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So while I was reading (or should I say rereading) All Things Wise and Wonderful (James Herriot's third veterinarian memoir omnibus, containing Vets Might Fly and Vet in a Spin), I realised that although it presents the author's wartime experiences training to become a pilot in the RAF (Royal Air Force), the frame narrrative of the author's RAF sessions and experiences, interspersed with and by remembrances of animals both great and small, of cases seen and treated both successfully and unsuccessfully, with both joyful and sometimes sadly tragic outcomes, really does not focus much on the actual horrors of WWII, on Nazi atrocities, on the bombing of England, but generally and primarily on the specific training sessions, on the author's personal experiences trying to learn how to become a pilot (and how, after his training is complete, an old medical issue arrises and proverbially clips James Herriot's wings) Now personally, that WWII is always present but not really overused or even featured that much as a flesh and blood scenario at all (and obviously seen and approached as secondary compared to the description and depiction of James Herriot's personal pilot training stories and of course the animal cases featured, the cows, dogs, cats etc encountered and given treatment) has been very much appreciated and enjoyed, but I guess I can also understand that some readers might well not consider All Things Wise and Wonderful as serious enough with regard to the representation of WWII, that they might be frustrated and annoyed that there really is never any actual criticism or even condemnation of Nazi Germany (although I for one consider this rather a positive, as the main focus and themes of All Things Wise and Wonderful are James Herriot's experiences as a pilot in training and as a veternarian, and it would feel rather strange and uncomfortable, not to mention a wee bit off topic if there had been musings on WWII or on Naziism, the Holocaust and the like).With regard to the veterinarian episodes presented in All Things Wise and Wonderful, while I have personally found them as wonderful, as entertaining and as evocative as the first two James Herriot omnibuses (and consider the author's memoirs comfort reading pure), I do leave a bit of a potential caveat that there indeed are some rather heavyduty and sad scenarios portrayed (such as the suicide of a dog owner who cannot handle that his faithful canine companion has had to be euthanised) Therefore, if All Things Wise and Wonderful is read by children (and older children above the age of ten or eleven do indeed often read James Herriot) this and a few other similarly problematic storylines might well need to be discussed, as there could be a few uncomfortable questions that arise And further, finally, I also am aware of the fact that certain readers have in the past somewhat chafed at James Herriot's humourous and in no way all that ashamed or contrite depictions of going repeatedly AWOL from his RAF training to visit his pregnant wife (something that I for one both much understand and even accept if not rather condone, but I do know and appreciate that this could rub some individuals very much the wrong way). James Herriot (James Alfred Wight) continues his story as war encompasses his world and the things he loves become distant I love the Herriot books and have worn out several copies of them I recommend that you try to start at the first, the beginning of the story and follow it through The only draw back is it can put a longing in your heart that may never quite be fully met. I recently read an online article about James Herriot (aka Alf Wight) in which I learned of his lifelong battle with severe depression With no real knowledge of Herriot outside of his professional accomplishments, I read his first book casually; cute stories about a budding British veterinarian and his furry, lovable patients in 1930’s farmland What could bepleasant and lighthearted, right? Well, as is true for many things in life, Herriot’s stories actually run deeper than the superficiality of a cute cover and the sunny image of a loving, passionate veterinarian portrayed in his books It seems that these animals were not only his professional passion, but a major source of solace for a frequently troubled soul.As a social worker by profession, and an individual who struggles with depression myself, I can attest to the healing power of our fourlegged companions It’s never been any surprise to me that the deepest, most tender souls are often the most devout animallovers With that in mind, I read All Things Wise Wonderful from a different perspective and discovered an entirely new understanding of this incredible man who found peace in helping, befriending, and respecting the underappreciated animals of the world The very animals that likely added immense purpose and color to his otherwise troublesome and difficult world Still cute and heartwarming, but also deeply profound. I will forever have a soft spot in my heart for all things Herriot I read the children’s books to my children over and over again and we have visited the town of Thirsk in Yorkshire and the James Herriot Museum, which we loved This book however, has been my least favorite so far Don’t get me wrong I still liked it very much, just not nearly as much as the others that I’ve read I didn’t particularly care for the start of each chapter with the RAF/WWII anecdotes If it had been just war stories, I would have been fine with it But then it would go off in a clumsy sort of way to his prewar vet days and that was a bit distracting. [ Read Pdf ] ♵ All Things Wise an Wonderful ⚐ The third volume in the multimillion copy bestselling seriesReaders adored James Herriot's tales of his life as a Yorkshire animal doctor in All Creatures Great and Small and All Things Bright and Beautiful Now here's a third delightful volume of memoirs rich with Herriot's own brand of humor, insight, and wisdomIn the midst of World War II, James is training for the Royal Air Force, while going home to Yorkshire whenever possible to see his very pregnant wife, Helen Musing on past adventures through the dales, visiting with old friends, and introducing scores of new and amusing characteranimal and human alikeHerriot enthralls with his uncanny ability to spin a most engaging and heartfelt yarnMillions of readers have delighted in the wonderful storytelling and everyday miracles of James Herriot in the over thirty years since his delightful animal stories were first introduced to the world In the course of my successive rereads of James Herriot's books as a child, I would routinely skip this one, which I thought of as the sad one It is sad In it, Herriot covers the years during World War II, including his service in the Royal Air Force It is no heroic, chestthumping saga He talks about homesickness, about missing his wife and worrying about the birth of their first child, and about being lonely and scared It's not as happy or bubbly as some of his other books, but, now that I've reread it as a cardcarrying adult, I now realize it may be the most touching of all the books Herriot doesn't worry too much about strict chronology, and he doesn't try to hide the fact that most of the time his RAF life serves only as a backdrop to his memoirs, stitched in with hasty segues Some of the anecdotes told in this book are the most affecting of all of his stories There are many tearjerkers: some for very sad stories, but many for heartbreakingly joyous ones, told amongst desperate situations In this book lurk Blossom, the cow who came home; Oscar the catabouttown; Debbie the Christmas cat; and Jingo and Skipper, best friends It's a wonderful, stirring book, and shouldn't be missed Even if it is sad. An excellent continuance of Herriot's life as a Yorkshire vet His stories are warm and wonderful and some are very sad If the story of the town mischief maker and his dog didn't put a lump in your throat you have to be made of stone I would have given this 4.5 stars if I could Highly recommended. While this book is filled withgreat tales of Herriot's life as a veterinarian, he starts each chapter with a paragraph or two about his time in the Royal Air Force Just enough to explain what he is doing at the time and how the activity triggers memories of the work in his animal practice.I have to be honest, for awhile I was thinking of giving this just three stars Which would have meant I liked it, but not as much as his other books But then I realized I was comparing it to All Creatures Great And Small, which I could start all over again every time I get to the final page I wasn't feeling that complete absorption in this book or that same connection to the human and animal characters I know that it is unfair to read any author's works that way, but I couldn't help myself There was simply something so magical about ACGAS, and I wasn't seeing the same thing in this book, which feltlike a collection of bittersweet essays rather than a connected story.Then I remembered what I had noticed while reading All Things Bright And Beautiful In that book Herriot dug deeper into his stories to showthan what might appear on the surface And I realized that he did the same thing in this book There were deeply moving stories that dealt with depression and how pets can ease a person's mental anguish Another told of a wandering man who spent his life on the road with only his dog for companionship Herriot was very interested in this man, wondering why he lived the way he did and even (it seemed to me) was a little envious of him When the man leaves the area again we are left with a few hints of the mystery of his life, but we know nothing for sure.In his real life Alf Wight suffered from depression and a recurring health issue that I think must have been horrendous to deal with In this book, he goe through yet another operation to try to solve this issue But since he never gives details about the condition, when I read the biography that his son wrote about his life, I was surprised to see what he had dealt with for so long Anyway, the condition was responsible for Wight/Herriot leaving the Air Force much earlier than he expected, and we end the book back where we belong, getting off the bus in Darrowby, ready to start normal life again.I had two favorite pieces here: the chapters concerning Ned Finch and his expectations What were they and would they ever be fulfilled? And I just loved the tale of Oscar the cat whose real name turned out to be Tiger What a special kitty he was!I'm glad I read this again, especially now that I knowabout the author's real life and can see some of theprivate thoughts reflected in the pages here And now I am on to the next book, number four of five. I just adore these books I can't help it Herriot may not be the most polished author but his books have a sense of warmth around them and I feel like I know Helen, Tristan, Siegfried and James I love that they are real people and wish I could go and visit them, they just seem so lovely Tristan's antics in this book are hysterical and James' reaction to becoming a new father priceless I love it Love I'm going to wait to read the fourth for a little because I'm sad it's the last one I was turned off by the sentimentality but so many good stories about animals and the people that love them, so if that's your thing, that's your thing and you'll probably love this.