My family and other animals book review

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my family and other animals book review

Review: My family and other animals by Gerald Durrell - Bookish

Thank you! Durrell's department of natural history has found him a devoted audience which has come to expect his animals to be as entertaining as his humans and here is the ultimate reward. For this is the account of a stay on Corfu, when he was a ten year old, and his Mother, gentle, fluttering and sometimes firm, Larry, literary-minded and a constant critic, Leslie, dedicated to his guns, and Margo, whose romances are things of sharpest emotion, are fixed, if vehement, orbits in his pursuit of everything that walks, flies, crawls, swims. Taken under the wing of Spiro, who had visited America, they settle in the pink villa, move to a yellow one, land in a white one; they have a symptom-dwelling maid; they acquire a variety of friends and guests; they succumb to the insidious magic of an island. Young Gerry must be educated so there is George, who practices local dances and fencing during lessons, which come out on the side; there is Theodore, a scientist and Gerry's source of information; the Belgian consul, who shoots cats, takes over French. Peter comes from Oxford as a tutor and is replaced by Mr.
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My Family and Other Animals Book Review

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.

Book Review: My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

If I had the craft of Merlin, I would give every child the gift of my childhood. Imagine the animal lover in you, moving to a new exotic place, with your mildly eccentric family. Now add to it some hilarious experiences with some of the most startling animals, a shooting adventure gone bad, loads of parties with unusual guests, animal hunting in orchards of olives and grapes, swimming in the cool, brilliantly blue, dolphin filled seas, memorable picnics to the most unusual but beautiful places and you have the story of this gem of a book! Fed up with the cold, harsh winters of England, the Durrell family gives up on it and decides to move to a country with better weather. And what could be better than a Greek Island with its warm sunshine and sparkling blue waters?

I am not sure quite why I have such an affection for My Family and Other Animals: my brother referred to me as Margo for quite some time, not because of my effortless ability to attract various languid Greek youths, but because I was a bit spotty, and so was she: "swollen up like a plate of scarlet porridge", as Larry puts it. How unfair. But love it I do, perhaps because events conspired to get me to read it for the first time in the most perfect setting: a family holiday on the Greek island of Paxos one summer. As Gerry discovered hermit crabs and sea cucumbers, dung beetles and lizards, so did I. As he swam in the clear blue waters, wandered through the olive groves, gorged on figs, learned about cypress trees, which if you sleep under "you wake up I longed for a round-bottomed boat like the Bootle-bumtrinket could there be a more gloriously named craft? Yani the shepherd's tale of a man stung in the ear by a tiny scorpion, whose head "had swollen up as though his brains were pregnant" before he died in terrible pain, also put the fear of god into me when it came to scorpions — I can remember sleeping curled into a ball in my bed, terrified that one might scuttle by and be tempted to bite any limb protruding over the mattress.

Book and film both promised sexual enchantment, risque pleasures, the sultry mysteries of Cairo. So I dived in, expecting enlightenment, titillation, adult pleasures — all of which failed to materialise. Worse, this sexually progressive ie, obscene novel seemed to have no sex scenes in it.
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It tells of the years that he lived as a child with his siblings and widowed mother on the Greek island of Corfu between and It describes the life of the Durrell family in a humorous manner, and explores the fauna of the island. Durrell had already written several successful books about his trips collecting animals in the wild for zoos when he published My Family and Other Animals in Its comic exaggeration of the foibles of his family — especially his eldest brother Lawrence Durrell , who became a celebrated novelist and poet— and his heartfelt appreciation of the natural world made it very successful. He also became known as a novel-writer and television personality.


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