Kimber Silver's Reviews > Birds, Beasts and Relatives

Birds, Beasts and Relatives by Gerald Durrell
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it was amazing
bookshelves: classic, coming-of-age, epic-reads, family-drama, favorites, humor, inspiring, must-read, young-adult

"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 a long, rust-eroded scimitar."

"That August, when we arrived, the island lay breathless and sun-drugged in the smouldering, peacock-blue sea under a sky that had faded to a pale powder-blue by the fierce rays of the sun."

Birds, Beasts and Relatives is the second book in the trilogy. Yes, I started with this book instead of the first one. I should be banned from reading any series. I always start somewhere in the middle! Still, I had no trouble diving right in and polished off all 294 pages in the space of an afternoon. I simply couldn’t stop. The writing is deliciously cinematic. I could hear each character as I basked in the sights, sounds and smells of the island. Gerry allowed me to accompany him on his daily ventures, watching him as he absorbed himself in the discovery of nature. His free-spirited escapades were to the vexation of his family, who wanted no part of the zoo he was building in his room.

‘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.

The humor, intertwined with the family theatre, and the island natives' intriguing ways had me rolling with laughter. The characters are full of life and I feel that I know each of them personally.

I will admit that the bugs on the cover gave me pause. However, to my delight, it's not just about the creatures, and I learned more about the beasts of the earth than I ever imagined. This boy’s curious mind had me interested as well. It took me back to my youth when the world seemed magical. It’s something we lose as time marches on, and it’s a shame.

Gerald Durrell’s prose is gloriously vibrant, his dialogue on point. I couldn’t have asked for more. I left the last pages wrapped in the warm fuzzy glow of this family’s splendid life.

Heart-warming, deep and hilarious, the story reminded me to see the magic in everyday things with a childlike curiosity and to laugh often. As a result, I will forever be a fan of Gerald Durrell.

I recommend Birds, Beasts and Relatives to readers of any age. It's absolutely charming!
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Reading Progress

February 23, 2019 – Shelved
February 23, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
May 27, 2019 – Started Reading
June 16, 2019 –
page 100
40.32%
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: classic
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: coming-of-age
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: epic-reads
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: family-drama
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: favorites
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: humor
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: inspiring
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: must-read
June 19, 2019 – Shelved as: young-adult
June 19, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 59 (59 new)


message 1: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Walters You’re awesome- middle girl! Lol
GREAT passionate review.

So?? You are giving the rest of us permission to start in the middle of things? I like this!! 🥰


Kimber Silver Elyse wrote: "You’re awesome- middle girl! Lol
GREAT passionate review.

So?? You are giving the rest of us permission to start in the middle of things? I like this!! 🥰"


Elyse, you are adorable! Thank you so much. 🌹
Starting a series in the middle has worked out for me so far. I say give it a go! 😉 You gave me quite a chuckle, my friend.😃


message 3: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Fabulous review, Kimber! I am glad this gave you warm fuzzies, lol!


message 4: by Dita (new)

Dita This is such a great review!


Kimber Silver Meredith wrote: "Fabulous review, Kimber! I am glad this gave you warm fuzzies, lol!"

Thank you, Meredith! It was such a delightful read.😊


Kimber Silver Dita wrote: "This is such a great review!"

Thank you, Dita! 😃


message 7: by Diane (new)

Diane Wallace Another wonderful review, Kimber ;)


message 8: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Sounds wonderful, Kimber.


message 9: by Paula (new)

Paula Kalin Charming review, Kimber!


Kevin Ansbro Hot damn! Call the po-lice and the fireman!
What a review, Kimber!
: )
Gerald Durrell is one of my literary heroes and your fab appraisal has captured the quintessence of this magical trilogy.
I adore the great man's descriptive imagery and love it when new readers discover his undoubted genius! Brilliant!


message 11: by Cindy (new)

Cindy What a lovely review!! I saw this series on PBS and it was delightful; however, the books are always better!


message 12: by JanB (new)

JanB I struggle with not starting at the beginning of a series and when there are a ton of books I just don’t read any of them. I like your strategy! And your review is lovely 😊


message 13: by Candi (new) - added it

Candi A marvelous review, Kimber! I just discovered the trilogy recently too and was charmed by Gerry's escapades and his vivid writing. I'm reading in order, but I can imagine it doesn't very much matter with these!


message 14: by Karen (new)

Karen Fantastic review Kimber!


Kimber Silver Diane wrote: "Another wonderful review, Kimber ;)"

Thank you, Diane! :-)


Kimber Silver Barbara wrote: "Sounds wonderful, Kimber."

The story did resonate with me, Barbara. 😊


Kimber Silver Paula wrote: "Charming review, Kimber!"

Thank you, Paula! 😃


message 18: by Kerri (new) - added it

Kerri Wonderful review! ☺


Kimber Silver Kevin wrote: "Hot damn! Call the po-lice and the fireman!
What a review, Kimber!
: )
Gerald Durrell is one of my literary heroes and your fab appraisal has captured the quintessence of this magical trilogy.
I a..."


Ha! Kevin, you are a hoot!😃
Thank you so much for the kinds words and for writing such a brilliant review that lead me to this splendid book!😊 I can hardly wait to read more of Durell's work!


Kimber Silver Cindy wrote: "What a lovely review!! I saw this series on PBS and it was delightful; however, the books are always better!"

Thank you kindly, Cindy! I've heard the series was good. I might have to try that out. The book was mesmerising! 😊


message 21: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Awesome review!!!!!!!!! :) <3


message 22: by Bren (new)

Bren Kimber I loved your review. I agree we lose the magic with time but at least we get it back when we read!


Kimber Silver JanB wrote: "I struggle with not starting at the beginning of a series and when there are a ton of books I just don’t read any of them. I like your strategy! And your review is lovely 😊"

Thank you, Jan!🌹 I don't mean to start a series in the middle. It just seems to work out that way for me. I'm a bit of a series disaster. 😉


Kimber Silver Candi wrote: "A marvelous review, Kimber! I just discovered the trilogy recently too and was charmed by Gerry's escapades and his vivid writing. I'm reading in order, but I can imagine it doesn't very much matte..."

Thank you so much, Candi! I do think I'll go back and pick up the first one now that I've found this wonderful author. I want all I can get!💕 I'm delighted that you've discovered and enjoyed them too!😊


Kimber Silver Karen wrote: "Fantastic review Kimber!"

Thank you, Karen!😊


Kimber Silver Kerri wrote: "Wonderful review! ☺"

Thank you, Kerri! 🙏


Kimber Silver Deanna wrote: "Awesome review!!!!!!!!! :) <3"

Thank you so much, Deanna! 🌹


Kimber Silver Bren wrote: "Kimber I loved your review. I agree we lose the magic with time but at least we get it back when we read!"

Bren, you couldn't be more right! Thank you so much!🌹😊


message 29: by Laysee (new)

Laysee Delightful review, Kimber. I have Durrell’s first book and look forward to reading it. Here’s to see the magical in the every day and laughing more often.


message 30: by Kimber (last edited Jun 19, 2019 06:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kimber Silver Laysee wrote: "Delightful review, Kimber. I have Durrell’s first book and look forward to reading it. Here’s to see the magical in the every day and laughing more often."

Thank you kindly, Laysee! His writing is so picturesque! I fell in love with this book. I am excited to see what you make of his first book. 😃


message 31: by Bookish Ally (new)

Bookish Ally I LOVE DURRELL! Loved him growing up and so glad you enjoyed his magical world of natural beauty and wonder!!!!!


message 32: by Julie (new)

Julie Lovely review, Kimber!! 🤗


Margie I loved your review, Kimber! I think it's time for me to re-read this series!


message 34: by Ron (new)

Ron Such a good review, and I've done that with trilogies myself (accidentally starting in the middle). Thought for sure this would be a review about bugs, but do love that book cover Kimber. :)


Kimber Silver Bookish Ally wrote: "I LOVE DURRELL! Loved him growing up and so glad you enjoyed his magical world of natural beauty and wonder!!!!!"

This book captured me in a way many never do. Durrell is a magnificent writer. I'm delighted you love his work too Ally!😃


Kimber Silver Julie wrote: "Lovely review, Kimber!! 🤗"

Thank you, Julie! 🌹


Kimber Silver Margie wrote: "I loved your review, Kimber! I think it's time for me to re-read this series!"

Thank you so much, Margie! I didn't expect this story to grab me as it did. Gorgeous writing!💖


Kimber Silver Ron wrote: "Such a good review, and I've done that with trilogies myself (accidentally starting in the middle). Thought for sure this would be a review about bugs, but do love that book cover Kimber. :)"

Thank you, Ron!
Whew! I'm glad it's not just me that stumbles into the middle of things. 😊 This was such a delicious tale I'm still thinking about those hilarious Durrell's!


message 39: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Wonderful review Kimber! 💕🌸


Kimber Silver Maureen wrote: "Wonderful review Kimber! 💕🌸"

So very kind of you, Maureen! 😊🌹


message 41: by Jaidee (new)

Jaidee What a wonderful afternoon you must have had !

Yes take yourself to Corfu and like I advised Candi in one of her reviews you must go to Zakinthos as well :)


message 42: by Jeannie (new)

Jeannie Awesome review, Kimber!


Kimber Silver Jaidee wrote: "What a wonderful afternoon you must have had !

Yes take yourself to Corfu and like I advised Candi in one of her reviews you must go to Zakinthos as well :)"


It was glorious, Jaidee!😊

I thank you for the advice!🙏 I've taken note. I will be going to Greece. I have to see this wondrous place. 💕


Kimber Silver Jeannie wrote: "Awesome review, Kimber!"

Thank you, Jeannie! 🌹


message 45: by Susanne (new)

Susanne  Strong Wonderful review Kimber! Love the beauty of your prose!


Kimber Silver Susanne wrote: "Wonderful review Kimber! Love the beauty of your prose!"

Susanne, you are so very kind! What a wonderful compliment! Thank you!🌹😊


message 47: by Felicia (new)

Felicia Gorgeous review, Kimber 💖


Kimber Silver Felicia wrote: "Gorgeous review, Kimber 💖"

Thank you very much, Felicia! 😊


message 49: by Linda (new) - added it

Linda Kimber, an enthusiastic, delightful, enlightening review!


message 50: by *TUDOR^QUEEN* (new)

*TUDOR^QUEEN* Exquisite review! 😍🔰


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