Wednesday 23 November 2016

Marrying Off Mother and Other Stories by Gerald Durrell @panmacmillan

'Which of these stories is true and which is semi-true I have, of course, not the slightest intention of telling you, but I hope this will not detract from your enjoyment . . .'
Gerald Durrell introduces an eccentric cast of characters in this entertaining collection of stories, first published in 1991.
In the title story, we join his family in Corfu, where Gerry joins forces with Larry and Margo in encouraging Mother to consider finding a new husband, only to rue the consequences. Highlights from the other tales in this collection are the acquisition of a strongly perfumed pig named Esmerelda, a foul-mouthed parrot called Moses, and a compulsive gambler who inspires a miracle.
Written with Durrell's usual sharp eye for observing humour in a situation, Marrying Off Mother will delight fans both old and new.

Marrying Off Mother and Other Stories by Gerald Durrell was published by Pan Macmillan on 30 June 2016 in a new paperback Pan Heritage Classics edition.

The publication of Gerald Durrell’s Marrying off Mother and other stories follows on from ITV’s brilliant drama The Durrells, celebrated as ‘tip top’ in a four star review from The Telegraph. The entertaining collection introduces an eccentric cast of characters and was first published in 1991.

It's been a long long time since I read My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, I really enjoyed it many years ago and the recent ITV drama, The Durrells resurrected my interest in his writing. I thought the TV adaptation was very well done, despite some of the changes to times and places. The Corfu setting was stunning - it's no secret that I adore Corfu, and anything that reminds me of that beautiful island is welcome!

This collection of short stories were written in Durrell's later years, and originally published in 1991. Whilst the beautiful cover shows a wonderful painting of Corfu, and the title story is set on the island, the majority of these stories are set elsewhere and are a very mixed, and at times, a little eccentric selection of Durrell's writing.

There is no doubt that the writing is dated and there were a couple of sharp intakes of breath at some of the language used. However, on the whole, I did enjoy revisiting Durrell's stories and the reader can certainly hear his voice throughout each of the tales in the book.

Marrying Off Mother and Other Stories is beautifully presented, the cover image is stunning. Fans of Durrell will appreciate these stories, but I'd urge new readers to start with his earlier works to experience the true beauty of his work.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Gerald Durrell was one of Britain's best loved authors and pioneering naturalists. 
His books, such as the bestselling My Family and Other Animals which celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2016, continue to entertain generations of children and adults alike. 

The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is an international conservation charity with headquarters in Jersey, UK. 

A renegade who was right . . . He was truly a man before his time' Sir David Attenborough


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