I feel like I should have liked this book so much more than I did. The writing was good, the subject was interesting and the animals were fantastic. But about halfway through I started to feel like I had read the whole book and it was starting all over again. It’s amazing how stories of various exotic animals in Greece can get repetitive after a while but for some reason they did.
Gerry’s family decided to move to Greece (to escape the cold and wet of England) rather spur-of-the-moment when he was a very young child. This book describes his first 10 years or so growing up on the island, with a variety of useless tutors as well as his strange mother and siblings to keep him company.
“I said I *liked* being half-educated; you were so much more *surprised* at everything when you were ignorant.”
Gerry has been obsessed with animals his whole life. Most of the stories involve him finding something in the wild, bringing it home and then describing the chaos that ensued. The writing is very good — his descriptions of the animals and the plants on the island are beautiful. I just feel that it was a little too long, although I’m probably going to read the sequel anyway. This might be one of those books that would have worked better had I read it in a different setting or mood. But it was still a decent read and if you’re interested in tales of toads and gulls in Greece, then you should check it out.