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5 thoughts on “Selected Works

  1. BookHound & BookHound & says:

    You can never go wrong with James Herriot's stories They are delightful to read describing the antics of vet's practice in Yorkshire in the late 1930s With each tale he tells it feels like James is right there telling you the stories of his life as a vet The stories are so vividly told and the animals that James encountered in his practice and the animals' owners are memorable each in their own way

  2. Enikő Enikő says:

    I got this book as a present from my parents when I was young and dreaming of becoming a vet and it immediately became a favourite of mine I read it every couple of years or so until I lost it in a move I have finally got my hands on it again and I must say reading it was like slipping on an old glove From the first sentence on to the first few paragraphs I had a huge grin on my face I remember this The enjoyment lasted through all six novels contained in this 829 page edition It was wonderful to find all the stories I remembered like reconnecting with old friends humans and animals alike like Terry Watson p 144 of my edition who kept two cows of his own and stayed up all night caring for his sick cow after having put in a full day's work for the farmer he worked for then went to work and put in another full day of work There was also Frank Metcalfe p378 who had farming in his blood but who because of bad luck had to pack up and go work in the steel mill after he lost everything I was very saddened by his story From some parts of the Pennines you can see away over the great sprawl of Teeside and when the fierce glow from the blast furnaces set the night sky alight I used to think of Frank down there and wonder how he was getting on He'd make a go of it all right but how often did his mind turn to the high blown green hollow where he had hoped to build something worth while and to live and bring up his children? p383 I always felt a tug at my heart when I looked in there at the thick dust on the floor the windows almost opaue with dirt the cobwebs everywhere the rusting water bowls the litter of straw bales peat moss and and sacks of oats where once Frank's cows had stood so proudly It was all that was left of a man's dream p374Reading this book was an even richer experience as an adult because the things I didn't uite understand as a child and which I skimmed over now gave the stories meaning For example the story where Jim is late for the performance of The Messiah It didn't mean anything to me 30 years ago but now I actually know what it is having been to a performance myself The same goes for nasturtiums I didn't know what they were when I was young but now I do I tasted them when they grew in abundance in my brother's gardenAlso I felt a small thrill of excitement when on page 160 Jim met Helen Alderson for the first time She was apologizing that it would be a bit of a walk to get up to the calf Jim had been called out to see I looked at the girl for a few seconds 'Oh that's all right I don't mind I don't mind in the least' Helen was very pretty She was mentioned often in the novels than I had remembered probably because I wasn't so much interested in romance as a young girl as I was in being a vet but there she was 'There's not much wrong with you Jim but I can tell you one thing you've been just a bit edgy since you went out with the Alderson woman' p 208There were also the rules of practice that Jim worked out while seeing to his veterinary work p 185 one was that it was always the biggest men who went down At the sight of blood I had by this time worked out a few other perhaps unscientific theories eg big dogs were kept by people who lived in little houses and vice versa Clients who said 'spare no expense' never paid their bills ever When I asked my way in the Dales and was told 'you can't miss it' I knew I'd soon be hopelessly lostTo illustrate the first rule James Herriot tells the story of the Viking The door was opened and a huge young man with a shock of red hair ambled into the box; he was a magnificent sight with his vast shoulders and the column of sunburned nieck rising from the open shirt It needed only the bright blue eyes and the ruddy high cheekboned face to remind me that the Norsemen had been around the Dales a thousand years ago This vas a Viking I laughed out loud even before the end because I remembered and knew what was coming On the next page just after Jim makes his incision the Viking was out coldThen there are the little details I have discovered that I hadn't noticed before For example I discovered the source of the title for he first novel If Only They Could Talk And what of the animals around whom the whole little drama revolves? It is a pity they cannot talk because it would be charming to have their views What do they think of their varying lives? What do they think of us? And do they manage to get a laugh out of it all? p 123 of my editionJames Herriot really is my favourite author even after all this time Here are a few gems I particularly enjoyed in his writing style Almost lovingly I got together the ingredients of one of my favourite treatments long since washed away in the flood of progress p 231There were other manifestations of the author's nostalgia like on page 702 Siegfried and I browsed through the pages savouring the exciting whiff of witchcraft which has been blown from our profession by the wind of scienceAnd again on page 232 You don't find people like the Bramleys now; the radio television and the motorcar have carried the outside world into the most isolated places so that the simple people you used to meet on the lonely farms are rapidly becoming like people anywhere else There are still a few left of course the old folk who cling to the ways of their fathers and when I come across any of them I like to make some excuse to sit down and talk with them and listen to the old Yorkshire words and expressions which have almost disappearedI do love the author's mastery of the Englis language in sentnces like this one Anybody who has travelled a narrow passage a few feet ahead of about a ton of snorting pounding death will appreciate that I didn't dawdle p318 Siegfried would never have had the patience to go through all this procedure; his system was based on Napoleon's dictum of 'On s'engage et puis on voit' and it usually involved a lot of yelling and rushing about p321Siegfried was uite the character and I always got a good laugh when he put on his patient look No let me finish James Marriage is a very serious step not to be embarked upon without long and serious thought Why in God's name does it have to be next week? Nest year would have been soon enough and you could have enjoyed a nice long engagement But no you've got to rush in and tie the know and it isn't so easily untied you know''Oh hell Siegfried this is too bad You know perfectly well it was you who ''One moment Your precipitate marital arrangements are going to cause me a considerable headache but believe me I wish you well This was so funny because only a few pages earlier it was Siegfried who had tried to convince James to get married p386 'Until you get married I'm afraid I shall fail to get the full benefit of your assistance in the practice because frankly you are becoming increasingly besotted and bemused to the extent that I'm sure you don't know what you're doing half the time''What the devil are you talking about? I've never heard such''Please hear me out James What I'm saying is perfectly true you're walking about like a man in a dream and you've developed a disturbing habit of staring into space when I'm talking to you There's only one cure my boy'James Herriot had hilarious gems like when he remarks about Harry Cromarty who despite his best efforts and good intentions ruins a field parade in the RAF p634 Had Cromarty not been serving in the armed forces of a benign democracy he would probably have been taken uietly away and shot As it was there was really nothing anybody could do to him NCOs weren't even allowed to swear at the menFurther on page 687 the author remarks The clever economists who tell us that we don't need British agriculture and that our farms should be turned into national parks seem to ignore the rather obvious snag that an unfriendly country could starve us into submission in a weekSome of the stories didn't resonate with me in my youth but today with so much attention being paid to mental health I realize the author was very in tune to his fellow man like with the story of Paul Cotterell who couldn't deal with the loss of his little dogAll in all an excellent read I would say if was epic but somehow that grand description doesn't seem fitting for these wonderful down to earth stories I love them from beginning to end and also really appreciate how the first book If Only They Could Talk starts with James getting off the dusty bus to walk toward the practice where he would meet his new boss and embark on his veterinary career and how the story comes full circle when at the end of Vet in a Spin he gets off the same dusty bus when he comes home from the RAF and walks the dirty road to reunite with his wife and young son

  3. Melissa Wohlgemut Melissa Wohlgemut says:

    People are never just good or bad I know that Reading some of the books that I have lately you'd get the impression that the majority of people are truly bad but sometimes do good things if it serves them well It's disheartening and I don't think it's fair James Herriot is different He is good His job is super hard he has a ton to complain about if he wants to but instead he writes his stories with such an indomitable spirit I find chicken soup for the soul a little hard to swallow but this author makes me laugh and love life He knows how to slow down and take the time to enjoy his surroundings and the good parts of his work and glosses over the bad because honestly who needs to dwell on the bad? I think he's telling us that in the end the bad parts don't matter And I believe him Great books Mr Herriot

  4. Kiran Kataria Kiran Kataria says:

    Riveting reads all Not just because of the animals but because of the many memorable characters and the evocation of Yorkshire rural life at a particular period

  5. Claire Claire says:

    The complete and unabridged novelsIf Only They Could TalkIt Shouldn't Happen to a VetLet Sleeping Vets LieVet in HarnessVets Might FlyVet in a Spin

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Selected Works [Download] ➻ Selected Works By James Herriot – Thomashillier.co.uk Leather Bound Omnibus edition of If Only They Could Talk It Shouldn't Happen To A Vet Let Sleeping Vets Lie Vet In Harness and Vets Might Fly Published jointly by William Heinemann Secker Warburg and Leather Bound Omnibus edition of If Only They Could Talk It Shouldn't Happen To A Vet Let Sleeping Vets Lie Vet In Harness and Vets Might Fly Published jointly by William Heinemann Secker Warburg and Octopus books.