All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small

Book - 1972
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Twenty years ago, St. Martin's Press published a volume of memoirs by an unknown Scottish veterinarian named James Herriot. Its title was All Creatures Great and Small .

Within a year, the book had become recognized as a masterpiece. In the two decades that have followed, James Herriot has become one of the most universally loved authors of our time.

Now, as we celebrate the publication of Every Living Thing -- the country vet's fifth book of memoirs-- St. Martin's is proud to reissue the book that started it all. Its pages, now as then, are full of humor, warmth, pathos, drama, and James Herriot's unique, richly justified love of life. His journeys across the Yorkshire dales, his encounters with humans and dogs, cows and kittens are illumined by his infinite fascination and affection, and rendered with all the infectious joy of a born storyteller.

As one reviewer wrote," If you ever loved a friend, human or otherwise, this is the book for you."

Publisher: New York, St. Martin's Press [1972]
ISBN: 9780312084981
Characteristics: 442 p. 22 cm


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GCPL_Angela Dec 03, 2017

Pure delight from start to finish, and surprisingly funny. I was actually strongly reminded of Bill Bryson's work, as both authors seem to have a rare talent for getting themselves into scrapes and then describing them in self-deprecating, hilarious detail. And although there's obviously a lot about animals here, Herriot is an equally astute observer of people, and his accounts of ornery local farmers and his eccentric boss Siegfried are so sharp and insightful, and I'll say it again, funny.

Some standouts that had me rolling: the first chapter, in which Herriot struggles to deliver a calf as a surly old-timer looks on and provides commentary, and Herriot suiting up in the head-to-toe rubber calving outfit (Chapter 22). If you don't read anything else, read those two chapters. They'll give you a good feel for the work as a whole, and they're just so dang funny. Yes, there's a couple of passages that will have you dabbing your eyes. But an emotionally manipulative tear-jerker it is not, and thank goodness for that.

Make no mistake about it: veterinary medicine is a noble profession indeed, and Herriot shows (without ever tooting his own horn) just how much pluck, stamina, knowledge, compassion, and yes, humor, are required to be a good one.

If you're an animal lover, add this one to your list!

CRRL_VirginiaJohnson Nov 13, 2015

A newly-minted Scottish veterinarian begins his practice in the hills of Yorkshire in the 1940s. James Herriot's self-deprecating humor and kind understanding of his fellow humans and their animals makes this and its successors classics. Perfect to have on hand for sick days, vacations, or any time you want to be entertained.

The classic book about a country vet and the community and animals he serves. The stories are sometimes funny and sometimes sad, but they are always heartwarming.

Apr 18, 2014

Any books by this author are great.

Jul 22, 2013

I loved reading this as well as watching the DVD series.
I know it's old but a wonderful recount of James Herriot's life as a vet in Yorkshire. He's a natural as writer and observer of people and landscapes.
Makes me really want to visit all the places he writes about.

May 11, 2013

Lovely to read this series again! Never fails to please.

Nov 06, 2012

I too read these when I was in grade school and am rereading them - they're absolutely delightful. I'll be buying some used copies for family soon.

Nov 08, 2011

This was a great book if you like comical rural veterinary life in Ireland. I couldn't put it down. It reminded me greatly of Patrick Taylors An Irish Country Doctor Series. A few of the stories were almost exactly alike.

Apr 25, 2011

May 2011 bookclub read

lb1987 May 06, 2010

This whole series is heart-warming. It also provides an insight into the life of a country vet in the early part of the 20th century.

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SPL_STARR Jun 16, 2015

"They didn't say anything about this in the books, I thought, as the snow blew in through the gaping doorway and settled on my naked back."


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