Read The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell Online


The Corfu Trilogy consists of the popular classic My Family and Other Animals and its delightful sequels, Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods. All three books are set on the enchanted island of Corfu in the 1930s, and tell the story of the eccentric English family who moved there. For Gerald, the budding zoologist, Corfu was a natural paradise, teeming wThe Corfu Trilogy consists of the popular classic My Family and Other Animals and its delightful sequels, Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods. All three books are set on the enchanted island of Corfu in the 1930s, and tell the story of the eccentric English family who moved there. For Gerald, the budding zoologist, Corfu was a natural paradise, teeming with strange birds and beasts that he could collect, watch and care for. But life was not without its problems - his family often objected to his animal-collecting activities, especially when the beasts wound up in the villa or - even worse - the fridge. With hilarious yet endearing portraits of his family and their many unusual hangers-on, The Corfu Trilogy also captures the beginnings of the author's lifelong love of animals. Recounted with immense humour and charm, this wonderful account of Corfu's natural history reveals a rare, magical childhood....

Title : The Corfu Trilogy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780141028415
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 757 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Corfu Trilogy Reviews

  • Jean
    2019-06-01 09:36

    Many readers will be familiar with Durrell's "My Family and Other Animals", the autobiography he wrote in 1956 about his idyllic childhood in Corfu. The Corfu Trilogy includes two more books on the same theme "Birds, Beasts and Relatives" (1969) and "The Garden of the Gods" (1978). Presumably there must have been demand for more of the same since these publication dates are so wide apart, and Durrell had published numerous books in the interim, dealing with his animal exploits, all told in a very humorous way. Given this, I was pleased to find the narrative to be seamless. One book of anecdotes flows naturally on from another - and he could have written more, since there is no real conclusion to "The Garden of the Gods". "My Family and Other Animals" on the other hand starts with a very amusing account of the reasons why the family emigrated, and most of the book takes place against a background of the various villas they moved to. The reasons for the house move are almost unbelievable. It is a mark of the author's skill that the reader is frequently carried along by the narrative, enjoying what seem to be incredible (or at least highly unlikely) episodes. This became his trademark writing style.These three books are immensely readable because of the way the characters are depicted. All Durrell's family seem remarkably eccentric. His widowed mother with her vagueness, reminiscences of her earlier time in India and enthusiasm for all things culinary, seems perpetually bemused by the odd assortment of interests her children have. Larry was the oldest at 23, (Lawrence Durrell, of course, the literary novelist.) He insisted on inviting all and sundry to their home - poets, artists, musicians, Indian princes ... Anyone whom he had met on his travels and found interesting. He was frequently off on his travels again when they eventually visited. Leslie was nineteen, and only interested in guns and shooting. Durrell's sister Margo was 18. He describes her rather unkindly as being obsessed by her acne, her weight, and various fashion magazines. No doubt these are highly exaggerated versions, as are the wonderful Corfu characters they befriend and are befriended by. But it makes for a rich and hilarious tapestry of day-to-day events, which Durrell describes with great affection - and a keen eye for the ridiculous!What makes these books unique - or at least the first of their kind - is that Durrell captures this highly coloured portrayal of the characters and places of his childhood, and intersperses it with absorbing accounts of the flora and fauna of Corfu. He clearly was fascinated by Nature from infancy, and his enthusiasm for the subject shines through every moment. Reading this book is an education about the wildlife of Corfu as well as being a vivid description of a young boy's determination to observe, learn, respect and collect everything he could about the natural world. Although he was only 10 years old in these novels, it goes a long way to explain what made Durrell the man he was. He is sadly missed for many reasons.

  • Laura
    2019-05-22 03:41

    This lovely book just arrived from Bonn. Thank you so much dear TA!!This trilogy is composed of the following books: My Family and Other Animals, Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods.In this autobiography, the author describes the life of his family in the Greek island of Corfu , an island surrounded by several battles and conquests, including World War I and II.The author, being a naturalist, describes how his family’s daily life intertwined with the local landscape and culture and there is no way that the reader wouldn’t smile while reading this magic book. In 1958 Durrell founded the Jersey Zoological Park (now Durrell Wildlife Park) to house his growing collection of animals. In 1963, he founded the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (now Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust), on 6 July 1963 to cope with the increasingly difficult challenges of zoo, wildlife and habitat management.Les Augrès Manor, Jersey - headquarters of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Princess Anne has been a patron of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust for 40 years.His brother, Lawrence Durrell was also a famous and well-known writer, mainly due to his masterpiece The Alexandria Quartet.

  • trishtrash
    2019-06-17 04:57

    I have read and reread (several times) Gerald Durrell’s enchanting memoir My Family and Other Animals, and most of his other animal-collecting / Jersey Zoo tales but never until now the other two stories in the ‘Corfu Trilogy’, feeling, perhaps, that the first book could not really be outdone, and there was such a thing as too much of a good thing. The most immediate thing to happen, however, when I did finally pick up the amalgamated trilogy, was that it refreshed my appreciation for the first book, which I immediately went back and reread with renewed enthusiasm after reading the sequels. Gerry’s family, the Greek cast of characters, and above all the tremendous influx of animals which young Gerry amasses, provides the author with more than enough material to fill three books without leaving the reader dissatisfied. I still feel that the charm and delight is stronger with the first book, but only because by the second we are thoroughly introduced and acquainted with the level of amiable chaos one can expect from any story involving the Durrells. If I had felt that perhaps the standard might be lower than the scorpions-in-the-matchbox scene which fixed My Family and Other Animals place as the best memoir I’d ever read, then I was proved wrong on more than one occasion (“How do you explain a bloody great bear in the drawing room?” – Larry Durrell, Birds, Beasts and Relatives). More to the point, Corfu doesn’t become over-described by Durrell’s revisited descriptions, but remains a bright, endlessly fascinating jewel of an island.Is this a somewhat idealised view of a place and a life and group of people? Yes, absolutely. I think that’s why we love it; Durrell provides us with fact that is as endearing as fiction, perhaps overplayed sometimes, but nonetheless faithful to his childhood recollection. I think what I like most is that Durrell doesn’t apologise for his good fortune or his excellently eccentric family, doesn’t retroactively explain that attitudes to animal-collecting were different, or do anything but impart, with fondness and amusement, the highlights from the earliest days of his love-affair with animals which means that the reader is immersed in pure story, a memoir with no agenda but to entertain and enlighten.

  • Rushati Mukherjee
    2019-06-05 10:45

    I DIDN'T WANT THIS BOOK TO END. I didn't even intend to read this book for pure enjoyment, but about two pages in I completely forgot about analysing it or looking at it as a student. I was laughing at and with the Durrell family in Corfu. It was bliss, a purer escape than any I have got near to recently. Funnily enough, I did notice some of Durrell's techniques: his way of keeping the narrator, aka himself, in the background, as an observer rather than a participant, was beautifully executed, especially in conversation when he was always quoted indirectly. His effervescent, almost Keatsian descriptions of Corfu's natural beauty was arresting, if a trifle lengthy in parts. I loved the way he endowed animals with humanoid personalities. And I loved the free. broad-spectrum madness the Durrell family embraced as their philosophy. Uplifting, incredibly humorous and touching all at the same time, it was a wonderful read.

  • Elwycke
    2019-06-04 03:40

    I read 'My Family & Other Animals' at school, which led me to read other books by Mr.Durrell.I remembered them with great affection and was thinking how much I'd like to read them again and one morning I got on the train to go to work and there sitting on an empty seat was this book 'The Corfu Trilogy'. Serendipitous!So I got to go back to Corfu with Gerald and his maddeningly lovable family 30 years after i first went there.It is pure escapism of the very best kind.

  • Liz
    2019-06-08 08:57

    My new favorite! The first one is the best. He's very reminiscent of James Herriot for me, animals+humor+a certain kind of warmth that is very comforting. Books for when you are sick or sad or just need to feel good. Will definitely be buying a copy and re-reading through the years!

  • Kathlyn
    2019-05-22 08:31

    There are very few books I would read a second time let alone a third but this is one of those. My favourite book of all time.

  • K.
    2019-06-06 04:48

    Absolutely adorable. Enjoyed from beginning to end. The mini-series is also wonderful, visually and for entertainment value, but the books are even better. They really changed around some of the circumstances in the show, I guess to bring some pathos and melodrama, but it didn't need it. Just following the book would have been even better. Can't believe I'd never heard of this guy. His humor is so perfect. Many laugh out loud moments. He also writes rather nicely...really. He uses a ton of metaphor, which can get really tedious with some writers, and while I began to notice more often that he used it so often (!) I found the metaphor so well done that I marveled at his imagination. Highly recommend. Both for natural history lovers and literature lovers, humor lovers and family drama lovers. Just wonderful. Plus, on kindle for 3.99 or so.

  • Rosie
    2019-06-16 05:33

    This is such a fantastic book. So funny, thoughtful and delicate in its treatment of family life in Corfu. Seeing the world through the eyes of a young Gerald just makes you love animals in the uniquely caring and scientific way that he does. A great read.

  • Derek Hummerston
    2019-05-23 03:40

    Laugh out loud funny. The first book is the strongest, but the others are also very good: some great set pieces and the characterisation is excellent. It's full of similes, personification and other devices that serious literary types might sniff at, but I say just jump in and enjoy the ride.

  • Eva Dillner
    2019-05-27 07:43

    The TV series made me yearn for more. This book is an absolute delight from start to finish.

  • Mandy Setterfield
    2019-05-30 10:44

    Fantastic holiday reading, just right for a hot Mediterranean summer. Gerald's family are actually more interesting than the animals! Plenty of humour and interest - lovely.

  • priya
    2019-05-22 02:55

    A very vivid account of Gerry's childhood which exudes warmth and joy with every humorous incident of his new pets and possessions. His family life drama will make you laugh your lungs out and you will be wanting for more.

  • BookCrazy
    2019-06-08 07:29

    I seem to be in a minority of readers who didn't rate this book very highly. I found myself ambivalent about the story as I was reading. I wanted to like it better than I did.Overall the book is very well written it terms of composition and structure. The descriptions of Corfu and daily life made everything come to life - you could see, hear, and taste what was going on. The vignettes about the family were funny and human. One could see any of us in that situation either tearing our hair out and giving up, or else rolling with reality and enjoying life. So what was my problem? I guess I'm not a naturalist. I got bored quickly with the endless description of the non-human animals and their habitats. I understand that was Gerald Durrell's love and what drove him. I admire him for his work conserving animals and their habitats. However, after hundreds of pages I just couldn't read any more of it.So knowing something about Gerald Durrell, why did I decide to read this? It was the recent PBS series "The Durrells in Corfu"that sent me to this book. I loved the family, the calamity, the way they battled and fought, and their wonderful friends. I want an adventure like that! Because of the TV show and reading more about him, I've now added Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet and Avignon Quintet to my "to read" pile .Would I recommend the book - yes - it just wasn't for me.

  • Kynan
    2019-06-01 09:27

    I don't know how many times I read my parent's copy of My Family and Other Animals when I was growing up, I'd wager that it was a double-digit figure. I think this was my original introduction to Durrell's world, and I voraciously devoured nearly all of the rest of his works after reading it. All except the rest of the Corfu-based novels. I have no idea why or how I missed them, but I did, and it was only recently that I discovered the existence of Birds, Beasts, and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods when Amazon suggested this volume (the Corfu Triology) to me.It's hard to describe the amount of joy that I got from that first book. I didn't realise when I first read it just how much artistic license was was taken with a lot of the facts of the tale, to be honest a lot of it is probably fiction. I don't know if that realisation coloured my enjoyment of the two subsequent volumes or if I'm just older and more jaded, harder to please. That said, there were still several laugh out loud moments in each of them and I'll quite probably come back to them again at some later date when I need cheering up. You really can't beat Mr Durrell when it comes to luscious prose (he can paint a truly transportational picture of somewhere, engaging all of your senses in evocation of the scene), naive wonder and hilarious anecdotes. If you've not read these books, at very least check out My Family and Other Animals. You won't regret it!

  • Jenalyn
    2019-06-10 04:52

    Great writing, wonderful characters. Hilarious. Added to my Best Reads list. Po! po! po! po!

  • Sarah
    2019-05-28 03:36

    A joyful and fascinating book about the author Gerald Durell as a boy who is intensely in love with all of nature and his unconventional family who move from England to Corfu Greece during the 1930s. His family includes an extremely tolerant mother, 2 older brothers one a writer with a constant string of visiting acquaintances of every artistic category, the other a gun enthusiast, and a sister with a typical teenage nature of sorts. The story revolves around the Gerald's collections and how the family is impacted by the various creatures and the interesting and quirky island inhabitants and visitors that become part of the Durell family's wonderful story's.I couldn't help but be envious of the unconventional and fascinating childhood that was portrayed.

  • Pamela Okano
    2019-06-01 03:32

    This is collection of the three delightful books naturalist Gerald Durrell wrote about his family's life in Corfu, both before and after WWII. The PBS series is loosely based on them and captures this unusual family's (his eldest brother was Lawrence Durrell, the famous novelist) quirky personalities perfectly, although the TV series concentrates on the mother's point of view, while the books focus more on young Gerald's perspective and thus deals much more with wildlife. Gerald's charming sense of humor shines through his writing and it often made me smile and sometimes laugh out loud at the predicaments his family members found themselves in. Highly recommended for light reading.

  • LauraKaarina
    2019-06-03 04:41

    This collection of "My Family and Other Animals" and its sequels, "Birds, Beasts and Relatives" and "The Garden of the Gods", belongs to the genre of favourite books of childhood revisited in adulthood and still loved. The story of an eccentric English family's life on the Greek island of Corfu in the 1930s still shimmers with magic, sunshine and humour. The beginnings of Gerald Durrell's lifelong love for nature and career as zoologist are told with great warmth and understanding. I think his books were a huge influence for me and countless others learning to love nature and animals - not just the cute and fluffy ones, too.

  • Barbara
    2019-05-26 07:34

    This was a set text at school, I enjoyed it so much I "forgot" to hand it in at the end of term. The studies of Gerald's large and eccentric family are pure genius, told with humour and enough bite to make them both believable and hilarious. Many of the animals become like family members with their own characters and quirks; Widdle and Puke spring to mind...Anytime I want to read something laugh out loud funny, I turn to the incident of the scorpions in the matchbox. No spoilers, just a fabulous build up to some of the best comedy writing I have ever read.

  • D.A. Nelson
    2019-06-03 03:50

    Loved loved loved this trilogy of stories from Gerald Durrell. Reading this was sparked by the recent tv adaptation of these books and I have not regretted my decision to buy them. Beautifully written, funny and full of sunshine. Gerald's humour and excellent eye for the absurb shines out throughout. Fab book.

  • Ms Miaow
    2019-05-29 04:40

    I can't believe I haven't read any Gerald Durrell books before this,his writing is so entertaining,funny and well written,I haven't enjoyed a book as much as this in a long time.I thoroughly recommend it.

  • Gabrielle Corley
    2019-05-22 09:45

    Loved this, quaint but not too sweet. The PBS series does it an honor and i recommend it too all who follow Masterpiece TheaterMmmmmm!mmmmmmm mmm !!!d. H. H. Y. Olu u u I I j JJ nk I ink I jokj h h

  • Bethnoir
    2019-06-05 06:50

    I loved this. It was beautifully written, portrayed the people with fondness and amusement and made me laugh helplessly on more than on occasion. Highly recommended.

  • Michelle
    2019-05-20 08:41

    Delightful laugh-out-loud tales of growing up in Corfu...loved it!

  • Bronwen Webb
    2019-05-20 07:55

    This book is a heavenly read. Enjoyed every minute of it and will read again and again. Just read it.

  • Claire
    2019-06-09 07:28

    Perfect holiday read. Really enjoyed it

  • Samantha
    2019-06-16 03:48

    Durrell writes beautifully, there's no doubt of that, but I don't seem to have enjoyed this as much as most of its readers. Perhaps it was the absurdist nature of the interactions amongst the Durrell family members. Funny, sure, but so ridiculous that much of the dialogue is clearly fabricated. The book is a travelogue, so I don't expect it to be factual beyond a shadow of a doubt as I would with most nonfiction, but this just felt like too much. The whole thing almost felt hammy, like a high school play. I also, as a fellow enthusiast for the Greek island of Corfu, was disappointed by the role it played in this book. To be fair, that probably isn't the fault of the author. Written about events that occurred in the 1930s, Durrell's account of Corfu didn't look or feel much like mine. While a place like this has likely changed far less between then and now than, say, New York City, the chasm was to big for the book to be relatable in the way that, for example, Peter Mayle's terrific travel narratives of France are.It's possible I am entirely at fault here, and simply overhyped the series to myself (it didn't help that it took me almost 4 years to track down the edition I was hunting for). My tepid enthusiasm for the books is likely just that - mine.

  • Denzil
    2019-06-05 10:36

    This lovely trilogy contains 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 is a master story-teller, getting the perfect balance between exceptional nature observations and the hilarious experiences of his family, their many visitors and the local Corfites.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. And hopefully the same children might realise that things were different then, and that the young Gerald’s nest-robbing etc. laid the foundation for his later magnificent work in breeding and protecting endangered species.

  • Mal
    2019-06-18 10:49

    The Corfu Trilogy is a splendid retelling of Gerald Durrell's extraordinary adventures on the island of Corfu. The stories of Durrell's escapades, his family's idiosyncrasies and life on the island are thoroughly engaging and entertaining. Gerry Durrell is 8 years old when his family moves to the Greek island of Corfu. With its rich diversity of animal, insect and marine life, the island is a treasure trove for the curious and spirited Durrell. He begins his quest to learn all he can about the life and habits of the creatures he encounters. Consequently, he fills his room with a wild variety of animals, reptiles, birds and insects- much to the consternation of his family. What clearly shines through the stories is Durrell's passion for animals. No surprise then that he grew up to be one of the most renowned natural historians of the 20th century. It was a real pleasure to read these books and I was loath to finish reading them. Easily the most captivating, charming and humorous memoir of childhood I have ever read.