Amanda Lerch's Reviews > All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
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's review
May 14, 2012

it was amazing
Read in May, 2012

As an ever avid reader of books, how in the hell did I miss this classic gem by James Herriot? A delicious cocktail of amazing character depth mixed with a comedy of errors made this book one of my favorites. Herriot paints an immensely vivid portrait of the land and the characters living in the English countryside. I laughed aloud multiple times throughout this book. The book takes place in the 1930's or 40's(this isn't quite clear) and is about a surgical vet named James Herriot who just graduated from veterinarian school and lands a job as assistant to the primary vet in a remote English village. The authors name is actually Alf Wright, who wrote under the pen name James Herriot and the book in part is based on his own experience as a vet.

The book outlines James' hilarious adventures to remote farms to treat sick animals, which often would occur in the middle of the night and with him driving miles and miles in the piece of crap unreliable car given to him by his boss, which led to some very funny mishaps. The colorful personalities of the various farmers and townspeople that made up the practice's client base was entertaining to say the least. James struggled as a newby vet in town and had to prove himself as an expert in the field to farmers who often relied on age old impractical methods of treating animal maladies that were often counterproductive if not dangerous to the animals. James handled his difficult clients with a rare combination of grace, wit and patience that often left me admiringly baffled. His boss, Sigfried was a painfully oblivious head in the cloud's lovable character who was pre-occupied with Tristan, his younger lazy brother who came to live in the house with them because he was failing out of vet school. The constant tension between the brothers is rather comical, with Tristan walking on egg shells and breaking them with his late night drinking binges and constant mistakes in helping with the practice. James, who also lived in house with the brothers is often privy to, if not caught in the middle of the brotherly spats.
In short, if you are an animal lover, fan of British wit and appreciate immense character depth, you will probably like this book as much as I did!

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