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All Creatures Great an...
James Herriot
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All Creatures Great and Small (All Creatures Great and Small #1-2)

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  94,158 Ratings  ·  2,502 Reviews
Heartwarming stories from the everyday life of a country veterinarian.
Paperback, 7, 499 pages
Published 1973 by Bantam (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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...

Oct 14, 2008 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jan 14, 2008 Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Debbie Zapata
Oct 04, 2015 Debbie Zapata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturday
I've read this book so many times over the years, yet every single time I get to the last word on the last page I am ready to go back to chapter one and start all over. From the first day of Herriot's arrival at Skeldale House, being greeted by a tsunami of leaping, barking dogs, to the week of tuberculin testing that brings the book to a close, we share the moments of joy, laughter, tears, nerves, confidence, mix-ups and triumphs involved in his Yorkshire veterinary practice of the 1930's.

We me
Tom Mathews
Sep 06, 2016 Tom Mathews rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of animals and humor
I've read a lot of James Herriot's stories over my life but haven't read this first volume of his beloved series of memoirs. It is delightful, touching and often knee-slappingly funny. I highly recommend it.
FYI: The audiorecording of the book is narrated by Christopher Timothy, the actor who played Herriot on the BBC series based on the books.
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 15, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Apr 14, 2009 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
Lisa Ann ☕
This book reads like a consecutive series of individual diary entries told from the perspective of a newly graduated veterinarian beginning his journey into the world of employment. The stories were sometimes comical and other times more serious with a plethora of medical terminology thrown in. I am not particularly squeamish and I usually relish challenging myself with comprehending "doctor-speak" but in a few chapters the graphic surgical references overshadowed the personal experience that th ...more
Jun 11, 2007 Razzberry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jan 21, 2016 Sariah rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
Dec 27, 2015 Negin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Animal lovers and anglophiles
Shelves: memoir-biography
Most people know by now that James Herriot wrote about his life as a country vet in the 1930s and ‘40s. I strongly recommend this memoir to every Anglophile and animal lover. The stories are hilarious in some parts and brought me to tears in others. It is books like these that teach me to appreciate all the little things around us.
When my children were small, we read and re-read the children’s versions of the Herriot books. We all loved them, our son especially. Herriot’s descriptions of Yorksh
Sep 24, 2010 Jelinas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 04, 2009 Zoe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-lit
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
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
No longer on sale, but still worth the price of admission. If you don't want to shell out $8.54 for the Kindle version, go to any used bookstore. I bet they have copies. I promise you won't regret it.


This book, the first in a series of memoirs by a Yorkshire country vet, is one of my favorite books ever. I read the whole set repeatedly throughout my childhood and, even now, I reread them every year or two. They are amazing, and this one is on sale for Kindle right
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
I should maybe bump this up to five stars, because I could see this going down as one of my favorites. I was so utterly and completely charmed by this book. Alternately laugh out loud funny and poignant to the point of tears, this book has a magical concoction of sweetness and grit. Plus, great storytelling and larger than life characters. I loved it!
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

Divertidísimo y entrañable. Enamorada de este libro completamente
Meghan Krogh
Aug 09, 2016 Meghan Krogh marked it as soon-non  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xy, dogs, cal-ed
This is REALLY good so far but I have not been in the mood for it, so I'm retiring it for a bit. Will probably revisit sometime this year.
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
This book surprised me. I had always been aware of it (who hasn't?) but I never had a desire to read it. It came up for a group read and a friend (Liz) asked if anyone else would read it so I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did as it was so funny at times. Herriot has a way of describing events that just makes you laugh. You get a good sense of what life was like in those far rural parts of England years ago. The chapters were brief and moved quickly so it's a good one to have around as a q ...more
Sinta Nisfuanna
Jun 17, 2016 Sinta Nisfuanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biografi-memoar
Membaca buku ini rasanya nano-nano, kadang sedih, kadang tertawa, kadang terhenyak, kadang tersentuh, kadang jengkel, kadang merenung, dan banyak kadang-kadang lainnya... ditambah lagi cara bercerita Herriot mengalir dan santai.

Pastinya akan membaca buku-buku Herriot lainnya yang masih antri di timbunan :D

Ulasan selengkapnya >> Segala Makhluk Besar dan Kecil
Cargada de Libros
Jul 19, 2014 Cargada de Libros rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, finca
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.
Valerie Kyriosity
Feb 07, 2015 Valerie Kyriosity rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
A pretty close to perfect audiobook. Christopher Timothy, who played James Herriot in the TV series, knows the character as well as anyone, so his reading is pretty close to flawless. And the stories themselves are a blend of humor and pathos that is pretty close to impeccable.
Lisa (Likenbooks)
Jun 12, 2016 Lisa (Likenbooks) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a 4.5. This was a book that honestly I would not have picked up if not for a read-a-long. I'm glad to have given it a chance because it was definitely a great summer read. Too many times I laughed out loud.

Animals, farmers, vets, stubborn pet owners, car crashes involving chickens, kicked by horse during examination, a letter to a dog all make this a fun read. Very detailed on procedures that are performed on some animals but the whimsical matter in which it is done doesn't make it to
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
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
Natalie Tyler
Aug 16, 2016 Natalie Tyler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: excellent-books
“All Creatures Great and Small” is book one in a beloved series by James Herriott, a Yorkshire veterinarian who has chronicled his mid-20th century practice with great loving detail. Herriott begins by comparing the clinical details of his veterinary textbook with the reality of trying to deliver a baby calf in the midst of muck and mud and snow. He’s feeling defeated; the calf needs to be turned around the the mother is small. He manages to extricate the calf, who appears to be dead as does the ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Cat and the Curmudgeon
  • The Dog Who Wouldn't Be
  • Forever Free: Elsa's Pride (Story of Elsa, #3)
  • The Real James Herriot: A Memoir of My Father
  • Three Singles To Adventure
  • Ring of Bright Water (Ring of Bright Water, #1)
  • The Dogs of Bedlam Farm: An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, and Me
  • Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence—and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process
  • Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon
  • The Man Who Listens to Horses
  • That Quail, Robert
  • Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams (#2)
  • The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do to Care for The Animals We Love
  • Gorillas in the Mist
  • All My Patients are Under the Bed: Memoirs of a Cat Doctor
  • Fowl Weather
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 about James Herriot...

Other Books in the Series

All Creatures Great and Small (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • If Only They Could Talk
  • It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet
  • Let Sleeping Vets Lie
  • Vet in Harness
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful
  • Vets Might Fly
  • Vet in a Spin
  • All Things Wise and Wonderful
  • The Lord God Made Them All
  • Every Living Thing

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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.” 563 likes
“I don't think he ever gave a thought to other people's opinions, which was just as well because they were often unkind” 16 likes
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