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All Things Bright and Beautiful: The Warm and Joyful Memoirs of the World's Most Beloved Animal Doctor (All Creatures Great and Small) Paperback – September 9, 2014
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A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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“James Herriot found a gentle, wise and often humorous way to write about animals and to evoke a beautiful but fading way of life in those Yorkshire Hills. He showed me how to focus not just on the animals, but on the people who lived with the animals, and their loving, sometimes difficult and very wonderful connections with one another. While he is known for his wonderful writing about animals, I often think of his ability to capture people. From the first, I've tried to capture that feeling, that uplifting and heartwarming style. I can't say that I have ever quite matched the writing of James Herriot, but he has always inspired me and given me something to aim for. He often makes me smile, sometimes makes me cry, you can't really ask more from a writer than that.” ―Jon Katz, New York Times bestselling author of Second Chance Dog, A Dog Year, A Good Dog, and many others
“I recall reading All Creatures Great and Small many years ago, while working as a veterinary technician for a mobile vet in Los Angeles. We worked with cats and dogs, of course, but with farm animals, too, and apes and monkeys and angry pet raccoons, burros, crows, macaws– the variety of pets in Los Angeles was limitless. During that wonderful time, I'd be beaten senseless by a kangaroo, held hostage by a love-struck chimpanzee, chased by angry hogs, and sat on by a miniature horse inside of a well-known celebrity's home. It was a magical time, and it made perfect sense for me to read Herriot in the evenings, a grand fellow who'd roam the English countryside making veterinary house calls, effortlessly moving from draft horses to kittens, healing, telling stories. I felt a kinship with him and his magical world, and marveled at his talent for drawing me into his cast of characters. Later in life, when I too would write of my experiences with animals and their people, I would hearken to Herriot's Yorkshire Dales, and to prose so genuine that it would help inspire my own career as a writer and pet behaviorist. Herriot to me remains a superhero of sorts, who, in visiting home after home like some veterinary Santa, taught me how simple, heartwarming prose about people and their animals could rise above the commonplace, and become art.” ―Steve Duno, author of Last Dog on the Hill, The Everything Cat Book and The Amazing Dog Trick Book
“The kind of book that makes an evening seem a little warmer and your pet a bit more important.” ―The Philadelphia Inquirer
“A very warm, very engaging read . . . the reader falls totally under his spell.” ―The Associated Press
“Whether sad or glad, each story shows his affection for animals and people . . . this man is a celebrant of life.” ―Chicago Tribune
“Herriot is both tender and wise . . . All Things Bright and Beautiful is a book to be happy with.” ―The Boston Globe
“You had better read this book yourself. It's a treat, a rare one, and God knows we all need all treat these days.” ―The Washington Post
“Human beings just naturally respond to a writer as lovable, wholesome, eloquent, humorous and well-stocked with anecdotes as James Herriot. He offers a mastery of both the comic and the tragic.” ―Chicago Tribune
“All Things Bright and Beautiful is like a visit to a loved place inhabited by dear friends . . . certainly the happiest book so far this season” ―The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
“Humour, realism, sensitivity, earthiness; animals comic and tragic; and people droll, pathetic, courageous, eccentric―all of whom he views with the same gentle compassion and a lively sense of the sad, the ridiculous, and the admirable.” ―The Columbus Dispatch
“James Herriot has served up another warm, witty, wonderful book in All Things Bright and Beautiful.” ―The Indianapolis News
“It is impossible to speak of this second book without thinking strongly of the first. For it is truly a repeated 'miracle' as All Creatures Great and Small was described. Whatever joy one found in the first is in the second, only even more joyous; whatever laughter rippled from the throat in the reading of the first, finds even greater gusto in this one. It is funny, wry, simple in its story but as deep and perceptive of life's truths as the superlative sensitivity of the writer and his talent can make it. Best seller list, look out!” ―The Hartford Courant
“Humour, realism, sensitivity, earthiness; animals comic and tragic; and people droll, pathetic, courageous, eccentric--all of whom he views with the same gentle compassion and a lively sense of the sad, the ridiculous, and the admirable.” ―The Columbus Dispatch
“Superb, a book to be enjoyed in one sitting or in bits and pieces to make it last longer.” ―Library Journal
About the Author
James Herriot (1916-1995) is the bestselling author of memoirs including All Creatures Great and Small, 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 (OBE).
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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.