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)
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!
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."
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.
Christopher Timothy is fantastic as always, and makes the book come alive. My only problem with the recording (and the others in the series) is that the narration is punctuated with musical interludes, ostensibly at dramatic moments. Instead of enhancing the listening experience as I'm sure it was intended to do, I found this extremely distracting, because the music (sometimes of poor sound quality) interrupted the flow of the story.
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.
These are short, pleasant, sometimes funny stories about James Herriot, a Yorkshire vet. I used them to fall asleep at night, but I read them to my kids when they were young and it was a nice way to finish the day.
Mrs. Pumphrey is so funny. She and her little TrickyWoo, the pampered pooch, appears throughout the stories and were very cute.
Amazing accents. You would think there were several people reading.
No, only one short story at at time.
Nothing offensive, no preaching, no foul language, just heart warming stories about a country vet.
The narration. The narrator is very good with accents.
All of them.
James, due to the fact that he played James in the TV series based on the books.
I can't think of a tagline I'm afraid.
A funny little collection.
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