Book Review: Every Living Thing by James Herriot

This is the second of the two Herriot books I picked up at a charity thing a few months back. Set a couple of decades after Vet in Harness, this follows our Yorkshire based vet on his adventures in the 1950s.

As with the earlier book this is a collection of reminisces and anecdotes, and the semi-autobiographical nature of the writing adds a sense of authenticity and realism.

Herriot writes with real warmth and charm, and a great talent for observation, giving us little snapshots of the people and animals he meets on his rounds. Their stories cover a range of emotions, some tell funny little stories or introduce us to eccentric characters, while others are almost heartbreakingly moving, capturing the depth of love and affection that can grow between man and beast.

Herriot is older here, more accepted by the farmers and more comfortable in his role. His family is growing and he seeks a new home for them, similary he now adopts the senior role and talks of his junior colleagues. One of these, Calum, a nature loving eccentric is a delight, as he collects a growing menagerie of pets.

I read this on a run of night shifts and it was a great choice, with Herriot’s easy, affectionate writing providing a wonderful companion.

A thoroughly charming read filled with warmth and humour.

Verdict: 8/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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