My Family and Other Animals (Penguin Essentials) (English and Spanish Edition)

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9780140282597: My Family and Other Animals (Penguin Essentials) (English and Spanish Edition)

Soaked in the sunshine of Corfu, where the author lived as a boy, this delightful book tells of Gerald Durrell's early life with his 'family and other animals'.Brought vividly to life are the extraordinary members of the Durrell family and theirmany eccentric hangers-on, as well as the bizarre menagerie Gerry adopts for closer study. The procession of creatures he brings back to the strawberry-pink, the daffodil-yellow or the snow-white villa includes toads and tortoises, bats and butterflies, scorpions and geckos, ladybirds, glow-worms, octopuses and rose-beetles, Quasimodo the pigeon, the puppies Widdle and Puke and, of course, the Magenpies.

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Review:

As a self-described "champion of small uglies," English writer Gerald Durrell (1925-1995) devoted his life to writing and the preservation of wildlife, from the Mauritius pink pigeon to the Rodriques fruit bat. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the Greek island of Corfu, but ended up as a delightful account of his family's experiences that were, according to him, "rather like living in one of the more flamboyant and slapstick comic operas."

As a 10-year-old boy, Gerry left England for Corfu with "all those items that I thought necessary to relieve the tedium of a long journey: four books on natural history, a butterfly net, a dog, and a jam-jar full of caterpillars all in imminent danger of turning into chrysalids." Durrell's descriptions of his family and its many eccentric hangers-on (he stresses that "all the anecdotes about the island and the islanders are absolutely true") are highly entertaining, as is the procession of toads, scorpions, geckos, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, the puppies Widdle and Puke, and the Magenpies. This is a lovely book.

About the Author:

Gerald Durrell was born in 1925 in India. His family eventually settled on the island of Corfu, where his interest in wildlife, a cause to which he would dedicate his life, first grew. He travelled extensively on zoological expeditions, and made over seventy television programmes on wildlife subjects. In 1982 he was awarded the OBE. Encouraged to write by his brother Lawrence, his first book, The Overloaded Ark (1953) became a bestseller, and he went on to write 36 other titles. He died in 1995.

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Gerald Durrell
Published by Penguin Books Ltd (1999)
ISBN 10: 0140282599 ISBN 13: 9780140282597
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Durrell, Gerald
Published by Penguin Books Ltd (1999)
ISBN 10: 0140282599 ISBN 13: 9780140282597
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