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|Read E-pub ⚜ Birds, Beasts and Relatives ⚥ Part coming of age autobiography and part nature guide, Gerald Durrell s dazzling sequel to My Family and Other Animals is based on his boyhood on Corfu, fromtoOriginally published inbut long out of print, Birds, Beasts and Relatives is filled with charming observations, amusing anecdotes, boyhood memories, and childlike wonder This was my personal favourite of Gerald Durrell s works that I read as a child It is as wittily dry as My Family and Other Animals and the prose is also as rich and lush Where Durrell excels, and what I remember him for, is in how he creates an entire book consisting of fragments of short stories It really reads as an entire story chronicling his life, though many details are no doubt highly exaggerated If you are a fan of humour, autobiographies, short stories and full novels then this is This was my personal favourite of Gerald Durrell s works that I read as a child It is as wittily dry as My Family and Other Animals and the prose is also as rich and lush Where Durrell excels, and what I remember him for, is in how he creates an entire book consisting of fragments of short stories It really reads as an entire story chronicling his life, though many details are no doubt highly exaggerated If you are a fan of humour, autobiographies, short stories and full novels then this is the book for you It is a classic in my mind, a book that like the first, everyone should read.Gerald Durrell in this book continues where he left off with his first um, novel volume The opening story, which follows a kind of foreword depicting Durrell s decision to write a sequel, is brilliantly humorous and serves to draw you into the rest of the novel This story as I recall is about Durrell s sister attempting to lose weight medically and ending up getting involved in seances Which all ends up brilliantly chaotic Since this is a book that is autobiographical in nature it tends to jump from story to story with connecting threads between them It s really a journal that follows the life of one young naturalist as he discovers the creatures around him including the ones he lives with and the strange friends of his siblings Sadly this book is currently out of print and I no longer own a copy But no doubt there are copies floating around available for people to get their hands on And if you do get your hands on these books they are worth it, so very worth it The writing remains with me and the character depictions remain with me to this day This is a book about the ordinariness and the extraordinariness of life, the adventures we go on and the characters we meet It is one of the best autobiographical type books I have ever read and I give it the highest recommendation Gollys, Mrs Durrells,he said, his face red with wrathWhy don ts yous lets Masters Leslies shoot the son of a bitchIn life, Gerald Durrell would light up a room and his books elicit that same warm feeling.His affection for the natural world lives on in the minds of those, who for decades, have enjoyed his magical stories.This is the second part of his Corfiot trilogy, continuing from where My Family and Other Animals left off.The bohemian Durrells have eschewed middle class EnglisGollys, Mrs Durrells,he said, his face red with wrathWhy don ts yous lets Masters Leslies shoot the son of a bitchIn life, Gerald Durrell would light up a room and his books elicit that same warm feeling.His affection for the natural world lives on in the minds of those, who for decades, have enjoyed his magical stories.This is the second part of his Corfiot trilogy, continuing from where My Family and Other Animals left off.The bohemian Durrells have eschewed middle class English suburbia for an unconventional life in idyllic Corfu As in the first book, a procession of oddballs, fruit cakes and misfits turn up at their villa.Best supporting character award goes to leathery faced Spiro, whose pidgin English sounds exactly like Stavros, the kebab seller from a 1980s UK comedy sketch show Honest to Gods, Mrs Durells, makes me scarce what that boy finds Fans of Durrell already know of his transcendent skill for observational detail.For example, there s Mrs Haddock, the spiritualist, who is incapable of breathing while speaking, andwhosewordslatchtogether like a daisy chain.And here he describes the beginning of his memorable meal at the Venetian style villa of eccentric Countess Mavrodiki The first course that Demetrios Mustapha set before us was a fine, clear soup, sequinned with tiny golden bubbles of fat, with fingernail sized croutons floating like crisp little rafts on an amber sea How overlooked is Durrell as a writer Seriously, how many writers today can compete with that This bacchanalian feast continued until his pants were fit to burst, and was washed down with red wine which wasas dark as the heart of a dragon.Other characters include Captain Creech, the salty sea dog whose incautious, uncivil bonhomie even in the politest company revolves around tales of Montevidean strumpets and rampant gonorrhoea.This trilogy was a standard school read for British kids of my generation and there is absolutely no reason why his books cannot be read by adults His writing is evidently better than most of the dross that is out there now.If you haven t yet familiarised yourself with Gerald Durrell, and are wasting your time reading books that have men on the cover who, for some reason, have misplaced their shirts, then please find the time to do so Not only a truly gifted writer, he was also a wonderful, wonderful human being My childhood in Corfu shaped my life If I had the craft of Merlin, I would give every child the gift of my childhoodGerald DurrellCorfu, Greece, as seen through the eyes of Gerry Durrell, had me digging around for my passport What a breathtaking world when viewed through his eyes The animals and other creepy crawlies were enough to keep me reading, but when he delved into the riotously rich characters, I was captivated The island lies off the Albanian and Greek coast lines like a loMy childhood in Corfu shaped my life If I had the craft of Merlin, I would give every child the gift of my childhoodGerald DurrellCorfu, Greece, as seen through the eyes of Gerry Durrell, had me digging around for my passport What a breathtaking world when viewed through his eyes The animals and other creepy crawlies were enough to keep me reading, but when he delved into the riotously rich characters, I was captivated The island lies off the Albanian and Greek coast lines like a long, rust eroded scimitar That August, when we arrived, the island lay breathless and sun drugged in the smouldering, peacock blue sea under a sky that had faded to a pale powder blue by the fierce rays of the sun Birds, Beasts and Relatives is the second book in the trilogy Yes, I started with this book instead of the first one I should be banned from reading any series I always start somewhere in the middle Still, I had no trouble diving right in and polished off all 294 pages in the space of an afternoon I simply couldn t stop The writing is deliciously cinematic I could hear each character as I basked in the sights, sounds and smells of the island Gerry allowed me to accompany him on his daily ventures, watching him as he absorbed himself in the discovery of nature His free spirited escapades were to the vexation of his family, who wanted no part of the zoo he was building in his room I don t think it s a good idea for you to write this book, Gerry I second that, said Larry If you publish we ll sue you in a body Faced with such a firm and united family, bristling in their resolve to prevent me at all costs, there was only one thing I could do I sat down and wrote this book.The humor, intertwined with the family theatre, and the island natives intriguing ways had me rolling with laughter The characters are full of life and I feel that I know each of them personally I will admit that the bugs on the cover gave me pause However, to my delight, it s not just about the creatures, and I learnedabout the beasts of the earth than I ever imagined This boy s curious mind had me interested as well It took me back to my youth when the world seemed magical It s something we lose as time marches on, and it s a shame Gerald Durrell s prose is gloriously vibrant, his dialogue on point I couldn t have asked forI left the last pages wrapped in the warm fuzzy glow of this family s splendid life.Heart warming, deep and hilarious, the story reminded me to see the magic in everyday things with a childlike curiosity and to laugh often As a result, I will forever be a fan of Gerald Durrell I recommend Birds, Beasts and Relatives to readers of any age It s absolutely charming It takes me awhile to finish Durrell s books They re not meant to be hurried through When I do finish I m a little sad, because I want him to just keep telling meandstories I was afraid this one might not measure up to the first one, My Family and Other Animals But this second one was every bit as enchanting and entertaining as the first The two books give an account of the years the Durrell family spent living on the Greek island of Corfu in the 1930s Gerry was the youngest in It takes me awhile to finish Durrell s books They re not meant to be hurried through When I do finish I m a little sad, because I want him to just keep telling meandstories I was afraid this one might not measure up to the first one, My Family and Other Animals But this second one was every bit as enchanting and entertaining as the first The two books give an account of the years the Durrell family spent living on the Greek island of Corfu in the 1930s Gerry was the youngest in his family by a far margin, and was only about 10 years old when they moved from England to Greece He spent these years as a budding naturalist, roaming the island collecting specimens and pets of every variety insects, reptiles, birds, mammals, and sea creatures To his family s dismay, he brought most of these critters home to live in his indoor menagerie More often than not there were disastrous and or hilarious results.Meanwhile, Gerry s mother, sister, and brothers entertained a colorful variety of visitors both local and foreign Some of the zaniest parts of the book are these visitor escapades I must say, many of these characters were fun to read about but I don t think I d want them around for long A little too much of the wrong kind of excitement for me I envy Gerald Durell s idyllic youth in such a specatular setting These are two books I will read again