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.
This report 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.
This report prepared by Jˇhanna