Review: All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finally finished it!!! Took forever, too.

I did not enjoy this story as a fictional tale. I did enjoy it as a re-enactment of events with the names changed to protect identities. It read more like a journal of veterinary events. Which I’m fine with, but I was sold on the idea of a story about a vet meeting the love of his life. (And she didn’t come in until page 205(?) or 52% of the book. Even then, it was a hit or miss as to whether the narrator would talk about her.)

Don’t get me wrong, there were some fantastic anecdotes in here. I loved the parts with Herriot’s client, the Pekinese Tricki and Mrs. Pomfrey. The woman made the dog talk, send notes, throw parties. It was fun to read that from a vet’s perpective. I enjoyed the tension in the vet house between Siegfried–the vet who hired Herriot on as an assistant–and his brother, Tristan. Though, I swear, Siegfried was a royal @$$ to him for no good reason. There were shining, gleaming pieces to the rural country life in England.

But there was also the “ewwww” factor in a lot of the story. Being that the author (nee James Wight) was a real life vet, some of the ailments and processes were described in great detail. GREAT DETAIL! Bleh. Something my overly-sensitive, empathetic soul can’t do well. I found myself cringing and making the yuck face often as I read.

It was that balance of “ick” with the funny anecdotes that I managed to land on a three. I think going into this, it’s all about personal preference as to what you like and what you can stomach. I’d highly recommend this to any burgeoning vets out there, especially if they want to go into rural/farm work–I know a specific someone I’m going to rec this to because of that.

Just a sweet, wholesome, educational read for just the right eyes.


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