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Search tags: Gerald-Durrell
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review 2017-02-03 00:13
Daydreaming Of The Adventures
Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons: A Journey to the Flora and Fauna of a Unique Island - Gerald Durrell

I really enjoy Durrell's books. Both for the adventures and the education he provides. This one was short, a very quick read. Written later in his life, it concentrates a bit more on the conservation aspects than his earlier works. I have to wonder what it would have been like to have accompanied him on his adventures. Just the thought will provide me with many hours of daydreaming!

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review 2017-01-24 00:11
Alas, Poor Cuthbert!
Three Singles to Adventure - Gerald Durrell

Durrell set out to British Guina in 1950 to obtain animals for zoos in Great Britain. He, and his fellow travelers, had what seemed like countless adventures in doing so. Durrell excels in describing the animals he was after, and in setting the scenes where they were found. Also the safekeeping and care of the animals he obtained. His exploits, no matter how dangerous, were written with a great humor. When you read the saga of poor Cuthbert, you cannot help but laugh.
This is an easy read, and moves along quickly. The only reservation that I have, and you really do have to discount it when you consider the era it was written in, is the somewhat assumed racial superiority of the author. Even with that being taken into account, it would be a great book for younger readers.

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text 2017-01-10 01:09
A Zoo in My Luggage - Gerald Durrell,Ralph Thompson

This is another enjoyable and amusing book by Gerald Durrell, an account of one his animal-collecting expeditions to Bafut in the British Cameroons in West Africa. I didn´t know where this was and had to look it up in my atlas; the country must now have changed its name. Previously, while collecting animals in that country, Durrell had been permitted to stay in the Palace of the Fon of Bafut. I don´t know what a Fon is, neither could I find the word in any dictionary, but Durrell states that he was a “potentate”. The Fon in question has innumerable wives and hordes of children; he is tall, elderly, and extremely entertaining. Durrell had written about the Fon following a previous stay with him, but had become afraid that his portrait of him might have been “open to misconstruction” and the Fon might have felt that Durrell had portrayed him as a senile alcoholic. So prior to the present trip he writes to the Fon asking with some trepidation whether he, his wife Jacquie and his team might again be allowed to enjoy his hospitality. It turned out however that the Fon had been most flattered by the unexpected fame he had encountered after being depicted in depth in Durrell´s book (I don´t know yet which one that was); many Europeans had visited the Fon with Durrell´s book in their hands, and the Fon had ended up autographing all these books, as though he himself had been the author! Durrell and wife are accommodated in the Fon´s Rest House and their extra team of two arrives later; many of the locals begin to queue up outside with animals (“beef”) they have collected to sell to them, news of their arrival having hastily spread. We´re apprised of the antics of a baby black-eared squirrel they receive, called Squill-bill small and of Bug-eyes, a needle-clawed lemur. On reading Durrell´s books we realize that each individual animal has its own distinct personality, just as we humans do. When talking to the Fon and the other locals, Durrell and the others use a form of pidgin English, only half of which I for one could understand. The Durrells and the Fon enjoy many entertaining get-togethers, with much dancing, singing and drinking, not least the latter. They are presented with many monkeys, and one of their favourites is a half-grown female baboon called Georgina. She has “a wicked sense of humour”, and this leads to many both amusing and less amusing escapades. Back in England, Georgina runs riot in a large department store, so they require the aid of two constables together with Durrell´s sister Margo to capture her. At the end of the book, Durrell by a stroke of serendipity finds a suitable place to deposit his animals and set up his zoo – in Jersey. Durrell is a master story-teller and recounts innumerable riotous episodes. To sum up, another delightfully entertaining book by Gerald Durrell, though perhaps it does not quite reach the level of “My family and other animals”, which is my favourite. The writing is excellent, there are many fascinating

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review 2016-11-22 19:06
Seriously funny!
My Family and Other Animals - Gerald Durrell

I read this after someone here on BL recommended it to me, and it's now one of my favorite books. What a crazy, whacky family--but I love them. Mrs. Durrell is an overwhelmed widow doing her best to raise a family of colorful characters, and she does her best to balance all their eccentricities with the harshness of reality and everything that being a widow with four children entails. PBS now has a series called The Durrells on Corfu. The series is inspired by Gerry Durrell's family's adventures recounted in this and the other two books that makes up the Corfu trilogy. The tv series is good, but yeah, the book is better. This was a great read that made me laugh out loud and has me thinking that sometimes the best way to be happy is to learn to let go and just enjoy the ride life provides. Highly recommended!

 

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review 2016-05-06 22:19
Corfu doesn't sound like it's real
Birds, Beasts, and Relatives - Gerald Durrell

Remember when I reviewed Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals? Well, I was so impressed by it that I went  ahead and requested the second in the trilogy (did I mention it was a memoir trilogy?) and it was a pretty good time. Birds, Beasts, and Relatives contains more anecdotal tales of the Durrell family when they lived in Corfu, Greece in the 1930s. I loved how it started with the family discussing the popularity of the first book and how embarrassed they were at how Gerald aka Gerry portrayed them all...and then he wrote a follow-up. #troll (Yes, I used a hashtag. Hashtags are hilarious.) The family dynamics highly amuse me as well as the antics that they all get up to as foreigners in a seemingly idyllic setting. (You saw the photo at the top of the post so you know I'm not lying.) I will warn you that because of the time period that this was written there are a few problematic moments such as the discussion of individuals of different skin colors and sexual orientations. If you can look at it through the lens of 'this was written back in the day' then you'll be fine as the mentions are sporadic and brief (and don't really make a huge impact on the story as a whole since each chapter can be read separately). If you're looking for a really quick story about a quirky family living somewhere that almost seems mythical then you can't go wrong with Birds, Beasts, and Relatives.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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