Tuesday, March 23, 2021

#MacmillanAudio review of All Creatures Great and Small by James Harriot narrated by Nicholas Ralph

When Macmillan Audio offered me a review copy of  a new reprint of All Creatures Great and Small by James Harriot I said yes please because like millions of you I was enjoying season 1 on PBS when I learned that Nicholas Ralph, the actor playing James Harriot in the series was narrating I couldn't download it fast enough. I hope you enjoy my review and I hope it persuades you to get your own audio copy.

ISBN-13: 9781250796875
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Release Date: 11-17-2020
Length: 15 hours-23 minutes
Source: Macmillan Audio for review
Buy It: Audible


The classic multimillion copy bestseller

Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients.

For over forty years, generations of readers have thrilled to Herriot's marvelous tales, deep love of life, and extraordinary storytelling abilities. For decades, Herriot roamed the remote, beautiful Yorkshire Dales, treating every patient that came his way from smallest to largest, and observing animals and humans alike with his keen, loving eye.

In All Creatures Great and Small, we meet the young Herriot as he takes up his calling and discovers that the realities of veterinary practice in rural Yorkshire are very different from the sterile setting of veterinary school. Some visits are heart-wrenchingly difficult, such as one to an old man in the village whose very ill dog is his only friend and companion, some are lighthearted and fun, such as Herriot's periodic visits to the overfed and pampered Pekinese Tricki Woo who throws parties and has his own stationery, and yet others are inspirational and enlightening, such as Herriot's recollections of poor farmers who will scrape their meager earnings together to be able to get proper care for their working animals. From seeing to his patients in the depths of winter on the remotest homesteads to dealing with uncooperative owners and critically ill animals, Herriot discovers the wondrous variety and never-ending challenges of veterinary practice as his humor, compassion, and love of the animal world shine forth.

James Herriot's memoirs have sold 80 million copies worldwide, and continue to delight and entertain readers of all ages.

Listen to a Sample

 My Macmillan Audio Review:

All Creatures Great and Small
James Harriot
Narrated by Nicholas Ralph


With humor and concern James Harriot takes readers to his beloved Yorkshire Dales where he was a country vet for almost fifty years, way back to the 1930s, the early days of his practice when just out of vet school he joins a practice owned by an intractable obstinate man, Siegfried Farnon who along with Siegfried’s brother Tristan make up the practice. And how he eventually learns to respect and look up to Siegfried. 

The book follows how he began his profession how he came to respect the hardworking, hard scrabbled men and women who call the Dales home and how he came to love tending to the large farm animals and the small beloved pets belonging to the folks who live there.

 He shares some specific adventures staring some of his best loved animals and people like Mrs. Pumphrey and her precious, precocious pooch Tricki Woo. 

He also shares the very personal tale of how he met, fell in love with courted and married Helen the daughter of a Yorkshire farmer.  The book first published in 1972 has gained new interest and popularity with the release of the PBS Masterpiece Theatre show of the same name. The book and the show follow similar paths with the PBS series taking some creative liberties away from the memoir.

Narrated by the actor who plays James in the PBS series, Nicholas Ralph does a brilliant job of both narrating the book and staring as a young James Harriot in the PBS Masterpiece series and I encourage reading, listening to and watching the show.

 About the author:
JAMES HERRIOT was a veterinarian in Yorkshire, England for over half a century until his death in 1995. His bestselling memoirs include All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, 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.


  1. Replies
    1. I know but its new to me and I loved watching the PBS series

  2. I did watch a little of it years ago but have never looked for it again. I can see how the audio would be so wonderful and the actor's voice would make it extra special.

  3. For some reason, both the book and the series intimidate me. I have no earthly idea why.

    1. Hey you hi! Hmmm I have no idea why either I didn't find it that way at all. Good to see you here!