Book Review: Beasts in My Belfry by Gerald Durrell

I’m a big fan of Durrell’s writing, where his love of nature shines through with warmth and humour. This book follows his early days, where he got a job at Whipsnade Zoo in order to gain more experience of working with animals.

durrell beasts

Over the course of the year Durrell would work with a variety of animals, eagerly comprising notes and studying them in his time off, keen to learn as much about them as he could. Here he collects his observations and stories of the time, discussing the characters of the creatures and the misadventures as he learned the ropes.

His passion for the animal kingdom shines through, and his humorous way of looking at the beasts and their habits make this a charming, sweet read that shows his growing passion for conservation and ideas for how zoos should work to protect the species in their care.

It’s rather brief, but as he was only at Whipsnade for a year that’s understandable, and it keeps the book moving as he tells interesting stories along the way.

Reading this on my lunch break made me wish I could work with animals, and that life was as simple as the post war years, where Durrell gets his job simply by writing to the zoo asking for a gig. Simpler times.

Another charming and interesting read from Durrell, a talented and passionate writer.

Verdict: 8/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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