Author: James Herriot
Having just graduated from veterinary school at a time when new veterinarians are practically begging for work, Jim Herriot is thrilled to be offered a job as an assistant to Sigfried Farnon, a Yorkshire country vet. The work isn’t at all what Jim had planned for himself–hard work at all hours of the day and night, driving across miles of rocky dales in all weathers to treat creatures larger than himself. Still, as he spends more time in Darrowby, Jim finds it growing on him as he develops a real appreciation for the countryside and the simple, honest people who inhabit it.
All Creatures Great and Small is a personal favorite of mine for numerous reasons. First of all, it’s always good for a laugh: the author describes the discomforts, surprises, and embarrassments of his early working years with such great good humor that the anecdotes are really quite funny. Another reason I love this book is that James is just a nice guy–candid, eager to please, a bit too eager to look good (with a marked tendency to fail), and somewhat too easily influenced (like I said, a nice guy; definitely not a saint). Plus, his descriptions of the Darrowby area and its inhabitants in the 1930s, as well as the descriptions of veterinary practice at that time, are something you almost never see in other books and are extremely interesting. All Creatures Great and Small is an excellent book that I would definitely recommend.