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My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

(26 Posts)
mmack Tue 08-Dec-15 21:50:13

I'm reading it for the first time. It might be the funniest book ever written. I'm sure most Adult Fiction people have already read it but if anyone hasn't it would be a perfect book to read over Christmas.

DraenorQueen Tue 08-Dec-15 21:52:09

I think I was made to read it at school and vaguely recognised it was good but didn't really appreciate it. I'd definitely give it another go!

NoMilkNoSugar Tue 08-Dec-15 22:36:22

Fantastic book! Wait till you read the whole series, I still call magpies magenpies.

FriteFuaite Tue 08-Dec-15 22:39:57

And Widdle and Puke!! I nearly got two pups just to name them thus :-D Fab book, wish I was reading it for the first time!!

Corygal Tue 08-Dec-15 22:40:58

There should be a new word for 'funniest book ever' - just is, isn't it.

ThatsNotMyHouseItIsTooClean Tue 08-Dec-15 22:43:50

I love it. It is my Desert Island Discs book choice.

Radiatorvalves Tue 08-Dec-15 22:48:48

Loved it. Some of his other books were good, but not that good. DS1 read it, but I think DS2 nearly9 would really get it.

mmack Wed 09-Dec-15 08:12:54

I thought the part where the tutor is teaching him about Hannibal's elephants was genius. Also the bit where Larry gets drunk after falling in the ditch. I'm just at the Magenpies now. My DS was to read it next-he's going to love Spiro and all the bastarding.

mmack Wed 09-Dec-15 08:14:12

wants to read it next

hackmum Thu 10-Dec-15 08:59:24

I did it for O-level English a million years ago. I agree, it is very funny. I have a particularly fond memory of the scorpions in the matchbox.

A while back, I read a memoir by the daughter of Nancy Durrell (first wife of Lawrence, aka Larry), and apparently a lot of the book is made up. Lawrence wasn't actually living at home with the others, he was married to Nancy and they had a house of their own. Doesn't detract from the funniness, though.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Thu 10-Dec-15 21:06:30

I love it too! I am going to Corfu next May and I am going to take the 3 books and bore everyone else rigid by wanting to go find the Strawberry Pink Villa and all the others. Also by going on about the Bootle-Bumtrinket. fgrin

HepzibarHumbug Thu 10-Dec-15 21:33:09

hackmum same here! But for me it strikes chill into my heart. Hated it. Won't be giving it a second chance not an animal lover

Muskey Thu 10-Dec-15 21:36:41

The whole series are modern classics. They are the funniest books that I have ever read with the exception of Clive James auto biography.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Thu 10-Dec-15 21:42:43

I agree, all Durrell's books are hilarious.

Also hilarious is Three Mwn Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome.

JasperDamerel Thu 10-Dec-15 21:48:49

I loved it, and had a teeny crush on Larry which didn't survive reading The Alexandria Quartet.

Elledouble Thu 10-Dec-15 21:54:36

One of my absolute favourite books on the whole world, ever. I read it at least once a year. Makes me laugh out loud, no matter how many times I read it.

hackmum Fri 11-Dec-15 06:40:47

Jasper - oh, I agree, Lawrence D is awful. I did read one book by him once, a memoir about living in Cyprus (I think). It was OK, but reading the memoir I mentioned earlier really put me off him - he was a nasty bully. Decided I wouldn't read anything else by him.

Ememem84 Fri 11-Dec-15 06:58:34

Love it. One of my faves.

I live in jersey. And the zoo wildlife conservation park is here. When I was younger he did a reading of parts of the book.

My signed copy is a treasured possession.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Fri 11-Dec-15 19:34:40

I first read it at school when we did it for O level. I love it, read it about once a year or so. Usually I read it in the winter when the sunshine in the book really feels wonderful.

Simon Barnes wrote an article about it in Slightly Foxed a while ago where he sang its praises.

CastaDiva Tue 15-Dec-15 10:30:47

I love the idea that a whole load of us had a mild crush on Lawrence, rushed off to read the Alexandria Quartet, and retired disappointed. grin. Yes, I gather that a lot of My Family is fiction, but it's very charming.

Bumpsadaisie Tue 15-Dec-15 11:13:36

Have you all seen the 1987 BBC tv dramatisation? Its great. The video is a bit dated but the acting is good, its beautifully slow paced with great natural history shots.

And the sun and the sea and the olive groves - perfect for watching in winter in the UK!

CherryPits Fri 18-Dec-15 02:06:42

Bumpsadaisie I saw that BBC series, it was wonderful. Brian Blessed was in it, wasn't he?

OhSoggyBiscuit Sun 20-Dec-15 17:33:19

I found a hard cover copy of this book for 50p and am enjoying it immensely. Hilarious.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Sun 20-Dec-15 17:38:49

I still call magpies magenpies

Me too, NoMilkNoSugar

I read this book at school 40+yrs ago, and still have every book written by Gerald Durrell in the spare room. Even during clearouts, I can't bear to part with them. I loved him!

'My Family' is still the best, of all of them though!

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Sun 20-Dec-15 17:41:53

Yes, agree with views on Lawrence Durrell though. I tried one of his books on the strength of loving GD so much, but honestly - what an arse!

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