Kspeare's Reviews > Birds, Beasts, and Relatives

Birds, Beasts, and Relatives by Gerald Durrell
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U_50x66
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Feb 21, 10

bookshelves: nonfiction, humor, animals

This book contains, for my money, quite possibly the funniest scene in the English language. The characters are the author's family and friends (and they are characters in every sense of the word) along with the various fauna of Corfu and, truthfully, the island itself.

Durrell used the proceeds from his writing to found and nurture the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, the first zoo in the world founded specifically for the breeding and conservation of endangered species. Should you ever be in the neighborhood of the English Channel, it is well worth a visit. The Trust hosts international trainng programs for the conservation and care of endangered species. It is a revelation of what a zoo can be and, so often, isn't.

I was probably around ten or twelve when I first read this book. Any kid who spends much time looking under rocks will enjoy it. As a bonus, the sentence structure and vocabulary undoubtedly (with a little help from Georgette Heyer) got me through my SAT verbal with flying colors. Adults are cautioned to read it privately, unless you want to explain repeatedly why you are laughing hysterically.
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