My Family and Other Animals

Author: Gerald Durrell | Publisher: Penguin

You will all be delighted to hear that I finally, FINALLY finished reading My Family and Other Animals. Boy was that a slog-fest! I’m not sure what I can say about this book that hasn’t already been said, but I’ll try…

I’m not exactly sure why I found this book so hard going. It came in a 3 book volume, which I think was a bit daunting. And there was an awful lot of lengthy description of insects doing the nasty… insects are not my thing…

That being said, by the time I got to the end, I was sorry it was over. I’m actually thinking about reading book 2… this may be madness, considering how long it took me to get through book 1…

I fell in love with the whole Durrell family, who were refreshingly eccentric and funny and smart. I loved the way the story was told, in many ways with the sort of oblivious innocence that children do have at 10 (the age the author was when they went to Corfu). Their adventures amused me, and they had what could only be described as “character”.

The descriptive prose is also beautiful. You get a real sense of Corfu from the vivid word pictures, and, while I’m sure it can’t all have been, it came across as quite idyllic. My Family and Other Animals is escapist reading at it’s finest.

I did think, from time to time, that capturing and making pets of all the animals was a little cruel. And, at points, I’m sorry to say that Gerald Durrell came across as the worst kind of rather grotesque child, fascinated by slimy things mating, and poking and prodding and stuffing dead things.

That being said, I’m thoroughly enamoured, laughed out loud at several points, and now need to know more… I’ve entirely forgotten why I found it such hard work to begin with!

I do love it when a classic lives up to expectations…

Rating: 5/5


Has anyone else read My Family and Other Animals? What did you think?

Have you seen my 6 month anniversary competition? Is anyone planning on joining us?

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh wow! Great review 😀
    I have been intrigued by this Classic since I heard it’s title! And it looks like I should give it a chance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Madam Mim says:

      I actually loved it, though I struggled a bit at first. Definitely reading the second one now! Let me know what you think if you read it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always been a huge fan of Gerald Durrell’s books, ever since I was young. I’ve got all my original ones – I think there are about 20 – most of which are out of print now I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Madam Mim says:

      Oh wow! I love having the original, or out of prints editions of books. Its a bit of obsession, like first editions… I think a lot of people do read the Gerald Durrell books young… It just passed me by. I’m so glad it gave it a shot and persevered though, because it was really lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cool that you fell so in love with this family- really need to read this! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Madam Mim says:

      Thank you 🙂 I kind of did, though I definitely struggled to get into the book at first. My ongoing challenge to read “classic books”!

      Liked by 1 person

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