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Fauna and Family

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... Gerald Durrell, the distinguished naturalist and founder of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, writes about his adventures with friends (human and animal), his family (including his brother Lawrence Durrell), and a whole army of welcome and unwelcome visitors to the enchanted island of Corfu, on which the Durrell family lived in the halcyon days before the Second ... Gerald Durrell, the distinguished naturalist and founder of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, writes about his adventures with friends (human and animal), his family (including his brother Lawrence Durrell), and a whole army of welcome and unwelcome visitors to the enchanted island of Corfu, on which the Durrell family lived in the halcyon days before the Second World War. For the young Gerald Durrell it was above all a treasure house of exotic creatures which he could collect, watch, cherish and study. But it was not always a tranquil household. The interests of the animals frequently collided with those of the humans, and Gerald's descriptions of the birds, lizards, and assorted fauna are among his best and most memorable anecdotes, as are the stories of exotic visitors -- a mysterious Indian, a supercilious aristocrat, an amorous Turkish gentelman, a foul-mouthed sea captain, and many others who distrubed the Durrells' domestic peace and contributed to their amusement. [Excerpted from the book jacket of the Simon & Schuster 1979 edition.]


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... Gerald Durrell, the distinguished naturalist and founder of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, writes about his adventures with friends (human and animal), his family (including his brother Lawrence Durrell), and a whole army of welcome and unwelcome visitors to the enchanted island of Corfu, on which the Durrell family lived in the halcyon days before the Second ... Gerald Durrell, the distinguished naturalist and founder of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, writes about his adventures with friends (human and animal), his family (including his brother Lawrence Durrell), and a whole army of welcome and unwelcome visitors to the enchanted island of Corfu, on which the Durrell family lived in the halcyon days before the Second World War. For the young Gerald Durrell it was above all a treasure house of exotic creatures which he could collect, watch, cherish and study. But it was not always a tranquil household. The interests of the animals frequently collided with those of the humans, and Gerald's descriptions of the birds, lizards, and assorted fauna are among his best and most memorable anecdotes, as are the stories of exotic visitors -- a mysterious Indian, a supercilious aristocrat, an amorous Turkish gentelman, a foul-mouthed sea captain, and many others who distrubed the Durrells' domestic peace and contributed to their amusement. [Excerpted from the book jacket of the Simon & Schuster 1979 edition.]

30 review for Fauna and Family

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kimber Silver

    Five "A-tear-in-my-eye-because-it’s-over" stars! Gerald Durrell, where have you been all of my life? I’ve laughed my way through three books with you, dear Gerry. ‘Watching’ you be a nuisance to some and a pleasure to others. You’ve held my rapt attention while driving your family to the brink of madness with your accumulation of birds, bugs and furry little creatures. Now here I am at the end of our journey. But WHAT a ride! It’s bittersweet to write this review for the final installment in your Five "A-tear-in-my-eye-because-it’s-over" stars! Gerald Durrell, where have you been all of my life? I’ve laughed my way through three books with you, dear Gerry. ‘Watching’ you be a nuisance to some and a pleasure to others. You’ve held my rapt attention while driving your family to the brink of madness with your accumulation of birds, bugs and furry little creatures. Now here I am at the end of our journey. But WHAT a ride! It’s bittersweet to write this review for the final installment in your Corfu trilogy. Along the way, I’ve become a part of the Durrell family, and they welcome everyone if you can take the heat! I choose as an example Lumy Lover and Harry Honey, friends of Larry who came to stay for a while. These two were the butt of several hilarious practical jokes served up by the family - not Mother, of course, but I did see her giggle when no one was looking. Then there were the parties that somehow never went to plan. One such gathering resulted in a near-death experience and a knicker-showing incident. Oh my! The humor everyone involved maintained when confronted with these crazy situations was admirable, as well as a life lesson. Take things in stride and enjoy the trip! I’ve learned more about insects, flora, fauna and the native animals of Corfu than I could have ever imagined. What a beautiful gift I’ve been given to be able to explore this magnificent Greek island alongside Gerry, Roger and of course, Widdle and Puke; my childlike curiosity awakened, and my heart filled with joy. I am compelled to travel to Corfu after reading this series. How could I not? Charm and delight fill these pages. The writing is splendidly picturesque, the characters enchanting. Please read this trilogy if you haven’t. It is spectacular! "Spring, in its season, came like a fever; it was as though the island shifted and turned uneasily in the warm, wet bed of winter and then, suddenly and vibrantly, was fully awake, stirring with life under a sky as blue as a hyacinth bud into which a sun would rise, wrapped in mist as fragile and as delicately yellow as a newly completed silkworm cocoon." "The corporal fumbled with his holster and then, at the crucial moment, drew his forty-five and fired five rounds approximately two yards away from the King’s right ear. It immediately became obvious that the fort had not thought to tell the Welcoming Committee about its signal and so the Committee, to say the least, was taken aback, as was the King and, indeed, as were we all. 'My God, they’ve amputated him,' screamed Margo, who always lost both her head and her command over English in moments of crisis." "It had been one of those prodigious, desiccating, earth-cracking summers that was so hot it even bleached the sky to a pale end-of-summer, forget-me-not colour and flattened the sea so that it lay like a great blue pool, unmoving, warm as fresh milk."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laysee

    How lovely to spend a virtual holiday in Corfu! Last year, I read with great enjoyment books 1 and 2 of the Corfu Trilogy, which documented the sojourn of the Durrell family who quit England on a whim to live on the Island of Corfu. It was a wondrous reunion of sorts for me both with the charming island and the exuberant Durrell family. Gerry Durrell was just a child when his rambunctious family migrated to Corfu. His amazing nature expeditions on this Greek Island under the tutelage of a master How lovely to spend a virtual holiday in Corfu! Last year, I read with great enjoyment books 1 and 2 of the Corfu Trilogy, which documented the sojourn of the Durrell family who quit England on a whim to live on the Island of Corfu. It was a wondrous reunion of sorts for me both with the charming island and the exuberant Durrell family. Gerry Durrell was just a child when his rambunctious family migrated to Corfu. His amazing nature expeditions on this Greek Island under the tutelage of a master scientist and polymath laid the foundations of his future success as a British naturalist and conservationist. He founded the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Jersey Zoo on the Channel Island of Jersey in 1959. Once again, I followed Gerry and his dogs on their nature ramble and was introduced to an eye-opening array of insects and rare birds. By now, Gerry’s menagerie has grown alarmingly huge, not to mention the enormous food bill to provide sustenance for all the creatures he carted home, to the consternation of his long-suffering family. One had to admire Gerry’s love of animals. He created an avian clinic where he nursed birds that were maimed by hunters. He wrote about his animals with much affection. Here’s a description of Quilp, his pigeon, when it got on Gerry’s boat. ‘He would pace up and down, pausing to do a quick waltz occasionally and, with pouting chest, would give a contralto concert, looking strangely like a large opera singer on a sea voyage. Only if the weather became inclement would he get nervous and would then fly down and nestle in the captain’s lap for solace.’ It was a joy to be re-acquainted with the Corfu islanders who were generous to a fault. I love this description Gerry shared: ‘In Corfu one must always gossip for the right length of time and perhaps accept a crust of bread, some dry watermelon seeds, or a bunch of grapes as a sign of love and affection.’ Charming, too, was the friendship the Durrell family had with the Corfu folks as well as the many guests (some streaming in from the far East) who came to lap up their hospitality. A story about ‘the merriment of friendship’ is most uplifting. Durrell wrote a vivid prose style and one must read with all the senses. Can you picture this? ‘Watermelons, their flesh as crisp and cool as pink snow, were formidable botanical cannonballs, each one big enough to obliterate a city;...’ Gerry’s writing overflowed with juicy goodness and was delectable like a mellow wine. At a time when travel is restricted and sad news abound in every corner of the globe on account of the coronavirus pandemic, it is a treat to spend halcyon days on Corfu Island in which ‘every day was a special day, specially coloured, specially arranged’. The Garden of the Gods is a timely balm guaranteed to bring laughter and carefree moments in the sun.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    This is the third and the last of Gerald Durrell's Corfu Trilogy. I think it is best to read them in order. For this reason I am not going to explain the whole story here, because this is not where you should start. When you pick up this book you will already know who everyone is. When you pick up the second and the third book it is like meeting old friends. All the books are both funny and lovely, a spot of sun in the darkness. Are you looking for something light, something to make you laugh? I This is the third and the last of Gerald Durrell's Corfu Trilogy. I think it is best to read them in order. For this reason I am not going to explain the whole story here, because this is not where you should start. When you pick up this book you will already know who everyone is. When you pick up the second and the third book it is like meeting old friends. All the books are both funny and lovely, a spot of sun in the darkness. Are you looking for something light, something to make you laugh? If so, I can whole-heatedly recommend any of them. I was on the way to giving this four stars, but the party that ends the book felt too slapstick. The audiobook narration by Christopher Timothy is absolutely wonderful. Listen to this; do not read the paper book. I honestly think the narration improves the funny lines. Each person has a different intonation that fits like a glove. Each and every one is perfectly performed. Do you need a little cheering up? Is the winter gloom getting you down? Go to the delightful island of Corfu and visit the Durrell family. I am sure you will be welcomed. Read the whole series. No, no listen to it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Judith E

    This is the balm to my stressors - Durrell’s last book in the trilogy of his family’s halcyon, pre-WWII days in Corfu, Greece. His tranquil landscapes, the telling of their idiosyncratic acquaintances (from gypsies to Royalty), the food and the cultural scenes.....this gives me some quiet distraction. My Greek grandfather did not lead such a privileged life before immigrating to the U.S., but I hope some of his days were as idyllic as young Gerald’s.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    A caring mother... I told Mother I was going to spend the day exploring the coast and could I have a picnic? ‘Yes, dear,’ she said absently. ‘Tell Lugaretzia to organize something for you. But do be careful, dear, and don’t go into very deep water. Don’t catch a chill and… watch out for sharks.’ To Mother, every sea, no matter how shallow or benign, was an evil and tumultuous body of water, full of tidal waves, water spouts, typhoons, and whirlpools, inhabited entirely by giant octopus and squids A caring mother... I told Mother I was going to spend the day exploring the coast and could I have a picnic? ‘Yes, dear,’ she said absently. ‘Tell Lugaretzia to organize something for you. But do be careful, dear, and don’t go into very deep water. Don’t catch a chill and… watch out for sharks.’ To Mother, every sea, no matter how shallow or benign, was an evil and tumultuous body of water, full of tidal waves, water spouts, typhoons, and whirlpools, inhabited entirely by giant octopus and squids and savage, sabre-toothed sharks, all of whom had the killing and eating of one or other of her progeny as their main objective in life. In this, the third part of "The Corfu Trilogy" another collection of the strange people who gather around the Durrell family. The Count... He was tall and slender, with tightly curled hair as golden as a silkworm cocoon, shining with oil, a delicately curled mustache of a similar hue, and slightly protuberant eyes of a pale and unpleasant green. He alarmed Mother by arriving with a huge wardrobe trunk and she was convinced that he had come to stay for the summer. But we soon found that the Count found himself so attractive he felt it necessary to change his clothes about eight times a day to do justice to himself. His clothes were such elegant confections, beautifully hand-stitched and of such exquisite materials, that Margo was torn between envy at his wardrobe and disgust at his effeminacy. Gerry needed lots of dead sparrows to feed his baby owls. He has the help of older brother Leslie who shot many sparrows off the roof... Meanwhile Mrs Durrell was entertaining a lady animal lover with afternoon tea on the other side of the house... ‘Damn,’ he said suddenly. ‘I’ve lost count. How many’s that?’ I said that I hadn’t been counting either. ‘Well, go and pick up the ones on the veranda and wait there. I’ll pick off another six. That should do you.’ Clasping my paper bag, I went around to the front of the house, and saw, to my consternation, that Mrs Vadrudakis, whom we had forgotten, had arrived for tea. She and Mother were sitting somewhat stiffly on the veranda clasping cups of tea, surrounded by the bloodstained corpses of numerous sparrows. ‘Yes,’ Mother was saying, obviously hoping that Mrs Vadrudakis had not noticed the rain of dead birds, ‘yes, we’re all great animal lovers.’ ‘I hear this,’ said Mrs Vadrudakis, smiling benevolently. ‘I hear you lof the animals like me.’ ‘Oh yes,’ said Mother. ‘We keep so many pets. Animals are a sort of passion with us, you know.’ She smiled nervously at Mrs Vadrudakis, and at that moment a dead sparrow fell into the strawberry jam. It was impossible to cover it up and equally impossible to pretend it was not there. Mother stared at it as though hypnotized; at last, she moistened her lips and smiled at Mrs Vadrudakis, who was sitting with her cup poised, a look of horror on her face. ‘A sparrow,’ Mother pointed out weakly. ‘They… er… seem to be dying a lot this year.’ At that moment, Leslie, carrying the air rifle, strode out of the house.‘Have I killed enough?’ he inquired. Many times young Gerry meet Spiro, the taxi driver, on his way home. Gerry would stand on the running board as Spiro inquired after his family's health... One day, in a fit of devilry, I told him, in response to his earnest inquiry, that they were all dead; the car swerved off the drive and crashed straight into a large oleander bush, showering Spiro and myself with pink blossoms and nearly knocking me off the running board. ‘Gollys, Master Gerrys! You mustn’t say things like thats!’ he roared, pounding the wheel with his fist. ‘You makes me scarce when you say things likes that. You makes me sweats! Don’t you ever say that agains.’ Reminiscing about India... ‘My husband being a civil engineer, of course, he had to travel. I always used to go with him. If he had to build a bridge or a railway right out in the jungle, I’d go with him and we’d camp.’ ‘That must have been fun,’ said Leslie enthusiastically, ‘a primitive life under canvas.’ ‘Oh it was. I loved the simple life in camp. I remember the elephants used to go ahead with the marquees, the carpets and the furniture, and then the servants would follow in the ox-carts with the linen and silver…’ ‘You call that camping?’ interrupted Leslie incredulously. ‘With marquees?’ ‘We only had three,’ said Mother defensively. ‘A bedroom, dining-room and a drawing-room. And they were built with fitted carpets anyway.’ ‘Camping!’ snorted Leslie derisively. ‘Well, it was camping dear. I remember once one of the elephants went astray and we had no clean sheets for three days. Your father was most annoyed.’ After the revolution... When, I inquired, had they got rid of Metaxas? Nobody had told me. ‘Why, you remember, surely!’ cried Kralefsky. ‘You must remember – when we had the revolution and that cake shop was so badly damaged by the machine-gun bullets. Such unsafe things, I always think, machine-guns.’ To welcome a visit from the Greek King the boy scouts let off an explosion - of dynamite... ‘I was very interested in the reaction of the spectators,’ said Theodore, with scientific relish. ‘You know… er… the ones who were blown down.’ ‘I should think they were damned annoyed,’ said Leslie. ‘No,’ went on Theodore proudly, ‘this is Corfu. They all… you know… helped each other up, brushed each other down, and remarked on how good the whole thing was… er… how realistic. It didn’t seem to occur to them that there was anything strange in Boy Scouts having dynamite.’ ‘Well, if you live long enough in Corfu, you cease to be surprised at anything,’ said Mother with conviction. Margo's sayings... ‘My God, they’ve amputated him,’ screamed Margo, who always lost both her head and her command over English in moments of crisis. They have a sort of ordure about them.’ You’re namby-pamby,’ snorted Margo. ‘Take you for a little walk and you’re screaming for food and wine. You just want to live in the hub of luxury all the time.’ ‘Serves him jolly well right,’ said Margo callously. ‘He shouldn’t have said I was boring. It’s an eye for an ear.’ ‘And you might as well be hung for anox as anass,’ contributed Margo. Enjoy!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Otis Chandler

    Book 3 is more of the same: hilarious and wonderful stories about the Durrell's live in Greece. I think this one was even funnier than the last two. If there were more of these I'd read them! Most of the funny bits have to do with Gerry and his animals doing crazy things - for instance: "The lamb seemed disappointed that no one was taking any notice of him; he had gambolled a little, decorated the floor, and done two nicely executed pirouettes, but he felt that no one was paying him the attent Book 3 is more of the same: hilarious and wonderful stories about the Durrell's live in Greece. I think this one was even funnier than the last two. If there were more of these I'd read them! Most of the funny bits have to do with Gerry and his animals doing crazy things - for instance: "The lamb seemed disappointed that no one was taking any notice of him; he had gambolled a little, decorated the floor, and done two nicely executed pirouettes, but he felt that no one was paying him the attention he deserved, so he put down his head and charged Mother." But as with the other two books, I continue to just love the picture that the book paints of what live in rustic Corfu was like: "Spiro drove us home through the cool, velvety night. The scops owls called ‘toink toink’ to each other, chiming like strange bells among the trees; the white dust billowed behind the car and remained suspended like a summer’s cloud in the still air; the dark cathedral groves of the olives were pricked out with the pulsing green lights of fireflies."

  7. 4 out of 5

    dream

    What can I say? The end of the trilogy was one of my worst days in reading ever. Once being let in the magical and almost surreal world of Durrel's Corfu adventures, you can't seem to let go for long. I know these books by heart, but I still re-read them at least once a year. Not to count all the times when I only search through my favorite places, but end up reading straight through. Durrel's world is like an improved Eden before being chased away - so light, so innocent, so sunny and yet so re What can I say? The end of the trilogy was one of my worst days in reading ever. Once being let in the magical and almost surreal world of Durrel's Corfu adventures, you can't seem to let go for long. I know these books by heart, but I still re-read them at least once a year. Not to count all the times when I only search through my favorite places, but end up reading straight through. Durrel's world is like an improved Eden before being chased away - so light, so innocent, so sunny and yet so real, full of good-natured laughter and knowledge that seeps through your mind almost effortlessly. It's the ultimate point for geeky romantics - a wonderful place to get lost.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    Last of the Corfu trilogy. I remember the day when I found it in the bookshop for the first time. I hugged it like a long lost friend, instantly carried it home. Read it the same day smiling and laughing all the time. I just finished it again, I read it whenever feeling blue, we have the most frightfully cold and wet weather at the moment. It was a perfect remedy. Full of sunshine and innocence of childhood, mixed with quite astute albeit slightly unkind comments about older siblings (which as t Last of the Corfu trilogy. I remember the day when I found it in the bookshop for the first time. I hugged it like a long lost friend, instantly carried it home. Read it the same day smiling and laughing all the time. I just finished it again, I read it whenever feeling blue, we have the most frightfully cold and wet weather at the moment. It was a perfect remedy. Full of sunshine and innocence of childhood, mixed with quite astute albeit slightly unkind comments about older siblings (which as the youngest in the family I can relate to)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

    I enjoyed Durrell's animal adventure stories and the way he described the action of the animals, the people, the weather, the scenery and landscape of the island in everything he did. The animal characters, his family and their friends were outrageously fascinating. I enjoyed Durrell's animal adventure stories and the way he described the action of the animals, the people, the weather, the scenery and landscape of the island in everything he did. The animal characters, his family and their friends were outrageously fascinating.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    This is the finish to the trilogy of books Durrell wrote about growing up on Corfu. I love all three books for their combination of family memoir and natural history. Durrell writes well and these books are very funny so beware of reading them on public transportation! These books delighted me as a middle-school aged kid when I read them before and they are just as delightful now as I aspire to adulthood. Some day I will at least visit Corfu, but my true fantasy is to find a strawberry pink villa This is the finish to the trilogy of books Durrell wrote about growing up on Corfu. I love all three books for their combination of family memoir and natural history. Durrell writes well and these books are very funny so beware of reading them on public transportation! These books delighted me as a middle-school aged kid when I read them before and they are just as delightful now as I aspire to adulthood. Some day I will at least visit Corfu, but my true fantasy is to find a strawberry pink villa there in which to retire in splendor.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hermien

    I loved the way he gives the animals and insects personalities.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Iona Stewart

    This is the third volume of the author´s trilogy about his life in Corfu in the 30s immediately prior to the Second World War. Gerard Durrell has a unique gift for writing hilarious prose. He is particularly humorous when describing the heterogeneous members of his family, who are continually arguing and quarrelling amongst themselves. The head of the household is Mother, whose main characteristic is her placatory nature (Oh, I´m sure he didn´t mean it, Larry!). Otherwise she is constantly occupie This is the third volume of the author´s trilogy about his life in Corfu in the 30s immediately prior to the Second World War. Gerard Durrell has a unique gift for writing hilarious prose. He is particularly humorous when describing the heterogeneous members of his family, who are continually arguing and quarrelling amongst themselves. The head of the household is Mother, whose main characteristic is her placatory nature (Oh, I´m sure he didn´t mean it, Larry!). Otherwise she is constantly occupied with creating delicious meals and searching for new, appetizing recipes. Larry is the eldest – he is exceedingly intellectual and highly literary; he always expresses his true opinions about everything, particularly the irritating activities of the others, especially Gerry and his animals, and generally furnishes literary allusions to these activities. Larry is perpetually inviting eccentric friends, acquaintances, and even people he doesn´t know, for long stays with the family, generally forgetting to warn Mother, who is the one who has to cook for, and otherwise attend to, them. Later Larry becomes a famous author, whose works include the illustrious “Alexandria Quartet”. Leslie, on the other hand, is by no means intellectual, but a ballistics expert; he is obsessed with guns and hunting, and has other practical talents. Margo, the only girl, is generally preoccupied with her latest romantic predilection. She is good at sewing/knitting and the like; when stressed she has difficulty in finding the correct words (“It´s an eye for an ear.”) Gerry, the author, who is the youngest, a boy of about ten, has an amazing talent in the field of natural history. With his patient dog Roger, he spends hours lying on his tummy observing the spectacular behaviour of tiny insects, spiders and the like; he is always bringing home wounded birds and other animals to add to his vast collection, to Larry´s despair. The maid Lugaretzia, a hypochondriac, regales the family daily on the progress of her various bodily ailments. There is also Spiro, an irascible Greek, who takes the family under his wing and, knowing everyone on the island, is able to help them with all sorts of practical problems, including bribing judges. His English is somewhat broken and he adds an “s” at the end of every word. Theodore visits the family every Thursday and they ply him with questions, since he is extremely knowledgeable about all conceivable matters. He is “everything to everyone”. He could discuss herbs and recipes with Mother and supply her with detective stories; with Margo he could talk of diets and ointments that could remedy spots, pimples and acne (which she was plagued with); he could converse on a par with Larry; he could enlighten Leslie on the history of firearms in Greece; and illuminate Gerry on the mating habits of various frogs, spiders or whatever. There is the lecherous, old mariner Captain Creech, who has amorous designs on Mother, and in particular her body, and whose lewd language is far from what she deems acceptable. These are just a few of the intriguing characters that frequented the Durrell household. I strongly recommend that you read this book. Gerald Durrell has an exceptional literary talent, not to mention his exquisite talents as a humorist; moreover, his observations of natural history are fascinating, even to a reader like me who is not normally particularly interested in such matters.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I kept having such laughter fits that my dog woke up and came to me with a worried look on its face.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    While going rogue, I dove into the third book of this trilogy way before I read books 1 and 2. I'd say I'm sorry but that would be an obvious lie. Mostly because I read The Garden of the Gods for a challenge.. and it just happened to be on Kindle Unlimited. I'm not even sure the first two books were or not.. but maybe I'll look into it on another day. Maybe. That being said, I think this is like my second or third travel/environment kind of book this year. Not sure why they were never on my radar While going rogue, I dove into the third book of this trilogy way before I read books 1 and 2. I'd say I'm sorry but that would be an obvious lie. Mostly because I read The Garden of the Gods for a challenge.. and it just happened to be on Kindle Unlimited. I'm not even sure the first two books were or not.. but maybe I'll look into it on another day. Maybe. That being said, I think this is like my second or third travel/environment kind of book this year. Not sure why they were never on my radar but they've all been equally entertaining. Now I've always wanted to go to Greece and maybe one day I will. So diving into this book was a definite treat and the bonus was laughing at so many hilarious moments. Maybe it's the covid talking or being home and seeing no one but my family and dogs.. but I needed this book. This book was filled with so many funny people which just made me giggle constantly. Not going to lie, no one has a funny bone in my family. No. One. It's just me.. and a girl needs to laugh at something (or someone) every now and then. In the end, I enjoyed every page within this book. The animals stole the show for me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    The Garden of the Gods is the third and last in Durrell's Corfu trilogy. I had a hard time finding this book to purchase, but finally got an almost forty year old paperback from England in remarkably good condition for very little money (about $7.00 including shipping). Again, I was delighted with Durrell's writing. He was a genius at writing hilarious conversation and relating humorous episodes. I love laughing out loud when I read his books, but it's hard not to wake up the entire household whe The Garden of the Gods is the third and last in Durrell's Corfu trilogy. I had a hard time finding this book to purchase, but finally got an almost forty year old paperback from England in remarkably good condition for very little money (about $7.00 including shipping). Again, I was delighted with Durrell's writing. He was a genius at writing hilarious conversation and relating humorous episodes. I love laughing out loud when I read his books, but it's hard not to wake up the entire household when you are reading in bed with a flashlight! Toward the end of the book there is an episode in Chapter 7 involving Durrell's sister, Margo, which I could have done without. In the first two books, Durrell described his sister as somewhat dingy and self-involved. She comically garbled phrases and seemed naive and immature. However, in this chapter she displays a mean streak that could have endangered a young man's life. Granted, she probably didn't think about the danger of the situation, but she did mean to inflict great discomfort. It seemed out of character to previous descriptions of her and I was disappointed in the revelation. I wanted to remember the entire family as happy-go-lucky "innocents abroad." In the preface to the second book, Durrell writes about his brothers and sister telling him, in no uncertain terms, not write another book about their family. Luckily for his readers, he forged ahead anyway with books two and three. The temptation to write about his unconventional, wacky family was simply too great for Durrell to resist, leaving us with these hilarious gems.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nancyc

    The Durrells were an amazing family. Gerry,the author of so many wonderful books, gives a delightful look into his family's lives in Corfu after moving from England. His prose is lush, giving me a feeling as if I also lived there, felt the sun on my face, swam in the ocean near their villa, saw all the animal and insect life he described, and ate some of the wonderful foods his mother cooked. The PBS series is very close to these books. The Durrells were an amazing family. Gerry,the author of so many wonderful books, gives a delightful look into his family's lives in Corfu after moving from England. His prose is lush, giving me a feeling as if I also lived there, felt the sun on my face, swam in the ocean near their villa, saw all the animal and insect life he described, and ate some of the wonderful foods his mother cooked. The PBS series is very close to these books.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    1977 50th birthday challenge Where oh where did get this recommendation? I wish I could thank the source. Fauna and Family, also known as The Garden of the Gods, is the third in Durrell’s Corfu trilogy, and it became a show on Masterpiece Theater. I had not heard of any of this family memoir. I read the third book without having read the first two and I think it can be read it on its own, but I wish I had known these characters all along. The family consists of three brothers, one sister and thei 1977 50th birthday challenge Where oh where did get this recommendation? I wish I could thank the source. Fauna and Family, also known as The Garden of the Gods, is the third in Durrell’s Corfu trilogy, and it became a show on Masterpiece Theater. I had not heard of any of this family memoir. I read the third book without having read the first two and I think it can be read it on its own, but I wish I had known these characters all along. The family consists of three brothers, one sister and their mother. The father is dead but in book three I don't know when or how he died. The relationships between these four kids and their mother is a hoot. They say anything and love each other. The accept guests into their home in Corfu and these characters are, well, characters to love and laugh at. Each chapter is its own story but they are chronological in time but can stand on their own. This book is light, quick reading and what I would recommend as a palate cleanser when needed between heavy books. I love each of the Durrell family members and watching them interact with each other, the many animals Gerry brings into the house, is delightful.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Richard Newton

    The final instalment of Durrell's trilogy of stories of an idyllic, if slightly wild, childhood on Corfu in the 1930s. Amusing, especially the last chapter. Like the other books covers exactly the same period, just a different set of stories and some new characters. Well written, but I think the weakest of the three trilogy and the shortest. You sense he was running out of steam, and the remaining stories are not quite as good as some of the earlier ones. If you read this book alone I think the The final instalment of Durrell's trilogy of stories of an idyllic, if slightly wild, childhood on Corfu in the 1930s. Amusing, especially the last chapter. Like the other books covers exactly the same period, just a different set of stories and some new characters. Well written, but I think the weakest of the three trilogy and the shortest. You sense he was running out of steam, and the remaining stories are not quite as good as some of the earlier ones. If you read this book alone I think the characters will come across as rather 2 dimensional. Unlike the second book there is no introduction and so unless you understand the context it may just come across as a series of anecdotes without a real common theme. Nevertheless, a nice gentle read - good holiday fodder.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    A satisfying end to the Corfu Trilogy. The final book is a shorter, quicker read than the first two but there are still some delightful stories in it. Highlights include the visit from their friend from India who practices the rare, invented religion of "Fakyo," and the king's visit to the island where the boy scouts blow up a bridge. "My Family and Other Animals" is still the best of the three, but the whole trilogy is worth reading. I also appreciate that the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trus A satisfying end to the Corfu Trilogy. The final book is a shorter, quicker read than the first two but there are still some delightful stories in it. Highlights include the visit from their friend from India who practices the rare, invented religion of "Fakyo," and the king's visit to the island where the boy scouts blow up a bridge. "My Family and Other Animals" is still the best of the three, but the whole trilogy is worth reading. I also appreciate that the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is still active and promoting the preservation of animals that the author so obviously loved from childhood.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Wagner

    I laughed so hard reading this--ON THE BUS--that the lady sitting next to me asked what I was reading. Then she recommended the PBS series they made from it. It's that kind of book. If you are looking for a story about the cutest town in the world, a family that is constantly finding their way into ridiculous situations, and what happens when one boy is given free clearance to explore his interests in zoology to their full, this is the story for you. If you're just looking for a book that will ma I laughed so hard reading this--ON THE BUS--that the lady sitting next to me asked what I was reading. Then she recommended the PBS series they made from it. It's that kind of book. If you are looking for a story about the cutest town in the world, a family that is constantly finding their way into ridiculous situations, and what happens when one boy is given free clearance to explore his interests in zoology to their full, this is the story for you. If you're just looking for a book that will make you feel good about the world again, this is REALLY for you.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is the final part of the "Corfu trilogy." The full review will be posted in the single volume os this trilogy which was kindly sent by my dear friend Themis-Atena. This is the final part of the "Corfu trilogy." The full review will be posted in the single volume os this trilogy which was kindly sent by my dear friend Themis-Atena.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    One-third of the Corfu Trilogy. Very funny!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Snillocygreg

    I didn't realise I needed to read a funny book until I started reading this. And then, too soon, it was over. It carried me perfectly through my commute, like his other books I found myself bursting in to fits of laughter. It's outdated in ways, maybe there are bits about it that could be called problematic but actually this pokes fun at so many things that are still relevant today. I miss this book already, and I only just finished it. I didn't realise I needed to read a funny book until I started reading this. And then, too soon, it was over. It carried me perfectly through my commute, like his other books I found myself bursting in to fits of laughter. It's outdated in ways, maybe there are bits about it that could be called problematic but actually this pokes fun at so many things that are still relevant today. I miss this book already, and I only just finished it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    A lovely conclusion to the trilogy. And the visit of the King of Greece had me in stitches.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ian Smith

    An artist of words, Gerald Durrell reconstructs distant memories of his golden childhood on Corfu with evocative and humorous caricatures of people, places and events, brilliantly described in glorious technicolor. A sensory overload of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes pours from every page, liberally sprinkled with vividly flamboyant similes. Just read the first paragraph of the book - simply wonderful. Made me wonder what Gerald Durrell could have achieved had he turned to 'serious' writing. An artist of words, Gerald Durrell reconstructs distant memories of his golden childhood on Corfu with evocative and humorous caricatures of people, places and events, brilliantly described in glorious technicolor. A sensory overload of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes pours from every page, liberally sprinkled with vividly flamboyant similes. Just read the first paragraph of the book - simply wonderful. Made me wonder what Gerald Durrell could have achieved had he turned to 'serious' writing. I loved this book - the third in his series of 'family' books from Corfu - when I first read it as a child, and appreciate it just as much now. Though I must confess to a certain degree of scepticism regarding the veracity of the anecdotes he relates - partly because they are often simply outrageous, and partly because no-one can possibly remember that level of detail forty years later! So not so much an autobiography as a series of beautifully crafted hilarious short stories with a tenuous basis in fact. Delightful book - one of his best.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ken Fredette

    I was a little upset when I finished the third book of the trilogy because Gerald Durrell was only still a thirteen year old at the time yet he was still looking for anything that was an animal or insect or bird or human. Still his anecdotes of the family was amusing. I can't imagine living on an island like Corfu and having the type of life they had with different people coming and going constantly as the only entertainment. I would recommend this trilogy for everyone's pleasure to read. I was a little upset when I finished the third book of the trilogy because Gerald Durrell was only still a thirteen year old at the time yet he was still looking for anything that was an animal or insect or bird or human. Still his anecdotes of the family was amusing. I can't imagine living on an island like Corfu and having the type of life they had with different people coming and going constantly as the only entertainment. I would recommend this trilogy for everyone's pleasure to read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eugenea Pollock

    This third book in the Corfu Trilogy is, in my opinion, a disappointment in at least two respects. First, there is again more repetition. Second, the prejudice that was typical of the time frame reared its ugly head in ways that were, this time, impossible to overlook—racism, ethnocentrism, and homophobia. For some reason, those were not as blatant in the first two books. Too bad they popped up here.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    I wish I had been one of the many visitors to this fascinating family's Corfu villas! One has to wonder if life was really as wonderful and fun-filled as Gerry tells us. I laughed uproariously in many parts, and was sorry, once again, for his story to end. If you have watched the PBS show, make sure that you read all of Gerry's books. I wish I had been one of the many visitors to this fascinating family's Corfu villas! One has to wonder if life was really as wonderful and fun-filled as Gerry tells us. I laughed uproariously in many parts, and was sorry, once again, for his story to end. If you have watched the PBS show, make sure that you read all of Gerry's books.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

    Another diverting read from Gerald Durrell. I got a bit tired of Captain Creech (I don't know how Mrs.Durrell put up with him), but the stories are entertaining and the descriptions of animals are again meticulous and skillful. Another diverting read from Gerald Durrell. I got a bit tired of Captain Creech (I don't know how Mrs.Durrell put up with him), but the stories are entertaining and the descriptions of animals are again meticulous and skillful.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    It's a vey nice book. I enjoyed it. It's not as goood as the "My family and other animals" but it has very funny and interesting stories. It's a vey nice book. I enjoyed it. It's not as goood as the "My family and other animals" but it has very funny and interesting stories.

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