James Herriot Revisited
“Herriot charms because he delights in life, embraces it with sensitivity and gust and writes with grace. All Creatures Great and Small may well be the happiest book of the year.”
The New York Times Book Review
It was 1979 and All Creatures Great and Small, by James Herriot, was immensely popular. This book, first published in 1972, and several sequels, were best sellers and romanticized rural veterinary practice for a whole generation of readers. It’s likely that not a single veterinary school applicant had failed to read Herriot’s books prior to the application and interview process.
Siegfried Farnon, James’ boss, had a younger brother, Tristan, who was lacking in the over-achieving tendencies of his older brother. He was having great difficulty getting through his veterinary school curriculum and seemed to be a “disaster waiting to happen” as he continuously partied, slacked off at work and went from one “wreck” to another, much to the dismay of Siegfried. Despite his early exploits, Tristan went on to a highly successful veterinary career.