The setting of this book is the beautiful picturesque Greek island of Corfu. A young Gerald Durrell and his somewhat eccentric family set off from cold, depressing England and arrive as if in a dream on the sunny island of Corfu.This island is a veritable treasure of animal life and olive groves.In the narrative, Gerald takes the reader on his explorations of the island. With him, the reader visits old islanders and shares in their bread and olive oil, finds a scorpion and the cure for its poison and even observes a women giving birth in a room where no males are allowed!
The book is interspersed with mention of Spiro, a family friend named after the patron saint of the island, as are many male islanders.Spiro is a colourful, refreshing character who would have married the author's patient if somewhat vague mother, if he was'nt already married.
However, most emphasis is placed on the explorations of the author and his findings of animal life all over the island. As the story unfolds, the reader is introduced to various interesting animals and insects such as the Trapdoor spider, Quasimodo the pigeon and a scops owl which the author keeps in his bedroom during the day and lets out to hunt at night.
Most of these creatures are met with some contempt by the family, all except mother, who as mentioned previously has a most forgiving and patient nature. This provides a funny and interesting story as Larry with his head in the clouds, Leslie with his love of guns and Margo with her tendancy to acne each in turn express their disgust, horror or occasionally, affection for the animals which Gerald keeps as pets.
The review of this Book prepared by Farzana Ahmed
This is the story of Gerald Durrell's childhood on the Greek island of Corfu and his relationship with his family and some interesting local characters, like Spiro, the taxi driver and Theodore, a scientist who taught Durrell much about the animals and nature of the island and remained a good friend of the family after they moved back to England. The family were a collection of eccentrics: Mother is described as being always either knitting or cooking; oldest brother Larry, who was a budding writer at that time, was always inviting strange artists to come and visit; middle brother Leslie was an outdoor and hunting nut; and sister Margo was always worried about her appearance. Durrell describes his family and some of their adventures, the nature and animals of the island, the animals he kept as pets, and the teachers who tried to educate him with varying success.
The review of this Book prepared by Jóhanna
Mark Johnson on 9/20/2016 11:52:33 AM says: I found the book very boring because nothing much happened and the characters weren't interesting enough. I know it's supposed to be factual but I just don't like biographies or autobiographies.
Agastya Chowdhry on 6/26/2016 6:45:58 AM says: At the start of My Family and Other Animals, a memoir of
Gerald Durrell's childhood, the grey English skies become
too depressing for the Durrell family. Making the decision
to move somewhere hotter, they sell the house that they
have just bought and relocate to Corfu, an island to the
west of mainland Greece. Nobody in the family speaks
Greek, but that doesn't worry them. A local taxi driver,
who has spent eight years living in Chicago, makes friends
with the family and looks after them. Mrs Durrell tells the
taxi driver that she wants a villa with a bathroom, so he
finds them the only one on Corfu. They settle down. They
meet all sorts of people on the island, and friends come
and go from England.
Gerry, the youngest member of the family, turns the
family villa into a zoo, bringing in a tortoise named
Achilles, scorpions, snakes, baby magpies and a seagull
named Alecko. One funny story follows another, as the
other members of the family cross paths with dangerous
animals in unexpected places around the house at any time
of the day or night.
on 4/6/2016 6:29:28 AM says: I liked this book because it had some humorous bits, and factual information, but at times it went on for to long!