©1956 Gerald Durrell; (P)1994, 2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"A lot of frolic, fun, and charming ribaldry, as well as the warm feeling of having been transported to a lovely spot where worry is unknown and anything is believable." (The New York Times)
I found this superb, well-written and extremely well-narrated audiobook to be a delight. The tale itself is a riviting "page-turner" unlike any other. And the fantastic reader/narrator truly made me believe I was hearing each and every character very distinctly, as he is a marvel with accents and intonation and deadpan humor. I laughed out loud many, many times as I followed the very eccentric ex-pat English family into - and out of - their adventures in Greece, as seen through their naive and wonderfully animal-crazy young son. I could relate so much to this story, as I was a similar, very curious ex-pat child myself, driving my family to distraction with stray and wild critters I brought home, marveling at each one. But I would recommend this audiobook to anyone, ex-pat or not, at any age above 12, and even whethor or not they've traveled a bit with their families. Anyone can appreciate the quirks of other cultures and people as told in this book. There are many memorable moments in the book, but I will never forget "Boodle Trinketbottom" as long as I live! This book absolutely earns five stars!
Having first read this book over 30 years ago I was eager to relive the experience. The audio book did not disappoint. Durrell writes one anecdote after another and all of them are a delight. This book is light, witty, wonderful entertainment.
His writing is deliciously descriptive and makes Corfu sound completely irresistible. It also makes his family sound gloriously insane. I loved every minute of it just as I did the first time around. This book made me an instant Durrell convert who then went on to read every book of his that I could find.
This is one of my favorite books of all times. I've read it over and over. It is the story of a very eccentric family that decides to move to Corfu to escape the dreary English winters. Each person in the story is unique in his or her own way. The true story is narrated by the youngest member, a boy of nine or ten at the outset. His love of native animals, which he brings home and attempts to raise in the household will make you cry with laughter. An absolute classic.
I totally agree with Steven from CA. The author, a naturalist, zookeeper, conservationist is obviously very knowledgeable about the animal world, but the tedious descriptions of animals and insects wear thin after awhile, and I didn't find the stories about the family to be funny at all. They get tired of the weather in England, so they pick up and move to a Greek island. I found myself wondering what they were living on?? The mother is a widow and the author is the youngest of 4 children, yet I didn't hear anything about any of them working for a living. Just hanging out on this Greek island. Nice life, if you can do it!! Anyway, maybe I'm too practical. I was looking for a book to follow up my re-reading of the James Herriot stories, but James Herriot was one-of-a-kind. To sum up, I did not finish the book, but I DID listen to more than half of it. This book was not offensive at all, (no F-bombs, etc) It just didn't hold my interest.
A really nicely written and narrated story about an eccentric family, as told by the youngest son. The son is obsessed with animals and at least half the story is comprised of detailed, tedious descriptions of animals. I guess I should have known - seeing as how the title pretty much says it all! Anyway, the family interactions and activities are very fun and entertaining and make up for the less appealing parts.
To start and to be fair, I did not finish the book. I gave up on this one a little past the half-way point and I usually am a trooper when it comes to audio books. The narator does a good job but doesn't have much to work with. There are detailed, exhaustive descriptions of the animals and plant life that the characters encounter and in this sense, the writing is eloquent, accurate, and abundant. However, the book is extremely light on any kind of storyline that remotely makes the book interesting or worth the read. This is a book that a teacher might assign to a 5th grade class with the goal of expanding their vocabulary and improving their descriptive writing. Unless you've been assigned to read this book, keep looking.
The quirky character at the center of this memoir is lost within this memoir. It took me a while to get into the family and the characters and by books end I wished the story was a biography written by someone who knew how to maintain the readers interest.
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