My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

  • Ten-year-old Gerald doesn’t know why his older brothers and sisters complain so much. With snakes in the bath and scorpions on the lunch table, the family home on the Greek island of Corfu is a bit like a zoo so they should feel right at home…


My Family and Other Animals has been a favorite book of mine since I first read it at around ten years old, the same age as Gerry is at the beginning of the book. Re-reading childhood favorites can be dangerous, as they often fail to hold the same spell over you that they did at such a formative age, but when I picked My Family and Other Animals up again last year I enjoyed reading it every bit as much as I had that first time.

The book is, quite simply, a delight: full of characters (both two and four-legged) that you desperately wish were a part of your own family – though, like Margo, I feel that I would have drawn the line at having to share my bed with a pigeon called Quasimodo – and conjuring the Durrells’ life in Corfu so vividly that you immediately want to follow their example and abandon rainy England for a sunnier clime.

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