ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

My Family and Other Animals - Gerald Durrell

Updated on April 19, 2018

I recently received 'My Family and other Animals' by Gerald Durrell as a birthday present from a friend. The friend in question had owned a copy of the book since childhood and had highly recommended it. Having read it, I can now understand her enthusiasm.

Gerald Durrell was a naturalist and owner of the Jersey Zoological park in the Channel Islands; and 'My Family' is a humorous take on part of Gerald's childhood spent in Corfu. It focuses heavily on the wildlife young Gerald comes across on the island, and we see how this shaped his interests and future career.

The story starts with the Durrell family moving from England to Corfu in 1935 and Durrell paints a fantastic picture of his family and their differing personalities. There is his widowed mother, the eldest son Larry (the famous author Laurence Durrell), gun mad second son Leslie and sister Margo. They are joined at various points by the local taxi-driver and odd-job man Spiro and Gerald's great friend Dr Theodore Stephanides. It is this last character who largely inspires Gerald's interest in the natural world.

As the story progresses, more characters appear (all of them larger than life) and we hear about the many adventures and incidents Gerald gets wrapped up in.

One of the best things about this book for me, is how Durrell gives such human personalities to each of the animals he encounters. There is Achilles the Tortoise, who crawling whenever someone calls his name; Dodo the dog, who keeps popping her leg out of it's socket when excited; and one of my favourite moments, the epic duel between Cecily the mantis and Geronimo the gecko. There is little wonder Durrell followed a career with animals; his adoration and wonderment of the natural world leaps off the page.

Another thing I love about this book is Durrell's unique style of prose. His descriptions are fantastic; they really bring Corfu and its array of animals to life (tourism to the island increased dramatically after the book's publication) and there are many moments in the book which will have you giggling along with the young Gerald as he tells his tale.

Although presented as an autobiographical tale, there are inaccuracies and skipped parts in the tale, but this doesn't detract from the book. If anything, it adds to its charm and readability, making this a fantastic book for a quick, relaxing read or for anybody who wants to escape to another, simpler time and world.

The first ten minutes of the film version of 'My Family and Other Animals'.

Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)