Poonam's Reviews > My Family and Other Animals

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
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's review
Mar 15, 2011

really liked it
Read from March 15 to 17, 2011

Gerald Durrel's book is account of his family's 5-year stay in Greek island of Corfu. The strength of this book is detailed, almost lyrical writing that lets you visualize the scene just as it may have been. Book is seasoned with humorous events of his family members each with their eccentric habits and characteristics and peccadilloes of his queer variety of pets.

I can only imagine from the account of book, that 10-year-old Gerry's room was a menagerie of sorts (of course, to the exasperation of the family) - pigeon, tortoise, water-snakes, geckos, magpies, octopus, dragon-fly, butterflies, mantid, terrapin, etc. He also owned 3 dogs (two of them famously named as Widdle and Puke) and a black-backed gull called Alecko.

Of the family members, his mother (to whom the book is dedicated) and 18-year-old sister (who nurses a broken heart for brief period of time in the book) are of sweet disposition; then there is a shooter/hunter Leslie (who takes usual aims at hares, woodcocks, snipes et al) and my favorite character Larry who is resembles delightful, 'spectator' Bongs I have grown up with - kinds who have opinion and knowledge about anything, but can easily sleep through disaster and be non-chalant about it too. Also, they are quick to disdain anyone Else's accomplishments, not out of malice, but because they genuinely believe everything can be easily done. Yet, they can hardly be motivated to try out things themselves.

I found several events in the book involving the family hilarous; Gerald's commentary about his pets and quarry amusing; and most of all I found all the details supplied by him about nature, animals, pets and that era enlightening. I learnt a lot.
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03/15/2011 page 213
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