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All Creatures Great and Small: The Warm and Joyful Memoirs of the Worlds Most Beloved Animal Doctor Paperback – May 6, 2014
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“Absolutely super, a rarity, magnificently written, insightful, unforgettable. . . . If you have ever loved a friend, human or otherwise, this is the book for you.” ―Houston Chronicle
“This warm, joyous and often hilarious first-person chronicle of a young animal doctor . . . shines with love of life.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“One of the funniest and most likeable books around.” ―The Atlantic Monthly
“[Herriot] is the most entertaining, most thoroughly likeable, most engaging person to have come along in a long time, and the stories he has to tell are fascinating.” ―The Washington Post
“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
“Absolutely super, a rarity, magnificently written, insightful, unforgettable . . . If you have ever loved a friend, human or otherwise, this is the book for you.” ―Houston Chronicle
“Refreshingly original . . . as close to a novel as a chronicle of memoirs could be . . . hilarious, touching, athletic and warming . . . Dr. Herriot's characters . . . rival any from British fiction.” ―Los Angeles Times
“James Herriot . . . is one of those rare men who know how to appreciate the ordinary . . . a natural storyteller.” ―The New York Times
“Warm, anecdotal . . . All Creature Great and Small makes you feel good about the worried and some of the people in it.” ―San Francisco Chronicle
“What the world needs now, and does every so often, is a warm, G-rated, down-home, unadrenalized prize of a book that sneaks onto the bestseller lists . . . James Herriot's memoirs qualify admirably.” ―Time
“An inspirational book . . . with all its comedy; tragedy, drama, and farce . . . works like a spring tonic: It lifts the spirits and warms the heart . . . There is no advice, no pat formula for better living. There is just Herriot, a man you cannot resist.” ―Chicago Tribune
“Herriot has a real flair for writing and his book is a treat.” ―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
JAMES HERRIOT was a veterinarian in Yorkshire, England for over half a century until his death in 1995. His bestselling memoirs include All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All, and Every Living Thing. At age 23, Herriot qualified for veterinary practice with the Glasgow Veterinary College, and moved to the town of Thirsk in Yorkshire to work in a rural practice. He would live in, work in, and write about the region for the rest of his life. Though he dreamed for years of writing a book, his veterinary work and his family kept him busy, and he did not start writing until the age of 50. In 1979, he was awarded the title Order of the British Empire.
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Herriot's books, of course, are set in the northern English countryside, complete with all the "delicious" dialects that are characteristic of the region. He captures the local atmosphere brilliantly -- in recalling all the colorful characters (both animal and human) he meets while conducting his rounds and they are "delicious." As in the Mitford Series, there are squabbles and courtships, trials and triumphs and an endless number of humorous anecdotes to enjoy and you will come away feeling you've had a lovely vacation in the North Country amid some of the friendliest folk around.
This is James first book, where he tells about meeting his employer, the area, the people and of course the animals he deals with.
After all the trash we run across daily what a breath of fresh air.
Herriot is a good writer and keeps things moving along..
A word to the wise, do not loan out your James Herriot books they don't find their way back, people like and keep them because they
are so good to read....
I recommend them for all ages, read to those too young to read, those who like animals and someone who needs a lift at the
end of the day...
One also learns of the language of England and the mountain folks...Those of us who have worked around animals most of
our lives really enjoy what James needs to deal with daily..
You have not lived until you have run across a muddy pen wearing big overshoes in 30 degree below zero with a mad cow
blowing snot in your back pocket, nope ..
When I was in high school, I was engrossed in James Herriot. The little stand-alone chapters accumulate into a life-story, making it easy to snatch a chapter in a time-cranny. Attune to Herriot's writing muse, I wrote a short story for a writing contest and promptly won. I am still proud of that story.
Herriot's real name was Al Wight. (You can read about that in his son's biography of him, which is a fascinating insider's view of how Herriot came to his writing gift.) Herriot is a gracious, gentle, gentle spirit (what I call "the 3 G's"). He is a great corrective to the abusive spirit of the day. He writes of a time when an old way of life was giving way to a new world where plow horses were replaced by tractors, and the veterinary business was shifting from large animals to small animals (pets). While his stories revolve around animal care, the real narrative is his penetrating insights into the lives and hearts of the people of Yorkshire. Time and again he contrasts the small-holders and estate owners.
These stories are a delightful and poignant testament to a day that has passed, and yet they remain relevant because human nature does not change. Savor these books... there are only 6 of them.
note: Herriot came out of nowhere with this book. I used to use its opening paragraphs in a writing class to illustrate mastery of the elements of writing. Think about that. His first paragraphs in print as good or better than any I had ever read. When you read that first chapter in "All Creatures Great and Small," notice how many senses are drawn in. It is vivid from the very first, and so human.