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Birds, Beasts and Relatives

(Corfu Trilogy #2)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  5,897 ratings  ·  374 reviews

The follow up to My Family and Other Animals and the second book in The Corfu Trilogy, the beloved books that inspired ITV's television series The Durrells.

In this second collection of tales concerning the Durrell family on the island of Corfu, young Gerry continues to be captivated by the fascinating flora and fauna of their adopted home - much to the bemusement and upset of his long suf/>In/>

Kindle Edition, 243 pages
Published April 6th 2017 by Penguin (first published 1969)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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 ·  5,897 ratings  ·  374 reviews

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Kevin Ansbro
"Gollys, Mrs Durrells," he said, his face red with wrath. "Why don'ts yous lets Masters Leslies shoot the son of a bitch?"

In life, Gerald Durrell would light up a room. His books elicit that same warm feeling.
His affection for the natural world lives on in the minds of those of us, who for decades, have enjoyed his magical stories.
This is the second part of his Corfuan trilogy, continuing on from where My Family and Other Animals left off.

The bohemian Durrells have eschewed middle-class Engl
Kimber Silver
"My childhood in Corfu shaped my life. If I had the craft of Merlin, I would give every child the gift of my childhood." —Gerald Durrell

Corfu, Greece, as seen through the eyes of Gerry Durrell, had me digging around for my passport. What a breathtaking world when viewed through his eyes. The animals and other creepy crawlies were enough to keep me reading, but when he delved into the riotously rich characters, I was captivated.

"The island lies off the Albanian and Greek coast-lines like/>"The
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
It takes me awhile to finish Durrell's books. They're not meant to be hurried through. When I do finish I'm a little sad, because I want him to just keep telling me more and more stories.

I was afraid this one might not measure up to the first one, My Family and Other Animals. But this second one was every bit as enchanting and entertaining as the first. The two books give an account of the years the Durrell family spent living on the Greek island of Corfu in the 1930s.

Gerry was the youngest in his fam
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is that time of year when I feel a desperate need for a vacation but I am unable to get away. The next best thing is to take a virtual holiday to Corfu, a Greek island in the sun. For a short spell each day, I looked forward to being back in the company of Gerry Durrell, the ardent ten-year-old aspiring naturalist, his exuberant family and close friends. As with my first introduction to Corfu and the Durrells in My Family and Other Animals, this second book in The Corfu Trilogy is just as charming an ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, travel
'I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to write this book, Gerry.’
‘I second that,’ said Larry. ‘If you publish we’ll sue you in a body.’
Faced with such a firm and united family, bristling in their resolve to prevent me at all costs, there was only one thing I could do. I sat down and wrote this book.

If you've ever read "My Family and other Animals" then you can also delight in more humour from Corfu in the second of the series.

The setting...
Our reasons for packing up and leaving the gloomy shores of England were somewhat nebulous, b
Judith E
Like a gentle sea breeze, Gerald Durrell has created a setting that is meditative, soothing and pure pleasure. His ability to share the humor and quirkiness of his family and friends with the idyllic beauty of Greece and its bountiful creatures is perfect.

‘The Angry Barrels’, the last chapter in this second book of the trilogy, exemplifies the carefree, bountiful, pre-war life the Durrell’s have stumbled upon. It is a beautiful portrait.

This is guilty pleasure reading for me and fulfills my ne
Otis Chandler
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Otis by: Elizabeth
I loved this - book two kept the magic going. Makes me want to move to Corfu in those simpler times. Gerry is ~10 in this novel and spends all his time as a budding naturalist, exploring the island and brining home crazy pets. The funniest parts were some of his animals escapades - such as when he dissected a dead turtle on the porch, or dragged a bear into the house - both had me cracking up.

But as with the first book, what is magical about this book are just the descriptions of life in Corfu - from the locals,
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Birds, Beasts and Relatives is the second of three books in Gerald Durrell's Corfu Trilogy. All three books cover the five years that the Durrell family spent on Corfu, an idyll sadly interrupted by World War II. My review of the first book in the series, My Family and Other Animals, pretty much sums up my delight in all three books - although, I must say, the first book was magical. However, I found myself again laughing out loud at so many of the episodes as Gerry's animals and insects take ov ...more
So when I began listening to this, the second of Gerald Durrell’s Corfu Trilogy,I was thinking this is supposed to be funny, but then I actually caught myself smiling! By the end, when this family had thoroughly taken me in, I was laughing outright. Here, in this book, the naturalist, conservationist and author writes of his youth in Corfu during the thirties. This is a very Victorian, English family, and I don’t usually enjoy the formality and stiffness of Victorian mores. Yet this family is anything b ...more
Feb 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, animals, nonfiction
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 i
Dov Zeller
This book is beautiful, funny, full of reverence, mischief and curiosity. I can't say I loved it as much as the first book of the Corfu trilogy, but maybe that is only because I am no longer surprised by Durrell's storytelling skills.

Some of my favorite comic scenes: the arrival of Max and Donald and the whole first encounter (brilliant). The story of Sally the donkey. Gerry's meal with Countess Mavrodaki. The London interlude and encounter with Mrs. Haddock.

I also really loved read
Jonathan Terrington

This was my personal favourite of Gerald Durrell's works that I read as a child. It is as wittily dry as My Family and Other Animals and the prose is also as rich and lush.

Where Durrell excels, and what I remember him for, is in how he creates an entire book consisting of fragments of short stories. It really reads as an entire story chronicling his life, though many details are no doubt highly exaggerated. If you are a fan of humour, autobiographies, short stories and full novels then this is the boo
Lauren Stoolfire
This memoir is totally addicting and I loved being back with the eccentric Durrell family. No matter how ridiculous things managed to get for them and the real characters that they meet you can't help but smile. Overall, I don't think I fell in love with book two to the same degree as I did for the first in the trilogy, but it was still wonderful. I need to try book three, The Garden of the Gods soon.
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Durrell. Can I please move to Corfu?
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie, TA
This is the second book of the "Corfu trilogy" which I am loving even more.

Its sequel is The Garden of the Gods.
Another memoir about naturalist Gerald Durrell's childhood spent on the Greek island of Corfu before World War II. This memoir is written so that those who haven't read the first volume can read this without a problem. Gerry is less specific with his time frame here. He relates an anecdote about his birthday BEFORE he met Theo, before he had a boat. Here we find out how Gerry met Theo and all the animals they collect. Gerry is really too much! I don't know how his mother could stand having all t ...more
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read the first installment "My Family and other Animals" quite recently I was looking forward to reading more about the young Durrell and his hilariously eccentric family. Continuing the story of Gerry Durrells life on the island of Corfu` As with the first memoir Gerald Durrell demonstrates how his fascination - verging on obsession with all creatures began, and how it really is no surprise that he became the man that he did. His enthusiasm for even the most unappealing creatures is quit ...more
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, owned, nonfiction
This second book of Gerald Durrell's Corfu trilogy isn't quite as good as the first one ("My Family and Other Animals"). However, if you like his style of writing this is worth reading. It has plenty of natural history, funny anecdotes and quirky personalities, making it a pleasant and quick read.
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a charming, witty and warm book.

I have loved 'My Family and Other Animals' now for so long I can hardly remember but oddly enough had never dipped into parts 2 and 3 of the trilogy so evocatively written by Gerald Durrell.

His sheer joy and love of life and his hugely eccentric family living in pre-war Corfu with seemingly no cares in the world comes through in waves of deliciously written prose. Its so gorgeous its a bit like treating yourself to a knickerbocker glory when you fancy an ic
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this second book, I grew to appreciate the author's eccentric family in addition the funny stories and beautifully descriptive prose. If you enjoy nature and have a sense of humor you will probably enjoy this book. I plan to read more of his books.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine your disappointment upon picking up a sequel to discover it’s only another account of the same experience but with all the bits that weren’t good enough to make the first.

Throw in a slightly different perspective on meeting the same characters and it amounts to one of the most disappointing reads of all time.

I didn’t finish this. I was that disappointed. It gets three stars for the writing but I feel cheated!
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sunshine
Most of the time I overrate books I've just finished, since they often have a positive glow about them that takes a while to fade. And then years later I wonder what I saw in them.

With Gerald Durrell, I think it's the opposite--I can remember My Family and Other Animals so well, and I'm sure I sold it short at the time. That book has a durable glow.

This one is also glowing: more funny stories about the Durrell family (their time on Corfu retold, with fewer logistics and more anecdotes), th
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoirs
This is the second book in Gerald Durrell's Corfu trilogy. It probably ought to have been combined with the first into one book. It covers the same time period of this hilarious family's life but is not actually "what comes next". It's just more of same. And it is wonderful. I had a grin on my face while reading it and broke into hysterical cackling giggle fits at times. Great fun. I can't wait to read the last one.
Ian Smith
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometime between 1969 (when it was published) and 1971, I first read this gorgeous book. How do I know? Because on reading it for the first time, I was enthralled by Durrell's delightful description of discovering 'The Sacred Beetle and Others' by Jean Henri Fabre for the first time. So much so, that when an old version of Fabre's classic - the very same version Durrell describes as 'the squat, green book' - came up for sale in our school library, I immediately bought it. And it cost me 4s 6d - ...more
Nov 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This is the second in a trilogy of books about his childhood on Corfu that Gerald Durrell wrote in part to subsidize his collecting habit. Durrell, the brother of Lawrence Durrell, was an author, naturalist, and conservationist. He founded the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Jersey Zoo.

I was first introduced to him by my Seattle grandparents, Wayne and Lorene, who I remember sitting up in their big king-sized bed with me, all of us reading Gerald Durrell books and laughing and stopping
Richard Newton
Another enjoyable yarn from Durrell. I don't think it is quite as good as the first in the trilogy, apart from two chapters 7 and 8, which are very funny. It's slightly odd as a biographical trilogy as they are not in sequence. In fact, they all cover the same time, but cover different stories. Whereas the first book felt like a book, this does feel at times like a series of unrelated anecdotes, and I think if you have read this without reading the first it might feel a bit disjointed. Neverthel ...more
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-recs, meadows
A thoroughly delightful romp through an island so idyllic sounding it rivals even the Swiss Family Robinsons' famously accommodating island. As ever, the descriptions and tales of the author's family had me in stitches, and even the long-winded descriptions of things generally only interesting to a naturalist held my attention this time around. It's one of those that leaves you feeling all nice and clean and thoroughly satisfied by the ending.
I enjoyed the first book of the Corfu Trilogy immensely, but I may have enjoyed this one slightly more. I didn't realize before that the Durrell family stayed on the island of Corfu in Greece for 5 years. So these books cover Gerald's experiences from ages 10 to 15. This book adds in more layers of anecdotes from the family's time on Corfu during those 5 years and recalls more animals that Gerald encountered during that time. This book seems to have been the basic spark of inspiration for more o ...more
Aug 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are few writers who are as skilled at relating an anecdote as Gerald Durrell. His writing has a way of capturing the people, animals and situations that he encounters perfectly; reading this book was almost as good as being in Corfu with Durrell and his madcap family. Reading about the family again was a welcome return after their absense in A Zoo in My Luggage. As the people that Gerals Durrell knows best, they all have well-developed and entertaining personae within the book and are funn ...more
I think I was around 10 years old when I first read Durrell and his adventures in the idyllic island of Corfu. I identified myself with his childhood, thanks to the summers I spent in my maternal grandparents' home - an idyllic village in the middle of coastal yet jungle-ish South Kenara, where we had access to all kinds of animals, pests, pets and we got to see all we could about nature. As I read that short essay in one of my English text books (yeah, that was some fancy syllabus we had then, ...more
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Gerald "Gerry" Malcolm Durrell was born in India in 1925. His elder siblings are Lawrence Durrell, Leslie Durrell, and Margaret Durrell. His family settled on Corfu when Durrell was a boy and he spent his time studying its wildlife. He relates these experiences in the trilogy beginning with My Family and Other Animals, and continuing with Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods. In his books he writes with wry humour an ...more

Other books in the series

Corfu Trilogy (3 books)
  • My Family and Other Animals (Corfu Trilogy, #1)
  • The Garden of the Gods (Corfu Trilogy #3)
“It was my birthday. I lay there savouring the feeling of having a whole day to myself when people would give me presents and the family would be forced to accede to any reasonable requests.” 4 likes
“Per tutta risposta Mosè smise di bere quel nettare russo per guardarlo bene in faccia.
"Ciao vecchio finocchio", lo salutò. E poi ricominciò a bere e ad ubriacarsi.”
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