The wonder of Herriot's world is fascinating and at times heartbreaking. The confluence of people relating to their animals depending on personality and world view turns what could have been a book about animals and farmers of the early 20th century into a study of the psychology of people relating to animals and how sometimes poverty and ignorance inflict avoidable harm as well as helpless destruction. The vet's job is hard not only in terms of the hands on nature of dealing sometimes with a creature weighing half a ton but also with owners who may either be too careless, cruel or poor to deal adequately with an animal's basic needs. James Herriot is a sensitive man, but he is realistic about the animals and people he has chosen to work among. He does not make the animals into proto humans, and he tries not to teach people about themselves but only basic animal husbandry. However, the story he relates clearly teaches us how the way people relate to the world is more important to animals' health than nature.
I have loved the James Herriot collection for years and am now ecstatic to have it on my iPod. All his stories elicit a 'feel good' feeling for the listener with his brilliant writing and subject matter. Add Christopher Timothy's ability to make it all come to life in audio and you've got a winning combination over all.
donald t wardlow
I have always loved animals, particularly my 4 Seeing Eye dogs. In my teens, these books were new, and I read them all. This could be the best of the series, because of the wildly funny stories of Herriott, a smallish man, trying to party with Granville Bennett, an overpowering party animal no man can keep up with--though he obviously enjoyed trying. Add the tale of Herriott finally establishing a beach head with Helen, after a number of disastrous attempts, a tale to bring a smile to any man who chased, and finally won, a delightful woman, and you have a book to read repeatedly. I now know that Christopher Timothy, the narrator, played Herriott on TV, and that too brings back memories. The series was the last show Mom, Dad and I could watch together, and it made us all laugh--even Dad whose strength was nearly gone, and Mom who seldom found cause to laugh. Read again, and again, and enjoy.
Even if you're not familiar with the BBC series or the book by the same name, you'll still enjoy these heart-warming animal stories. Taking place mainly during the 30's and 40's in Yorkshire, England, Herriot's descriptions of the characters he encounters -- both human and animal -- often make me laugh out loud or bring me to tears.
This book, as well as other titles in the same series, is fabulous!!!! Listening is pure joy! Christopher Timothy is unequalled in his ability to make a story come alive. And Herriot's stories themselves are enthralling. I will listen to and love this book again...and again....and again...Get the idea?!!!
The James Herriott stories are all great favorites of mine on audiobook. They're extremely well read in this edition, and they are engaging enough for either long or short jaunts in the car. I really enjoy them and will be sad when I finish the series.