"My Family and Other Animals", the first in this trilogy, was a childhood favourite of mine, and I was delighted to find it in this package with the other two Corfu books. It tells of the Durrells' lives after their move from drizzly damp England to sunny Corfu. The Durrell family was the real deal; genuine English eccentrics. Oldest brother Larry and Gerald, the youngest, both became writers. Middle brother Leslie, eclipsed by his siblings, unfortunately later evolved into a shady conman, but at the time the books are set those days were yet to come, and he is here portrayed as mad keen on hunting and sporting pursuits. Gerald Durrell, whose fascination with the animal kingdom comes to the fore in these books, later wrote many tales of his own adventures collecting animals for zoos and starting his own zoo on the island of Jersey. But, much as I loved books such as A Zoo in My Luggage, I think My Family and Other Animals was the finest book he ever wrote. He was a natural writer; able to maintain the interest and humour in this true story, although sometimes bending the truth a little to suit (for example, the book reads as though Larry was living en famille, whereas he was actually domiciled elsewhere with his first wife at the time). The author's childhood on Corfu reads like a kind of sunny dream, populated by amazing and sometimes bizarre people who helped encourage his interest in natural history. By turns tender and hilarious, these three books will stay with you long after you have finished reading them.
I really enjoyed this trilogy. The delightful reminiscences and descriptions from Gerald Durrell are sublime. The curious Durrell family had an enviable lifestyle on Corfu and were obviously fond of each other. It is fortunate that while enjoying such license to wander and adventure in home made boats whilst furthering his knowledge of natural history that Gerald came to no harm.
For the older amongst us entranced by the original Durrell Corfu story, this is a rewrite and reorganisation with many more incredible anecdotes, stories and wildlife observations thrown in. Amusing, funny and interesting from start to finish.
This is such an enjoyable trilogy. A fascinating and funny time capsule of life on the Greek island for an ill assorted English family in the 1930's. The characters are amusingly sketched by the youngest of the Durrells and the books are still fresh and endearing.
Well loved, easily read account of Gerald Durrell's childhood in Corfu with his eccentric family. Great for lovers of nature as wonderful descriptions of the wild life and an affectionate account of the local population and various assorted visitors, many of them as eccentric as his family.