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

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  64,704 ratings  ·  1,787 reviews
Take an unforgettable journey through the English countryside and into the homes of its inhabitants-- four-legged and otherwise-- with the world's best-loved animal doctor.

For over 25 years-- since All Creatures Great and Small was first published-- readers have delighted to the storytelling genius of James Herriot, the Yorkshire veterinarian whose fascinating vignettes br...more
Paperback, 437 pages
Published April 15th 1998 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

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Meg
Oct 14, 2008 Meg rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
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
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.

Based on his experiences, these delightful tales that take place in an idyllic setting during a not-so-tumultuous time - "drama cozies" as I like to call them - will not be...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Apr 14, 2009 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) rated it 5 of 5 stars 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
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...more
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...more
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
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, librarian on strike
I have reviewed this book; the review can be found here, on Booklikes, and here, on my blog. However, I will no longer be posting reviews on Goodreads, due to its recent changes to terms of service and, far worse, the boneheaded and incomprehensible way it is proceeding with the new policy. Deleting content, almost randomly, and without warning (whatever they may have said) is wrong. Failing to provide a sitewide announcement is wrong. Failing to address users' very legitimate concern over the s...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...more
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
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.
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
Emily
Finally picked this up and so glad I did. Herriot's writing about the land, people and animals of his veterinary career is affectionate and humorous. Some of his turns of phrase are practically Wodehousian. I love reading about animals, but I'm not always impressed with the authors who write about them. That wasn't the case with James Herriot, and I'm glad I have more books to look forward to. Delightful.
Vickstar
The five star rating arises partly from nostalgia and partly from being reminded on this latest reread of how finely balanced these tales are. I've been a bit under the weather and felt like a comfort read. I used to reread the James Herriott books we had at home over and over again but I would guess it has been at least a decade since I last picked them up, if not longer. Would these 'animal tales' still hold the same appeal? Well it was a relief to find that they absolutely do. The stories def...more
Stephanie
Apr 16, 2008 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Stephanie by: Becka
Shelves: animals, favorites
I don't know how it has taken me this long to discover this classic. James Herriot writes about his experiences as a country vet in the Yorkshire Dales just before WWII. Reading about the treatment techniques used at that time was far more interesting and engrossing than I thought. I found the stories heartwarming, funny, and even sad at times. A beautiful book!
Dixie Diamond
I used to work for a veterinarian and I still cannot believe the number of people, even animal lovers, who have not read Herriot's accounts.

These are pure gold. They are not painless Disney fantasy--there is plenty in them that is gruesome, maddening, and heartbreaking--but they are all amazing stories and beautiful in their own ways.
Kerry
Mar 09, 2007 Kerry rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone who loves animals
Yet another book I loved lent to me by Bonnie during college. It appealed to childhood Kerry and said, "Remember how you wanted to be a vet for about three years in elementary school? Yeah, you would never have been able to handle it. But don't feel bad. Read me and live vicariously through me. Also, enjoy my charming rural European setting."
Moonburst
I thought I had read this book all the way through when I was in elementary. However, I found a bookmark in the book, so I think I only made it to chapter 52 or so. So I'm re-reading it.


Having re-read it, I can honestly say that I love the book, and am looking forward to getting my grubby little paws on All Things Bright and Beautiful.
William
James Herriot's love for animals shines through in these feel good stories of his life as a country vet in England. From taking care of kittens and puppies all the way up through large farm animals, Mr. Herriot always has an interesting anecdote and lesson it impart. His entire series are a pleasure to read.
Sue Johnson
This is my favorite book of all time! It is as relevant today as it was when when it was released in the 70's. This is my second time reading the entire series, and I find the characters, the scenery, the animals, the descriptive prose as fresh as ever!!
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!
Krystal
This book was a fun read. Very humorous, and funny characters. If you like animals this is a good book for you.
Rosemaryknits
My family and I are working our way through this excellent series of audio books. I read them way back when, as the author was writing them, and while I completely enjoyed them, I missed a lot because I had no idea what the Yorkshire farmers were saying. In this version, the reader delivers the vernacular in such a way that I have no trouble understanding, whatsoever.

Christopher Timothy, the reader, is the actor who played the role of James Herriot in the television adaptation. He really does an...more
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CUPCAKES WAR READ...: ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL 5 11 Aug 16, 2012 02:34PM  
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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...more
More about James Herriot...
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.” 343 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.” 9 likes
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