Extended Audio Sample

Download My Animals and Other Family Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample My Animals and Other Family (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Clare Balding
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (9,336 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Clare Balding Narrator: Clare Balding Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN:
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The unabridged, digital audiobook edition of My Animals and Other Family, Clare Balding's wildly funny and deeply moving childhood memoir, read brilliantly by the author herself.

I had spent most of my childhood thinking I was a dog, and I suspect I had aged in dog years. By the time I was ten I had discovered the pain of unbearable loss. I had felt joy and jealousy. Most important of all, I knew how to love and how to let myself be loved. All these things I learnt through animals. Horses and dogs were my family and my friends. This is their story as much as it is mine.

Clare Balding grew up in a rather unusual household. As her father is a champion trainer, she shared her life with more than 100 thoroughbred racehorses, mares, foals, and ponies, as well as an ever-present pack of boxers and lurchers.

As a toddler she would happily ride the legendary Mill Reef and take breakfast with the Queen. She and her younger brother came very low down the pecking order. Left to their own devices, they had to learn life's toughest lessons through the animals, and through their adventures in the stables and the idyllic Hampshire Downs. From the protective Candy to the pot-bellied Valkyrie and the frisky Hattie, each horse and each dog had their own character and their own special part to play.

My Animals and Other Family is a funny, brave, tender story of self-discovery.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aly | 2/18/2014

    " Durrell's account of his family's five-year stay on the Greek island of Corfu in the 1930s is both a funny chronicle of the lives of a host of true characters (human and animal) and a lovely description of the island and its inhabitants. In his own introduction to the book, Durrell describes living in Corfu as similar to "living in one of the more flamboyant and slapstick comic operas" and that's how the book reads. One word of caution: if you're looking for a plot-driven book, this is, by design, not the one for you; otherwise, it's a great pick! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 mitzi | 2/13/2014

    " I loved this book, it was informative and funny. I am a biology/zoology freak, so just to learn about all the wild bugs and animals was fascinating! I love learning about bugs, but living with bugs is a totally different thing, I can't do that ever!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane S. | 2/11/2014

    " What a delightful book and what a quirky family. Durrell is a natural born storyteller, he does such a great job with the visuals. I could really experience Corfu through his writing and some of the visulas were darn near hysterical. A turtle for a pet, a turtle who will come when called and loves strawberries. A baby pigeon who they hand feed and who than doesn't learn how to fly but follows them everywhere, running behind them and cooing. A traveler trader who has beetles tied around their waist and than tied to his hat, as he walks they fly and circle his hat. Such amusing characters, such vivid pictures of the bugs, fauna and wildlife. A very enjoyable read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anastasia Fink | 2/5/2014

    " This is one of my favorite books in life! Even though I read it way back in the eighties I keep the ragtagged coverless paperback by my bedside to read excerpts from or just re-read anytime. Durrell is naturlist and conservationist and damn good writer. My Family..., is all about his families life living in Greece while Durrell is young. I love all his adventures through the island and all the local people he befriends, his investigations and friendships with the greek animals and insects and the drama of his family. I have to always include this book as currently reading and read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cara | 2/5/2014

    " Durrell records his experiences in Corfu as a 10 year-old boy after his family moves there on a whim. They proceed to move 3 more times within Corfu over the next two years, and acquire several dogs, a few birds, geckos, spiders, a decaying bat, and other wildlife the budding biologist finds on the island. Even if you are not particularly interested in insects, Durrell's descriptions of his garden-dwelling friends are so enthusiastic and genuine that he hooks you on his every word. Even better are his descriptions of his family members, who behave more strangely than any of the animals with which Durrell comes in contact. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eben | 2/3/2014

    " read as a kid and at the time well, it formed me "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hope Kuniholm | 1/19/2014

    " Laugh until you cry. What a wonderful book about a child left to his own devices on a Greek island. Best parts: the scorpion family and the constant complaints of Lugaretsia. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alice | 12/16/2013

    " extremely descirptive about corfu, an island in greece and its inhabitants, particularly animals. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katharine | 12/5/2013

    " This book had some humorous parts, but overall I found it tedious. I don't really understand why people love it so much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol Foisset | 11/19/2013

    " As I sit here in February in Central Oregon I dream of a day on Antiniotissa... the pearl-white sand, the lily covered dune,the transparent water, sleeping in the sun, eating fresh BBQ fish... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aimee Said | 11/16/2013

    " One of my all-time favourite books. I re-read MFAOA about every 18 months and I love it more each time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Avital | 11/16/2013

    " I'm always grateful to writers who cause me to laugh out loud and Gerald Durrell is a master in it. Reading his stories about his brother Larry-(Lawrence Durrel) is even funnier, when you think about "Larry's" prose. The story about his mother in her swelling swimming suit is a rare gem of comedy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pj Murphy | 11/10/2013

    " Excellent mixture of travelogue, comedy, zoology and a great story to boot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 10/25/2013

    " A family of five - mother, teen daughter, and sons 23, 19ish, and 5 spend 5 years on Corfu just prior to WWII. They are all eccentric characters plus they meet some interesting people on the island. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lavinia | 10/14/2013

    " Made me laugh out loud ... literally! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin Anderson | 9/28/2013

    " Perfectly charming. The menagerie of family pets are as full and amusing characters as the family itself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zara | 9/12/2013

    " Love this book. Long to visit Corfu... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roseanne Wright | 8/29/2013

    " My primary school headmaster gave me this to read and I was enthral led at the age of 11! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ivy | 7/22/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. I loved the charactors. Especially the main boy. I loved hearing about how it was for him to live in Greese and how interested he was in the animals. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy Feltham | 4/26/2013

    " One of my favorite books about growing up ever. What a magical life in Corfu! I adored this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam | 1/31/2013

    " The book that saved me from failing my "O" level English. What can I say - perfection. A book that led me to a lifetime of following Gerald Durrell and his wonderful escapades. The movie is qutie lovely too - unless your Turkish! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Siddhartha | 11/8/2012

    " An animal lover, naturalist, wildlife conservationist and a writer of incredibly funny stories. Is matched in terms of humor and turn of phrase only by James Herriot. His works area must read for all nature enthusiasts. "

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