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All Creatures Great and Small / All Things Bright and Beautiful / All Things Wise and Wonderful: Three James Herriot Classics

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Timeless stories from a country veterinarian about the animals and people that shape life in a sleepy English town. Perhaps better than any other writer, James Herriot reveals the ties that bind us to the natural world. Collected here are three of his masterpieces—All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful—which have be Timeless stories from a country veterinarian about the animals and people that shape life in a sleepy English town. Perhaps better than any other writer, James Herriot reveals the ties that bind us to the natural world. Collected here are three of his masterpieces—All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful—which have been winning over animal lovers everywhere for almost fifty years. From his night visits to drafty barns during freezing northern England winters, to the beautiful vitality of rural life in the summertime, to the colorful menagerie of animals—and their owners—that pass through his office, Herriot vividly evokes the daily challenges and joys that come with being a veterinarian. Witty and heartwarming, these classic books also feature an original introduction from the author’s son, Jim Wight, and bonus archival photos courtesy of the Herriot estate.


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Timeless stories from a country veterinarian about the animals and people that shape life in a sleepy English town. Perhaps better than any other writer, James Herriot reveals the ties that bind us to the natural world. Collected here are three of his masterpieces—All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful—which have be Timeless stories from a country veterinarian about the animals and people that shape life in a sleepy English town. Perhaps better than any other writer, James Herriot reveals the ties that bind us to the natural world. Collected here are three of his masterpieces—All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful—which have been winning over animal lovers everywhere for almost fifty years. From his night visits to drafty barns during freezing northern England winters, to the beautiful vitality of rural life in the summertime, to the colorful menagerie of animals—and their owners—that pass through his office, Herriot vividly evokes the daily challenges and joys that come with being a veterinarian. Witty and heartwarming, these classic books also feature an original introduction from the author’s son, Jim Wight, and bonus archival photos courtesy of the Herriot estate.

30 review for All Creatures Great and Small / All Things Bright and Beautiful / All Things Wise and Wonderful: Three James Herriot Classics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Always Pouting

    I really really enjoyed the first book but I got bored with the second and third ones. I'm not sure if it's because I read them all at once because that's the way this version is but it gets old hearing about his hand up cows vaginas. The writing is very good though and it was really interesting, I never realized how much work being a vet could be. I think also since the third one was about the war I was like uninterested. I'm tired of reading about peoples war experiences it depresses me. I hig I really really enjoyed the first book but I got bored with the second and third ones. I'm not sure if it's because I read them all at once because that's the way this version is but it gets old hearing about his hand up cows vaginas. The writing is very good though and it was really interesting, I never realized how much work being a vet could be. I think also since the third one was about the war I was like uninterested. I'm tired of reading about peoples war experiences it depresses me. I highly reccomend the first book though if I rated them separately I would have given that one 5 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Re-read this again after many years. Hilarious and touching at different points in these vignettes about people and animals.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This sale ended, too. ************************* This omnibus edition is on sale today for Kindle for only $3.99. I always highly, highly recommend James Herriot to anyone, and this is a fabulous deal. Get yours here. This sale ended, too. ************************* This omnibus edition is on sale today for Kindle for only $3.99. I always highly, highly recommend James Herriot to anyone, and this is a fabulous deal. Get yours here.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Silvana

    The rating and review only applies to All Creatures Great and Small. Even though the book is semi autobiographical, it is still a very moving and immersive read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John Koehler

    If you love animals and don't mind taking a trip to Yorkshire, England, James Herriot's three books are a wonderful change from so much of what goes by contemporary work. The stories all come from the author's experiences as a vet. They are funny and witty, but the overriding flavor is of how wonderful life is, and how fabulous the author paints it. Perhaps it is that is was from a different time, the 1930s, but we can never have enough of these kinds of wonderful feel good books.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John Haake

    All three books - like three diamonds What can I say - if you’re reading my review because you haven’t decided to read any or all of the authors books - then just stop reading reviews and BEGIN NOW on these gems - you won’t be disappointed. We need more men such as this in the world today!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    I first read these books as a teenager and fell in love with both the portrayal of the people of 'the dales' where James Herriot worked and the animals he treated. I've had a chance to reread it and enjoyed it just a much. Well worth the time.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sonia Crites

    Lovely and Heartfelt I first read these books as a shy young animal loving girl. All these years later they still brought me joy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Rochelle

    5 stars. All Creatures Great and Small is a fantastic read. It's educational -- who knew being a vet in the late-30s was so harsh -- it's hilarious -- seriously, laugh out loud funny -- and absolutely timeless. I can't wait to watch the TV show (it's currently available on Netflix!) to see just how beautiful it is. I feel my Googling just hasn't done the area justice. 4.5 stars. All Things Bright and Beautiful didn't move along as quickly as the first book. The timeline threw me off a bit, but d 5 stars. All Creatures Great and Small is a fantastic read. It's educational -- who knew being a vet in the late-30s was so harsh -- it's hilarious -- seriously, laugh out loud funny -- and absolutely timeless. I can't wait to watch the TV show (it's currently available on Netflix!) to see just how beautiful it is. I feel my Googling just hasn't done the area justice. 4.5 stars. All Things Bright and Beautiful didn't move along as quickly as the first book. The timeline threw me off a bit, but despite that I still loved the people, the place, and the stories. You can just tell how much the author loved this place. 3.5 stars. All Things Wise and Wonderful is the choppiest of these three books. While the first two were clearly essays about being a country vet, in this one Herriot does that weird flashback/reminiscing thing. For example, in this book he is in the RAF training to be a pilot and somehow everything he experiences keeps reminding him of home and being a vet. I could have done without that and just had the wacky, hilarious, and sometimes sad stories of being a vet before antibiotics. All of these are great, easy reading though. It's so easy to just fall back into these stories after time away. And it must be pretty clear that I love them because I just spent 2000+ pages in Yorkshire with Jim, Tristan, Tricky Woo, Cedric the Farting Boxer, Siegfried, and all of the farmers and animals in Yorkshire. 09/29/13 - Ebook omnibus editions are brutal. I've finished with the first book and LOVED it, but there's still a thousand pages to go. The other books on my shelves are quietly judging me. Do I read something else before I go on or do I dive right into the next book? I'm not sure that I'm ready to leave Yorkshire just yet. Of course, there's also the problem that the ebook is going to expire in 3 days and I can't possibly finish the final 60% in that amount of time. Hopefully there are no holds... 10/11/13 - Finished with book two! I am going to give it a little break before I move on to the third book in the omnibus, but only because I have a book club book waiting for me. 12/16/13 - And done with the omnibus! On to Book 4!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anneliese

    Love, love, love. I cannot speak highly enough of James Herriot. His writing style is beautiful; ranging from earthy to funny to serious to playful to absolutely stunningly beautiful. His stories of the Yorkshire farmers and their animals are always entertaining, sometimes for their humour and sometimes for their heartfelt portrayal of our poor young vet's inexperience :) These are older books, about an older time, and I can tell you that they hold up completely well; an absolute joy to read in Love, love, love. I cannot speak highly enough of James Herriot. His writing style is beautiful; ranging from earthy to funny to serious to playful to absolutely stunningly beautiful. His stories of the Yorkshire farmers and their animals are always entertaining, sometimes for their humour and sometimes for their heartfelt portrayal of our poor young vet's inexperience :) These are older books, about an older time, and I can tell you that they hold up completely well; an absolute joy to read in 2012. The first one is by far the best, but the second two in this collection are nearly as good; the third book interweaves James' experience in the RAF with his memories of his time in Yorkshire, and while the blend is a bit jerky at times, it's done well. His focus is animals, the Yorkshire dales, and the people he knows, and the RAF just isn't part of that life; but it's a significant part of his life, so it has to be included. I read these three books so quickly, and I can't wait to forget them so I can read them again.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Lefebvre

    I've recently re-read all these just in the past few weeks and my joy in reading them never seems to dim! Mr Crump's homemade wine, Tristan the ghost, the little car with the bald tires, Granville Bennett, Angus Grier, Herriot in Russia, Herriot meeting Helen and their first married years,and of course Seigfried Farnon... these stories always make me laugh and sometimes cry (especially the story of Mrs Donovan). My copies are so old and battered now (1970-something printing), broken spines and d I've recently re-read all these just in the past few weeks and my joy in reading them never seems to dim! Mr Crump's homemade wine, Tristan the ghost, the little car with the bald tires, Granville Bennett, Angus Grier, Herriot in Russia, Herriot meeting Helen and their first married years,and of course Seigfried Farnon... these stories always make me laugh and sometimes cry (especially the story of Mrs Donovan). My copies are so old and battered now (1970-something printing), broken spines and dropping pages and cracking paper,that I'm going to ask for a brand new boxed set for a Christmas gift I think.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joshimoe

    Not a good set of books. I do enjoy the morals that the books teach. In my opinion i think that this book should be read more often.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Ray

    I have a child who loves animals. All animals. Earlier this year a James Herriot omnibook came available for Kindle on a fairly cheap deal. I snagged it, thinking that Bennett might really enjoy the books at some point. Then, I read James Herriot’s Treasury for Children to the children as part of our school day this fall, and I found that I was as charmed as the children were. So, when I started looking at the categories from this year’s #VTReadingChallenge, I saw that book number four was a “boo I have a child who loves animals. All animals. Earlier this year a James Herriot omnibook came available for Kindle on a fairly cheap deal. I snagged it, thinking that Bennett might really enjoy the books at some point. Then, I read James Herriot’s Treasury for Children to the children as part of our school day this fall, and I found that I was as charmed as the children were. So, when I started looking at the categories from this year’s #VTReadingChallenge, I saw that book number four was a “book by an author who is no longer alive.” I immediately thought of the James Herriot treasury, and I picked it up to read for myself. I will quickly review all three books here, so that you can see what is included in the kindle bundle. All Creatures Great and Small In All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot is a young veterinarian. He’s just out of school, and he is taking his first job in a small town in Yorkshire as an assistant to veterinarian Siegfried Farnon. Herriot quickly learns that like as a veterinarian is not the way that he pictured it in college, and we begin to see him grow and mature as a veterinarian as well as seeing him fall in love with both the countryside and with his future wife. I found myself completely enchanted by the book. I loved the depiction of the different farmers. Loved the repeat of certain special animals and their owners into Herriot’s life. However, best of all was the interaction between Farnon, Herriot, and Farnon’s carefree little brother Tristan. Just seeing the big brother and the rebellious little brother would make me smile as I would read about their interactions. I also would smirk when Farnon would give Herriot advice. Why? Because every single time Herriot would follow Farnon’s advice, Farnon would criticize Herriot and give completely conflicting advice. Farnon is just such a wonderful character to read about, and I enjoyed him so much in this book. All Things Bright and Beautiful This book continues James Herriot’s adventures in his early year of veterinary work. He is a young newlywed, and his enjoying the married life. He continues to work and see a multitude of animals, and we get to hear new stories of animals and of their amazing owners throughout the book. The timeline of this book slips around. Although he is married to Helen in the book, readers will occasionally find him going backwards to tell a story from their courtship or his younger, single days, and I found that a little frustrating in the first half of the book because I like my stories to travel in a straight line, but the stories themselves are so warm and wonderful that I finally learned to just step back and embrace them. Faron is still in these stories, and he’s just as hilarious as in the first book. We also see the addition of Granville Bennett, a small pets veterinarian who always seems to get Herriot drunk and into more trouble than Harriot really means to get into. I look forward to his appearances with delight!! In the shadow of the book, looming throughout the book is the probability that both Herriot and Farnon will go off to war. This becomes a reality at the end of the book as Herriot leaves for London. I look forward to the next book in hopes of seeing how this adventures in the RAF turn out. All Things Wise and Wonderful In this book, James is in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He shares stories of his time in the Air Force, of the birth of his son, of his discharge and being ready to come back home, along with reminiscences of his life before the war as a veterinary surgeon. The stories don’t progress in a straight line because many of them are stories that the goings on the air force remind him of. However, this doesn’t bother me in the way it did in the second book because I enjoyed seeing him compare his military life to his life as a vet. I enjoyed seeing the similarities between the two lives. It was really a pleasant read, and perhaps my favorite of the three books in this omnibus. I’m a little surprised by how much I enjoyed all these books because I’m not an animal lover. However, this is one of the most charming sets of books I’ve read in a long time.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Su

    I read these books when they were first made available in the U.S. in 1972, 1973, and 1976 respectively. I enjoyed them then, I enjoyed them again and I am very glad to return them to my e-library. The series is a well-told, autobiographical look at the life of an English veterinarian in the late thirties through his "adventures" in World War II. Herriot paints a lovely picture of the Yorkshire countryside and doesn't hesitate to mention the downside: cold barns, aching arms, recalcitrant animal I read these books when they were first made available in the U.S. in 1972, 1973, and 1976 respectively. I enjoyed them then, I enjoyed them again and I am very glad to return them to my e-library. The series is a well-told, autobiographical look at the life of an English veterinarian in the late thirties through his "adventures" in World War II. Herriot paints a lovely picture of the Yorkshire countryside and doesn't hesitate to mention the downside: cold barns, aching arms, recalcitrant animals and life in the RAF. His practice worked with, as the title of the first book says, all creatures great and small. And he tells oftentimes hair-raising tales of trying to save animals during a time when medical knowledge was more countrified than scientific. Some things worked, some things didn't. You'll be right there for every failure and triumph. One reviewer said they got bored with the second and third books - I'm not sure how that could happen as Herriot's enthusiasm and excellent story telling skills are consistent. Of course, some people enjoy reading marathons, some don't. No problem: each volume is also available separately. Enjoy!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Elholm

    I read these books years ago and loved them! James Herriot is a veterinarian in the countryside of England. All three books focus on his years as a veterinarian and the people and animals that he took care of. Beautifully written! Herriot takes you on a journey from his earliest days as a vet to when he is close to retirement. He introduces you to the Yorkshire countryside, its animals and their owners. He beautifully conveys the struggle some owners endure as they try to take care of their belo I read these books years ago and loved them! James Herriot is a veterinarian in the countryside of England. All three books focus on his years as a veterinarian and the people and animals that he took care of. Beautifully written! Herriot takes you on a journey from his earliest days as a vet to when he is close to retirement. He introduces you to the Yorkshire countryside, its animals and their owners. He beautifully conveys the struggle some owners endure as they try to take care of their beloved companions to the rich who are over exuberant in their treatment of their companions. Along the way, we laugh and we cry as we, too, come to care about these people and their animals. I highly recommend these books to anyone who loves animals or just loves to read a great series!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Pam Lorentz

    ❤️❤️❤️ I have loved the short poem these books are titled after for as long as I can remember and knew of the James Herriot classics. However I had, until now, never read them. I derived such pleasure and joy from his stories...countless times I found myself laughing out loud... so much so that tears would stream down my face! My husband stated he had never observed me laughing at a book to the extent I these three! This is a priceless collection of tales that will warm your heart. Herriot’s desc ❤️❤️❤️ I have loved the short poem these books are titled after for as long as I can remember and knew of the James Herriot classics. However I had, until now, never read them. I derived such pleasure and joy from his stories...countless times I found myself laughing out loud... so much so that tears would stream down my face! My husband stated he had never observed me laughing at a book to the extent I these three! This is a priceless collection of tales that will warm your heart. Herriot’s descriptive writing often makes you feel that you are right there experiencing it all with him.

  17. 5 out of 5

    jeanie

    I have not watched the show based on this series of books, but I think I'm going to have to look it up. James Herriot's observations of people and animals and the English countryside are wonderful and entertaining. I found myself laughing quite a lot at the maddening ways of his employer, Siegfried Farnon. Each chapter is a separate little episode, which is nice when you read for a few minutes at a time. The only thing to note is that this IS, after all, a book about veterinary practices, so you I have not watched the show based on this series of books, but I think I'm going to have to look it up. James Herriot's observations of people and animals and the English countryside are wonderful and entertaining. I found myself laughing quite a lot at the maddening ways of his employer, Siegfried Farnon. Each chapter is a separate little episode, which is nice when you read for a few minutes at a time. The only thing to note is that this IS, after all, a book about veterinary practices, so you know... it gets a little gross at times. It is perhaps not always the most appealing thing to be reading during lunch.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Texas

    These are some of the few books that I've reread through the decades. When I finally gave them away, they showed their age and usage. Well written and intriguing stories about a British veterinarian, his life and his patients. It's difficult to put his stories down, even through the sad parts. I dislike it when an animal dies, but that's all our fates. If you enjoy stories from Binchy, Pilcher, Buck and other authors that share their lives, some through characters and others as autobiographies or These are some of the few books that I've reread through the decades. When I finally gave them away, they showed their age and usage. Well written and intriguing stories about a British veterinarian, his life and his patients. It's difficult to put his stories down, even through the sad parts. I dislike it when an animal dies, but that's all our fates. If you enjoy stories from Binchy, Pilcher, Buck and other authors that share their lives, some through characters and others as autobiographies or both, then you'll appreciate these timeless stories. There's smiles, tears, happiness and sadness, but all make for wonderful reading.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    I have wanted to read this series for a long time, so when Amazon had this 3 book kindle edition on sales I bought it. I'm glad I did. I'm sure I'll read it again in the future, since they are heartwarming, simple stories. I love the descriptions of the countryside and the many local characters. His descriptions of the tough life of the farmers as well as his trials as a vet before antibiotics became available were well written and brought them all to life. Many of the animals had personalities I have wanted to read this series for a long time, so when Amazon had this 3 book kindle edition on sales I bought it. I'm glad I did. I'm sure I'll read it again in the future, since they are heartwarming, simple stories. I love the descriptions of the countryside and the many local characters. His descriptions of the tough life of the farmers as well as his trials as a vet before antibiotics became available were well written and brought them all to life. Many of the animals had personalities as well drawn as the humans in the book. I know there were movies and a series based upon this series and I'm going to search my library to find them next.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Renee DiFede

    I read this as a little girl and reread it in my 40s. I will continue to read it most likely for many years to come. I don't really have the words to explain the joy this book brings to me. Whether it's the lifestyle of the English countryside that it is set in, the characters, James Harriet's love for the people, and the animals, I don't know. It's really a combination of all of it.This one book evokes all kinds of emotions. My favorite is the part where I literally laughed out loud. I don't kn I read this as a little girl and reread it in my 40s. I will continue to read it most likely for many years to come. I don't really have the words to explain the joy this book brings to me. Whether it's the lifestyle of the English countryside that it is set in, the characters, James Harriet's love for the people, and the animals, I don't know. It's really a combination of all of it.This one book evokes all kinds of emotions. My favorite is the part where I literally laughed out loud. I don't know of any other book that makes me burst out in laughter. This book is just good for the soul.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shanna

    I know, I know ... I'm a horrible person for not loving this like the vast majority of readers. I actually enjoyed the book - but each one of these three classics is a compilation of several other books of his that were written. So it's really like reading 6-10 books instead of three. After awhile the stories, while wonderful and witty, felt repetitive and lost their charm for me. I feel like I would have much preferred to read the smaller books, individually, over a longer period of time.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michele McKenzie

    As great, beautiful, and wise as I remember. A delight in my childhood, these books stood the test of time. Herriot has the ability to evoke the people and community around him, while also giving a glimpse of the transition to modern veterinary practice. His honest good humor treats readers with respect. His optimism and evident joy in his work, friends, family and pets is as effective at uplifting the human spirit as the calcium Harriot used to treat milk fever.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    I got this as a deal on Amazon - $3 for 3 books. This was really a good deal! I read these books back in the 70s when I was much younger. I adored them & frequently reread them. It's been many years since I picked one up, but I remembered a lot about them. They make you laugh, cry & touch your heart. James writes of his disasters as well as his triumphs, so the stories are well rounded. I recommend! I got this as a deal on Amazon - $3 for 3 books. This was really a good deal! I read these books back in the 70s when I was much younger. I adored them & frequently reread them. It's been many years since I picked one up, but I remembered a lot about them. They make you laugh, cry & touch your heart. James writes of his disasters as well as his triumphs, so the stories are well rounded. I recommend!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Henry Percy

    Outstanding books! I wish there were more. I heard so much about Herriot 50 years ago when my family was reading him. I did not read them then--I have a contrarian streak. What I missed out on all those years ago. I recently came across the work of Nicholas Rhea, a constable in the North Riding of Yorkshire. If you liked Herriot you must read Rhea. And watch the long-running series (1990s) on BBC based on Rhea's stories, "Heartbeat."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Hedge

    These are excellent stories of a by-gone era, and of veterinary medicine too. Be aware that the stories, being based on life, do not always have a happy ending. I liked the layout of one story, one chapter. The third book was almost off-putting for me, having more to do with being in the RAF and family and less to do with the creatures. Still, I recommend it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Esche

    Lots of Wonderful Animal and People Stories The book reveals the author’s love of his corner of the world, the animals, and the people there. The stories are a wonderful interruption from every day “crazy” life. The author would be on my list of people to have dinner with if I could pick anyone.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    It seems presumptuous to comment. These writings are so perfect , who could add to the thousands of complimentary opinions which have been made over the years ? Every time I read them and renew my pleasure , I envy everyone who is beginning to know James Herriot for the very first time.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    What a delight I had read these years ago. And stranded at the DFW airport with no hotels available I ventured into the world of Aja es Herriot. Sometimes I read and tears poured from my eyes,mothers I roared with laughter. What a joy and a delight. A venture into a different world.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Janette Mehl

    Wonderful Herriot's love of all animals, great and small, of the English countryside and it's inhabitants comes through in every word. His conversational writing style and humor makes the reader feel as though they're with him in the barns and fields, in the small and homey farm houses and the small animal clinics. I was sorry when it ended. A must read for all animal lovers.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    Charming and sustaining You can't help but like this unless you are a creature without a soul and without wit. Is it simplistic at times? Yes, but if you don't crave that from time to time, I don't want to know you.

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