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Birds, Beasts and Relatives

The Corfu Trilogy, Book 2
Narrated by: Nigel Davenport
Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (277 ratings)

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Summary

The Durrell family returns to the island of Corfu, continuing the story begun in My Family and Other Animals. Already an ardent naturalist at the age of 10, the young Gerald lives in an unconventional and disordered household with his mother, sister, and two brothers. Convivial and open, the family plays host to a constant stream of quirky guests. But for Gerald, the main attraction is the wildlife of Corfu.

©The Estate of Gerald Durrell 1969, 2003 (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

May I really repeat myself?

Second book of the commonly known "Corfu" trilogy. When I read it for the first time, it was like meeting some dear friends again after quite some time (bear in mind that I read it in Spanish, and a quite colourful translation). It remains my favourite book of this trilogy, as you don't have to have new presentations of the lead characters and the new ones are just a wonderful addition. And, as the prologue says, they are probably the best anecdotes.
In relation to the performance, I don't have the opportunity to make any comparison, because it was Nigel Davenport the one who read the first book. I'll tell after I finish the last one.

Overly recommendable!!!!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 13-04-13

Read by Nigel Davenport....

Nigel Davenport is best narrator for a British male narrative voice... as an insomniac child I use to pass out to the Corfu series through to his dulcet tones on a tape version and he brilliant captures Durrell's wry but slightly heavy sense of humour. I would thoroughly recommend this as an audiobook experience.

11 people found this helpful

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It's great Gerry

It was a challenging but fun book.
I liked all of Larry's fun sayings like " You need a team of huskies to go down and post a letter!".
I recommend this book 10+ because it has a dozen challenging words.

3 people found this helpful

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Lovely

Any additional comments?

Gentle thoughtful real-life stories of natural world and eccentric characters. Very popular with adults and children.

2 people found this helpful

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A perfect book.

A must have book. Possibly the best of his books. Chock full of funny & interesting characters.

1 person found this helpful

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Took me back to childhood


I remember reading Gerald Durrell as a child.

His stories of his time in Corfu with his family and the locals are so descriptive amd fun. This is a timeless piece for young and old to enjoy.

Gentle and lovingly read by Nigel Davenport.

1 person found this helpful

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A pleasant surprise

A series of very interesting, funny and charming stories that animal enthusiasts and people who appreciate countryside life will love. Equally absorbing for both children and adults.

1 person found this helpful

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Can’t match the first book

Reader was good but the plot not as funny or coherent as My Family and other animals.

1 person found this helpful

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kids love it

Would you consider the audio edition of Birds, Beasts and Relatives to be better than the print version?

Children listened to this whilst traveling

What other book might you compare Birds, Beasts and Relatives to, and why?

Not sure

Which character – as performed by Nigel Davenport – was your favourite?

the children liked all of it

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not really

Any additional comments?

good wholesome book

4 people found this helpful

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Download does not work

Purchased audio book. Downloaded onto device but cannot play. Message received when trying to play simply suggests I contact customer services. Frustrating and very irritating.

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  • Rebecca
  • 07-09-14

The antidote to stress

I love these little stories in this book, which is a follow up to My family and Other Animals. Set in pre war Greece / Corfu, Gerald Durrell, a boy at the time, describes the exploits and adventures of his eccentric family. Some scenes had me laughing out loud, and the authors powers of description were such that at times i could almost feel the warm Greek sun on my face ................ the perfect antidote to modern day stresses, let yourself be transported in time and place..............

12 people found this helpful

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  • J and M
  • 29-06-17

Totally entertaining fun

I cannot give this book enough stars. Even with certain things that could be considered detractors, I just loved this book as much as I loved the first one, and will no doubt, listen to it over and over again. Even with the narrator at times making strange breathing noises in his more animated characterizations, and other swallowing or mouth sounds, I still totally enjoyed it. His quirky characterizations and narration actually brings the story to life. The humor is SO extremely dry that on first glance it would appear to be dull. But, this crazy and eccentric family has kept me entertained and laughing through another book and wondering what will they do next.

I was first introduced to Gerald Durrell when his first book, My Family and other Animals showed up on my kids' reading list. I was dreading it, as I don't always get British humor. Nor was I expecting it to be humorous at all. I thought it was about a naturalist exploring Corfu. And, I think what makes this work so well is that he isn't trying to be funny. He's just telling stories of his childhood as seen through his child's eyes while being part of this totally unconventional, yet very "English" family. It's full of colorful characters, laugh out loud moments, and just so much fun. I'm on to the third book in the series.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 13-02-12

Incredibly descriptive - it takes you there

Would you consider the audio edition of Birds, Beasts and Relatives to be better than the print version?

No, they are both good in their own way

Who was your favorite character and why?

Spiro , I want to meet him !

What about Nigel Davenport’s performance did you like?

The way he altered his voice for each character

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Picturesque Corfu

Any additional comments?

Really glad you did this one - loved the book and loved the audio book

4 people found this helpful

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  • RedAunt
  • 05-03-12

One of my favorites by Gerald Durrell

Nigel Davenport narrates "Birds, Beasts, and Relatives" very nicely, although I was a bit surprised at some of his character voicing, and there was some inconsistency with how the characters were voiced in "My Family and Other Animals".

Overall I believe current Durrell fans and anyone who enjoys well-crafted, very funny stories about 1930s-era family dynamics will enjoy this reading.

2 people found this helpful

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  • DFK
  • 21-06-17

Delightful listening

After watching the first season of The Durrells in Corfu on Masterpiece, I decided I'd like to listen to the trilogy books. I found that the first volume was not available as an audio book, so I read it. I enjoyed it, and now listened to the second volume from Audible. There is some slight overlap in that the author repeats some key aspects of certain characters and events, or tells us about something we already learned about in the first volume. I get why he does it - he doesn't want to assume that everyone who reads the second volume read the first, but I would have preferred if that were not necessary. Nevertheless, I found the stories delightful, the writing to be superb in its use of language. The characters are so much fun. Though I like science, I did think that sometimes the detail on the creatures could be a bit overdone in the context of these stories, but I certainly absorbed some of it and learned about critters that I didn't know much about. The performance was superb. An absolute pleasure, including the various voices and the Greek accents. I sometimes call out the aspects of various wonderful books that are troublesome, in spite of the value of the book as literature. I am referring to stereotypes of ethnic groups, and similar problems. This time it is the description of the Roma that is unfortunate. I do hope that anyone who listens to (or reads) this book will consider how dangerous it is to generalize that way about any group of people. The description might reflect what the author really perceived (and he was a child), but he wrote it as an adult, and such descriptions of people should be considered in context.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean Narozanski
  • 23-11-16

Other animals

An old friend of a book that never fails to amuse and delight. a charming story in a time long gone.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • snowy plover
  • 27-08-16

A Rollicking Good Time

What was one of the most memorable moments of Birds, Beasts and Relatives?

There were too many great stories to choose just one. The narration really makes this book "sing." The ending was very lovely.

Which character – as performed by Nigel Davenport – was your favorite?

My favorite character was the mother. She had so many good retorts. The narrator gave so much life to each character though.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Especially in the second book, there were some really wonderful descriptions of the island and its inhabitants.

Any additional comments?

The production values in the first part of this book seemed off - very fast. So I slowed my IPod down to 1.75. After continuing to listen for some time, it sounded just like in My Family and other Animals which I had just read before I started this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Steven Trout
  • 25-02-20

pleasant listening

interesting and funny and pleasant. I have listened to it twice and will again. Great reader.

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  • Dale
  • 18-02-20

A truly delightful listen

Not a lot of 'story' per se, but just a thoroughly enjoyable memoire. I laughed, I cried (poor liitle hedgehogs), I sympathisized, I envied. Now I can't wait for the next book. I hope you enjoy it too!

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  • just asking for some common sense
  • 27-09-19

Another great book, I want to give it 4.75 stars

I love this second book of the Durrells in Corfu trilogy, but just a little less than the first book. I finished it a couple of days ago and had to think about what to rate it. These books are wonderfully quirky, and the narration is excellent. Gerald Durrell certainly had an interesting childhood on Corfu and I'm thrilled to be an onlooker.

I'm trying to finish books and trilogies this fall and I'm already on the last of this trilogy. I highly recommend these.