A delightful read about young Gerald's adventures in Corfu with his eccentric, life loving family. Well written with characters that leap from the pages and adventure after adventure which leave you laughing and wishing to be part of the family antics.
Durrell's family moves from a rainy, gloomy, expensive Bristol, England in the 1930s to Corfu, where the climate is sunny, an obese cab driver adopts them and gets the family everything they need, from whatever house they need at the time, to the right kinds of food, and people they'll enjoy. Gerald at 10 is by far the youngest, and every once in a while another member of the family remembers he needs to be educated. He thinks he's doing just fine with his books and adventures in the garden and wanderings around the island. Sometimes the tutors found for him are wonderful, sometimes they must be gotten rid of. The Durrells give wonderful parties, but they're not well organized--they may decide to invite 10, but forget to determine who can invite 10. Since they're a family of 5, some of their parties are extremely crowded. Gerald is writing this first of, apparently, 3 in a trilogy, many years later, so his viewpoint is a combination of childhood innocence and old man's wisdom. Much of it is totally hilarious.
I agree that the books about Gerald Durrell's quirky yet idyllic childhood on the island of Corfu are much funnier and filled with warmth compared to the PBS TV series, which is darker. I've read all of his books based on his time in Corfu: 'My Family and Other Animals', 'Birds, Beasts and Relatives' and 'Fauna and Family'. He also wrote 'Menagerie Manor', about his adventures later in life, at the zoo he founded on the Island of Jersey. I love these books and admire his passion for animal conservation and also his wonderfully humorous writing style.
very entertaining - reminiscent of P. G. Wodehouse. I found it hard to like the eldest brother, but I'm sure that was the intent. All I could think of was how he deserved to be slapped, repeatedly, with notes on how to live in the real world. It was also hard not to laugh out loud about the many adventures. I cannot imagine my family dealing with that many pets in the house!
For anyone who, like me, admires the works of the amazingly talented Durrell family, particularly Gerald and his famous brother Lawrence, this book is not to be missed. Highly amusing, told from the viewpoint of Gerald at the age of ten, it relates the family's sojourn on Corfu. And of course besides the irrepressible Durrell clan with all their peculiarities, a great menagerie of birds, animals, reptiles etc. are bound to appear. Durrell has the biologist's view of life and the humorist's take on human foibles -- quite an irresistible combination!
Thoroughly charming story, published in the 1950's, by a British man whose family moved to Greece when he was ten, in the 1930's. Things have certainly changed a lot, however the time he describes is quiet, warm, full of life and joy. He has a dry sense of humor and an obvious love for his family members. This book is highly recommended and I'll be looking for more by the same author.
Durrell is a great storyteller; he can be very funny at times. I enjoyed this fantastic account of his unusual childhood on a Greek island. The BBC production of it pales in comparison.
Gerald Durrell turns his engaging writing on his family daynamics. Quirky, eccentric, highly enjoyable read set in Corfu and boyhood.
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