The Corfu Trilogy, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The trilogy that inspired ITV's television series The Durrells. Three classic tales of childhood on an island paradise - My Family and Other Animals, Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods by Gerald Durrell - are available in a single edition for the first time in The Corfu Trilogy. Just before the Second World War the Durrell family decamped to the glorious, sun-soaked island of Corfu where the youngest of the four children, ten-year-old Gerald, discovered his passion for animals: toads and tortoises, bats and butterflies, scorpions and octopuses.

Through glorious silver-green olive groves and across brilliant-white beaches Gerry pursued his obsession ...causing hilarity and mayhem in his ever-tolerant family. Durrell's memories of those enchanted days gave rise to these three classic tales, loved by generations of adults and children alike, which are now available in one volume for the first time. 'He has an uncanny knack of discovering human as well as animal eccentrics' Sunday Telegraph 'A delightful book full of simple, well-known things: cicadas in the olive groves, lamp fishing at night, the complexities of fish and animals - but, above all, childhood moulded by these things' New York Times


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: general
  • ISBN: 9780141028415

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I have read and reread (several times) Gerald Durrell’s enchanting memoir <i>My Family and Other Animals</i>, and most of his other animal-collecting / Jersey Zoo tales but never until now the other two stories in the ‘Corfu Trilogy’, feeling, perhaps, that the first book could not really be outdone, and there was such a thing as too much of a <i>good</i> thing. The most immediate thing to happen, however, when I did finally pick up the amalgamated trilogy, was that it refreshed my appreciation for the first book, which I immediately went back and reread with renewed enthusiasm after reading the sequels. Gerry’s family, the Greek cast of characters, and above all the tremendous influx of animals which young Gerry amasses, provides the author with more than enough material to fill three books without leaving the reader dissatisfied. I still feel that the charm and delight is stronger with the first book, but only because by the second we are thoroughly introduced and acquainted with the level of amiable chaos one can expect from any story involving the Durrells. If I had felt that perhaps the standard might be lower than the scorpions-in-the-matchbox scene which fixed <i>My Family and Other Animals</i> place as the best memoir I’d ever read, then I was proved wrong on more than one occasion (<i>“How do you explain a bloody great bear in the drawing room?</i>” – Larry Durrell, Birds, Beasts and Relatives). More to the point, Corfu doesn’t become over-described by Durrell’s revisited descriptions, but remains a bright, endlessly fascinating jewel of an island.Is this a somewhat idealised view of a place and a life and group of people? Yes, absolutely. I think that’s why we love it; Durrell provides us with fact that is as endearing as fiction, perhaps overplayed sometimes, but nonetheless faithful to his childhood recollection. I think what I like most is that Durrell doesn’t apologise for his good fortune or his excellently eccentric family, doesn’t retroactively explain that attitudes to animal-collecting were different, or do anything but impart, with fondness and amusement, the highlights from the earliest days of his love-affair with animals which means that the reader is immersed in pure story, a memoir with no agenda but to entertain and enlighten.