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My Family and Other Animals by Gerald…

My Family and Other Animals (1956)

by Gerald Durrell

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Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
Very funny book. Because I'm being lazy, I'm pasting in a great review of this from Amazon:

"Gerald Durrell, age 10, and his family take up residence on the Greek island of Corfu in the years between the world wars. Young Gerry carefully writes down all his observations of the worlds both natural and family, one minute collecting scorpions in matchboxes, the next cataloguing sister Margo's many affairs of the heart, and the next tooling around the island in his faithful boat, the Bootle Bumtrinket. There's a reason the Greek immigration official calls them "a traveling circus." "

-- Followed by Birds, Beasts and Relatives, The Garden of the Gods, and The Picnic and Suchlike Pandemoniom

I would recommend this to anyone who likes funny stories about families, animals, and the joy and creativity and craziness of childhood. ( )
  SaraMSLIS | Jan 26, 2016 |
A wonderful classic - life in Corfu from the perspective of 12-year-old Gerry, who is passionate about animals of all kinds. Lots of humour and a little nature study. Brilliant. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
I read this for the library book club. It was okay and had some amusing tales but I wouldn't recommend it. ( )
  becka11y2 | Jan 19, 2016 |
Durrell describes his childhood on the Greek island of Corfu, with his interesting family. As he was often left to his own devices all day long, he spent his time prowling the island observing myriad insects and small animals, catching them when he could. He brought home a wide variety of small creatures- turtles, birds, fish, lizards and so on- continually upsetting his family when they found scorpions in the matchbox or snakes in the bathtub. Finally they realized he wasn't going to abandon his interests, and gave him a room of his own to dedicate to his nature studies and growing collection. He was also blessed to have a series of personal tutors who recognized and shared, each in their own way, his passion for nature. Aside from the descriptions of animals and his minor adventures with his dogs finding, watching and catching things, there's also plenty of hilarious stories about incidents in his family. It's a delightful book, one of the best Durrell I've read so far... The animals and descriptions of the countryside definitely stand out to me. His observations of male tortoises wrestling during the mating season and of a large preying mantis battling with a gecko on his bedroom ceiling were the best parts of the book.

more at the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | Apr 5, 2015 |
I enjoyed this book very much. The family stories are really funny. The imagery in the writing is exceptional and worth the time on their own.

( )
  grandpahobo | Mar 23, 2015 |
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"It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, which, by often rumination, wraps me in a most humorous sadness."--As You Like It
To My Mother
First words
This is the story of a five-year sojourn that I and my family made on the Greek island of Corfu.
From that moment I guarded the nest jealously. I erected a protecting wall of rocks round it, and as an additional precaution I wrote out a notice in red ink and stuck it on a pole nearby as a warning to the family. The notice read: "BEWAR - EARWIG NEST - QUIAT PLESE." It was only remarkable in that the two correctly spelt words were biological ones.
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 colorful as a child's transfer and with the same tinge of unreality.
'But how did the scorpions get on the table, dear?’
'That bloody boy. . . . Every matchbox in the house is a deathtrap. . . . '
Mother, looking like a tiny, harassed missionary in an uprising, was dragged unwillingly to the nearest lamp-post by an exuberant Roger, and was forced to stand there, staring into space, while he relieved the pent-up feelings that had accumulated in his kennel.
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My family and other animals is by Gerald (Malcolm) Durrell
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142004413, Paperback)

As a self-described "champion of small uglies," English writer Gerald Durrell (1925-1995) devoted his life to writing and the preservation of wildlife, from the Mauritius pink pigeon to the Rodriques fruit bat. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the Greek island of Corfu, but ended up as a delightful account of his family's experiences that were, according to him, "rather like living in one of the more flamboyant and slapstick comic operas."

As a 10-year-old boy, Gerry left England for Corfu with "all those items that I thought necessary to relieve the tedium of a long journey: four books on natural history, a butterfly net, a dog, and a jam-jar full of caterpillars all in imminent danger of turning into chrysalids." Durrell's descriptions of his family and its many eccentric hangers-on (he stresses that "all the anecdotes about the island and the islanders are absolutely true") are highly entertaining, as is the procession of toads, scorpions, geckos, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, the puppies Widdle and Puke, and the Magenpies. This is a lovely book.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:22 -0400)

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A memoir of an English boy growing up on the Greek island of Corfu recounts the author's humorous adventures as he collects all kinds of animals and insects and brings them back to the house, much to his family's dismay.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141321873, 0141037474, 0241951461

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