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All Creatures Great and Small: The Warm and Joyful Memoirs of the World's Most Beloved Animal Doctor

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The classic multimillion copy bestseller Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients. For over forty years, generations of readers have thrilled to Herriot's marvelous tales, deep love of life, and extraordinary storytelling abilities. For decades, He The classic multimillion copy bestseller Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients. For over forty years, generations of readers have thrilled to Herriot's marvelous tales, deep love of life, and extraordinary storytelling abilities. For decades, Herriot roamed the remote, beautiful Yorkshire Dales, treating every patient that came his way from smallest to largest, and observing animals and humans alike with his keen, loving eye. In All Creatures Great and Small, we meet the young Herriot as he takes up his calling and discovers that the realities of veterinary practice in rural Yorkshire are very different from the sterile setting of veterinary school. Some visits are heart-wrenchingly difficult, such as one to an old man in the village whose very ill dog is his only friend and companion, some are lighthearted and fun, such as Herriot's periodic visits to the overfed and pampered Pekinese Tricki Woo who throws parties and has his own stationery, and yet others are inspirational and enlightening, such as Herriot's recollections of poor farmers who will scrape their meager earnings together to be able to get proper care for their working animals. From seeing to his patients in the depths of winter on the remotest homesteads to dealing with uncooperative owners and critically ill animals, Herriot discovers the wondrous variety and never-ending challenges of veterinary practice as his humor, compassion, and love of the animal world shine forth. James Herriot's memoirs have sold 80 million copies worldwide, and continue to delight and entertain readers of all ages.


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The classic multimillion copy bestseller Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients. For over forty years, generations of readers have thrilled to Herriot's marvelous tales, deep love of life, and extraordinary storytelling abilities. For decades, He The classic multimillion copy bestseller Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients. For over forty years, generations of readers have thrilled to Herriot's marvelous tales, deep love of life, and extraordinary storytelling abilities. For decades, Herriot roamed the remote, beautiful Yorkshire Dales, treating every patient that came his way from smallest to largest, and observing animals and humans alike with his keen, loving eye. In All Creatures Great and Small, we meet the young Herriot as he takes up his calling and discovers that the realities of veterinary practice in rural Yorkshire are very different from the sterile setting of veterinary school. Some visits are heart-wrenchingly difficult, such as one to an old man in the village whose very ill dog is his only friend and companion, some are lighthearted and fun, such as Herriot's periodic visits to the overfed and pampered Pekinese Tricki Woo who throws parties and has his own stationery, and yet others are inspirational and enlightening, such as Herriot's recollections of poor farmers who will scrape their meager earnings together to be able to get proper care for their working animals. From seeing to his patients in the depths of winter on the remotest homesteads to dealing with uncooperative owners and critically ill animals, Herriot discovers the wondrous variety and never-ending challenges of veterinary practice as his humor, compassion, and love of the animal world shine forth. James Herriot's memoirs have sold 80 million copies worldwide, and continue to delight and entertain readers of all ages.

30 review for All Creatures Great and Small: The Warm and Joyful Memoirs of the World's Most Beloved Animal Doctor

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Oh dear heavens, a cow is having a difficult birth! A cat is sick! The local lord's thoroughbred has skinned its knee! To live in a world where these are your most worrisome worries is to live in the world of James Herriot, the pen name of Alf Wight, the real-life mid-20th century country vet of the Yorkshire Dales in northern England. Having said that, Herriot's stories wouldn't be as ragingly popular as they have been if they were nothing but fluff. No, for a bunch of "animal tales" there's a Oh dear heavens, a cow is having a difficult birth! A cat is sick! The local lord's thoroughbred has skinned its knee! To live in a world where these are your most worrisome worries is to live in the world of James Herriot, the pen name of Alf Wight, the real-life mid-20th century country vet of the Yorkshire Dales in northern England. Having said that, Herriot's stories wouldn't be as ragingly popular as they have been if they were nothing but fluff. No, for a bunch of "animal tales" there's a great deal of pathos herein. Just about every story delves into the human condition as it pertains to the Dales farmers and their struggle to exist, never mind thrive, in the harsh conditions of not only weather, but the rapidly accelerating industrialization of farming. Mid-century small farms were feeling the pinch and Herriot captured the fight. He also mixes in the everyday strife of everyman in a very relatable way. Loosely based on his experiences, these delightful tales ("drama cozies" I call them) take place in an idyllic setting: The Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors... Muker in Swaledale Addingham, west of Harrogate The Cleveland Way near Wainstones The story begins with Herriot as a newly graduated vet arriving at the home and veterinarian practice of Siegfried Farnon and his aloof, fun-loving brother Tristan, two eccentric fellows who provide a good deal of comic relief and storytelling foil. It's the 1930s and, although war is on the horizon, this first book in the series focuses on the not-so-tumultuous time prior, when an outbreak of animal contagion was the apex of concern. In general the tension for these anecdotal stories, all cobbled together into one loose narrative, is on the light side, unless you're an animal lover, in which case you will feel your heart ripped out and replenished again and again. Though essentially a collection of short stories, All Creatures Great and Small does a great job of providing an intro into the world and character of Herriot, it delivers highly readable pastoral tales, and then it gives you a sense of closure without closing out the option for more stories to come. And boy are there more stories! These stories will satisfy lovers of animals, animal husbandry, pre-WWII veterinarian practice (an industry in flux at the time), the English countryside and Yorkshire life specifically, as well as those looking for a light taste of pastoral humor. I liken reading Herriot to watching painter Bob "Happy Little Trees" Ross in action. It's soothing stuff. PS: I enjoyed looking through pics of the Dales and Moors for this review so much that I'm going to add more. Let's call this the... * * * PIX APPENDIX! * * * Upper Swaledale 23 Kirkgate, Thirsk (Home and practice of James Herriot) Goatland Railroad Station (used in the first Harry Potter movie)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    I have this problem--an addiction, really--called BOOKS. I start reading one and I usually can't stop until I realize that awful smell is... ME!... or my kids do that incessant-tapping-on-my-shoulder thing to ask if dinnertime will be occurring before bedtime... (I know, I know. Probably shouldn't have put that in print. Now CPS is gonna come after me.) Point being: This book was NOT like that. I could read one chapter each night, then put it down without my brain going all... twitchy (those of y I have this problem--an addiction, really--called BOOKS. I start reading one and I usually can't stop until I realize that awful smell is... ME!... or my kids do that incessant-tapping-on-my-shoulder thing to ask if dinnertime will be occurring before bedtime... (I know, I know. Probably shouldn't have put that in print. Now CPS is gonna come after me.) Point being: This book was NOT like that. I could read one chapter each night, then put it down without my brain going all... twitchy (those of you fellow addicts know what I mean... you other better-adjusted readers, just take my word for it that "twitchy" is the perfect adjective). Could it be? A non-page-turner that I actually ENJOYED??? Why aren't there more books like this! I would be a much healthier person! Herriot doesn't really have a through-plot (thus the non-page-turner quality), but each chapter presents a new, hilarious recollection from his young veterinary days in the Yorkshire countryside. You know, one of those "horses lifting you off the ground with their teeth, removing pig testicles, becoming the honorary uncle of a rich lady's spoiled pug" kind of reads. I must have laughed out loud at some point in every chapter. If you're looking for a fun little book that you can just pick up every once in a while that won't cause you to go all... twitchy... THIS IS IT! Just open the book and start reading anywhere! Read one chapter, five, the whole thing--doesn't matter. There's no real "story"... but you'll get a good laugh. Several, in fact.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    It's semi-astonishing that I've been married to a veterinarian for a year and a half, which followed a year and nine months of dating/engagement, in which time I went on many emergency calls with her to treat sick horses (and the occasional goat), adopted a dog and a second cat to go with the first one my dearly beloved already owned, and various and other sundry proximity-to-a-vet type stuff has gone down AND YET only now have I finally said to myself, "Hunh, I should read that James Herriot gu It's semi-astonishing that I've been married to a veterinarian for a year and a half, which followed a year and nine months of dating/engagement, in which time I went on many emergency calls with her to treat sick horses (and the occasional goat), adopted a dog and a second cat to go with the first one my dearly beloved already owned, and various and other sundry proximity-to-a-vet type stuff has gone down AND YET only now have I finally said to myself, "Hunh, I should read that James Herriot guy." If I had to sum up All Creatures Great and Small in two words it would be "overwhelmingly pleasant", with a temptation to throw in a "delightful" as well. Herriot writes with charming self-effacement about his early days as a country veterinarian in England in the late 30's. He has a never-ending supply of anecdotes, most of them funny, the rest simply heartwarming. He learns the hard way that his years of book learning don't compare to the things you actually learn on the job; that you can't argue with the boss even when they completely contradict themselves because, hey, they're the boss; that losing track of how many pints of beer (or tumblers of whiskey) you've had on a first date (or a job interview) is a bad idea. (Obviously, bonus points in my estimation for the number of funny drunk stories along the way.) But the best thing the book has going for it is the way that it unfailingly reinforces the simple notion that life is good. Every story has a happy ending, whether it's the hours spent getting kicked and wearing himself out in the freezing cold middle of the night to help a cow deliver twin calfs, or the last-minute acquisition of an experimental vaccine that saves a litter of kittens from an epidemic sweeping a farm, or even the vindication after putting a horse to sleep of knowing that it really was the best thing to end the animal's suffering. And every time Herriot feels like a fool for choosing the arduous, unrewarding life of a country vet he breathes the fresh air and feels the sun on his face or watches a mother animal lick its newborn baby clean or gets a fresh-baked pork pie from a grateful farmer's wife and he realizes it's all worth it. That's the main thing I want out of life - to never run out of those moments where, even though I can still recall and recount the difficult, frustrating, maddening things that happen all the time, I still revel in the sweet moments that make it all worthwhile. And for a book to sustain that exact feeling for 500 pages is quite a feat.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    4.5 stars. I adored this book and swallowed it whole when I first read it back in the day, and grabbed the three sequels as soon as I could lay my hands on them. All four of these old paperback books still have a place of honor on my downstairs bookshelf, wherein reside all manner of classics, old SF and fantasy, ancient English lit textbooks, and other old books. It's quite the massive collection - a lifetime's worth of books that have been lovingly and thoughtfully - or sometimes not - collect 4.5 stars. I adored this book and swallowed it whole when I first read it back in the day, and grabbed the three sequels as soon as I could lay my hands on them. All four of these old paperback books still have a place of honor on my downstairs bookshelf, wherein reside all manner of classics, old SF and fantasy, ancient English lit textbooks, and other old books. It's quite the massive collection - a lifetime's worth of books that have been lovingly and thoughtfully - or sometimes not - collected and have survived the periodic purges. Anyway, James Herriott (a pseudonym of James "Alf" Wight) was a Yorkshire veterinarian whose practice began in the 1940s (before many advances in modern medicine). He wrote this hugely successful series of semi-autobiographical books about his many years of veterinary practice amongst the farmers and people of Yorkshire. His tales are very episodic, often self-deprecating, sometimes poignant, sometimes silly, but always humorously told and heartwarming. Herriott affectionately sketches the old Yorkshire personalities so well, and his love for animals shines through on the pages. A truly delightful read! These are lovely stories, especially if you're an animal lover.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mackey

    Not a long review because it has been years since I read this book; however, it was and still is one of my favorite books. His love for all creatures enhanced my love for them and his stories are timeless. It is a must read for anyone who loves animals and a good read for those interested in a very well-told tale.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    All Creatures Great and Small is one of the funniest books I've read in my life, with humor that I think would appeal to a wide audience. I usually steer clear of animal-themed stories because they tend to be maudlin, but All Creatures Great and Small isn't that kind of animal book. Herriot wrote about his most memorable, strange adventures as a large-animal veterinarian who visited various farms to handle all manner of cases, at all hours of day and night. I knew absolutely nothing about large- All Creatures Great and Small is one of the funniest books I've read in my life, with humor that I think would appeal to a wide audience. I usually steer clear of animal-themed stories because they tend to be maudlin, but All Creatures Great and Small isn't that kind of animal book. Herriot wrote about his most memorable, strange adventures as a large-animal veterinarian who visited various farms to handle all manner of cases, at all hours of day and night. I knew absolutely nothing about large-animal veterinarianism before reading this book; it wasn't something I gave much, if any, thought to. What I learned is that the profession is challenging obviously for the actual work but also exhausting because of the hours. Creatures don't always give birth at convenient times. If a cow is giving birth at the ungodly hour of 3:00 AM, the veterinarian can't exactly ask her to wait until a better time. I read this many years before joining Goodreads, but I still remember one of the most memorable, and hilarious, accounts involved Herriot reaching far into a pig's vagina to help deliver her piglets. As if that isn't bad enough, one of the piglets kept biting his hand with its "needle teeth." This is such a bizarre (but needed!) profession. I suggest recounting such anecdotes in detail to all children who dreamily claim they want to be vets when they grow up. Books containing great humor endear themselves to me almost immediately, and this gem holds a special place in my heart. I wish more writers wrote humor like Herriot did.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    October 14, 2019 I have just finished reading and as expected, I have nothing much to add to my review. Except that I enjoyed it just as much as ever! October 5, 2019 I am starting my second 'official' reading of this book but it is actually the umpty-second time I've opened it up to escape for a time to James Herriot's wonderful world. I very greatly doubt i will have anything different to say when I finish this go-round. The reason I am diving into the Yorkshire Dales again is that I just finis October 14, 2019 I have just finished reading and as expected, I have nothing much to add to my review. Except that I enjoyed it just as much as ever! October 5, 2019 I am starting my second 'official' reading of this book but it is actually the umpty-second time I've opened it up to escape for a time to James Herriot's wonderful world. I very greatly doubt i will have anything different to say when I finish this go-round. The reason I am diving into the Yorkshire Dales again is that I just finished reading The Real James Herriot: A Memoir of My Father and I simply have to revisit my old friends. And after this I will read the other four Herriot books on my shelves. I've also read them numerous times but 'unofficially' and many many years ago. So, that is why we are here, and now let's all go to Skeldale House! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Original review ~~ October 4, 2015 I've read this book so many times over the years, yet every single time I get to the last word on the last page I am ready to go back to chapter one and start all over. From the first day of Herriot's arrival at Skeldale House, being greeted by a tsunami of leaping, barking dogs, to the week of tuberculin testing that brings the book to a close, we share the moments of joy, laughter, tears, nerves, confidence, mix-ups and triumphs involved in his Yorkshire veterinary practice of the 1930's. We meet the Farnon brothers and many interesting people around the Dales, not to mention wonderful animals that will live forever, just as the human characters will. Who could ever forget Tricki-Woo? Or that Labrador whose howling while coming out of the anesthetic drove poor Tristan half out of his mind? That huge farm horse that leaned so comfortably on Herriot while his foot was being examined...the list could go on and on. It is always a pleasure to re-visit Darrowby, even when I know ahead of time how every crisis turns out. Herriot fills these pages with his love for his job, his joy for life, and his fascination with the people and animals around him. And if a story about any case makes Herriot appear a bit silly, it is still included, creating an even stronger sense of reality because we all have stories that now make us laugh but then made us cringe. My thanks to Herriot for sharing everything with us, not only here but in all the other books he wrote: each one is a treasure.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    A lighthearted and cozy memoir of the life of a veterinarian set in rural northern England in the historic county of Yorkshire. I read this long ago, and had added it to my list of books I’d loved at one point in my life and wanted to re-read. I think I requested that my library get a copy a year ago, and I finally got this just as I was just beginning another book about all manner of animals, My Family and Other Animals which takes place slightly before this first book of Herriot’s All Creature A lighthearted and cozy memoir of the life of a veterinarian set in rural northern England in the historic county of Yorkshire. I read this long ago, and had added it to my list of books I’d loved at one point in my life and wanted to re-read. I think I requested that my library get a copy a year ago, and I finally got this just as I was just beginning another book about all manner of animals, My Family and Other Animals which takes place slightly before this first book of Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small series, which covers some of the 30s and 40s. There is more to this story than the animal / veterinarian anecdotes, or the cast of the characters who seem so delightfully real with Herriot’s ability to weave so much charm into these real-life people and their animals. Some are about the beloved house pets, some are about the eccentric owners, whereas there are more of the farm variety – cows, horses, pigs, chickens, and so on, but what doesn’t change very often is his love of what he does, or of this life he is building in this new place, surrounded by nature. Where Herriot shines is in he made this come so fully alive for me, in his descriptions of this new, to him, landscape, and these people who are reluctant to trust a young whippersnapper like him, so used to the way things have always been done around here. And it feels so personally shared, as though he’s written this personal letter to you, or he’s sharing his stories around a warm fire on a winter night – comfy, cozy and warmly shared. ”You don’t find people like the Bramleys now; radio, television and the motorcar have carried the outside world into the most isolated places so that the simple people you used to meet on the lonely farms are rapidly becoming like people anywhere else.” Many thanks, once again, to the Public Library system, and the many Librarians that manage, organize and keep it running, for the loan of this book!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    There are no negatives in this book. When I first read it (them as I read Herriot's vet stories one book after another)I would read them late at night in bed after my wife had gone to sleep. Frequently I'd be laughing silently, but laughing so hard I'd shake the bed. Now and again I'd look over and see her just looking at me having been awakened by my convulsions of mirth. Then I'd end up reading aloud for hours...costing us both much needed rest. There are no negatives in this book. When I first read it (them as I read Herriot's vet stories one book after another)I would read them late at night in bed after my wife had gone to sleep. Frequently I'd be laughing silently, but laughing so hard I'd shake the bed. Now and again I'd look over and see her just looking at me having been awakened by my convulsions of mirth. Then I'd end up reading aloud for hours...costing us both much needed rest.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    So I have absolutely loved loved loved James Herriot's (or should I perhaps say Alfred Wight's) All Creatures Great and Small ever since I first read this book (which is actually an omnibus and consists of If Only They Could Talk and It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet) at the age of twelve (in the autumn of 1978, and thus, All Creatures Great ands Small was in fact one of the first longer novels I read entirely in English, with a dictionary in hand of course, and aside from my immense reading pleasure So I have absolutely loved loved loved James Herriot's (or should I perhaps say Alfred Wight's) All Creatures Great and Small ever since I first read this book (which is actually an omnibus and consists of If Only They Could Talk and It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet) at the age of twelve (in the autumn of 1978, and thus, All Creatures Great ands Small was in fact one of the first longer novels I read entirely in English, with a dictionary in hand of course, and aside from my immense reading pleasure, I was also exceedingly proud of myself that in 1978, and therefore only two years after our family had immigrated to Canada from Germany, I was able to read a full-length English language novel and one not really conceptualised for children either entirely on my own). And yes indeed, I also have been reading and rereading All Creatures Great and Small, as well as the rest of James Herriot's veterinarian memoirs repeatedly and almost religiously over the past decades (at least twenty times, I think, and that is actually a more than conservative estimate at best, as sometimes, I would actually reread All Creatures Great and Small as soon as I had finished). Now with regard to my multiple rereadings of All Creatures Great and Small and what I have tended to take with me at different times of my life, when I was first introduced to James Herriot at the age of twelve, my reading pleasure was almost entirely based on the engaging, often delightfully humorous but also at times sad and heartbreaking episodes of the author's experiences as a veterinarian (I laughed delightfully reading about Mrs. Prumphrey, her pampered and spoiled Pekinese Tricki Woo and later her piglet Nugent and how she calls the office in a panic when she thinks that young Nugent has a prostrate condition only to be told by James that all healthy male pigs relieve themselves in said manner, but was most definitely crying at the episode where poverty-stricken Mr. Dean's fourteen year old canine companion has to be euthanised and how old and widowed Mr. Dean in appreciation of the kindness shown by James, who not only is gentle and caring but also does not bother to charge Mr. Dean, gives James a treasured relict of a bygone and remembered celebration, gives him a cigar). But then later, as an older teenager and young adult (as a university student), while the animal episodes were of course and indeed still of the utmost importance (and a main reading joy), I now also very much appreciated the nuanced characterisation of the author, of how James Herriot portrays not only himself (and always with self deprecation and even much satirisation) but ALL of the human personages depicted and shown (from Siegfried and Tristan Farnon to the many clients encountered, and for most of them, except perhaps for the truly and utterly always horrible and nasty Sidlow family, James Herriot has presented his human characters both with much love and with gentle criticism, with both tenderness and humour, including his entire courtship with his future wife Helen, where he certainly does not spare his verbal rod criticising himself and pointing out the many courtship mistakes and faux pas he makes). And now, as an older adult with several advanced literature degrees under my belt, my appreciation of All Creatures Great and Small and its sequels has indeed come full circle, as aside from the delightful animal episodes and the generally astute and oh so wonderful and engaging character portrayals, I have been noticing how James Herriot has also and equally taken the entire countryside of the Yorkshire Dales, and so glowingly has he described the latter that the Dales, that Yorkshire, are as much a character in James Herriot's memoirs as the animal and human personages presented and featured (but truly, while I might have only recently become fully linguistically and philosophically aware of this aspect of James Herriot's writing, this has in fact I strongly believe been part of my reading experience and joy from day one, as ever since I first read the All Creatures Great and Small books, I have desperately wanted to travel to England and see the Yorkshire Dales in person, and yes, reading James Herriot's descriptions of Yorkshire cooking has also made me both try and absolutely love such delicacies as Yorkshire Pudding and Wensleydale Cheese, and especially Yorkshire Pudding, I would never have likely had the opportunity to encounter otherwise, as my family is German, and my mother especially has always had that stereotypical and in my opinion annoyingly silly attitude that ALL British cooking is by its very nature bland, over-cooked and tasteless). Highly, highly recommended (and while I guess I should leave the caveat that both smoking and drinking are indeed rather heavily featured in All Creatures Great and Small and its sequels, frankly, there is at least in my opinion, nothing even remotely inappropriate about this, and yes, it would be a total and unforgivable affront to me, if the James Herriot books were ever deliberately censored, if the scenes of drinking and/or smoking were ever to be unilaterally removed, as especially the smoking scenes are simply a historical reflection of time and place, and while especially with regard to young Tristan Farnon and even James Herriot on occasion, there are indeed a few choice episodes of drunkenness and over-indulegence, the vast majority of the All Creatures Great and Small pub scenes actually show and present rather glowingly and positively the perhaps for some North Americans somewhat inconvenient truth that in much of Europe, people do very regularly frequent neighbourhood pubs, but often if not even generally only drink one to three small ales at most, often taking hours to finish their pints, visiting pubs more for social engagement, for conversation and human company than for the purpose of getting drunk).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tom Mathews

    I've read a lot of James Herriot's stories over my life but haven't read this first volume of his beloved series of memoirs. It is delightful, touching and often knee-slappingly funny. I highly recommend it. FYI: The audiorecording of the book is narrated by Christopher Timothy, the actor who played Herriot on the BBC series based on the books. I've read a lot of James Herriot's stories over my life but haven't read this first volume of his beloved series of memoirs. It is delightful, touching and often knee-slappingly funny. I highly recommend it. FYI: The audiorecording of the book is narrated by Christopher Timothy, the actor who played Herriot on the BBC series based on the books.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Philip Allan

    This is the first omnibus edition of three covering the memoirs of James Herriot, a newly qualified Scottish vet who began practicing in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s and never left. It is a charming, self-deprecating and frequently funny read. It also opens a window into a lost world on the edge of change as agriculture moved steadily from a family concern, dominated by the horse, towards its more industrial future. The main star of the piece is the landscape - the incomparably beautiful Dale This is the first omnibus edition of three covering the memoirs of James Herriot, a newly qualified Scottish vet who began practicing in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s and never left. It is a charming, self-deprecating and frequently funny read. It also opens a window into a lost world on the edge of change as agriculture moved steadily from a family concern, dominated by the horse, towards its more industrial future. The main star of the piece is the landscape - the incomparably beautiful Dales, full of ancient habitations and fascinating people. The supporting cast is, of course, the animals that Herriot comes across in his working day. Great literature, this is not, although it is perfectly well written, but then it never pretends to be. What it is a series of amusing, occasionally poignant, doubtless embellished anecdotes. A few hours reading this book is like spending an evening in a pub with a skilled raconteur. Pull up a chair and enjoy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    ‘If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.’ This is at least the third time I’ve read this memoir of the famous veterinarian, who began his life as a veterinarian in rural northern England’s Yorkshire, but this time I listened to the new audiobook, which was narrated by Nicholas Ralph, “star of the new Masterpiece series,” which I loved even more. ’No animal is a better judge of comfort than a cat and they were just ‘If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.’ This is at least the third time I’ve read this memoir of the famous veterinarian, who began his life as a veterinarian in rural northern England’s Yorkshire, but this time I listened to the new audiobook, which was narrated by Nicholas Ralph, “star of the new Masterpiece series,” which I loved even more. ’No animal is a better judge of comfort than a cat and they were just visible as furry balls in the straw.’ I re-read this for the first time in many years last year, although I’d read it first when I was probably around 9 or 10, and then again as a teenager. Reading it always managed to pull me in and charm me, as Herriot has a way of bringing it all to life, but a life that isn’t easy, while still making it all seem wonderful, and even occasionally idyllic. ’Life was full for me. There were so many things to find out and a lot I had to prove to myself. The days were quick and challenging and they pressed on me with their very newness. But it all stopped here in the garden. Everything seemed to have stopped here a long time ago. I looked back before going through the door into the yard and it was like suddenly coming across a picture in an old book; the empty, wild garden and the tall, silent house beyond. I could never quite believe it was there and that I was a part of it.’ The narration by Nicholas Ralph made the story come alive even more for me, I was so fully immersed - when I managed to squeeze in time for listening to this. I think I had an almost continual smile on my face for the hours I was listening to him narrate this story, I never felt as though I was listening to a narrator tell another person’s story, I felt like I was hearing Herriot’s story directly from him. ’All young animals are appealing but the lamb has been given an unfair share of charm.’ Filled with humour and charm, Nicholas Ralph’s wonderful narration captured my attention and was a joy to listen to from start to finish. Published: 17 Nov 2020 Many thanks for the ARC provided by Macmillan Audio / St. Martin’s Press

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leila

    I think most members will know of James Herriot, even if they haven't read any of his books. I first read them all many years ago and delighted in the many ups and downs of a country vet's life back in the days before and after WWii. Then came the TV series followed by DVDs to collect. The name of James Herriot became a household name. His books were loved not just here in England but in many other countries also. James Herriot as a country vet, dealt with the local sick farm animals and also wi I think most members will know of James Herriot, even if they haven't read any of his books. I first read them all many years ago and delighted in the many ups and downs of a country vet's life back in the days before and after WWii. Then came the TV series followed by DVDs to collect. The name of James Herriot became a household name. His books were loved not just here in England but in many other countries also. James Herriot as a country vet, dealt with the local sick farm animals and also with a small animal practice too. His books contain many anecdotes not just with sick animals, but also his daily life living in the same house with his fellow vets, his boss Siegfried and Siegfried's younger brother Tristan. There are many humorous moments described in this book and all those that followed, but also some sad times too when all the skill in the world could not help the sick animals, a devastating blow to the farmers and private owners of the small animals, the dogs, cats and a varied selection of other pets. James Herriot had a unique talent to bring a warmth and delight to his readers in his many tales. He got into lots of scrapes too, often caused by young Tristan. Reading his books over the years brought me both laughter and sometimes tears. I so enjoyed re-reading this his very first book. I also purchased every DVD and enjoyed them all so much. Apparently a new series is about to be brought out soon on TV with new stars of course. Why do they have to do this? The original actors are stamped on the hearts and minds of the countless admirers of his work from all over the world. I really loved reading this, his first book yet again. At this time Herriot's trainee Peter Wright is a practicing vet in the same town (Thirsk) Books and DVDs can be bought where interested people can read about and watch the modern day vet practices in Thirsk, carrying on the name of James Herriot whose real name was Alf White. The other Yorkshire Vet is Julian North who was originally Peter's partner but now practices in Boroughbridge with his wife, also a vet.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    As a future veterinarian growing up, I was told by many people to read this book. It is apparently considered a rite of passage for those who want to enter the veterinary field. Finally I did read it when I was in my junior year of college before vet school. It was wonderful. Herriot is a hilarious,heart-warming and talented author. He writes with an ease that is addictive to read. He manages to imbue every chapter with scenes that are laugh out loud funny, but also scenes that will bring tears As a future veterinarian growing up, I was told by many people to read this book. It is apparently considered a rite of passage for those who want to enter the veterinary field. Finally I did read it when I was in my junior year of college before vet school. It was wonderful. Herriot is a hilarious,heart-warming and talented author. He writes with an ease that is addictive to read. He manages to imbue every chapter with scenes that are laugh out loud funny, but also scenes that will bring tears to your eyes. He shows the foibles and flaws of human nature with a lovable grace that is endearing. Although I didn't practice in Europe and I wasn't a mixed practitioner, he captured the first year out very well. You are clueless. You know just enough to know you need to learn more. You have to learn to deal with people before you can help animals. You have to learn to trust your abilities and your skills. You have learn to grieve for the ones you lose but keep fighting the good fight. Let me just say, looking back, I can totally identify with the young vet in this book. You do not have to be a vet or wannabe vet to enjoy this book. If you like slice of life books, or books about people in everyday situations but approaching life with grace and humor, you will love this book. If you like animals, you will also enjoy this book. I have collected the others in the series to read because I want to read more about this character, patterned after Dr. Herriot himself.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    James Herriot's books are, for me, the ultimate in comfort books. Which is odd, it occurred to me while listening to this audiobook; there's blood and gore and uterine explorations and knackerings and death and cruelty… There is casual mention of deeds and practices which would turn PETA's collective hair white. But I've been reading these books since I was about ten. (Which, considering the language, is surprising. Them Yorkshire farmers were salty, mind.) And then there was the wonderful tv se James Herriot's books are, for me, the ultimate in comfort books. Which is odd, it occurred to me while listening to this audiobook; there's blood and gore and uterine explorations and knackerings and death and cruelty… There is casual mention of deeds and practices which would turn PETA's collective hair white. But I've been reading these books since I was about ten. (Which, considering the language, is surprising. Them Yorkshire farmers were salty, mind.) And then there was the wonderful tv series. That last is what made the audiobook ideal: the reader is Christopher Timothy, who played James in the series (alongside my beloved Peter Davison as Tristan). I think he's one of those I'll follow anywhere, listen to anything he reads. He's perfect. Not just because I know him so well in the role already – he is a warm, funny, compassionate reader, wonderful at the accents and natural in his delivery. Just like Alf Wight, better known as James Herriot. The things I mentioned before – well, they were simply a part of life on a Yorkshire farm, in a Yorkshire veterinary practice in the first half of the 20th century. It was as it was, there were no better treatments than some of the medieval remedies used, and for the most part animals were well kept because they were vital to the livelihood of their owners. There is a surprising lack of sentiment overall, whether the animal in question is a pig or a puppy, a horse or a heifer. Which isn't to say the stories are strictly cool and clinical – not by a long mark. Tricki Woo is the perfect embodiment of the series as a whole. The pampered Pekingese "son" of a rich widow, he is a good-natured little furball whose ailments tend to stem mainly from that pampering. And when he goes flop-bott or shows other symptoms which alarm his Mrs. Pumphrey, "Uncle Herriot" is summoned on to the scene at once. The reward for James's promptitude is baskets from London at Christmas (I can't even fathom how expensive that would be, sent all the way to the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930's) along with other periodic delicacies – so James, naturally, has a mercenary fondness for the Peke. But he is also genuinely fond of the dog for his own self, as a personality, and of Mrs. Pumphrey as well. And balancing it all out like a splash of lemon juice is Mrs. Pumphrey's chauffeur, responsible for the spasmodic bouts of exercise she penitently orders, along with the role of body servant to the dog, and he loathes Tricki with a deep and burning passion. (And when the pig Nugent comes along, there is much hilarity.) So, yes, there is some cringing as we visit the knacker's yard, or when some archaic remedy is brought out. But it merely acts in the same lemon juice fashion on the warmth found in the daily interactions with the farmers and peers and kids with their goldfish, the dogs and cats and horses and pigs and cows and sheep, the slowly disappearing way of life of the Dales farmers. The madness that is the Farnon brothers; the surely-hopeless love James has for a client's daughter – eccentric as it all can be, it still rings true, and that's the key. The book is, to co-opt what they might say about a particularly nice cob, as sound as a bell. So, whether it should be a comfort book or not, it got me through a particularly bad night recently. The very definition of a comfort book. I love these stories.

  17. 4 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    I'm so glad to have discovered this classic on audio from OverDrive because its size may have scared me off otherwise. James Herriot is a wonderful story teller. A delightful true tale of James' beginnings as a veterinary surgeon in Yorkshire in the 1930s. His doubts about his early abilities, his probably bi-polar boss, and the antics of the boss' brother and the other citizens provide a lot of comic relief. The many farm animals he treated in addition to a few dogs were funny as well as heartw I'm so glad to have discovered this classic on audio from OverDrive because its size may have scared me off otherwise. James Herriot is a wonderful story teller. A delightful true tale of James' beginnings as a veterinary surgeon in Yorkshire in the 1930s. His doubts about his early abilities, his probably bi-polar boss, and the antics of the boss' brother and the other citizens provide a lot of comic relief. The many farm animals he treated in addition to a few dogs were funny as well as heartwarming. I would estimate that about 80% of these stories involved cows or horses giving birth, and what stories they are. I never knew how complicated calving can be. Did James know during his studies how often his arms would be shoved up into a cow's hinter regions? Surely not. The human, small town stories were insightful and warm. He had quite a way with both animals and people.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This book, the first in a series of memoirs by a Yorkshire country vet, is one of my favorite books ever. I read the whole set repeatedly throughout my childhood and, even now, I reread them every year or two. They are amazing, and this one is on sale for Kindle right now at $1.99. If you've never read James Herriot, please, please get a copy and try it on. It's the perfect thing for any animal lover. Get a copy here. This book, the first in a series of memoirs by a Yorkshire country vet, is one of my favorite books ever. I read the whole set repeatedly throughout my childhood and, even now, I reread them every year or two. They are amazing, and this one is on sale for Kindle right now at $1.99. If you've never read James Herriot, please, please get a copy and try it on. It's the perfect thing for any animal lover. Get a copy here.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kellyn Roth

    Nothing has ever been as charming, amusing, and almost magical as this series. The setting, the era, the writing style, the stories ... just lovely. I'd recommend it to any lover of animals, England, or the country. Nothing has ever been as charming, amusing, and almost magical as this series. The setting, the era, the writing style, the stories ... just lovely. I'd recommend it to any lover of animals, England, or the country.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Charity

    Some authors are natural born storytellers -- and James Herriot is quite possibly the greatest one of all. His adventures as a young vet among the colorful and captivating English countryside mingle with the hilarious and oftentimes ridiculous antics of his boss, Siegfried Farnon, and Sigfried's younger "useless" brother Tristan. Herriot makes you laugh until you cry in one chapter, and then cry for real in another, as he explores the intricacies of human nature, their affection for animals, and Some authors are natural born storytellers -- and James Herriot is quite possibly the greatest one of all. His adventures as a young vet among the colorful and captivating English countryside mingle with the hilarious and oftentimes ridiculous antics of his boss, Siegfried Farnon, and Sigfried's younger "useless" brother Tristan. Herriot makes you laugh until you cry in one chapter, and then cry for real in another, as he explores the intricacies of human nature, their affection for animals, and the peculiarities of farm animals. It helps as a reader, a wee bit, if you've been around animals all your life, but that knowledge isn't necessary for a cracking good read. I had the wonderful experience of listening to the audio book, read by the actor who plays Herriot in the old television series. If you can get your hands on it, listen to it -- he gives each character unique vocal tones, he slurs on the many instances when the idiots wind up drunk, and it's just an overall delightful experience.

  21. 4 out of 5

    E.F.B.

    All Creatures Great and Small was recommended to me by my mother and my book club. It took me awhile to get around to reading it because I was afraid it would be boring, but once I read it I discovered I couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, the pacing of the story is relaxed, sometimes so relaxed I fell asleep reading it at night, hence the 4 star rating, but it's the colorful characters and stories that range from sweet to sad to hysterically funny that make this book worthwhile and keep you tur All Creatures Great and Small was recommended to me by my mother and my book club. It took me awhile to get around to reading it because I was afraid it would be boring, but once I read it I discovered I couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, the pacing of the story is relaxed, sometimes so relaxed I fell asleep reading it at night, hence the 4 star rating, but it's the colorful characters and stories that range from sweet to sad to hysterically funny that make this book worthwhile and keep you turning the pages. I will be reading this again and recommending it to others.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jelinas

    When I was five, I wanted to be an artist. I was crazy about drawing. When I wasn't fighting with my sibs over something, you'd likely find me holed away, either reading or drawing. My dad was an artist, you see. Sure, running that liquor store in the ghetto was what paid the bills, but it was firmly stamped in my six-year-old mind that he was meant for a higher calling. I mean, look at the gallon of milk he painted on the side of the store. Was it not the perfect rendering of a gallon of milk? When I was five, I wanted to be an artist. I was crazy about drawing. When I wasn't fighting with my sibs over something, you'd likely find me holed away, either reading or drawing. My dad was an artist, you see. Sure, running that liquor store in the ghetto was what paid the bills, but it was firmly stamped in my six-year-old mind that he was meant for a higher calling. I mean, look at the gallon of milk he painted on the side of the store. Was it not the perfect rendering of a gallon of milk? You could practically see the condensation beginning to form because it had been out of the fridge for too long. Dad always promised me art lessons, but between running a liquor store in the ghetto and trying to keep three kids fed, clothed, and academically successful, there was no time for a primer in the correct usage of watercolors. To this day, I still hate watercolors. I don't get how you keep all the colors from running together into a soupy, brown mess. Then, when I was eight, I decided that I wanted to be an astronaut. The Challenger shuttle exploded that year and, somehow, instead of filling me with fear, it made me admire the bravery of the team who had hurtled unafraid into the beyond. I shushed everyone if there was ever any news about NASA on TV. I made my parents rent Space Camp. I devoured books about space travel, including the movie novelization of Space Camp and a Choose Your Own Adventure book about traveling to Jupiter. I still remember to this day that Jupiter has rings like Saturn and many moons, of which the four largest are Europa, Callisto, Ganymede, and Io. But I always knew in the back of my mind that this was a pipe dream. Besides, I'd read that you had to be incredibly physically fit to be an astronaut, and I always got a B in PE. So, come seventh grade, I was in the market for a new dream. And that's when I discovered James Herriot. I was at a church camp the summer before seventh grade. I hadn't brought much reading material with me, and I saw an older girl reading a book with a picture of a man with a dog on it. I asked her if I could borrow it when she was finished and, the next night, she handed it over. I burned through that book like nobody's business. I read it more than I read my Bible at that church camp (for the record, God didn't save me until a good four years later). When I gave it back to the girl at the end of camp, I'd torn the back cover and cried pretty much all over it. That book was... not All Creatures Great and Small. It was James Herriot's Dog Stories, a collection of Herriot's dog stories from his first four books. I'd always loved dogs, and my heart had broken when Tootsie, our beloved Miniature Schnauzer, died at the early age of two. Reading this Scottish vet's account of his life in the English countryside set my dog-loving little heart afire and I instantly decided two things: that I needed to get a dog right away and that I was going to be a vet when I grew up. It probably didn't help that the owners of our campsite also bred Collies. I instantly fell in love with the dogs, and when I wasn't reading that book, I was helping Mary Sadler brush and feed and walk her magnificent Collies. On the last night of church camp, people prayed all night, weeping over their sins. I sobbed my heart out, too... because I couldn't bear the thought of leaving those wonderful dogs. But the minute we got home, I resolved to return to the library and check out every single book they had by James Herriot. And that brings us back to the book at hand. All Creatures Great and Small was James Herriot's first book. A country vet, he didn't know the first thing about writing, but he was an avid reader, and his wife goaded him into finally taking action. This book covers his arrival in Darrowby and his initiation into the ways and lifestyle of the farmers in the Yorkshire Dales. He writes with an intuitive knack for description, and his sparkling humor brings his stories to life. His stories aren't just about animals and his veterinary practice. They're also about his friendship with his boss, the eccentric Siegfried Farnon, and Siegfried's irrepressible younger brother, Tristan. They're about his infatuation with a local woman, and his bumbling attempts to woo her. They're about the quiet strength, stubbornness, and kindness of the people of the Yorkshire Dales. James Herriot's stories are an homage to the people who adopted him into their midst, and a love song to the place that shaped them into who they are. They're so funny that you'll find yourself snorting with stifled laughter at three in the morning. And, the next minute, you'll be sobbing uncontrollably at the pathos of a particularly touching tale. One of the best things about Herriot's books is that each chapter reads like its own short story, so you can always find a place to stop if you need to. You're not itching to know what happens next, but you still can't wait to pick it up again. Herriot's humor and vivacious writing make All Creatures Great and Small a page-turner. It's an absolute must-read for animal lovers. As for me, I abandoned my dream of becoming a veterinarian during my first year at UCI, when it dawned on me that I hated all of my science classes and wasn't good at any of them. But Herriot left a mark on me still. Instead of leaving a void where my dream used to be, his writing planted a seed. As "what do you want to be when you grow up?" began to morph into "what are you going to do when you graduate?" I decided to declare English Literature as my major. I wanted to become a writer. And, now, I am one. And I'm barely surviving on the little money I make. Living the dream, y'all. And, while the money sucks, I've never been happier. James Herriot would approve.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    I have loved the stories by James Herriot since I first started reading them in middle school. I enjoyed the television show as well back in the day. I'm delighted that Masterpiece is starting a new series on January 10, 2021. I bought season one online immediately and will enjoy each episode as it posts each week. I decided before watching the series I needed to revisit the books as well. My reading plan for 2021 did not involve a jaunt into James Herriot, but that's the joy of my "I read what I have loved the stories by James Herriot since I first started reading them in middle school. I enjoyed the television show as well back in the day. I'm delighted that Masterpiece is starting a new series on January 10, 2021. I bought season one online immediately and will enjoy each episode as it posts each week. I decided before watching the series I needed to revisit the books as well. My reading plan for 2021 did not involve a jaunt into James Herriot, but that's the joy of my "I read what I want'' pledge. Reading plan be damned -- I'm going to listen to James Herriot! :) I'm so glad I did! The new audio book series is narrated by Nicholas Ralph who plays James Herriot in the new series. He's scottish...so his accent is just lovely! He does a great job of bringing the story to life. Excellent job of narration! I can't wait to watch the television series, but I'm having a wonderful time listening to the books. Herriot tells the tale of his start in veterinary medicine in 1937. The economy was depressed and new veterinarians were having trouble finding jobs. Herriot paints a vivid picture of the stress and trials of being a new vet in a country area where they rely on the "old ways'' and are wary of new people and modern medical procedures and medications. As I have spent the last few years revisiting books and series I loved in the past, sometimes stories hit me differently as an adult after first reading them as a child or teenager. But, Herriot's books are still as magical and lovely to me now as they were 40 years ago when I first read them at 12 years old. There are two audio books in the series recorded by Nicholas Ralph so far. I hope he does the entire series. I listened to a review copy from Macmillan Audio, but I'm buying my own copy. This is an audio book that I will listen to over and over again. Delightful story! **I voluntarily listened to a review copy of this audio book from Macmillan Audio. All opinions expressed are entirely my own**

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    I remember watching the series on Monsterpiece theatre many years ago, and was entranced by the bucolic countryside and the many personalities of the farmers needing veterinary services. I really enjoyed this first memoir, in which James was hired on by Siegfried Farnon (how did that man ever keep his business afloat??) and began treating countless cows, pigs and horses. And even a pampered dog from whom James received letters. I was not surprised by the reticence and initial suspicion aroused b I remember watching the series on Monsterpiece theatre many years ago, and was entranced by the bucolic countryside and the many personalities of the farmers needing veterinary services. I really enjoyed this first memoir, in which James was hired on by Siegfried Farnon (how did that man ever keep his business afloat??) and began treating countless cows, pigs and horses. And even a pampered dog from whom James received letters. I was not surprised by the reticence and initial suspicion aroused by James’ presence, which gradually turned around (except with one farmer) based on his successes and manner. I liked the gentle humour throughout the book, though I found myself frequently annoyed by Siegfried for his contrary and manipulative behaviour. As this set of episodes in James’ early veterinary career was so enjoyable, I’ll have to check out the successive parts.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kiwi Begs2Differ ✎

    I should start with a warning: this book contains some graphic explanations of animal anatomy and veterinary procedures that I would have preferred be left ignorant about, however the charming descriptions of idyllic country life and their inhabitants more than make up for it. I was surprised at how funny this book is; I should have read it years ago! My favourite episodes involve Mrs. Pumphrey and Tricki Woo. I’d recommend the audio version narrated by Christopher Timothy who does an excellent I should start with a warning: this book contains some graphic explanations of animal anatomy and veterinary procedures that I would have preferred be left ignorant about, however the charming descriptions of idyllic country life and their inhabitants more than make up for it. I was surprised at how funny this book is; I should have read it years ago! My favourite episodes involve Mrs. Pumphrey and Tricki Woo. I’d recommend the audio version narrated by Christopher Timothy who does an excellent job with the different British dialect inflections. An excellent and delightful read! 4 stars upgraded to 5 for the warm-and-fuzzy factor.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shiloah

    Third reading. This book is my go-to therapy book for when I want a joy-filled, loveable, heart-warming story. Previous review: Loved, loved, loved this book. Definitely a classic for me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Book

    Most people know by now that James Herriot wrote about his life as a country vet in the 1930s and ‘40s. I strongly recommend this memoir to every Anglophile and animal lover. The stories are hilarious in some parts and brought me to tears in others. It is books like these that teach me to appreciate all the little things around us. When my children were small, we read and re-read the children’s versions of the Herriot books. We all loved them, our son especially. Herriot’s descriptions of Yorksh Most people know by now that James Herriot wrote about his life as a country vet in the 1930s and ‘40s. I strongly recommend this memoir to every Anglophile and animal lover. The stories are hilarious in some parts and brought me to tears in others. It is books like these that teach me to appreciate all the little things around us. When my children were small, we read and re-read the children’s versions of the Herriot books. We all loved them, our son especially. Herriot’s descriptions of Yorkshire are so wonderful that he made us want to visit. So last summer, on our trip to England, we spent a few nights in Thirsk (known as “Darrowby” in his books) and we visited the Herriot museum (“The World of James Herriot”). The museum is the actual surgery where the stories take place. We stayed at a cozy little B&B in Thirsk. The owners grew up knowing James Herriott, who lived down the street with his family. They're friends with the Herriott children (not children anymore) and went to school together. This is the centre of Thirsk, where James Herriot first entered. I fell in love with this place.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sariah

    This book is well, spectacular, in a normal day way. James Herriot had a way of showing how little annoying, silly, and/or normal everyday events are truly remarkable. This book has those fuuny moments, embarrasing moments with those sweet ones that can only be called miracles. I have really enjoyed this book and I recomend it to everyone, whether you like animals or not (This one is different from other animal stories, because its not only about animals, but about a world of people with animals This book is well, spectacular, in a normal day way. James Herriot had a way of showing how little annoying, silly, and/or normal everyday events are truly remarkable. This book has those fuuny moments, embarrasing moments with those sweet ones that can only be called miracles. I have really enjoyed this book and I recomend it to everyone, whether you like animals or not (This one is different from other animal stories, because its not only about animals, but about a world of people with animals in it). It has been a healing journey reading this and has helped me become more patient, and hopefully better to be around. Enjoy, and happy reading! ~Sariah

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alexw

    This book is the autobiography of a veterinarian in England in 1937. The Great Depression had gripped the world and Hitler was rising to power in nearby Germany. Despites these dire circumstances, the book shows lots of tremendous humor. love for animals and compassion for the fellow man. One chapter really stood out and was worthy of Charles Dickens, himself. An elderly, poor man had to put his dog down and the veterinarian did it as painless as possible as the two men bonded together- -a BRILLAN This book is the autobiography of a veterinarian in England in 1937. The Great Depression had gripped the world and Hitler was rising to power in nearby Germany. Despites these dire circumstances, the book shows lots of tremendous humor. love for animals and compassion for the fellow man. One chapter really stood out and was worthy of Charles Dickens, himself. An elderly, poor man had to put his dog down and the veterinarian did it as painless as possible as the two men bonded together- -a BRILLANT BOOK-don't miss it-highly recommended to everyone !!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bevan Lewis

    Those of a certain age will remember the popularity of these books and the spinoff TV series. In retrospect it seemed strange that the gruelling life of a vet in an isolated part of Yorkshire in the 1930s could be an international bestseller. I recently happened across mention of James Herriot and thought I would engage in some nostalgia. This book is a model of memoir. I now appreciate more than in my youth why these books were so popular. Although the tales are entertaining Herriot's writing is Those of a certain age will remember the popularity of these books and the spinoff TV series. In retrospect it seemed strange that the gruelling life of a vet in an isolated part of Yorkshire in the 1930s could be an international bestseller. I recently happened across mention of James Herriot and thought I would engage in some nostalgia. This book is a model of memoir. I now appreciate more than in my youth why these books were so popular. Although the tales are entertaining Herriot's writing is absolutely exquisite. His wonderful language and masterful timing wring every ounce of pathos, tragedy (and more than a few belly laughs) out of the material. Christopher Timothy, the narrator has a natural bent for the main character due to his years playing him in the TV series, however shows himself to be an outstanding reader, performing all the actors with aplomb. A wonderful experience to listen to and a superb book to revisit.

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