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Fauna & Family: More Adventures of the…
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Fauna & Family: More Adventures of the Durrell Family of Corfu (Nonpareil… (original 1978; edition 2012)

by Gerald Durrell (Author)

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4331336,095 (4.15)28
Member:barefootsong
Title:Fauna & Family: More Adventures of the Durrell Family of Corfu (Nonpareil Books)
Authors:Gerald Durrell (Author)
Info:David R Godine (2012), Edition: First, 192 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:autobiography/memoir, nature, places: greece, nonfiction

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The Garden of the Gods by Gerald Durrell (1978)

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
The last in the Durrell trilogy, and I think the best. After reading the series we found the video made in 2007. I very good accounting - preferred it to the most recent PBS version. ( )
  addunn3 | Feb 6, 2019 |
I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the previous two books in the Corfu Trilogy, and unlike most readers I am more interested in the descriptions of Durrell's activities collecting animals rather than the doings of people, so. It's another collection of stories from the time his family lived on a small Greek island, when he was between the ages of eight and ten, I think. Most of the time he spends wandering the island, wading the lagoon and lake, searching for insects, reptiles, birds and the like to observe their habits and if he can, catch them to take home for his growing collection. In particular he has a pet owl and acquires several new, voraciously hungry owlets, has a variety of snakes, frogs and toads and one wonderful hoopoe- a bird he rescued from a hunter. The incident with the buried puppies was familiar to me, I think because I saw it represented in the film beforehand. Being a fishkeeper myself, I really liked reading about when he caught several brightly-colored gobies during the mating season, installed them in his aquarium, and watched them lay and hatch eggs. There's also a lively battle between a mantis stalking a moth, who is in turn stalked by a fat gecko, when a centipede also goes after the moth- and they are all at the last moment accosted by a hungry toad- to Gerry's indignant consternation (even though the toad itself is one of his pets).

But to me it seemed like the incidents involving people populated this book more than in others. His family is interesting and their endless rotation of visitors equally so. A lot of the characters are very unique and colorful, let's say- and the family's reaction to them is often equally so. They argue a lot- in very amusing conversations- I can't help but wonder now how much of that is accurate, and how much a bit embellished. And while it might seem that the characterizations are a bit flat- mother is always in the kitchen or planning new, lavish meals, his sister is exasperated over boys or involved in sewing, decorating and making sarcastic remarks, his older brothers immersed in their individual interests- firearms and literary pursuits- I remind myself that it's also depicted through the eyes of a child. Of course a ten-year-old who spends they day tramping the island through hot fields and olive groves, coming home hungry, might well think his mother's chief importance in life is to provide great food! Many of the jokes and comments (by visitors and family alike) are a bit scandalous or definitely sexist in nature- especially when it comes from Captain Creech- you think young Gerry doesn't comprehend it all, but he thinks it mighty funny regardless.

from the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | Sep 2, 2018 |
I found this book to be more interesting than "Birds, Beasts, and relatives" but not as good as the first in the series "My family and other animals". The stories are quite good fun. ( )
  John_T_Stewart | Nov 18, 2017 |
The third book in Gerald Durrell’s Corfu Trilogy is The Garden of the Gods. He continues on with his memories of the years his colorful family lived on Corfu before the second world war. To Gerald, a budding naturalist, Corfu was a paradise full of creatures to be captured and studied. He planned his excursions on land and sea according to which particular creature he was after and spend his “happy, sunlit childhood” wandering the beaches and olive groves of the island.

Although Gerald isn’t considered the author of the family, that titles goes to his eldest brother, Lawrence, he does write in a warm, humorous and engaging manner. His stories of both the creatures he encounters and his family are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. There is an innocence and lightness to these books that make them perfect companions when one needs a pick-me-up.

I originally read these books when I was quite young, yet they still delight and amuse me today. His humorous observations about people, places and events give these books their mass appeal and would, I believe, make a delightful read for just about anybody. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Jul 13, 2016 |
This is the third volume of the author´s trilogy about his life in Corfu in the 30s immediately prior to the Second World War.

Gerard Durrell has a unique gift for writing hilarious prose. He is particularly humorous when describing the heterogeneous members of his family, who are continually arguing and quarrelling amongst themselves.

The head of the household is Mother, whose main characteristic is her placatory nature (Oh, I´m sure he didn´t mean it, Larry!). Otherwise she is constantly occupied with creating delicious meals and searching for new, appetizing recipes.

Larry is the eldest – he is exceedingly intellectual and highly literary; he always expresses his true opinions about everything, particularly the irritating activities of the others, especially Gerry and his animals, and generally furnishes literary allusions to these activities. Larry is perpetually inviting eccentric friends, acquaintances, and even people he doesn´t know, for long stays with the family, generally forgetting to warn Mother, who is the one who has to cook for, and otherwise attend to, them. Later Larry becomes a famous author, whose works include the illustrious “Alexandria Quartet”.

Leslie, on the other hand, is by no means intellectual, but a ballistics expert; he is obsessed with guns and hunting, and has other practical talents.

Margo, the only girl, is generally preoccupied with her latest romantic predilection. She is good at sewing/knitting and the like; when stressed she has difficulty in finding the correct words (“It´s an eye for an ear.”)

Gerry, the author, who is the youngest, a boy of about ten, has an amazing talent in the field of natural history. With his patient dog Roger, he spends hours lying on his tummy observing the spectacular behaviour of tiny insects, spiders and the like; he is always bringing home wounded birds and other animals to add to his vast collection, to Larry´s despair.

The maid Lugaretzia, a hypochondriac, regales the family daily on the progress of her various bodily ailments.

There is also Spiro, an irascible Greek, who takes the family under his wing and, knowing everyone on the island, is able to help them with all sorts of practical problems, including bribing judges, His English is somewhat broken and he adds an “s” at the end of every word.

Theodore visits the family every Thursday and they ply him with questions, since he is extremely knowledgeable about all conceivable matters. He is “everything to everyone”. He could discuss herbs and recipes with Mother and supply her with detective stories; with Margo he could talk of diets and ointments that could remedy spots, pimples and acne (which she was plagued with); he could converse on a par with Larry; he could enlighten Leslie on the history of firearms in Greece; and illuminate Gerry on the mating habits of various frogs, spiders or whatever.

There is the lecherous, old mariner Captain Creech, who has amorous designs on Mother, and in particular her body, and whose lewd language is far from what she deems acceptable.

These are just a few of the intriguing characters that frequented the Durrell household.

I strongly recommend that you read this book. Gerald Durrell has an exceptional literary talent, not to mention his exquisite talents as a humorist; moreover, his observations of natural history are fascinating, even to a reader like me who is not normally particularly interested in such matters. ( )
  IonaS | May 29, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gerald Durrellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Davenport, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for Ann Peters, at one time my secretary and always my friend, because she loves Corfu and probably knows it better than I do.
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That summer was a particularly rich one; it seemed as if the sun had drawn up a special bounty from the island for never had we had such an abundance of fruit and flowers, never had the sea been so warm and filled with fish, never had so many birds reared their young, or butterflies and other insects hatched and shimmered across the countryside.
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Book description
Fauna and Family, also known as The Garden of the Gods, is the third in Durrell's Corfu trilogy that begins with his beloved classic, My Family and Other Animals and continues with Birds, Beasts and Relatives. In his foreword to Fauna and Family, Durrell confessed that in the first two books, "I had left out a number of incidents and characters that I would have liked to have described, and I have attempted to repair this omission in this book . . . I hope that it might give the same pleasure to its readers as apparently its predecessors have done, as for me it portrays a very important part of my life . . . which is a truly happy and sunlit childhood."
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Part of the trilogy of memoirs that inspired the television show The Durrells in Corfu: A naturalist's adventures with animals-and humans-on a Greek island. When his family moved to a Greek island, young naturalist Gerald Durrell was able to indulge his passion for wildlife of all sorts as he discovered the new world around him-and the creatures and people who inhabited it. Indeed, Durrell's years growing up on Corfu would inspire the rest of his life. In addition to his tales of wild animals, Durrell recounts stories about his even wilder family-including his widowed mother, Louisa, and elder siblings Lawrence, Leslie, and Margo-with undeniable wit and humor. The final chapter in Durrell's reflections on his family's time in Greece before the start of World War II, The Garden of the Gods is a fascinating look at the childhood of a naturalist who was ahead of his time. This book features an illustrated biography of Gerald Durrell including rare photos from the author's estate.… (more)

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