Read Fillets of Plaice by Gerald Durrell Online


Durrell's hilarious and warm My Family and Other Animals (1957) began a trio of reminiscences of his life growing up with a slightly dotty family—the overbearing and omniscient Larry; the affectionate and loving siblings, Margot and Leslie; and, of course, the overburdened and patient Mother—on the island of Corfu in the 1930s, when a pound could buy a villa and life was cDurrell's hilarious and warm My Family and Other Animals (1957) began a trio of reminiscences of his life growing up with a slightly dotty family—the overbearing and omniscient Larry; the affectionate and loving siblings, Margot and Leslie; and, of course, the overburdened and patient Mother—on the island of Corfu in the 1930s, when a pound could buy a villa and life was conducted as a series of riotously high (and sometimes low) adventures. But what shines through these five vignettes is the author's engagement with and immense affection for animals in all their forms. From fish to fowl, from lizards to little water fleas (daphnia), Durrell's eye is acute and his prose is tart. You can read this book for the humor alone (for he did perceive his family as some rare and rarefied species), but between the lines you can discern the makings of a world-class naturalist and a cultivated and engaging writer....

Title : Fillets of Plaice
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780006344643
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 189 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Fillets of Plaice Reviews

  • Eric
    2018-09-16 18:17

    I read this wonderful book when I was still very young some two years into secondary school at the time. Like everybody else, the great humour and vibrancy of the work was most impressive and I read the book many more times still in my youth. I found so many expressions in the book gripping and I committed them to memory then - especially the story on "Promotion" which as usual ended in disaster- but with the author contented, so long as he could latch onto his precious animals!A few examples of phrases and sentences that I liked so much from this work that I still remember (and as usual quite hilarious too) - "everybody was lying the hind leg off a donkey " "my house does not lend itself to medieval splendour" "I want to plumb tbe depths of your ignorance" "lolling about in the labyrinthine passages of my sinus" "the deviousness of women" (as regards the charming Ursula)...Ah, Ursula! This used to be my favourite Chapter of this book. As a non-native English speaker or pretender , we used to think in our youth that all English people were experts in their own language. But here the author tells us that the young English woman here frequently made mistakes with her English, and what malapropisms! As the author states "She adopted a more militant and Boadicea-like approach to language..." (eg referring to an 'alcoholic' as an 'incoherent'!) Incidentally we were young then, and felt that the relationship between the author and the charming lady was platonic. Now, in old age, and with dirty mind to boot, one knows better!

  • Durdles
    2018-08-28 23:20

    Superb. A gem of a book. I read this at least four times in the 70's. Bits and bobs from his life that he couldn't find a place for in other books are collected together and make for some glorious and hilarious episodes. I particularly liked his investigations into the lives of people living just off Kensington High Street who survived rent free as long as their "businesses" made no profit; his attempts to buy items from their shops are met with great resistance. Other anecdotes about attempting to defuse a tense situation in Albania by trying magic tricks on hostile natives and attempting to entertain a District Commissioner to a slap-up dinner in tropical Africa show just how wrong things can go when one is wishing to impress.

  • reea
    2018-09-22 01:24

    A halak jelleme novellái egymástól térben és időben különböznek, és bevallom, nem mindegyiket találtam egyformán szórakoztatónak, ennek dacára érdekesek egy elmúlt, letűnt világ képeként.

  • Rebekah
    2018-09-25 02:01

    A fantastic collection of short stories (memoirs really, because they are true) following Gerald Durrell through his eventful life as the animal-mad youngest child in a very eccentric British family abroad. The humour is great - very dry and British, just my type of thing. There's a vast array of well-written 'characters', and any number of incredible events to enjoy.The Birthday PartyGerry's about 12 or so as the family and a rather varied bunch of friends take a very eventful trip in a boat round various Greek islands. All sorts of troubles befall them including two life-or-death situations. Ever-present is the dry, sarcastic, worldly older brother Larry, who makes even the most desperate situation hilarious.A Transport of Terrapins15-year-old Gerry takes up a job in a pet shop and has his work cut out with his boss Mr Romilly. Also in this story we meet the Colonel, and hear the strange lane of Potts LaneA Question of PromotionThis time it's an adult Gerry we find in 'deepest Africa' helping out his friend the District Officer as he desperately prepares for a visit from the District Commissioner. As always, the tale includes a cabaret of hilarious characters to ensure that, on the fatal night, nothing goes as planned and the reader is really in for a treat.A Question of DegreesNow married, Gerry is sent to 'the loony bin' - or 'a highly respectable nursing home which specialises in nervous complaints'. Needless to say, Gerry is in for anything but a restful stay as, aided by nurses who look like 'the entrants in a Miss World Competion', he battles a series of violent nosebleeds which the Miss World entrants are complete unable to deal with (lie down??????). The tale ends with a really quite alarming visit to the hospital...UrsulaGerry's young again and living in Bournemouth, where he meets an enchanting girl called Ursula. Despite being warned by friends, Gerry takes Ursula out, with disastrous consequences.Thoroughly enjoyed + THOROUGHLY recommend!

  • Txe Polon
    2018-09-24 22:24

    Divertida y variopinta recopilación de relatos. De entre ellos, quizás el más anodino (por extensión y escasos hechos narrados) sea "Una cuestión de ascenso" (sobre la preparación de la visita de un comisario del distrito en Camerún), pero aún así es un buen relato, con unos buenos personajes a la altura de los otros, como los excelentes "La fiesta de cumpleaños" (que retoma los aires y los personajes de la Trilogía de Corfú y nos traslada de nuevo a los mejores recuerdos de esa infancia) y "Un traslado de tortugas de agua dulce" (que presenta las divertidísimas peripecias de un Durrell adolescente en Londres, completamente ajeno a la IIGM a pesar de la cronología...). El caso de "Una cuestión de títulos" es muy anecdótico (en torno a sus hemorragias nasales), pero tiene su gracia (a pesar de ser el peor de la recopilación) sobre todo gracias a los personajes secundarios (enfermeras, médicos, taxistas...). "Ursula", el relato que cierra el libro, se fundamenta en el carisma y el encanto del personaje que le da título y que se convierte en un excelente prólogo para el relato "Un loro para el vicario" incluido en Un novio para mamá y otros relatos.

  • Jacqueline Wagenstein
    2018-09-20 21:58

    Апетитно блюдо хумор и приключения, забъркано по рецепта на британския писател, естествоизпитател и природозащитник Джералд Даръл!„Филе от камбала“ е безценна колекция разкази, които ще ви понесат първо към Корфу, където целокупното Дарълово семейство спретва на майка си незабравим рожден ден, после към Камерун, където канените за вечеря гости ще бъдат, меко казано, изненадани от доста неканени. А в кроткия морски курорт Борнмът на английското крайбрежие ще се срещнете с очарователната Урсула, царицата на светските гафове.Джералд Даръл (1925-1995) е уважаван в цял свят писател и естествоизпитател, роден в Индия, известен като основател на Джърсейския тръст за защита на дивите животни (впоследствие наречен на негово име) и на Джърсейската зоологическа градина. След първата си експедиция в Африка през 1947 г. той посещава Парагвай, Аржентина, Сиера Леоне, Мексико, Мавриций и Мадагаскар, участва и в телевизионни предавания, в които споделя преживяванията си в Австралия и Нова Зеландия. Даръл създава двайсетина книги, постигнали грандиозен успех заради тънкото му чувство за хумор.

  • Aisha
    2018-09-23 19:03

    Gerry and his brother (can't remember which. Larry? Leslie?) sit outside one starry night years and years after My Family and Other Animals. Gerry happens to mention that he has a stash of experiences and funny stories which didn't make it to his previous books, but could possibly be compiled into one more. Big L. tells him to go ahead, and this is the result.Hilarious as only Durrell can be, the collection of stories in here touches each part of his life — from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood, and are all equally enthralling. It's interesting to see what the little Gerry grew into and what he did during his young adult years. More of his personality emerges in these stories, as opposed to how he presented himself in My Family, where he was more like an observer.Also, dry, British humour. Win win.

  • Veselina Stefanova
    2018-09-18 21:13

    Джери Даръл - този остроумен магьосник на словото, готов винаги да те разсмее, да ти осигури приятна почивка сред страниците, ми е любимец още откакто бях дете. С него няма как да скучаеш, а още по-малко да се отегчиш. Лек, свеж и интересен, този писател-пътешественик никога няма да ми омръзне. Препоръчвам с две ръце.

  • Liz
    2018-08-26 21:08

    Writing was still good and stories entertaining, but there was an extra heaping of misogyny from a few characters and the story set in Africa was so full of colonial justification it turned my stomach

  • Trounin
    2018-08-29 01:18

    Ярких красок не осталось. Весь цвет был прежде потрачен на раскрашивание жизни в прежние годы. Оставшиеся моменты требовали своего воплощения на бумаге. Но более не имелось должных слов для воспоминаний. И всё же Дарреллу хотелось ещё раз приступить к писательскому мастерству. Вдохновить его смог сборник писем брата, вольное изменение названия которого породило словесный каламбур, результатом чего стало словосочетание «Филе из палтуса», лишённое всякого смысла. Под обложкой оказался набор разных историй — от детских воспоминаний о Корфу до борьбы с носовым кровотечением из-за высокого артериального давления.(c) Trounin

  • Kathy
    2018-09-17 18:17

    A collection of stories that never made it into his other books. Includes his mother's birthday party on Corfu, where they are marooned in an isolated cove for days; his first job at a pet shop in London; his stay (sort of) at a sanitorium; and his love affair with Ursula, a woman with a complete lack of self-consciousness and a tendency to malapropisms. Fun reading, but also gives some insight into the author's personality.

  • Жу Трандова
    2018-09-25 19:28

    It's a very, very good book! I love how Gerald Durell rights and I think every body should read it!

  • Anna
    2018-08-29 02:19

    Az biztos, hogy Gerry soha nem unatkozott. Mindegy, merre járt, hány éves volt, a különféle furcsa helyzetek és érdekes emberek, no meg a rengeteg állat valahogy mindig megtalálta. De azt hiszem enélkül nem is lett volna az, aki. S feleannyira se élvezte volna az életét, no meg minket se tudott volna így elszórakoztatni :D.

  • Natasha
    2018-09-08 21:19

    Fillets of Plaice ~ a collection of short stories written by that wonderful author; Gerald Durrell...* The Birth of a Title...Short story about HOW they came up with the title for the book: luscious visions of a laid back time during a stay on the Island of Corfu..* The Birthday Party ... `Tis Mother's birthday; and a party MUST be given... Larry is told SPECIFICALLY ...NOT to take the "icebox" from the kitchen... which he totally ignoresThe hilarious and rollicking adventure unfolds and proceeds to entertain in adundance!A wonderful read; not to be missed!*A Transport of Terrapins...A very young Gerry back in England, and his adventures as he takes on a job in a Pet Shop in 1930's London! A wonderful story; filled to the brim with humour and interesting prose!*A Question of PromotionA hilarious view of Gerald while in Mamfe ....collecting wild animals (as was his life's work) and Martin;the D.O. [district officer] and his antics as he strives to handle a visit from a "Big Wig" his senior THE DISTRIC COMMISSIONER.... You are in for a slap-stick, hilarious romp as the folk involved with Martin and Gerald prepare for the invasion of this 'personage'!!*Ursula...A tale of early romance; Gerry meets a 'vision' on a bus in downtown London; all it's hilarious consequence ~ and romantic verve thrown in with the wild adventures of Ursula herself...A wonderful, rollicking adventure!

  • Peregrino
    2018-09-22 01:12

    Otro magnífico libro de Durrell. en esta ocasión se trata de seis relatos deslabazados (de ahí el título), que Durrell nos quiere ofrecer con su ingenioso humor british total.Los dos primeros nos remontan a su infancia en la isla de Corfú, y podían haber sido perfectamente añadidos a su "Mi familia y otros animales", ya comentado. Deliciosos relatos de la singular familia y sus peripecias en Corfú, vistas a través de los inocentes ojos del autor. El tercero nos traslada al Londres de su adolescencia, a su primer trabajo, y los extraños personajes propietarios de las tiendas de animales más extravagantes, sin olvidar la aparición del Coronel Anstruther. El cuarto relato nos traslada a Africa, y a los preparativos que el grupo de blancos realiza para la inspección de un oficial de distrito. Hilarante historia. El quinto narra la surrealista experiencia del agotado Durrell en una clínica para combatir el stress, y por último el sexto nos describe la primera relación del naturalista con el sexo opuesto, de su "enamoramiento" de la estrafalaria Ursula.En definitiva, un libro muy ameno, de los que da gusto leer (y más si se ha superado con éxito la lectura de otras farragosas novelas :-). Sonrisa en boca promete, promete una agradable experiencia.

  • Molly
    2018-09-22 00:59

    I'm afraid Gerry started out charmingly enough, a boyhood tale of catching escaped salamanders on a bus, mistaking a well-meaning colonel for a pedo and subsequently playing soldiers with him in his attic, and redecorating the tanks of bleach-eyed frogs with calloused feet...but then he ends up middle-aged in colonial Africa. This is where he goes wrong and where, following the tale, he just can't go right. He takes a foray into racism, calling others the hideous word without thinking for a minute he's just describing himself in a roundabout way. Then there's the episode with the bloody nose and the Indian doctor and we're all just left shaking our heads and cringing. Damn it Gerry, and I so liked you in Greece.

  • Wayne
    2018-09-05 00:10

    I first read this while on a 1974/75 holiday in a remote village on one of the many islands that make up the Solomon Islands. I left it behind because we were travelling light.Then I spent many years trying to find another copy to relive again Durrell's wonderfully hilarious biographical tales of a childhood on Corfu, and in 1930's London and as an adult in Africa.Found a copy FINALLY in Feb 2007!!!Read it immediately.Do the same, is all I can say.His "My Family and Other Animals" is entirely set on Corfu during an idyllic and eccentric childhood, his family and the Greek inhabitants being not the least of the non-stop entertainment.READ IT!!!!

  • Ian Smith
    2018-09-14 20:18

    Five short stories plus an introduction make up this delightful compendium of tales from Gerald Durrell's childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Boats and beaches of Corfu, pet shops and hospitals of London, colonial houses of Cameroon; all provide backdrops for his characteristically humorous anecdotes, richly flamboyant language and outrageous caricatures of his family and friends. I first read this as a child, and it loses none of its joy in a re-read (though does require a large pinch of salt at times!!). Not quite the best of his 'family' books, but a light and entertaining summer read that stands the test of time!

  • Maurya
    2018-09-08 02:10

    Comprises five short stories; the first one that deals with the author's family taking a boat trip is hilarious but the stories that follow are quite bland. While Durrell's writing style is great throughout, there is just a magic in the voice of Gerald the child that is conspicuous by its absence in the later stories - where we deal with a grown-up Durrell and sadly, minus his unhinged family members.Of course if you've already read My Family and Other Animals, then no amount of filler is going to make you pass on a chance to get reacquainted with Spiro, Larry et al.

  • Dana
    2018-08-25 18:23

    I bought this book for a quarter at Uncle Joe's Flea Market in Indiana. It has an especially classic style, quintessential for a flea market buying scene. Unfortunately this was my sum total story regarding this book. I liked the stories, they were pleasant and agreeable and quirky, yet I never quite felt at home with the characters or fulfilled by the end. I would never say this was a bad book, and would even go so far as to give my copy to a friend with out any guilt or fear I was causing them to waste their time. I just felt like it was unmemorable, and a little flat.

  • Sonia
    2018-09-24 20:02

    I thought this was going to be a continuation of My Family and Other Animals but was disappointed to find that only the first of the five short stories pertains to the family in Corfu. The BBC TV production was a good format for the author's talents - maybe better for the screen than in book form. The story set in Africa will probably upset some readers who could find it racist (which I don't think the author was) and Ursula in the last story is hilarious.

  • Eleanor Gunn
    2018-09-02 19:13

    I love reading Gerald Durrell and this collection of short stories was no exception. He is an astute observer of human and animal nature and writes beautifully. I particularly enjoyed his time at the pet store. His writing is certainly dated but still very enjoyable. I just wish this collection included more animal stories.

  • Dan
    2018-08-26 21:10

    Fillets of Plaice. More Gerald Durrell, but this time it concentrates on his family and friends more than on his animals. It is in the tradition of Evelyn Waugh's aristocratic snobbish young English people, but with slightly more likable characters. It was well-written, but I prefer his animal stories.

  • Rachael
    2018-09-13 22:15

    Someone I would really like to have dinner with, I bring you: hilarious stories from the animal-loving brother of Lawrence Durrell (of more cosmopolitan fame--good friends with Henry Miller). I don't think any of the stories are based in the US, and all involve refreshingly genuine characters going about their ridiculous lives.

  • Sam Kirshaw
    2018-08-31 19:15

    Hilariously funny stories from an accomplished mid-twentieth century raconteur with one or two forgivable colonial prejudices! His mother's birthday party is a jewel of a tale with a cutting description of his idiosyncratic family.

  • Robert
    2018-09-08 23:02

    Durrell's first short story collection and it is great, even the first encounter with Ursula Pendragon. Every story is a winner be it the pet store job or the dinner from hell. It's laugh out loud moments from start to finish.

  • Marilyn
    2018-09-24 18:10

    Durrell does it again, another delightful book that is wonderfully entertaining. The book is written in five chapters, each one telling of a different hilarious, crazy experience that he hadn't previously related through his other books. It will keep you smiling and chuckling.

  • Js
    2018-08-31 00:04

    Gerald Durrell doesn't need to stand on the shoulders of his older brother. It is quite possible Larry would be laughing to hard to allow for it anyway.Gerald Durrell offers brilliant insight into the cast of characters that make up his family and friends with a tender touch and a scathing wit.

  • Tarun Prabhu
    2018-09-22 22:16

    I can still go back and re-read some of these stories. Modern sensibilities will almost certainly be offended by the descriptions and treatment of Africans, which, unfortunately, was normal for the time, but if you look past that, this book is as colourful as anything Durrell writes

  • Hazel Mills
    2018-08-25 21:13

    These stories that didn't fit into Durrell's other books are just hilarious. I suggest that they are read with tissues at hand to wipe the tears of laughter. I f you don't find this funny, we definitely don't have the same sense of humour!