An autobiography, All Creatures Great and Small was written by James Herriot, audiobook narrated by Christopher Timothy, and is close to 16 hours of listening. Narration by Timothy is great, no issues and a pleasant listen.

A Norman Rockwell painting in print, or possibly A Prairie Home Companion radio broadcast, this story tells us of an innocent world cover to cover. No murder, no bad language, no sex, a clean … really clean … story. Depending on perspective, All Creatures Great and Small is young adult, although the story has moments of eloquent prose a seasoned reader will enjoy. Settings and environmental detail is nicely conveyed – you’ll smell the barn.

The story begins early in Jim Herriot’s life as a rural veterinarian and ends with his marriage just prior to WWII. The book is a compilation of short stories, Jim’s adventures as a vet, i.e., birthing pigs and cows, turning a foal in the womb, being “uncle” to a wealthy woman’s Pekinese and pet pig, and eccentric farmers pouring out old wives tales of animal cures. Example: Cut off the tail of a cow to let the worm out. Jim keeps a straight face through such advice if he wants to keep the farmer as a customer.

There are sequels to All Creatures Great and Small, a BBC television series, etc., it’s been around a long time – mid 1970s. A great story for a family read and discussion, or a gift for any animal lover. Just a lovely story. Enjoy.

 

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