MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS

BOOK REVIEW

BY GERALD DURRELL

WHAT IS ABOUT?

Escaping bad weather of 1930s England, a bizarre family decide to travel to the sunnier climes of the Greek island of Corfu.


The family has three sons and a daughter and is headed by their apparently carefree mother. They together experience the joys of living a life of freedom and adventure.


A brief description of his members: Intrepid biologist, 12-year-old Gerald, a teen girl that only thinks about sunbathes and love Margot, gun-loving Leslie and writer Larry make up the bohemian Durrel family.



WHO IS GERARLD DURRELL?

Gerald Durrell was born in India in 1925. His family settled on Corfu when Durrell was a boy and he spent his time studying its wildlife. He relates these experiences in the trilogy beginning with My Family and Other Animals, and continuing with Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods. In his books he writes with ironic humour about both the humans and the animals he meets.

When he left Corfu he returned to England to work on the staff of Whipsnade Park as a student keeper. His adventures there are told with characteristic energy in Beasts in My Belfry. A few years later, Durrell began organising his own animal-collecting expeditions. The first, to the Cameroons, was followed by expeditions to Paraguay, Argentina and Sierra Leone. He relates these experiences in a number of books, including The Drunken Forest. Durrell also visited many countries while shooting various television series, including An Amateur Naturalist.

In 1958 Gerald Durrell realised a dream when he set up the Jersey Zoological Park, followed a few years later by the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust.

Rosy is My Relative, his first novel, was published in 1968. Gerald Durrell's style is exuberant when he writes about a factual account of an expedition or when he relates a story of non-fiction. Gerald Durrell died in 1995.


MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS REVIEW

Very different people could feel identified with the characters in the book. For example, for mothers can be very emotionally. They could feel identified with Gerald´s mother because she watches her youngest child grow up more and more each day. His mother is worried because her son is growing too wild and he doesn´t like studying. She is determined that he receives an education as many mothers nowaday, who are worried about the results at school of their children.


Children who loves animals can enjoy the book. And children who don´t enjoy studying at school can see Gerarld as an equal.


However, Margot´s flirtatiousness won´t be familiar to all those teen girls that nowadays aren´t so innocent.


Intelectuals and people interested in politcs can find Larry similar to them and for those who enjoys risk activities could consider Leslie, the gun-lover, as a friend.


Personally, I´m not particullary interested in nature and animals, however, I´m interested in human nature and this bohemian family is a good example to analyse and study.


INTERESTING VOCABULARY

wasp: any social hymenopterous insect of the family Vespidae, espVespula vulgaris (common wasp), typically having a black-and-yellow body and an ovipositor specialized for stinging

self-effacing: tending to make oneself, one's actions, etc, inconspicuous, esp because of humility or timidity; modest

woodcock: an Old World game bird, Scolopax rusticola, resembling the snipe but larger and having shorter legs and neck: family Scolopacidae(sandpipers, etc), order Charadriiformes

firefly: any nocturnal beetle of the family Lampyridae, common in warm and tropical regions, having luminescent abdominal organs

forefoot: either of the front feet of a quadruped

stall: a small often temporary stand or booth for the display and sale of goods

to bob: to move or cause to move up and down repeatedly, as while floating in water

to swamp: to overburden or overwhelm or be overburdened or overwhelmed, as by excess work or great numbers

nonchalance: casually unconcerned or indifferent; uninvolved


MAIN CHARACTERS IN THE FILM

Welcome to Durrell

LISTEN TO THE OPENING PAGE OF "MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS"

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