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All Creatures Great and Small (original 1972; edition 2004)

by James Herriot

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4,84178956 (4.26)187
Member:ktbarnes
Title:All Creatures Great and Small
Authors:James Herriot
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2004), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:nonfiction, memoir

Work details

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot (1972)

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» See also 187 mentions

English (75)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (78)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
This book reads like a consecutive series of individual diary entries told from the perspective of a newly graduated veterinarian beginning his journey into the world of employment. The stories were sometimes comical and other times more serious with a plethora of medical terminology thrown in. I am not particularly squeamish and I usually relish challenging myself with comprehending "doctor-speak" but in a few chapters the graphic surgical references overshadowed the personal experience that the author was attempting to share. I must admit that I found myself skimming a few chapters due to all the medical details. The semi-autobiographical interactions between James Herriot and his human clients were often more interesting than the detailed descriptions of the diagnosis and procedural processes about the poor ill animals.

My favorite passages in the book included some the eccentricities and practical jokes played on each other by the three veterinarians who lived together (Seigfried, his brother Tristam and James). In addition, many of the stories about the animals were quite heartfelt and cute. Among them all a dog named Tricki was memorable, as was her owner. Here is one funny "Tricki" related passage from the book:
Siegfried’s face was expressionless as he read the card aloud. “Tricki requests the pleasure of Uncle Herriot’s company on Friday February 5th. Drinks and dancing .” He looked up and spoke seriously. “Now isn’t that nice? You know, that must be one of the most generous Pekingeses in England. Sending you kippers and tomatoes and hampers isn’t enough— he has to ask you to his home for a party.”

This was a solid four star read for me and although I never watched the book-to-tv adaptation, I can understand why it was a popular series once upon a time. ( )
  LisaAnn805 | Jul 23, 2016 |
The stories of a young veterinarian in the rugged English countryside pre WWII. The people and animals he met along the way and their interaction. I laughed, I sighed and always was entertained. I was able to put down and happy to pick back up when time became available. Though vets have changed in the 60 years passing the love of the animal has remained.
( )
  Bettesbooks | Jul 7, 2016 |
More a collection of short stories about the author's veterinary practice in the English Yorkshire Dales during the 1930's, All Creatures Great and Small equally portrays the animals and the country folk who tend them with a gentle charm. I especially liked the wry little twist at the end of many of the chapters. ( )
1 vote wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Read this as a young teen and immediately sought the rest of the series. Of course it was intense, but I'm impressed now, thinking back, how much of the humor I got. I mean, it really was about the first adult book I'd read. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
All Creatures Great and Small is the memoir of a country veterinarian that includes many different kinds of stories, from ridiculous anecdotes to tear-jerking memories. The book begins as Herriot starts off on his own after veterinary school. He is desperate to find a job and is offered the position as an assistant to Dr. Siegfried Farnon in Darrowby. Little does Herriot know what his acceptance of this position will mean for the rest of his life. Happy to have a job, he launches headlong into his new career.

Herriot's first veterinary visit is a reminder that the life of a country vet is not the same as that of a city vet in a clean office. He will have to endure freezing temperatures, sleep deprivation, a lack of electricity, and stubborn clients as he treats his patients. His job will not be easy, but his love of the work will see him through even the most difficult situations.

As Herriot passes his first year in Darrowby, he learns about more than just the animals in the region. He gets to know the people well and learns about their peculiarities and customs, as a vet usually ends up treating the owners of his patients as often as he does their animals. Herriot becomes a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board, and in some cases, a punching bag for frustrations.

Herriot's first winter in the region passes, and he is amazed by how cold the Dales can be. Spring comes in May, and all is renewed with the joy of lambing and the fresh countryside.

From stories about pampered lapdogs to rugged farm animals, Herriot reveals the inner workings of a vet's life and the struggles veterinarians face every day. He learns more in his two years in the Dales than he did in veterinary school, and he puts this knowledge to use time and time again.

Throughout these stories, Herriot always keeps his cool, even when his patience is sorely tested, both by Dr. Farnon and the people of Yorkshire. Herriot's stories of his life as a country veterinarian have touched millions of people throughout the world.
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Herriotprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
García Burgos, AmparoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
García Burgos, Amparosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
García Burgos, AmparoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Järvenpää, HeidiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Eddie Straiton with gratitude and affection and Donald and Brian Sinclair, still my friends.
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They didn't say anything about this in the books, I thought, as the snow blew in through the gaping doorway and settled on my naked back.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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ISBN 0553122509 is All Creatures Great and Small.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312965788, Mass Market Paperback)

Take an unforgettable journey through the English countryside and into the homes of its inhabitants-- four-legged and otherwise-- with the world's best-loved animal doctor.

For over 25 years-- since All Creatures Great and Small was first published-- readers have delighted to the storytelling genius of James Herriot, the Yorkshire veterinarian whose fascinating vignettes brim with the wonder of life, animal and human.

Whether struggling mightily to position a calf for birthing, or comforting a lonely old man whose beloved dog and only companion has died, Herriot's heartwarming and often hilarious stories of his first years as a country vet perfectly depict the wonderful relationship between man and animal-- and they intimately portray a man whose humor, compassion , and love of life are truly inspiring.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:02 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

An English veterinarian reminisces about his life, career, and animal patients in a small village.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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