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The Garden of the Gods

Narrated by: Christopher Timothy
Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Science
4.5 out of 5 stars (102 ratings)

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Summary

The enchanted island of Corfu was home to Gerald Durrell and his family for five years before the Second World War. For the passionate young zoologist, Corfu was a natural paradise, teeming with strange birds and beasts that he could collect watch and care for. But life was not without its problems - Gerald’s family often objected to his animal-collecting activities, especially when the beasts wound up in the family’s villa or even worse - the fridge.

©1978 Gerald Durrell (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • L
  • 24-12-12

This is a great book.

Gerald Durrell is hilarious and I laugh no matter how many times I hear it. If you are ever lonely or in ned of cheering up the stories of Geralds hilarious family will never fail. The narration however is probably the worst I have ever heard. I'm not actually sure how this was allowed through the editing room. He can't pronounce simple names like Spiro which is incredibly frustrating. Also there is absolutely no flow to the reading, sometimes it sounds like it was read as separate sentences. I would still recommend this book as its such a great story, it's such a shame that the very poor narration gets in the way.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Lovely writing, but a poor narration

As much as I like Christopher Timothy, I do prefer Nigel Davenport's narration of Gerald Durrell's works. Christopher's pronunciation of 'cicada', 'scopps' and 'Spiro' is a little irritating. Please learn your scripts Mr Timothy!

8 people found this helpful

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

Lovely book but terrible recording

I've loved Gerald Durrell's books since I read my first one nearly 30 years ago. Can't fault the material in this audio book. But the narration sounds like it's been stopped up 10%. Unfortunately there Audible app can only slow the speed by 25%, which then sounds unnatural! I hope the producers of this narration can remaster it!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Story

Durrell is wonderful as usual. Unfortunately though Timothy frustrates with mispronounced names. He also gave Theo an English accent, rather than a Greek one. Not great narration.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Garden of the gods

A lovely story quaint and feel good but actor is hilarious in his characters that he portrays

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The third is charming

But not the best. It is a book I enjoy thoroughly, as I have said about the others in this trilogy. But, as other listeners have written, Christopher Timothy is not Nigel Davenport. And I liked Mr. Davenport better.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story, a shame about the narrator.

Durrell's stories are wonderful, but this book was spoilt by the multiple mistakes in Christopher Timothy's narration. For example, he cannot pronounce cicada ('kickada'), Spiro ('spyro'), and gives Theodore (a central Greek character) an upper class English accent. For anybody who enjoyed Nigel Davenport's narration of the previous two volumes of the Corfu trilogy, this is poor in comparison.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

audio book badly edited

poor quality pronunciation in audio book, long pauses where not needed, badly edited, but great story.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great fun story almost ruined by poor narration!

super fun story with wonderful memories by 'Gerry dear
such a pity that it was almost completely spoilt by Christopher Timothy's dreadful narration. with certain words incorrectly pronounced.
Still however worth a listen!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J
  • 27-11-16

If you would like to read something ‘delightful’ this is the book.

One can come back to listening to this book, read in this way, time and again.

(It is certainly possible to be tired of London, but it can more surely be said that if one is tired of listening to this, ‘one is tired of life’..)

; )

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan Riston
  • 08-10-18

Good stories, mediocre narration

I love these books and this book is no disappointment except for the audio performance by Christopher Timothy. I have the James Herriot books that are narrated by Timothy, and Timothy does an excellent job narrating those books. However, I think he does a bad job on this book. Maybe if I hadn't grown so used to hearing Nigel Davenport narrate these books I wouldn't have been so disappointed. Timothy talks way too fast and in some places I can't even understand what he said. His inflections are not nearly as good as Davenports, either. All in all, I am very disappointed in the audio performance of this book.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Brimar50
  • 18-01-12

Refreshingly Different

What made the experience of listening to The Garden of the Gods the most enjoyable?

The witty and brightly-natured 'British' characters contributed to the light-hearted and entertaining stories of their new life as a family in Corfu. Each chapter depicts a fascinating interaction between the family, visitors from far reaches and the local inhabitants.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Garden of the Gods?

The family party complete with vaudevillian acts for their own entertainment!

What about Christopher Timothy’s performance did you like?

He displays a wealth of character portrayals which seem so accurate. His reading shows a great sense of timing which is necessary maximise the author's humour.

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

Oh yes it made me laugh at the situational humour and the 'one-liners' that abound.

Any additional comments?

The fun of this book was heightened by clever descriptive language which suits our characters so well.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-08-11

Loved it!

Can't wait for the final instalment of the Cofru trilogy!!
The book is advertised as being read by Nigel Davenport, but the download gave me a recording of it by Christopher Timothy. He is still a wonderful reader of the story, but it may be a little surprising when you first begin the story if you're expecting to hear Davenport's voice.
Certainly not a problem overall and I highly recommend this series.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karribeth
  • 23-04-18

Why change the narrator?

Where does The Garden of the Gods rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I loved the book. The narrator was just ok. He paused at awkward moments, and didn't seem to know how to pronounce certain words.
I sorely missed the previous narrator of these books.

What other book might you compare The Garden of the Gods to and why?

Can't think of any. I loved the off-beat characters and the descriptions of everything happening at once. Very skillfully written.

What didn’t you like about Christopher Timothy’s performance?

Unnatural pauses in phrasing, like he wasn't really paying attention, or didn't understand the gist of the sentence.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DFK
  • 12-07-17

Delightful fun

Durrell's got a group of wonderful eccentric characters and a family with a dynamic that will make you think your family is sane and forgive your big brother for practicing wrestling holds on you or cheating at Monopoly. He'll also make you want to visit Corfu. I'm not sure that he'll convince you to be a naturalist - it's fun to hear about the animals and the adventures, but I wouldn't want to deal with the messes, the need to get food for carnivores, etc., etc,, and I hope he won't convince you to capture so many animals rather than to leave them in their natural habitat. Durrell's writing is a pleasure, as is Christopher Timothy's narration, though I did like Nigel Davenport's narration of the previous volume better.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • IMKate
  • 18-04-17

Just plain fun!

Would you listen to The Garden of the Gods again? Why?

I listened to The Garden of the Gods after Durrell's other two books about his family's adventures on Corfu. I could easily and happily just start over from the beginning today, and I am not much for re-reading, or re-listening to, books I have already experienced. Durrell's descriptions are clever and poignant, his characters vivid, and his stories are charming. It is quite simply fun to read stories that make you laugh out loud.

Which character – as performed by Christopher Timothy – was your favorite?

Mrs. Durrell, of course. Her lines are best, and somehow, her femininity is not lost by the male narrator.

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

Mrs. Durrell's responses to Captain Creech's performance at the concluding birthday party.

Any additional comments?

This book, along with the other two in the trilogy are the perfect escape.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • just asking for some common sense
  • 29-09-19

Great Ending to a Quirky Trilogy

This was my favorite of the trilogy - I rushed to finish, dying of laughter as I did, even laughing out loud with my headphones in at the coffee shop this morning. The Durrell's adventures and misadventures on Corfu were interesting to say the least. Gerald was a kid who loved animals. His older brothers and sister were always inviting an assortment of people to visit. The mother was often at a loss to control the madness. The locals and Gerald's tutors were all unique individuals. You can read or listen to this whether or not you've seen "The Durrels on Corfu" by the BBC. I've seen a couple of episodes and it focuses a little more on the mother than the books.

I was disappointed at first that it was a different narrator than the first 2 books, but after a bit found him to be fantastic. He got everything just right.

I highly recommend all 3 of the trilogy in order.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie E. Hodges
  • 03-11-18

Wonderful!

Such a delightful and colorful storyteller. I laughed so many times! The narrator was excellent. I Highly recommend this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Thoughtful Learner
  • 14-07-18

...and added Gerald Durrell to my heroes list.

A revelatory combination of the awe of life that surrounds us and the human comedy within which we experience it. I laughed out loud and learned and grew and added Gerald Durrell to my heroes list.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vicki Perizzolo
  • 15-12-17

The garden of the gods

I thought I'd read everything Gerry Durrell had written but these are new. His family was so entertaining anti I doubt his mum intended that. Love Creech , Spiro, Theo and the rest