I received both of these audiobooks from the publisher via Netgalley at my request. The rating and comments are my own. I love stories about animals and looked forward to listening to both of these. The audiobooks are narrated by Nicholas Ralph, the star of the new BBC series. He had an amazing voice. He was Herriot to me and I felt like I was sitting there listening to him telling me the story of his day.
All Creatures Great and Small (All Creatures Great and Small #1 & #2) by James Herriot, Nicholas Ralph (Narrator)
Published November 17th 2020 by Macmillan Audio (first published 1972)
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Oh to live in the world of James Herriot, the pen name of James Alfred (Alf) Wight, the real-life mid-20th century country vet of the Yorkshire Dales in northern England. Veterinary care was very different back then and the stories that Dr. Herriot tells had me in stitches one minute, on the edge of my seat the next and close to tears an hour later. The story begins with Herriot as a newly graduated vet arriving at the home and veterinarian practice of Siegfried Farnon and his brother Tristan, two eccentric fellows who are often the reason I laughed so much. They made James do the work, but were there to take the credit. The farmers he worked with didn’t know if they could or should trust him, and often they insisted it was what they did that cured their animals, not Herriot. This is a light hearted book, with a collection of stories put together to form this book. I love animals and found this a delightful read, with Herriot’s description and anecdotes adding much to his cases. One thing I liked was that each chapter contained a story, so I could put this down and come back to it whenever I wanted. I definitely recommend this book to those who love animals or want to learn more about the evolution of veterinary medicine.
All Things Bright and Beautiful (All Creatures Great and Small #1 & #2) by James Herriot, Nicholas Ralph (Narrator)
Published November 17th 2020 by Macmillan Audio (first published 1974)
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This second volume in the All Creatures Great and Small series, picks up where the first ended. James is recently married and his wife is involved in many of his stories. I think I enjoyed this volume more as the characters we meet (the owners of the animals he doctors to) were more endearing. There were so many humorous stories and some of the dialect and language as laymen tried to tell him how to do his job, had me in stitches. Unfortunately veterinarian medicine was not as well developed as it is today, so not all of his patients survive. There are also many incidents where folk remedies may or may not have helped the patients and James does admit (at least in the book, not to the patient’s owners) that he is not sure what is wrong or how to treat the afflicted animal, and even times that they get better and he isn’t sure why. Overall, this was a joy to read. Lots of humour, humanity, and some grief. If you love animals and stories about them, then pick this one up.