Wednesday, November 14, 2012

All Creatures Great and Small, by James Herriot


An excerpt of a review recently posted on Schaeffer's Ghost:
[...] Herriot’s writing is possessed of a good-natured jollity that invests even the bleakest tales with good humor and optimism. A vivid account of a late-night call in the freezing wind, stripped to the waist and soaking wet, with his arm up a cow’s backside and a group of stoic, unsympathetic farmers looking on, will be followed by a sincere reflection on his incredible good fortune to live and work in this forbidding yet beautiful land. While Herriot is occasionally discouraged or frustrated by his clients’ lack of appreciation (or their persistence in adhering to the utterly nonsensical folk cures their fathers swore by), it is never long before Herriot’s good temper wins out and he is restored to his customary cheerfulness and humble gratitude. 
Perhaps most striking of all—at least to me—is Herriot’s indefatigable patience. Granted, patience is a virtue which I have never been accused of possessing in over-abundance. I am frequently frustrated by circumstantial setbacks, human folly, the inability of the UPS man to deliver packages in a timely fashion, and any number of technological glitches inflicted on me by computers/websites/smart phones/etc. In short, I am frustrated by anything and everything. So it is with no small amount of fascination—and a good deal of envy—that I read of Herriot’s seemingly limitless patience.
Full review available here.

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