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All Things Wise and Wonderful (All Creatures Great and Small #3)

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  17,806 ratings  ·  272 reviews
Veterinarian James Herriot recalls life in England during World War II, when the great forces of the modern world came even to his sleepy Yorkshire hamlet

Only a couple of years after settling into his new home in northern England, James Herriot is called to war. In this series of poignant and humorous episodes, the great veterinarian shares his experiences training with th
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ebook, 442 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Open Road Media (first published November 1st 1976)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
Shit gets real this time around, all too real.

I was not thrilled with the start of All Things Wise and Wonderful, because from the get-go we learn that James Herriot is going to be writing about his wartime experiences. Frankly, I wanted more of the same - warm and fuzzy stories with a bit of low-tension drama about life as a country vet in the north of England as dished out in the first two books of this series.

description
Vet/writer Alf Wight, aka James Herriot

However, instead of going fully into war st
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Sarah
I recently read an online article about James Herriot (aka Alf Wight) in which I learned of his lifelong battle with severe depression. With no real knowledge of Herriot outside of his professional accomplishments, I read his first book casually; cute stories about a budding British veterinarian and his furry, lovable patients in 1930’s farmland. What could be more pleasant and lighthearted, right?

Well, as is true for many things in life, Herriot’s stories actually run deeper than the superfici
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Sara
Dec 03, 2009 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone!
I just adore these books. I can't help it. Herriot may not be the most polished author but his books have a sense of warmth around them and I feel like I know Helen, Tristan, Siegfried and James. I love that they are real people and wish I could go and visit them, they just seem so lovely. Tristan's antics in this book are hysterical and James' reaction to becoming a new father priceless. I love it. Love. I'm going to wait to read the fourth for a little because I'm sad it's the last one...
Mike (the Paladin)
"James Herriot" (James Alfred Wight) continues his story as war encompasses his world and the things he loves become distant. I love the Herriot books and have worn out several copies of them. I recommend that you try... to start at the first, the beginning of the story and follow it through. The only draw back is it can put a longing in your heart that may never quite be fully met.
Valerie
My other books in this series are much-thumbed editions, obviously read and reread until the color is rubbed off the spine-edges.

This volume, though it's also used, is in better condition. It rather makes me wish Herriot had stuck to his determination not to discuss his war experiences. He clearly hated them so much that it discolored his memories, and it's not surprising that he keeps slipping away into reminiscence. If he had to discuss those years at all, I'd have preferred it if he'd dug out
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Brittany
In the course of my successive re-reads of James Herriot's books as a child, I would routinely skip this one, which I thought of as "the sad one." It is sad. In it, Herriot covers the years during World War II, including his service in the Royal Air Force. It is no heroic, chest-thumping saga. He talks about homesickness, about missing his wife and worrying about the birth of their first child, and about being lonely and scared. It's not as happy or bubbly as some of his other books, but, now th ...more
Cappy
Oct 19, 2007 Cappy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who yearns for English countrysides
Harriot is the quinetessential author who captures the essence of Yorkshire countryside through his delightful depictions of the people, landscape, and of course the animals. This particular story centers around his leaving the veterinary practice during WWII to go off and learn to fly with the RAF...it seems each time he enters a new adventure in the RAF his mind wanders off to the hills and dales of his home county. A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys the voice of a story teller and doesn't ...more
Autumn
As always, it's lovely to read Herriot. He loves his work and those he works for, and that tenderness shows in his storytelling with a good amount of humor perfectly balancing it all out. This time around, Herriot is training in the RAF, and incidents in his training lead to memories of his life as a vet, which he skillfully ties together. I like how Herriot talks to you as though he knows you are as interested in his work and love his patients as much as he does, because, as his reader, you do. ...more
Jodi
Aug 05, 2011 Jodi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal lovers
I first read these books in high school and fell in love with them because I am such an animal lover. I found this copy on the free shelf at the library and read it again. The stories are humorous, gentle, and told by someone with a genuine understanding of animals.

The story of Cedric, the gaseous dog, left me in stitches and am so glad that his final owner had no sense of smell! What a match made in heaven for this man and his dog! I also felt so sorry for the author and his experience with the
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Vicki Jaeger
It was great to settle in with an old friend. I read this series over & over in my childhood years, up through high school. James Herriot is why I wanted to be a vet--until I came up against chemistry, that is! I LOVELOVELOVE this entire series. His warmth, intuitive descriptions of his animal patients and their humans, and genuine delight of life are a wonderful gift to the world. I'm reviewing all the books in this series the same way, so you only have to read this review once! ; )
Christyn
I'll admit I was a bit tentative going into this installment of Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small Series mostly because I wasn't sure what to expect given where we left off in the last book. While this book is a bit more somber touching on some things the previous books didn't (view spoiler) it is still beautifully written. We get some of Herriot's RAF training and mixed in we get flashbacks of his vet life (usually something from the RAF ...more
Sue
The third in the series, this recounts his experiences in the RAF during WWII. The chapters are a mix of RAF experiences and then tales from his pre-war vet days.
Although I read this through, it is a good one for dipping here and there. The chapters are self contained - only once or twice does an account stretch into a second chapter. A fun, light read.
Anna
I really, really, really liked this book! I love animals, so this book was absolutely perfect for me. Some of the stories were super sad, while some were hilarious! I told Lydia some of the funny ones, and she just stared at me oddly while I rolled on the floor laughing hysterically.
Jessamyn
Herriot's writing was lovely and charming and somehow managed to make veterinary surgery interesting to me. This book made me want to curl with a cup of tea and a dog on my lap and eat pasties and scones and other English foods.
Stephanie
I was turned off by the sentimentality but so many good stories about animals and the people that love them, so if that's your thing, that's your thing and you'll probably love this.
Lynne Stringer
I enjoyed reading about James' forays in the air force, even though he didn't get very far. I love the stories he tells, especially when he went to help the farmer. Brilliant!
Dad
This was a good book about a veterinary surgeon from Yorkshire, England, who talked of his experience in the Royal Air Force during World War II and would then give flashbacks to his experiences as a veterinarian. It was a good format. I enjoyed his reverence for the animals he practiced on and how he felt so good if he could help them.
He had a clever sense of humor and that added to the story. I didn't, however, like the use of the Lord's name in vain. That could have been handled differentl
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Suhasini Srihari
It was an amazing read, Herriot simply grips your hand and you might not want to pause for a moment even! Though the novel starts of on a recalling of the past and fluctuates to the present, regardless of the initial confusions, it speaks of the connection between a vet and his inner turmoils while treating animals. The work of a vet is foregrounded against the war scenario; while both the aspects receive almost equal descriptive agency in the novel. As I progressed with the novel, I could under ...more
Steve Shilstone
Many a heart-warming anecdote told by our favorite Yorkshire vet.
Lisa
last read 2/12/2014
Lisa
Pure comfort read.
Shalini M
I bought a copy from a second-hand stall, and what a gem it was!

I had read a few of Herriot's stories in Reader's Digest magazine editions long time back, and remember loving them - they were warm, amusing and brought forth some wonderful lessons of life. I remember craving to read more, but for many years, I didn't really have much hope. In last few years, I found about his books. But I never saw them at a bookstore, and was reluctant to order online, since I wasn't sure of the format of the b
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Shannon
Reading a James Herriot book is a singular experience. I often want to savor the experience and read slowly, but I find myself flying through his books--completely caught up in the magic of his stories and prose. "All Things Wise and Wonderful" is the third Herriot book I have read (as the third volume in the All Creatures Great and Small series) and it has found a beloved place in my heart right alongside the first two books.

While many of the things I have come to adore about James Herriot boo
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Katie
Feb 07, 2013 Katie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All animal lovers, especially those who love good stories about farm life!
I truly cannot get enough of James Herriot. I so wish he was still alive so I could have the opportunity to meet him. He is such an endearing author who draws you in with his hilarious, but often sad, stories about being a farm vet. In 'All Things Wise and Wonderful' he has joined the RAF and briefly tells you about his time becoming a pilot. Most of the book is him daydreaming of being back on the Darrowby farms and living the life of a country vet. Some of the stories are kind of repeated - no ...more
Shanna Gonzalez
This edition of James Herriot's memoirs sees him being drafted into the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force to play his part during World War II, leaving behind his veterinary practice and his wife (now expecting young Jimmy). Although he never sees combat, his description of military training gives an inside view to the training process for pilots in the war, interspersed with plentiful reminiscences of his veterinary practice back in Darrowby. Throughout this story is a sweet marital love, which ...more
Daria
Herriot again, in all his glory. You would think that three-and-counting books, each four to five hundred pages apiece and filled to the brim with more accounts of calving than I can remember and scores of dogs and cats, would eventually become tiring, but they never do. Perhaps it is the nature of Herriot's profession, perhaps it is his gift of storytelling; as it is, every little memoir, every lame lamb and smiling retriever, is as unique and heartwarming as the previous. Even Herriot's accoun ...more
Nate
I have learned more from James Herriot about what makes a good Doctor than from any medical textbook. The animals are cute and the stories are witty, but the relationships between James the veterinary surgeon and his clients - the sparse, windblown farmers of the Scottish highlands - as well as the ancient landscape they inhabit - are what make these books for me. Large animals still dominated the work, and a pre-dawn ring usually meant kissing the wife goodbye, leaving her tucked in the warm be ...more
Heather
I love Herriot's writing, but this one was another slow one. I felt like the stories were more varied than in All Creatures Great and Small, but it still took me a long time to get through since there wasn't much of an overarching narrative other than some thinly stitched-together experiences in the RAF during WWII. Most of his veterinary stories are framed by his war experiences and written as reminiscences of life before (and sometimes after(?)) the war.

The story that stayed with me the most w
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Tilia
This, the third in Herriot's series of somewhat autobiographical novels about his life as a Yorkshire vet, is set during the early days of World War II. Since the author/narrator's heart (along with ours) is solidly in his prewar life in his veterinarian practice in Darrowby, his stories of life as a trainee in the RAF serve mainly as a series of framing devices for stories of days gone by. This quickly becomes rather forced, as there seems to be no end of things in Herriot's new life that put h ...more
Lisse
Feb 14, 2012 Lisse rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like animals, touching stories, interested in veteranarian work
I'd say this was a 3.5 for me, so I'll be generous and round up. I previously read and listend to the audio version of All Creatures Great and Small. I think that Herriot does a great job of recreating the stories of his vet years in the Dales. You feel like you're there and I often wondered how so many great stories could come from one man's life. I loved All Creatures Great and Small. And I really enjoyed All Things Wise and Wonderful as well, but for some reason it didn't sit with me quite as ...more
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James Herriot is the pen name of James Alfred Wight, OBE, FRCVS also known as Alf Wight, an English veterinary surgeon and writer. Wight is best known for his semi-autobiographical stories, often referred to collectively as All Creatures Great and Small, a title used in some editions and in film and television adaptations.

In 1939, at the age of 23, he qualified as a veterinary surgeon with Glasgow
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More about James Herriot...

Other Books in the Series

All Creatures Great and Small (5 books)
  • All Creatures Great and Small
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful
  • The Lord God Made Them All
  • Every Living Thing
All Creatures Great and Small All Things Bright and Beautiful The Lord God Made Them All All Creatures Great and Small & All Things Bright and Beautiful James Herriot's Treasury for Children: Warm and Joyful Tales by the Author of All Creatures Great and Small

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“This old man had once told me that he left school when he was twelve, whereas I had spent most of the twenty-four years in my life in study. Yet when I looked back on the last hour or so I could come to only one conclusion. I'd had more of books, but he had more of learning.” 8 likes
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