All Things Wise and Wonderful
By James Herriot
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312020316, 432pp.)
Publication Date: October 14, 2004
James Herriot is probably the most beloved living writer. When All Things Bright and Beautiful was published three years ago, it became the number one best seller in the world, winning still new friends for the Yorkshire veterinarian whose first book All Creatures Great and Small had already been enjoyed by millions of readers.
In this, his third book, he takes up where he left off-- both in terms of the warmth, humor, and skill with which he writes, and in the story itself. It is World War Two and James has just been inducted into the RAF. We see him at training camp and we go back to Yorkshire-- on real trips as he breaks away to see Helen who is about to have a baby, and on trips of reverie as he recalls the Dales, the animals, and the Yorkshire people who have so enriched his life. We meet old friends again-- his partner Siegfried, the zany Tristan, the bon vivant Granville Bennett-- and scores of new folk, each with a story to tell. James Herriot is back, and, as one reviewer said of his work, "If ever you have loved a friend, human or otherwise, this is the book for you."
James Herriot (1916-1995) was the bestselling author of memoirs including All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, The Lord God Made Them All, and Every Living Thing. At age 23, Herriot qualified for veterinary practice with the Glasgow Veterinary College, and moved to the town of Thirsk in Yorkshire to work in a rural practice. He would live in, work in, and write about the region for the rest of his life. Though he dreamed for years of writing a book, his veterinary work and his family kept him busy, and he did not start writing until the age of 50. In 1979, he was awarded the title Order of the British Empire (OBE). His veterinary practice in Yorkshire, England, is now tended by his son, Jim Wight.
"Every character in the book emerges with force and clarity. There is humor everywhere. All Creatures Great and Small may well be the happiest book of the year."--Nelson Bryant, New York Times Book Review
"Perhaps most miraculous of all is Dr. Herriot's literary gift. With seemingly effortless art, this man tells his stories with perfect timing and optimum scale. Many more famous authors could work for a lifetime and not achieve more flawless literary control than this unknown vet has in his first book."--Alfred Ames, Chicago Tribune Book World, on All Creatures Great and Small
"I hope this is but the first installment of a series about All Creatures Great and Small. I probably won't get another book read before this year  is ended. I am glad that by some small miracle my last book of the year was the best."--Grady M. Long, Chattanooga Times