All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot: Book Review

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot Book Cover

I have an affiliate relationship with and Malaprop's Bookstore in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site. Read more on my affiliate page.
All Creatures Great and Small Book Cover

5 Stars

I don’t have a review written up for this book, but I have loved it since the first time I read it. It was summer break, I must have been in high school, and I had finished all the books I had checked out from the library. I didn’t feel like re-reading anything, so in desperation I checked out my parents’ bookshelves. Why I looked on my dad’s, I will never know. He really only ever reads westerns, which I had no interest in at that point of my life! Anyway, after quite a bit of digging, I found this little gem.  I sat down to read, and I had tears of laughter rolling down my face within the first few pages! I was hooked. On a non-fiction book at that!

James Herriot was a vet in Yorkshire and he mostly writes about the early years of his practice, around the time of WWII. This was before the days of antibiotics, so there really wasn’t all that much vets could do. But Jim, his boss Siegfried and Siegfried’s brother, Tristan made their rounds, doing the best they could for their patients. They also date the local women and play pranks on each other. James’ dating stories are hilarious! And Tristan will be one of your favorite people ever. The Mad Conductor scene should be a classic and required reading for everyone. I couldn’t breathe, I was laughing so hard at that one. James is a natural storyteller and reading the pages of his book, I laugh, I cry, I celebrate the small victories, get angry at the injustices, and just generally experience everything that makes us human. I can’t recommend this series enough.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:


  1. If you haven't read these, you really should. I think everyone will love them!

    PolishOutlander, I blame these books, my own lack of direction, and the fact that my best friend was in a pre-vet program for the fact that I followed the same track. I didn't follow through on it. I should've been an English major.

    Serpentine Librarian, I've read them countless times too. 🙂

  2. I love, love, love these books! I remember reading them in high school and just being mesmerized with the descriptions of the English countryside. These books are what started my love of all things English. My library weeded old editions of all 4 books out of the collection a few years ago and I just had to take them home. They now sit on a shelf with some of my other favorite books. I try to reread them every once in awhile, they definitely hold up to multiple rereadings. Awesome pick 🙂

  3. Sadly, I've not read this one, but have heard so many glowing reviews of it. I really ought to try!

  4. Oh! I remember reading this book too I high school, back when I had aspirations of working with animals (but shortly thereafter realized I'm not good at any science). I haven't read the other books that followed but this one I definitely think of with warm and fuzzy feelings.

I love to hear from you! Please contact me (menu bar, above) if you're having trouble commenting.