Cathy's Reviews > My Family and Other Animals

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
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's review
Mar 31, 2012

bookshelves: bookclub
Read on March 31, 2012

While my childhood was nothing like that described in Durrell's novel it did remind me of long Summer days exploring dry creek bed and bush. Gerry's explorations were a lot damper in general, more densely populated, and he got away with bringing a lot more of the wildlife home than my sisters and I ever did.

The book is pleasant to read in a nostalgic sort of way, and is full of fascinating characters and 'scrapes' but I could not drum up the immense enthusiasm that others online seem to feel for it. I found most of Gerry's family unsympathetic in character, including his poor mother who I felt quite some sympathy for, while Gerry himself seems to absorb it all as if studying yet more animals. I suspect some of my ambivalence comes from living in a different era, so much of the Durrell's life appears like one long holiday, and their behaviour and attitudes from the lens of my time and place seem almost unbelievable. An enjoyable enough read, but not one I would rave about.
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