In this first volume of his memoirs, then-newly-qualified vet James Herriot arrives in the small Yorkshire village of Darrowby, and he has no idea what to expect. How will he get on with his new boss? The local farmers? And what will the animals think? This program is filled with hilarious and touching tales of the unpredictable Siegfried Farnon, his charming student brother, Tristan, and Herriot's first encounters with a beautiful girl named Helen.
Now as then, All Creatures Great and Small is full of humor, warmth, pathos, drama, and James Herriot's love of life. His journey across the Yorkshire dales, and his encounters with humans and dogs, cows and kittens, are lovingly told by Christopher Timothy with all the fascination, affection and joy that suffuses Dr. Herriot's works.
©1972 by James Herriot; (P)1996 by Audio Renaissance
"One of the funniest and most likeable books around." (Atlantic Monthly)
"If there is any justice, All Creatures Great and Small will become a classic of its kind....With seemingly effortless art, this man tells his stories with perfect timing and optimum scale. Many more famous authors could work for a lifetime and not achieve more flawless literary control." (Chicago Tribune Book World)
"Herriot charms because he delights in life, embraces it with sensitivity and gust, and writes with grace. All Creatures Great and Small may well be the happiest book of the year." (The New York Times Book Review)
Many audio books require major blocks of time in order to do the story justice. You feel obligated to listen through to a logical breaking point. One of the beauties of either reading or listening to a James Herriot book is that you can absorb it in small doses without feeling cheated by limited time. Although more is clearly better and over the three volumes you ultimately become as devoted to the people in his life as he was, you can still listen to the tales in the individual segments and feel fulfilled by each. Especially with a reader as good as this one, the listener does not have to put forth a lot of effort to maintain focus.
For these reasons, this is an audio book that I would highly recommend for someone who is in ill health or is hospitalized. The tales are life affirming, listening is undemanding, and the experiences of a Herriot book are as psycolgically nourishing as the best "comfort food."
I love reading reviews. No plot spoilers please. These are not book reports!
I have to be honest--I'm a biased reviewer. I love this book. I have read the whole series years ago in print and watched the TV program as well with great pleasure. I have even seen the actual vet surgery on a visit to the Yorkshire area. So I was thrilled to have the recorded book in my library too.
These are low stress, positive stories that brim with joy and silly escapades. What I call a comfortable listen. Especially good when the stress of modern life is too much and you need to escape to another time. To me they never get tired or old hat. Always good for a laugh. Highly recommended listening!
James Herriot is a gifted story teller. I was given these books to read as a child and loved them dearly. On a whim I downloaded this book and was surprised at the sophistication of the writing and the depth Herriot brings to a story. These books are not just for fans of the animal story genre, a category of books I grew out of around 9 years old. These stories are rich with the lives of the characters who he writes beautifully and the glimpse he gives into Yorkshire life is believable, warm and human.
The audio book is read well, and the narrator is skilled with creating different voices and accents that arn't painfully fake.
I must add a side note that I would not give this book to a child unless they have a certain amount of maturity regarding biology and the lightly crass speech of some of the farmer characters. I grew up in a house where my mother would apologize for saying "oh sugar!" so i can quite understand how this ended up in my hands, but I'm glad it did.
This book is an absolute treat! I have listened to it twice, so far. The characters become good friends, and you find yourself wishing to join their life in the Yorkshire Dales! Christopher Timothy's reading of these charming and FUNNY tales is the best...no contest! I wish he would branch out and do more books. I already dread running out of titles in this series.
I read all of James Herriot's books several times over during the 20+ years and have never tired of them or have they been far from my mind (as a cat, dog and horse owner). I watched the BBC program as well (which was excellent). The review "Comfort Listening" says it all. My vision is now impaired and I can't really read a book anymore, so the part about them being good for someone in ill health, etc. is very accurate. If you have read these books before, you will still be as enchanted as you were the first time---and if you haven't, it will be well worth your time and your book credits to give them a try. I'm so happy that I can download the 2nd one right now and keep going!
I enjoyed watching the All Creatures t.v. series and then discovered the books, which were even better in Heriotts own words. Then....I discovered Audible's series and I have to say, "This is the best way to experience these wonderful stories. The reader is PERFECT, and gives incredible life to all of the tales. I love these books!!
Having never read these stories I was unsure what to expect. I had no idea what I was missing. These stories by James Herriot (real name, Alf Wight) are wonderful. This review applies to all the titles in that series because I've now listened to them all. As a side note the narrator, Christopher Timothy, also stars as Herriott in the BBC series.
A 50-something who loves sci-fi, cozy mysteries, thrillers, an occasional romance, and any genre if it is a good story. And especially if it makes me laugh! No vampires or zombies though - these are NOT sci-fi!
I read James Herriot's books when they were first printed in the 70s, and loved them. I listened to the audiobooks when they came out on cassette tape in the 90s and loved them. Now I can listen to them on my iPod and I still love them! Though some call these animal stories, they are really stories of Yorkshire, people and their animals. Herriot had a gift for description and storytelling, and Christopher Timothy is the perfect narrator. I laughed and I cried. This will be a favorite that I'll come back to many times!
I wouldn't say that; I've read all the books in this series, years ago. The audio version makes a great compliment to the printed version. Especially since the narrator is the actor who played Mr. Herriot on the beloved TV series.
The animal stories-I especially liked the stories about the small animals.
I loved his portrayal in the TV series as Dr. Herriot & his narration in this series shows he really has a deep affection for the characters & the story. I plan to purchase the entire series from Audible.
I laughed at Mrs. Pumphrey & Trickey-Woo, her spoiled peke. I teared up often at the love his patients & their owners had for each other & when there was a death.
These books are splendid for the whole family. I look forward to getting the 2nd book in the series. I can't recommend them more. I also will be looking for any more books narrated by Christopher Timothy-he is superb.
Many years ago my dad handed me a greasy book and said, "Here, read this. I think you will like it." I thought - Oh no, it is going to be a cowboy book, or something else that I could imagine my dad liking, but knowing I definitely would NOT. He worked at a steel mill, thus the grease, and he read on his breaks and his lunch hour. I dutifully took the book, trying to think of a way to get out of reading it, but instead, I was hooked by the end of the first page.
The book he gave me that day was "All Creatures Great and Small." It instantly became one of my favorites, and I subsequently devoured many of James Herriot's books. When I was able to purchase it on Audible, I hoped that the audio version would live up to my memories of when I read it years ago. I was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was almost like reading it the first time because of the length of time elapsed since the first reading. The only tiny little criticism I have is in Christopher Timothy's syntax. I loved his characterizations and his enthusiasm for the book, his wide array of appropriate accents, and the quality of his voice, but he has an annoying way of pausing for what I consider too long between each sentence. He speaks fast, which doesn't bother me at all, but coupled with the unusually long pauses, it started to sound like a fast yakityyakityyakityyak (silent pause) yakityyakityyakityyak (silent pause). The cadence of the reading began to be a little distracting.
Outside of that, I loved every bit of this audiobook, and even with that one annoyance, I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Like me the day my dad first gave it to me, you will not be able to keep from loving it.
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