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All Creatures Great and Small (All Creatures Great and Small #1)

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  84,085 ratings  ·  2,151 reviews
The classic multimillion copy bestseller

Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients.


For over forty years, generations of readers have thrilled to Herriot's marvelous tales, deep love of life, and extraordinary storytelling abilities. For decades, He
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Paperback, 448 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
Oh dear heavens, a cow is having a difficult birth! A cat's sick! The local lord's thorough bred has skinned its knee! To live in a world where these are your most worrisome worries is to live in the world of James Herriot, the pen name of the real-life mid-20th century country vet of the Yorkshire Dales in northern England.

Loosely based on his experiences, these delightful tales ("drama cozies" I call them) take place in an idyllic setting: The Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors...

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Muker
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Meg
Oct 14, 2008 Meg rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Meg by: my friend Janet
I have this problem--an addiction, really--called BOOKS. I start reading one and I usually can't stop until I realize that awful smell is... ME!... or my kids do that incessant-tapping-on-my-shoulder thing to ask if dinnertime will be occurring before bedtime... (I know, I know. Probably shouldn't have put that in print. Now CPS is gonna come after me.)

Point being: This book was NOT like that. I could read one chapter each night, then put it down without my brain going all... twitchy (those of y
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Dale
It's semi-astonishing that I've been married to a veterinarian for a year and a half, which followed a year and nine months of dating/engagement, in which time I went on many emergency calls with her to treat sick horses (and the occasional goat), adopted a dog and a second cat to go with the first one my dearly beloved already owned, and various and other sundry proximity-to-a-vet type stuff has gone down AND YET only now have I finally said to myself, "Hunh, I should read that James Herriot gu ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
There are no negatives in this book. When I first read it (them as I read Herriot's vet stories one book after another)I would read them late at night in bed after my wife had gone to sleep. Frequently I'd be laughing silently, but laughing so hard I'd shake the bed. Now and again I'd look over and see her just looking at me having been awakened by my convulsions of mirth. Then I'd end up reading aloud for hours...costing us both much needed rest.
Tracey
James Herriot's books are, for me, the ultimate in comfort books. Which is odd, it occurred to me while listening to this audiobook; there's blood and gore and uterine explorations and knackerings and death and cruelty… There is casual mention of deeds and practices which would turn PETA's collective hair white. But I've been reading these books since I was about ten. (Which, considering the language, is surprising. Them Yorkshire farmers were salty, mind.) And then there was the wonderful tv se ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Apr 14, 2009 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of animals, lover of everyday humor in storytelling, people in the veterinary field
As a future veterinarian growing up, I was told by many people to read this book. It is apparently considered a rite of passage for those who want to enter the veterinary field. Finally I did read it when I was in my junior year of college before vet school. It was wonderful. Herriot is a hilarious,heart-warming and talented author. He writes with an ease that is addictive to read. He manages to imbue every chapter with scenes that are laugh out loud funny, but also scenes that will bring tears ...more
Sariah
Feb 20, 2013 Sariah marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
This book is well, spectacular, in a normal day way. James Herriot had a way of showing how little annoying, silly, and/or normal everyday events are truly remarkable. This book has those fuuny moments, embarrasing moments with those sweet ones that can only be called miracles.

I have really enjoyed this book and I recomend it to everyone, whether you like animals or not (This one is different from other animal stories, because its not only about animals, but about a world of people with animals
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Razzberry
I wasn't sure that I would like James Herriot's works when I first came across them. A collection of animal stories by a country vet, I thought, but how wrong I was. I was well and truly engrossed the minute I started. His tales are so much more than that! They are beautifully crafted stories that are funny, touching, and quite simply, likeable.

What makes his memoirs truly remarkable are the vivid pictures he paints of the Yorkshire Dales, his self-depracation and the evident love and respect he
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Kiwi
I should start with a warning: this book contains some graphic explanations of animal anatomy and veterinary procedures that I would have preferred be left ignorant about, however the charming descriptions of idyllic country life and their inhabitants more than make up for it.

I was surprised at how funny this book is; I should have read it years ago! My favourite episodes involve Mrs. Pumphrey and Tricki Woo. I’d recommend the audio version narrated by Christopher Timothy who does an excellent
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Zoe
I had always been curious about this book, because there was such a great fuss over it that persisted well into my life (it was written shortly before I was born). Well, the fuss is all true - this is one of the best books I have ever read - an autobiography, technically, about a simple man who loves his job. Not only is he a good author, but he is perhaps the best observer of people I have ever seen - he can make 20 english farmers all seem different. I laughed frequently - his descriptive skil ...more
Ashley
OK, I admit it. More than once as I was reading this collection, the words of Kramer (yes, that Kramer) popped into my head: “Oh, I’ll take a vet over an MD any day. They’ve got to be able to cure a lizard, a chicken, a pig, a frog—all on the same day.”

And for more than 50 years, in the Yorkshire Dales of northern England, that’s exactly what James Herriot did. (Well, maybe not the frogs. But pigs and cows and sheep and horses and dogs, yes.) All Creatures Great and Small is the first in his lo
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Jelinas
When I was five, I wanted to be an artist. I was crazy about drawing. When I wasn't fighting with my sibs over something, you'd likely find me holed away, either reading or drawing. My dad was an artist, you see. Sure, running that liquor store in the ghetto was what paid the bills, but it was firmly stamped in my six-year-old mind that he was meant for a higher calling. I mean, look at the gallon of milk he painted on the side of the store. Was it not the perfect rendering of a gallon of milk? ...more
Valerie
My uncle had such a harried schedule and such uncertain breaks that he too often couldn't indulge his love of reading at work. He carried these books to work because you could read a chapter in five minutes--then go on to the next chapter hours later with no loss of continuity.

He also loved the tv version, though he was getting a bit hard of hearing by the time I lived in his house, and often needed a translator at hand for the Yorkshire dialect.

If I were recommending, I'd recommend both. I don
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Jim
An excellent book written by a vet who deals with animals in Britain's countryside. Some of the spin-offs weren't as great, but all were a good read. They're funny, heartwarming & full of fun stories about livestock & pets, but most especially about their odd owners.
Magrat Ajostiernos
http://cronicasenferrocarril.blogspot...


Divertidísimo y entrañable. Enamorada de este libro completamente
Tessa Eger
Don't deny this happens to you. We all get down, hit a rough patch, lose a job or get a divorce. Sometimes a gripping action movie is just what you need. But sometimes nothing works but a good, heartwarming laugh. For those moments, there is one author I can always count on. He's gone now, but his works will endure. The author is James Herriot, whose real name was James Alfred Wight, or Alf. The books are collectively known as All creatures great and small, as was the BBC tv series. Every book ...more
Laura Leaney
This rating is from my teenage self. I haven't read this book since, well, whatever year that was, but I loved it. I was reminded of it by Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals. These are the kinds of books that formed my world view. Animals and the English countryside. What could be more interesting to the young lover of gardens and cows?
Melinda
This book is purely delightful! Having indulged recently in the "Irish Country Doctor" series, I am amazed at the similarities these two books hold, even though one deals with animal patients and the other with human. Not withstanding, I quickly grew to appreciate James Herriot. I loved his no-nonsense approach to so many of those whom he visited. Even in the most bleak of circumstances - no heat, minimal light, early morning hours, uncomfortable surroundings, and difficult diagnoses, Dr. Herrio ...more
Cargada de Libros
Aseguraros de compraros la 2ª edición : Todas las criaturas grandes y pequeñas by James Herriot, ésta está llena de erratas y errores. La otra está perfecta. ...more
Stephanie
A good read! Two of the veterInarians in the book reminded me of the one I worked for, except the one I worked for was angrier!
Alexis
This is a book that any animal lover will enjoy. James Herriot is a newly qualified veterinary surgeon in the Yorkshire Dales. He takes a position as an assistant to Sigfried Farnon after completing his coursework in 1937. We learn of his struggles and triumphs, both in caring for the animals and dealing with the people in his daily life.

His writing is so vivid and detailed that you feel as though you are right there with him as he is caring for a sick cow, a dying dog, or any number of cases d
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Boof
What a wonderful trip down memory lane this book was. I remember watching the TV series back in the 70's and 80's and picking this book up for the first time was like settling down by the fire with old friends.

Set in the Yorkshire Dales, this is the first book in a series by rookie vet James Herriot and his new life in the countryside and among the animals and his struggle to win over the old Yorkshire farmers and eccentric characters he meets there. There were so many times when I literally la
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Brittany
I can't remember how old I was when I read James Herriot for the first time. It must have been late elementary school or middle school. What I do remember is the burning desire it fostered in me (and in probably every other child who reads it) to be a vet. James Herriot adored his life, and his passion pours through in his simple, straightforward, but absorbing, storytelling.

It was recently, standing beside (and filming) one of our vets as he put his arm to the shoulder up the back ends of a st
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Cyndy
A book to make you fly through the pages, chuckle ridiculously to yourself, and sigh with contentment at the end. I read this book in high school and liked it very much. This time as well, for some reason, it just really hit the spot. Not the least of it is that Herriot is clearly a man who found meaning in what he did and where he lived. He loved the Yorkshire Dales. They became a part of who he was. As a narrator, he is conscious about this measure of grace in his life and reflects upon it in ...more
Jessica
Delightful!

I remember listening to the audiobook of this as a child on a long car ride, and realized the other day I had never read the books. The stories, by turns tender and hilarious, of a country vet in pre-WWII Yorkshire are so well written. Herriot has a gift for describing the rolling countryside, the ramshackle barns and the animals that make you feel as though you are there. Some of the stories never really go anywhere and you wonder, Why is this included? But most of them are absolutel
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Beth A.
I read this for a book club. Honestly my expectations were not very high. I thought it would be all cute and syrupy with perhaps a bit of complaining about the difficulty of being a veterinarian in the dark ages.

But it was funny, especially his interactions with his boss, but also his clients. And compassionate. His concern for the animals was evident, also for the farmers who could lose their livelihood or only remaining companion to the caprice of illness.

It had an honest and easygoing tone,
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Diane
Just after I graduated from college, I discovered James Herriot. I had an hour for lunch, and reading was a lovely way to pass the time. His books (all of them) are still on my shelf. I loved the stories, the descriptions of the Dales, and the way he phonetically spelled out the way the people of Yorkshire spoke. Forty years later, I checked the book on CD out at the library. The stories are still enchanting, funny, poignant. It was read by the chap who played Herriott in the PBS series based on ...more
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
A great book indeed. There are some books which fill your heart with so much joy.

The simple stories can transport you into a whole new world. Here is an example of such a book.

James herriot, the main character in this novel, describes his life as veterinary surgeon. He describes his daily experiences and interaction with his clients in a very beautiful way.

I highly recommend this book.
Liska
Why do they say that this book is about animals? It is about people. Whenever I think about this book, I think of Siegfried and Tristan and other farmers of Yorkshire.
Though I am being unfair, there are lots of animals in this book too, but they have personalities too. You cannot forget Tricky Woo, for instance, and how he sent wine to his Uncle James.
This book is about days gone, and, lit with memories, they look simple and warm and kind. And even though I dreamed about being a vet only for a s
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Ruth Williams
James Herriot's books, while they are about animals, are even more about people. This one gives a picture of Yorkshire life in the the 1930's from the perspective of a newly arrived young veterinarian. He falls in love with the beauty of the area and the character of the people. I especially enjoyed meeting the pampered Pekinese, Tricky Woo, who "adopts" James as his uncle. Another favorite part is the story of the courtship of James and Helen. It seems nothing can go right for James, and all se ...more
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  • The Man Who Listens to Horses
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  • Homer's Odyssey
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  • Man of the Family (Little Britches, #2)
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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 Things Bright and Beautiful
  • All Things Wise and Wonderful
  • The Lord God Made Them All
  • Every Living Thing
All Things Bright and Beautiful All Things Wise and Wonderful 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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“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” 489 likes
“And there was that letter from the Bramleys—that really made me feel good. You don’t find people like the Bramleys now; radio, television and the motorcar have carried the outside world into the most isolated places so that the simple people you used to meet on the lonely farms are rapidly becoming like people anywhere else. There are still a few left, of course—old folk who cling to the ways of their fathers and when I come across any of them I like to make some excuse to sit down and talk with them and listen to the old Yorkshire words and expressions which have almost disappeared.” 11 likes
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