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Context Literature / MyFamilyAndOtherAnimals

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1[[quoteright:310:]] ²²->''This is the story of a five-year sojourn that I and my family made on the Greek island of Corfu. It was originally meant to be mildly nostalgic account of a natural history of the island, but I made a grave mistake in introducing my family into the book in the first few pages. Having got themselves on paper, they then proceeded to establish themselves and invite various friends to share the chapters. It was only with the greatest difficulty, and by exercising considerable cunning, that I managed to retain a few pages here and there to devote exclusively to animals.''²-->--Gerald Durrell²²''My Family and Other Animals'' is a hilarious [[BasedOnATrueStory semi-autobiographical]] account of Creator/GeraldDurrell and his family living on the island of Corfu between [[TheThirties 1935 and 1939]] as well as various fauna of the island. Each of Gerry's family, as well as other characters, have their own idiosyncrasies that make this one of the funniest books ever written. There's his long-suffering mother that never seems to be surprised by anything, his eldest brother Larry, another [[ famous writer]]; Leslie the [[GreatWhiteHunter gun nut]]; his ditzy older sister Margo; the over-protective family friend [[LargeHam Spiro "Americano" Chalikiopoulos]]; and the distinguished naturalist and king of [[IncrediblyLamePun Incredibly Lame Puns]] Dr Theodore Stephanides.²²It has two sequels, ''Birds Beasts and Relatives'' and ''The Garden of the Gods'' though these are not nearly as famous as the original. It has been adapted at least three times for television: as a mini-series in 1987 starring Creator/BrianBlessed, as a 2005 made-for-TV film, and as a 2016 mini-series. It was also adapted for the stage in 2006.²----²!!This contains examples of the following tropes:²²* BasedOnATrueStory: Not just shortened, but there are a few inaccuracies. Larry is depicted as living with the family, though at the time he was living in another part of Corfu with his wife Nancy (shown in the film briefly but not in the book). Also, the reason that the Durrells leave the island in the book is for continuing Gerry's education, rather than [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the real reason]] for needing to go back to England.²** Somewhat Retconned: ''Birds Beasts and Relatives'' talks about the onset of the war. Spiro's response is typically hilarious.²* BigCreepyCrawlies: Cecily the Mantis.²* CloudCuckooLander: The Rose Beetle Man who never speaks.²* DeadpanSnarker: Larry.²* TheDitz: Margo.²* DogsAreDumb: Dodo. Gerry says that her Victorian ignorance of the facts of life is rather touching. The other dogs in the house don't even acknowledge her existence...until they discover she comes into season '''very''' regularly. She has the attention span of a goldfish and obsessively follows Gerry's mother around, even when she is in the bath. This is taken to a new level when she had her puppy and insists on carrying it around everywhere.²* FeatheredFiend: Alecko, the seagull.²* FreeRangeChildren: Gerry.²* GilliganCut: Happens in the two last paragraphs. Also at the shift from Part 1 to Part 2:²-->"We are ''not'' moving to another villa," said Mother firmly.\²''(Next chapter starts)''\²The new villa was enormous...²* GreatWhiteHunter: Leslie.²* HollywoodChameleons: Averted with the geckos and the lacewing beetles.²* IncrediblyLamePun: Theodore is full of these.²* ItWorksBetterWithBullets: Larry's first attempt at hunting snipe.²* LargeHam: Spiro, there's a reason why he was played by Creator/BrianBlessed in one of the TV adaptations.²* LoyalAnimalCompanion: Roger.²* NeverMyFault: As far as Larry is concerned, all his personality flaws are actually his mother's fault for raising him that way. ²* PetBabyWildAnimal: Gerry has many of these, like Achilles the tortoise, Ulysses the scops owl, the Magenpies and Quasimodo the pigeon.²* PollyWantsAMicrophone: The Magenpies, also to some extent Quasimodo who likes to dance to music.²* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Leslie finding snakes in the bath.²* ScaryScorpions: Played straight when Gerry finds a mother scorpion with her babies, puts it in a matchbox that Larry brings to the breakfast table, [[HilarityEnsues hilarity ensues]]. Subverted by the fact that Gerry has a lot of respect for scorpions and wanted to raise a colony so he could study them more closely, but his family (unsurprisingly, all things considered) flatly refused.²* ThievingMagpie: Larry constantly accuses the Magenpies of being thieves and says they'll have to bury their belongings with an armed guard over them. They're given the run of the house until they are caged. Then during a party, they manage to undo the lock on their cage and get drunk. ²* [[TurtlePower Tortoise Power]]: There's Achilles, as well as the dueling tortoises that fight over the ladies.²----


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