If Only They Could Talk : The Classic Memoir of a 1930s Vet, Paperback Book

If Only They Could Talk : The Classic Memoir of a 1930s Vet Paperback

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


'I grew up reading James Herriot's book and I'm delighted that thirty years on they are still every bit as charming, heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny as they were then.' Kate Humble Fresh out of Veterinary College, and shoulder-deep in an uncooperative cow, James Herriot's first job is not panning out exactly as expected . . . To a Glaswegian like James, 1930s Yorkshire appears to offer an idyllic pocket of rural life in a rapidly changing world.

But even life in the sleepy village of Darrowby has its challenges.

On the one hand there are his new colleagues, Siegfried and Tristan Farnon, two brothers who attract a constant stream of local girls to whom James is strangely invisible.

On the other he must contend with herds of semi-feral cattle, gruff farmers with incomprehensible accents and an overweight Pekingese called Tricki Woo . . . Heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure, If Only They Could Talk is a book for all those who find laughter and joy in animals, and who know and understand the magic and beauty of Britain's wild places.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Memoirs
  • ISBN: 9780330518154

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If Only They Could Talk - James Herriot *****I can remember watching the series on TV as a child, so when I came across this book I thought I would give it a try and see if the James Herriot in the book was any different to the one I fondly remembered.I needn't have had any fears, from the first chapter I was hooked. It is one of those rare books that I found extremely difficult to put down and finished in two sittings.The books is written in the first person as Herriot recalls many tales, some sad and some so humorous that you will have strange looks as you sit there chuckling out loud. At the beginning of the novel we find Herriot fresh out of veterinary college and on his way for a job interview with Siegfried Farnham. After a somewhat unusual introduction he is offered the job and accepts.The story takes you back in time to when life although being a lot harder, was also a lot simpler. We meet many colourful characters (in particular Tricky Woo, the spoilt and very rich dog). The descriptive language used is second to none and it is not hard to imagine yourself rising at 3am with Herriot in order to help a cow in labour.Possibly one of my favourite books ever. I have just ordered the complete collection.