My Family And Other Animals By Durell
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell is a novel concerning an English
family, the Durrells, who suddenly leave their home in Britain in order to move
to the Greek island of Corfu. This book is told from the viewpoint of Gerald

Durrell, the youngest member of the family, who gives a detailed account of
certain incidents that are imprinted in his mind, of the family’s five year
stay in Corfu. Many of the anecdotes capture the most interesting of the
family’s encounters with the island and it’s inhabitants but the main theme
is of two intertwined worlds; that of animals and wildlife, with that of people.

Because of Gerry and his extreme love of nature, many of his pets and family
members meet frequently, resulting in chaotic situations. Once in Corfu, the

Durrells encounter a great number of characters that are both eccentric and a
little flamboyant and it is these characters on which the story is based, along
with the many pets that Gerry acquires throughout his time in Greece. It is from
these characters and their outlandish ways that much of the entertainment comes
and to the reader, it may often seem, that even though My Family and Other

Animals is a true story, that the island and its inhabitants are slightly
exaggerated. Upon arrival in Corfu, the Durrells face a number of problems in
finding a villa and understanding the Greek language. When having difficulty
communicating with taxi drivers, the family meets one of the most amusing and
significant characters in the story, Spiro. This individual helps the Durrells
through their dilemmas in finding a suitable villa, dealing with the Customs
official and generally in settling in and getting started in a new place with a
new life. Throughout this time, Gerry, a young naturalist, finds much pleasure
in roaming the island and discovering all of Mother Nature’s creations. During
these expeditions, he meets a great many people all of whom with which he soon
becomes acquainted. On these daily explorations, Gerry soon comes across a
curious man, from whom he buys his first pet, a turtle. This character, because
of the innumerable rose beetles he keeps, soon comes to be known as the

Rose-Beetle Man. After only a few weeks in Corfu, the family comes across
another problem, the necessity for Gerry to have a proper education. To resolve
the situation as promptly as possible, it is arranged that George, an old
writing friend of Larry’s (Gerry’s oldest brother) be left with the task of
teaching Gerry. Through George, Gerry soon comes to meet Doctor Theodore

Stephanides, an expert naturalist, with whom he soon becomes close friends. Both
share a great love for natural history and in a short time Gerry becomes

Theodore’s companion . After a relatively short time in Corfu, the family
decides that they must move villa in order to accommodate a multitude of

Larry’s guests. Because of this unexpected move, Gerry, again, is left without
any source of education and as a result it is arranged that he be tutored by the

Belgian consul (George no longer tutors Gerry). Outside of his regular lessons,

Gerry spends most of his time learning as much as he possibly can about all the
species of wildlife that roam the island and soon obtains an immense number of
pets including three dogs, two magpies, a gull, a pigeon, snakes and a gecko.

Once again, as he is in a new environment, Gerry spends his time investigating
his surroundings and becoming familiar with nature. He continues with his
education but not long after this move, the Durrells move again for various
different reasons. As the Belgian consul can no longer teach Gerry in their new
location, yet another tutor is found for him; a person by the name of Kralefsky
who appears to be an eccentric bird-lover. As both Kralefsky and Gerry share the
same interests, they become immediate friends and even though Gerry is not too
keen on his lessons, he learns a great deal about ornithology. With all of these
fascinating characters on the island, and Gerry’s menagerie of animals, the

Durrells five year stay in Corfu is full of excitement and peculiar encounters.

The novel concludes when it is decided, by Mr. Kralefsky and Mrs. Durrell, that
the time had come for Gerry to go somewhere else in Europe to finish his
education. Because of this, the Durrells’ vacation comes to a close when the
entire family packs up all their belongings and leaves Corfu, their home, to
return after