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Vets Might Fly

(All Creatures Great and Small #5)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,936 ratings  ·  51 reviews
A few months of married bliss, a lovers' nest in Darrowby and the wonders of home cooking are rudely interrupted for James Herriot by the Second World War. James Herriot's fifth volume of memoirs relocates him to a training camp somewhere in England. And in between square pounding and digging for victory, he dreams of the people and livestock he left behind him.

'There are
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Pan Books (UK) (first published 1976)
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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,936 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-read
Vets Might Fly is the fifth book in the All Creatures Great And Small series and what a fabulous series it has been.

In this book we follow vet James Harriet as he sets out on his RAF training. James thought he was fairly fit, but after only a few hours of training he changed his mind. As each day passed the training intensified and James had no idea how he would manage to get through to the end. Tired, sore and exhausted the only thing that kept him going was thoughts of home his loved one, Hel
Robert Day
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Funny and heartwarming stories about a rural vet that nothing I could say here would give you the remotest flavour of how wonderful and real these stories are so ignore everything I say and just go out an buy them and fall in love. Having said that, I wonder if I like them because I'm from the same part of the world and can identify with the characters and their exploits? Oh, the horror!
Katie Jenks
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quater-3
239 pages. I love this book. It is not my favorite in the series though because there is a lot of focus on James' military career. He does talk about other funny vet stories in his book though. I think that these books are wonderfully written and a great read for everyone. We should consider putting it in the english curriculum.
Judith Johnson
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Only three books to left in my box set, alas!
Barry Haworth
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've been reading a few Herriot books lately, and this one is more of the same. Very entertaining, light reading, this time covering the period when Herriot was training with the RAF, a period which included the birth of his first child. Great stuff.
María Paz Greene F
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobio
Hice bien en hacer una pausa luego de engullirme los primeros tomos, porque DIOS CÓMO LO DISFRUTÉ. Otra vez llegué a reírme en voz alta, carcajadas reales que llegaron a asustarme a mí misma en medio de la noche, jajaja.

Es genial, absolutamente genial.

SIN EMBARGO, no es el mejor que he leído. De hecho, es el menos mejor de los tomos, por así decirlo. El tema de la guerra no calienta a nadie, incluyendo al autor, porque apenas lo toca, y así las anécdotas son casi todas prestadas de otros tiempo
Wrong Train, Right Time
James Herriot's books are semi-autobiographical accounts of life as a country veterinarian in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. They consist of fairly short chapters, most of which are focused on a case of particular interest. Some of the ongoing themes are his documentation of rural life in Yorkshire during a time of social upheaval, the changing veterinary profession as new technologies arose, and his own lifelong love affair with the Yorkshire Dales. He writes with a lot of love and respect for his ho ...more
This is the second of two James Herriot books that I picked up for next to nothing in a second-hand bookshop. I’d dabbled with a bit of Herriot as a young teen, sneaking away my mum’s Readers Digest books (her Mills & Boons, too). As a kid, it was great reading. Rereading them now, properly, it really settles into you how great these books are.

Now this is only the second Herriot book that I’ve read. Plus it’s actually not book two, but book five (downside of randomly picking up books second
Nicola Pierce
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I finished this, last week, on Valentine's Day. About ten days before that, I had been diagnosed with cancer and the shock was so great that it stopped me from reading anything longer than a label on a bottle. Reading is my favourite thing to do and things were scary enough without finding myself unable to sit in my reading chair and escape the world.

I started two other books - literary memoirs - the sort of thing I usually love to read but they were too involved for me. A hospital appointment
Charles Harrison
May 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Finished this a while ago and I enjoyed it much as I did the previous ones. I think what made this stand out was reading about the war/ time in the RAF. It became apparent that the warmth of the writing style is very much his thing rather than the pleasant subject. Only 2 to go!
Susan Kasza
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
They were good stories, but I noticed several were repeats from other books.
Grace Ormerod
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh, it was amazingly funny. I laughed a lot- yet, he always gives a truthful telling of the life of a Yorkshire vet.....even now.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute little vignettes about life as a vet and enlisting in the RAF. For a first James Herriot book, it was entertaining and good.
james irvine Bell
A pleasant journey through times past.

As always the Herriot stories bring to life the richness and nostalgia for times past. These tales are always delightful and so easily read.
Števo Olejník
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So easy reading, also fun and timetimes sad. Mr. Herriot had a beautiful and interesting life and I am happy he shared it with us :).
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Herriotti reklaamiti mingi aeg - siis kui need raamatud ilmusid, 90ndate algusepoole - välja kui uut Durrelli. Durrellist on asi muidugi kaugel kui mitte arvestada fakti, et ka Herriotti raamatutes esineb igasugu loomi palju ja tihedasti. Kuna ta aga meenutab oma loomaarstina töötatud aastaid siis need loomad on tavalised Inglismaa maapiirkonna koerad-kassid-sead-lehmad, igasugu eksootilisi nabasigasid, kapibaarasid ja otselotte ei esine üldse ja Herriotti raamatu(te)s esinevad loomad ka peamise ...more
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: animal lovers,complete story chapter lovers
Shelves: all-time-faves
Loved all the James Herriot books. My parents began to read them when I was maybe 10 or so and they would laugh out loud but I was far too cool to read what my parents did until one day I had a miserable toothache/earache and to take my mind off it I began to read one of this series of books. I too ended up laughing and simply being transported away to a different time, yet with places that seemed comfortingly familiar. (I'm from Yorkshire originally and was living there at this time.) I wrote m ...more
Maggie Curry
I discovered while reading this book that "James Herriot" was a pseudonym. I found that very interesting, and also a little disappointing. I find it easier to relate to a non-fiction author when they are telling their own personal story. Though Herriot's experiences are his, I felt that he removed himself a bit from the situation by not using his name. Something I really enjoy about his books is the fact that every chapter is it's own little story. In this particular selection, my favourite one ...more
Quentin Feduchin
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
'There are funny cases, sad cases, farm animals and pets, downright dialect-speaking farmers, ladies of refinement, hard-bitten NCOs and, of course, the immortal Siegried and Tristan'
Sunday Times.

'Another always hilariously funny'
Sunday Telegraph.

Do you want to know about being a vet in the north country of Great Britain? You will know something after reading this, written in 1976.
It's really amusing and tremendously informative.
You will love it. It starts slowly but it's a slow burn
Apr 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Incidents that didn't get into the earlier ones and now spliced into a memoir of the early part of WWII. It is typical of the series and quite amusing. My mother, raised on a farm, wondered why anyone would want to read about veterinary practice back when you had so little to work with. As far as she was concerned it would be all dirt, blood, late nights, emergency call-outs and frantic farmers. That's true, of course, but when you're far away and in this case it's both time and distance, you ca ...more
James signed up for military service in the Second World War, and he is finally called up. He heads off to RAF training, and finds himself desperately homesick for Yorkshire. Although he does write about some of the RAF training, most of it is used as an introduction to a story about his life as a vet, when something happens that reminds him of something from his professional life. Although there are some incredibly funny moments, this book seemed to have a lot more of the poignant stories.
"A severe case of World War Two takes James Herriot away from his vet's life in the Dales and into a training camp somewhere in England ...

"Square-bashing in his uniform of RAF blue, he daydreams of the livestock he left behind him."
~~back cover

Since the author doesn't care much for military life, (he'd much rather be home with his pregnant wife!), most things that happen remind him of a case back in the Dales, before he entered the RAF. Interesting and humorous reading, as always.
Manoj Gupta
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Inimitable British wit and Herriot's lovely style

It is impossible to review Herriot's books in a few words. The beautiful description of Yorkshire, the simple yet lifelike characterisation of not only the humans but even the animals in each chapter and the essential warmth of the author himself shines through each incident narrated with a dry humour that cannot be matched
Rebecca Haslam
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
I finished this book quickly, as I found it the least enjoyable of the three under James' name, and I was glad to be done with it. Again with the previous books, there was a lot of animal based stories, as expected, but there was just something about it that meant I struggled through various chapters.
Orsi Nagy
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 stars only because he used too many veterinary technical terms and it took me some time to understand sometimes (I didn't want to use a dictionary). The stories are funny and often heartwarming, and they are nicely written.
Salomé Esteves
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
You have to love a book that ends with the sentence "This was where everything started".
From page 1, I fell in love with this story. It's very funny and quirky. James Herriot must have been a lovely person to meet. I highly recommend it :)
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, cozy
Another gem, covering the time when the author was in training for his military service. Homesick and exhausted, he fondly reminisces about some of his interesting veterinary cases. He also sneaks away a few times to see his newborn baby. Recommended.
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Brilliant as always, this one contains a few of my favourite stories and anecdotes both from life pre and post his marriage, a great combination! And as always, his love of the animals and the countryside he worked in shines through!
Herriot en sus primeros dias de instruccion en la RAF (marchar, saludar, corre), animado por nostalgias y anécdotas de su practica en Darrowby, y de Helen.

No es su mejor libro, disfruté inmensamente los otros, pero no asi este.
another fun Herriot book full of adventures and mis adventures amongst the rich and varied populous of people and animals in Yorkshire. For a gentle, amusing and poignant read about a time, place and strong-charactered people ... settling down with this book is an afternoon well spent.
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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

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
  • Vet in a Spin
  • The Lord God Made Them All
  • Every Living Thing  (All Creatures Great and Small, #5)
  • All Creatures Great and Small
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful (All Creatures Great and Small)
  • All Things Wise and Wonderful