This audio version of Herriot's inspirational account is wonderfully read by talented actor Christopher Timothy, who plays Herriot in the popular BBC series. Timothy's versatile voice brings life to a host of colorful characters. Herriot's ability to effectively convey the lovely countryside, the harsh winters, and the intriguing personalities who are a part of his life makes for delightful listening. Primarily about the people and events touching on Herriot's Yorkshire life and practice, this audiobook may disappoint listeners who cherish stories based principally on the author's work with animals. Libraries that have had an enthusiastic patronage for Herriot's work should consider purchasing. Although not the best of his material, it is still beautifully written, expertly read, and professionally produced. The natural, comfortable breaks in Herriot's vignettes make this recording ideal for commuters. A worthwhile addition to most collections.-Carolyn Alexander, Technical Information Ctr., Ft. Hunter Liggett, Cal.
Smashingly good sequel to the beloved veterinarian's earlier memoirs, and well worth the ten-year wait since The Lord God Made Them All. Although no exact dates are given, Herriot seems to pick up just where he left off, in the 1960's in rural Yorkshire, when veterinary medicine was still a barehanded, rough-and-tumble affair, with farm animals the main patients and infection a constant threat. (Herriot seems to spend half his time slipping on cow turds or with his arm up a cow's vagina, helping a birthing calf see the light of day.) The author's superbly gifted partner, Siegfried, is back, as is Herriot's loving wife, Helen. But the practice has expanded and much of the good feeling here involves two assistants: John Crooks, who goes on to become a world-class vet, and Calum Buchanan, eccentric supreme, who eats ducks with feathers attached and collects a menagerie of badgers, foxes, monkeys, and rabbits before setting out for Papua New Guinea. Herriot buys a house; dresses like a buffoon to save a client's farm; comes down with a dreadful cow disease; tends to our old friend Tricky Woo, Mrs. Pumphrey's spoiled Pekingese; and, in general, sheds his benign presence on a zooful of animals and a zooful of human beings. The milieu is deliciously familiar"a dirty, dangerous job" made glorious by "the whole rich life." So is the moralthat love of animals is synonymous with love of human beings, and that there can never be too much of either. Crafted with foxy intelligence and angelic compassion: proof that for a "vitnery" in the Yorkshire dales, life is blissand bliss, too, for a few hours at least, for happy readers. (Book-of- the-Month Dual Selection forOctober)