EVERY LIVING THING by James Herriot

EVERY LIVING THING

KIRKUS REVIEW

 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 moral--that 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 bliss--and bliss, too, for a few hours at least, for happy readers. (Book-of- the-Month Dual Selection for October)

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1992
ISBN: 0-312-08188-X
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1992




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