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Summary

This memoir is soaked in the sunshine of Corfu, where Gerald Durrell lived as a boy, surrounded by his eccentric family - as well as puppies, toads, scorpions, geckoes, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, bats, and butterflies.
©1956 Gerald Durrell (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

"A lot of frolic, fun, and charming ribaldry, as well as the warm feeling of having been transported to a lovely spot where worry is unknown and anything is believable." ( The New York Times)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Animal Anecdotes

The first of the Corfu trilogy. Arguably the most popular book Durrell has written, later filmed for TV. Full of funny anecdotes about his eccentric family and friends, with a good dose of animals too. Every time I listen to this I long to be in Corfu with all its inhabitants, human and otherwise as well as the beautiful backdrop of the island itself which Durrell so vividly describes. I listen to this audio book regularly and never tire of it. If this is the first Durrell book you listen to then it's a good start and a must for all those, who like me, love Durrell's books.

30 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • 26-03-09

Good but maybe I shouldn't have

I downloaded this because I remembered how much I loved it and laughed out loud when I read it as a teenager (several centuries ago). I have to say that I was slightly disappointed by the second visit but I think this was to do with my SOH moving on. Years ago Larry seemed hilarious and enviably sardonic; now he seemed boringly selfish and even began to get on my nerves. That said there was still loads to enjoy and I listened with pleasure to the end. I loved revisiting Corfu in my mind and the best things are Gerry himself and his adventures with his animals. Nigel Davenport does a great job of narration. I specially admired his ability to characterise the Greeks without making them sound over-comic.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I'm glad I waited

Here's a book that presented itself to me over and over throughout my years yet somehow I never found it the moment to read until now. The narration is superb, the characters funny and warm and its a total escape back to a simpler pre-war idyll. I'm glad I came to it as an audiobook because the characterisation and the measured approach forces one to listen and experience it at the correct pace and to revel in the warm breezes that stir the pages. I have decided to postpone listening to the further books because this one was so complete and satisfying on its own that I don't want to dilute the experience. Most enjoyable like a glass of ouzo on a hot summers day..

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cynthia
  • Hinckley, United Kingdom
  • 30-08-07

At Last

I've been hoping Audible would get around to publishing books by either Gerald Durrell or David Attenborough. Although this is my least favourite of the Durrell books I've read, it is still a brilliant, interesting and witty piece - so more please!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • wendy
  • Coffs Harbour, Australia
  • 26-04-12

an affectionate romp

I really enjoyed this affectionate recollection of a childhood full of generous (well mostly), freindly excentrics, beautifully narrated by Nigel Davenport. I felt bereft when it was over :(

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

HILARIOUS

I was looking for a funny book to cheer me up, and this didn't disappoint! So funny and warm, I don't think you'd even need to be an animal lover to appreciate this, the humour is so palpable. I'll definitely be seeking out the other Durrell audiobooks. "Bum-trinket" is my family's new favourite word!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jas
  • UK
  • 07-04-13

Slice of happiness

Who could not be enchanted by this tale of an animal loving boy in Corfu with his nutty family. Funny and enchanting. You don't want it to end. Something to settle down to on a long journey.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adrian
  • Clophill, United Kingdom
  • 08-01-13

What do you mean you've never read it?

Bought this as I had read it as a young man (16 or 17) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the narration and the story is funny and also touching in places. A recommended read for teenagers and young adults and for nostalgia for those of us who are slightly older. A classic! Watch out for those Magenpies though!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely charming

This was one of my favourite books as a girl and I was so pleased that my daughter loved it as well. This version is beautifully read and listening to it is a delight. Take it as a standalone experience and don't try to read up on Durrell's biography, or this one may be spoilt for you. Hint - it's not all strictly accurate.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

An all time favourite!!

I will cherish this book forever. I love the narration, the story in itself and the imagery given by Gerald Durrell and Nigel Davenport as he explicates the story so eloquently. It might be a little advanced for young listeners, but I will try to pass it on to my animal loving niece's and nephews as soon as I can.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • T.K.
  • 21-06-08

A thoroughly delightful book!

I found this superb, well-written and extremely well-narrated audiobook to be a delight. The tale itself is a riviting "page-turner" unlike any other. And the fantastic reader/narrator truly made me believe I was hearing each and every character very distinctly, as he is a marvel with accents and intonation and deadpan humor. I laughed out loud many, many times as I followed the very eccentric ex-pat English family into - and out of - their adventures in Greece, as seen through their naive and wonderfully animal-crazy young son. I could relate so much to this story, as I was a similar, very curious ex-pat child myself, driving my family to distraction with stray and wild critters I brought home, marveling at each one. But I would recommend this audiobook to anyone, ex-pat or not, at any age above 12, and even whethor or not they've traveled a bit with their families. Anyone can appreciate the quirks of other cultures and people as told in this book. There are many memorable moments in the book, but I will never forget "Boodle Trinketbottom" as long as I live! This book absolutely earns five stars!

82 of 84 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bronwyn
  • 16-01-08

The original dysfunctional family

Having first read this book over 30 years ago I was eager to relive the experience. The audio book did not disappoint. Durrell writes one anecdote after another and all of them are a delight. This book is light, witty, wonderful entertainment.
His writing is deliciously descriptive and makes Corfu sound completely irresistible. It also makes his family sound gloriously insane. I loved every minute of it just as I did the first time around. This book made me an instant Durrell convert who then went on to read every book of his that I could find.

69 of 71 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • J and M
  • 16-12-16

Another kid lit favorite.

When my kids were in school, I would always read or listen to the books they were reading on their reading lists so we could discuss them, thus build comprehension and understanding. There was a time when the majority of my reading was kid lit, since they were rarely on the same book, and I needed to keep up with each of them. Audiobooks became a must for me. And, this is one of many of the kid lit books that I loved. This story cracked me up. This book is laugh out loud funny, and full of dry humor. And, I still repeat listen to it for the simple entertainment. The narrator, Nigel Davenport has perfect delivery for cracking you up, evoking emotions, and keeping you captivated.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • 30-05-16

Still charming

Davenport reads this beautifully, and I can see why, in my junior high school days, I was such an enthusiastic Gerald Durrell fan: the jolly tone, the exotic locale, the focus on wildlife, the amusingly eccentric family, the occasional slapstick misadventure, the seemingly carefree existence that the boyish hero enjoys, etc. Today I'm a little more resistant to the book's relentless sunniness, but no one does it better than Durrell.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lyric G. Eads
  • 19-01-17

Different and interesting

I didn't find this as funny as it was purported to be, but it was lively and interesting. Narrator does an excellent job - I particularly loved Spiro's gravelly voice. I didn't mind the nature bits, as they were part and parcel of the overall story ménage. The mother must have been one of the most sanguine people ever - I wouldn't have put up with half of what she did but if she hadn't been so malleable, half the fun wouldn't have happened!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-09-16

Best book ever!

This is the funniest book I have ever read. The narrator was perfect with excellent accents for the variety of characters. I have never laughed so much from a book. I was terribly sad it ended.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-10-16

Totally mesmerizing !

Very interesting & entertaining. A great companion to the PBS series "The Durells in Corfu",which is brilliant. Looking forward to listening to the entire Trilogy! Incredible narration. Not to be missed by any Masterpiece Theater fans.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-12-10

Charming, hilarious memoir

This is one of my favorite books of all times. I've read it over and over. It is the story of a very eccentric family that decides to move to Corfu to escape the dreary English winters. Each person in the story is unique in his or her own way. The true story is narrated by the youngest member, a boy of nine or ten at the outset. His love of native animals, which he brings home and attempts to raise in the household will make you cry with laughter. An absolute classic.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eliza
  • 27-07-16

Hilarity ensues

This is really Gerry's story, and as seen from the perspective of a child whose main interest is animals, all the adults appear ridiculous (unless they know something about nature and animals), and Corfu is a glorious, sunny range for his explorations. Durrell would become an internationally known advocate for conservation of endangered animals. His sense of humor may be a bit dated, but having grown up with his books, I find it charming. Nigel Davenport's narration is excellent.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • snowy plover
  • 08-08-16

HILARIOUS!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes eccentric English families and/or animals, Corfu or a good laugh.

What about Nigel Davenport’s performance did you like?

The performance by Nigel Davenport was superb and lent a great deal to the enjoyment of the book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

If you want a good time, listen to this book. I laughed throughout.

Any additional comments?

This book is a real gem and I'm moving on to the next one.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful