfu 1937 Image source D is for Dandy Dinmont TerrierMother s dog Dodo constantly challenges beauty standards Affectionately called by Larry that canine Frankenstein.E is for educationGerry doesn t attend any schools on Corfu, he has lessons with tutors I m sure you will be astonished by the gallery of his eccentric teachers.F is for familyThe most obvious thing you are attracted to are the adventures of the Durrells and their portrayals but there is something not so obvious worth exploring also I mean the relationships between the members of the family, full of warmth and tolerance One of the keys to the success is probably the fact that they are communicating almost all the time we seemed unable to extract the full flavour of our letters and magazines unless they were shared The siblings are nasty to each other at times but even the most malicious remarks have a cordial lining Gerry Durrell and a part of his family, 1936 The Daffodil Yellow Villa in the background Image source G is for guestsMostly neurotic artists and writers Invited spontaneously, in large amounts Sometimes the fresh load of guests would turn up before we had got rid of the previous group, and the chaos was indescribable .H is for humourUbiquitarian It s one of the most hilarious books I ve ever read I would have never guessed that Durrell was seriously ill while writing My family and Other Animals he was recovering from jaundice If you think it s sensible enough not to read this book in public places to prevent bursts of uncontrollable laughter, you are wrong And I m speaking from experience It is enough to recall some scenes to get hysterical while you are for example travelling on a bus or doing shopping You will encounter various kinds of humour funny situations, chucklesome comments, cranky personalities, elements of black humour or a comedy full of gags Living in Corfu was rather like living in one of the flamboyant and slapstick comic operas I is for I am grateful Three Goodreads friends inspired and convinced me to read this ludicrous book Thanks from the bottom of my heart to Jennifer B., Julie and Roman Clodia I will always associate them with this uproarious, amazing read and it will make my memories even lovelier If you check the Goodreads shelves of these three exceptional ladies which I strongly recommend the first thing you will probably notice is the diversity of their literary tastes It goes to show that Durrell adequately caters for a variety of readers needs and preferences.Gerry Durrell Image source J is for just perfectfor a rainy day Or a day when you want to forget about your worries Or a day when you get bad news Or a day when you are just feeling blue with no reason From now on My family and Other Animals will make an indispensable part of my bookish first aid kit Durrell takes care of his readers well being in a truly touching way the real cause why the family decided to come back to Britain was the war, while it s not mentioned in the story even once.K is for KralefskyGerry s teacher One of the most comical characters in the book Known for his chivalry and wrestling skills Which turned out to be quite virtual.L is for LugaretziaA Greek housekeeper who continuously moans and entertains the Durrells guests with generous displays of her gums There was only one thing in life that could bring a smile to Lugaretzia s gloomy countenance, a glint to her spaniel eyes, and that was a discussion of her ailments M is for MotherPatient Practical Sane which seems to be quite an exception in this family Adorable You might try not to love her but you won t stand a ghost of a chance Her hobbies are cooking and gardening Gerald aged eight and Mother Image source N is for NirvanaThe state Mother has gradually reached that happy Nirvana where nothing shocks or startles is exemplified by the fact that one weekend recently, when all alone in the house, she was treated to the sudden arrival of a series of crates containing two pelicans, a scarlet ibis, a vulture, and eight monkeys A lesser mortal might have quailed at such a contingency, but not Mother O is for other family membersWe meet only Gerry, his siblings and mum but no doubt other family members are remarkable too, for instance Aunt Bertha, keeping flocks of imaginary cats or Great Uncle Patrick, who wanders about nude and tells complete strangers how he killed whales with a penknife P is for pinkStrawberry pink, to be exact The colour of the first house the Durrells rented on Corfu The villa had an air of pink faced determination.Q is for quirkyMost people would probably find the Durrells and their pets quite bizarre When they were coming to England by train a disgracefully efficient official at the Swiss frontier described them in a form One travelling Circus and Staff R is for RogerGerry s dog and companion One of the most candid and poignant canine portraits I have encountered in literature so far.S is for SpiroA taxi driver, devoted friend of the Durrells who speaks unconventional English, adding s at random.Gerry and Spiro Image source T is for tortoiseAchilles, one of the first pets the Durrells had on Corfu A connoisseur of wild strawberries.U is for universalChances are this book will be loved by readers from about 9 years old to infinity Most children will probably focus on crazy adventures while mature audience will indulge in Durrell s irony and beauty of his writing style I think the omnipresent humour is the strength of the book but its weakness at the same time if it s not compatible with yours, you will probably get bored and frustrated.V is for veracityAccording to Gerald Durrell all the anecdotes about the island and the islanders are absolutely true Am I the only one who has the impression that the author is winking now The sad part is that the idyllic image of his family in the book seems to be highly idealised Gerry and Roger, 1935 Image source W is for writerLarry, up and coming man of letters, one of Gerry s brothers, later famous for Alexandria Quartet Twenty three years old, dreaming of literary career He considers himself a genius who has to cope with cruel reality and is not always successful I assure you the house is a death trap Every conceivable nook and cranny is stuffed with malignant faunae waiting to pounce How I have escaped being maimed for life is beyond me A simple, innocuous action like lighting a cigarette is fraught with danger Even the sanctity of my bedroom is not respected First, I was attacked by a scorpion, a hideous beast that dripped venom and babies all over the place Then my room was torn asunder by magpies Now we have snakes in the bath and huge flocks of albatrosses flapping round the house, making noises like defective plumbing I was surprised when I found out that real Lawrence, was married and lived on Corfu with his wife There s no trace of her in the book.X is for xenophobiaFortunately not present at all The hospitality of Corfiots was really moving Kind and generous, they offered delicious food to Gerry and made his family feel at home.Y is for yesYes, I m definitely going to read the other two parts of The Corfu Trilogy.Z is for ZatopecAn elderly Armenian poet, one of the peculiar guests His voice shook the house like a sirocco as he swept into it, his cloak rippling, his arms full of bottles Notorious for his enthusiasm for the opposite sex, forlorn Lugaretzia included.Now you know my ABC,Next time won t you read with me Gerry Durrell Image source

  5. says:

    This is a perfectly charming memoir written by Gerald Durrell, a well known British naturalist and zookeeper It s charming because it chronicles his experiences with his family on Corfu, as a 10 year old animal enthusiast It s charming because it is beautifully written It s charming because it is humorous It s charming because his family is so colonial and ooze Englishness but at the same time are quite unconventional For all those reasons, I would recommend this book and indeed, I had a few chuckles over the antics of the various animals I had chuckles when the humans were involved, though, as I found the family dynamics really funny, if not entirely realistic.It s a lovely palette cleanser between the heavy literary fiction I ve been reading, that is certain It s an escape to not only another country and time, but also from reality This story, while having a certain truth that comes with memoirs, has been distinctly sanitised If this is to be believed, this family s biggest troubles are that one of their dogs hips comes out of place from time to time, or that they ve argued over the naming of a homemade boat, or that they had too many guests to comfortably accommodate.It s a sweet, Winnie The Pooh world It s an uncomplicated, kind rendering of all characters and animals within If you can settle into this, you will no doubt enjoy yourself If you are looking for anything beyond, you ll find yourself looking longingly over your TBR list, where the complexities of Updike, Franzen, Laurence, Atwood, and many others beckon.3.5 stars

  6. says:

    I would like to make a point of stressing that all the anecdotes about the island and the islanders are absolutely true Living in Corfu was rather like living in one of the flamboyant and slapstick comic operas thus claims Gerald Durrell in his Speech of Defense or as other authors would prefer to call it The Foreword or Introduction.Gerard Durrell My grateful thanks then to My wife, who pleased me by laughing uproariously when reading the manuscript, only to inform me that it was my spelling that amused her.Sophie, my secretary, who was responsible for the introduction of commas and the ruthless eradication of the split infinitives Split infinitives was a popular vice for authors such as Daniel Defoe, Benjamin Franklin, William Wordsworth, Abraham Lincoln, George Eliot, Henry James, and Willa Cather view spoiler Pardon me, I never even realized that I might ruffle a few feathers by using it myself That s beside the point hide spoiler

  7. says:

    I went back and decided to write a review on this non fictional novel memoir not all events are fully true I believe which is considered by some to be a modern classic I remember finding a box of Gerald Durrell stories on the shelf as a twelve year old and reading them in luxury They captivated me as Durrell told the story of his childhood in Corfu hunting animals Not only was it full of interesting facts about the animals he caught but also about the people in his life Told with wit, humour and the pure ability of a natural storyteller this is a sort of autobiography that you can read as a novel full to the brim with short stories.If there s one thing Durrell does exceptionally well it s write description And my thought has always been that a gifted writer is a master of description His descriptive writing almost drips from the page so that you feel every detail in your imagination as a real sense However I would recommend this book and his other works because of the memories they ll leave with you after reading You ll laugh at the outrageous characters he meets, the wacky things his family gets up to and be fascinated by the details of everyday life magnified to an extraordinary degree.

  8. says:

    My Family Other Animals, Gerald DurrellMy Family and Other Animals 1956 is an autobiographical work by British naturalist Gerald Durrell It tells of the years that he lived as a child with his siblings and widowed mother on the Greek island of Corfu between 1935 and 1939 It describes the life of the Durrell family in a humorous manner, and explores the fauna of the island It is the first and most well known of Durrell s Corfu trilogy, together with Birds, Beasts, and Relatives 1969 and The Garden of the Gods 1978 1996 1363 323 1376 326 9646194338 1386 1393 1395 9789646194335 1397 20

  9. says:

    Hay tres ingredientes que hacen esta lectura exquisita naturaleza, sensibilidad y humor Los animales son personajes principales a los que el narrador les atribuye motivaciones, intenciones y personalidad Terminas encari ndote con ellos y disfrutando la divertida fabulaci n que Gerald va mezclando con apuntes cient ficos y tiernas descripciones De esa manera, hacen parte del escenario termitas, tortugas, escarabajos, escorpiones, aves, delfines, urracas e innumerables especies que habitan Corf Por supuesto, tambi n est Roger, ese can que como actor principal se roba los focos de atenci n y el lector espera atento su pr xima aparici n, porque Gerald hace de l todo un personaje Lo he le do despacio, consumiendo solo un par de cap tulos diarios y asegurando de esa manera mi dosis cotidiana de humor No recuerdo haber re do tanto con un libro en toda mi existencia lectora Me he visto soltando sonoras carcajadas y marcando las p ginas para volver a ellas cuando necesite nuevas risas Gran parte de la responsabilidad recae sobre la familia, ese grupo heterog neo y exc ntrico due o de un mordaz humor ingl s Es envidiable la incondicionalidad que profesan, en medio de alaridos por alacranes sueltos en la casa, reproches por los bichos que Gerald sol a recolectar, se percibe respeto y una hermosa comuni n con la naturaleza Tambi n resulta envidiable la posibilidad de disfrutar la ni ez en un lugar m gico, un ed n para cualquier ni o, sin restricciones ni limites que le permitieran explorar y aprender de la naturaleza Justamente, una ni ez en ese espacio y ese entorno familiar, hicieron posible el magn fico naturalista en el que Gerald Durrell se convirti Como habr n imaginado Mi familia y otros animales es uno de esos libros que te llevan inmediatamente a leer sobre la vida de su autor, a preguntarte cuanto de real y cuanto de ficci n habr en lo narrado, a incluir en los planes futuros de viaje a Corf como infaltable destino, porque despu s de la lectura quedan ganas de conocer esa estupenda isla, y por supuesto, queda esa avidez por devorar los otros dos libros que componen la trilog a, que bueno que escribi mucho y que hay Gerald Durrell para rato.

  10. says:

    I just finished My Family and Other Animals It s VERY, very good It s light, it s fun and in fact what it teaches about animals, human beings included, is absolutely spot on It teaches about animals which a lay person doesn t usually get all that inspired about snakes and lizards and turtles and bugs Some special birds too I was running to Wiki time and time again to see these creatures One can t help but be drawn in because the stories about the strange bugs and beasts are so bizarre Fun stories based on the author s own diaries, begun when he was ten, visiting Corfu with his family for the first time Stories both about his strange pets and the bedlam that repeatedly arises in this very special family The eruptions of total bedlam will surely have you reminiscing about your own familial calamities OK, so have your read books by Gerald s brother, Lawrence Durrell These two brothers don t write the same at all I was curious to see the two authors side by side Larry Lawrence is drawn by Gerald as a younger brother might Lawrence is thirteen years Gerald s senior and not the naturalist or conservationist his brother came to be The tone never gets nasty the ensuing events are simply related as they happened The whole family, quirks and all, is viewed through the author s observant ten year old eyes Lawrence was highbrow even back then, always giving advice, inviting friends over, eating and drinking and telling others what they should do I think I see the Lawrence Gerald draws in Lawrence s own books I think he has drawn him to a tee I read the first two books of Lawrence s well known The Alexandria Quartet and decided I had had enough Too highbrow for me I think this, the first of the author s Corfu Trilogy is better than the second, Birds, Beasts and Relatives In the near future I will be picking up the third, The Garden of the Gods I simply have to check it out What if it is as good as the first Don t get me wrong, the second is good too, but just not as good as this I listened to the audiobook narrated by Nigel Davenport It is easy to follow and very well done This is really a very good light read Everyone needs books like these on and off Lots to laugh about concerning both humans and animals Don t disregard the interesting details on flora and fauna Look at the title It s a perfect fit for the book Some of the writing is simply gorgeous You will want to visit Corfu.

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