The Corfu Trilogy

Posted November 23, 2017 by Denzil in Reviews / 0 Comments

Corfu Trilogy Gerald Durrell
The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell
Published by Open Road Media on November 29th 2016
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs, Nature, Animals, Wildlife, Travel, Europe, Greece
Pages: 768
ISBN: 9781504043328
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The complete trilogy that inspired Masterpiece production The Durrells in Corfu in one volume.

The tales of a naturalist and his family, who left England for the Greek island of Corfu—where they interacted with fascinating locals of both human and animal varieties—these memoirs have become beloved bestsellers and inspired the delightful series that aired on PBS television.   Included in this three-book collection are:  My Family and Other Animals: Ten-year-old Gerald Durrell arrives on sun-drenched Corfu with this family and pursues his interest in natural history, making friends with the island’s fauna—from toads and tortoises to scorpions and geckos—while reveling in the joyous chaos of growing up in an unconventional household.  Birds, Beasts and Relatives: Written after a boyhood spent studying zoology, this memoir is part nature guide, part coming-of-age tale, and all charmingly funny memoir.  The Garden of the Gods: In the conclusion of the trilogy, Durrell shares more tales of wild animals and his even wilder family, including his mother, Louisa, and his siblings Lawrence, Leslie, and Margo, in the years before World War II.   “[Durrell’s] books have an unfailing charm. . . . It is a tribute to his skill that one never tires of his accounts” (Chicago Tribune).  This ebook features an illustrated biography of Gerald Durrell including rare photos from the author’s estate.  

The three books making up the delightful Corfu Trilogy are all excellent as stand-alone reads. They are the classic My Family and Other Animals, and the lesser known but equally good Birds, Beasts and Relatives, and The Garden of the Gods.

In all three, Durrell shows his skills as a master story-teller and superb naturalist. He gets the perfect balance between exceptional nature observations and the hilarious experiences of his family, their many visitors and the local Corfites.

Then was different to now

Of course, there is an outdated element to the books. No child today should be encouraged or allowed to collect the vast number of animals that Durrell did, which included robbing birds’ nests and other (now) illegal activities!

So I would imagine a child reading it today might be amazed at what the young Gerald got away with. But hopefully it might lead to some useful discussions on protecting wildlife, and conserving habitats and ecosystems, rather than taking animals from the wild and keeping them in cages.

Hopefully too, the same children might realize that things were different then. The young Gerald’s nest-robbing and other activities proved useful. They laid the foundation for his later magnificent work in breeding and protecting endangered species of animals.

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