Nov 25, 2007

All Things Bright and Beautiful

by James Herriot

James Herriot is one of my favorite authors. He is a practicing veterinarian who works in Yorkshire on farmers' livestock as well as household pets. Not only is he a kind and understanding vet, he's also a great writer. His picturesque accounts of the Dales community is full of humor and wit, his portraits of the people and animals bring them vividly to life. He gives just enough information about vetting to satisfy the reader's curiosity about the trade, but doesn't bog down the story with dry or unnecessary details.

All of Herriot's books are based on his life experiences as a vet. The first four titles are taken from a hymn. In this, the second volume, Herriot is newly married to his wife Helen, and they are living upstairs from the veterinary surgery where he works with his boss, Sigfried Farnon and Sigfried's roguish younger brother, Tristam-- a vet student himself. Each chapter of the book is a story that can stand alone. All Things Bright and Beautiful is a book I have read many times and enjoyed anew at each sitting. I'll probably read it a dozen more in the future. It's that delightful.

Rating: 5/5                 378 pages, 1973


  1. This was the first I read of the quartet. It languished on my TBR for a long time...someone from bookcrossing had sent it to me. Finally, one day I was sick in bed and couldn't handle what I was reading at the time. This book was perfect. I've gone on to read two of the others. Great stuff.

  2. Really late to comment, but I absolutely agree with you on these. I have them in paperback and they after many, many happy reads.

  3. Bybee- glad you finally got around to reading them! I fell in love with his books as soon as I read the first one, too.

    Stehpanie Reed- It's never too late to comment! (I see them all). My Herriot books are pretty dogeared, too. I just bought myself a new copy of All Creatures Great and Small because I wore it out after so many re-reads.


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