Thursday, 24 January 2008

Vet in Harness

Vet in Harness continues the story of James Herriot, young vet, animal lover and a familiar friendly face to farmers and pet owners of Darrowby (a made-up name of an actual Yorkshire district).

This book is as delightful as the earlier ones. In this one Herriot is now a husband. He married his wife Helen at the end of Let Sleeping Vet Lie and at around the same time got promoted to partner of the practice at where he worked.

I'm slowly warming up to the fact that the James Herriot (which is a pseudonym, by the way) books are at best semi-autobiographical. The stories are funny, inspiring, with a few that are poignant. Herriot confesses in another book that many details about the events, people, animals and places in his books are not exactly true. For example, some of recurring characters are actually composites of two or more real persons.

It's Herriot's unwavering optimism keeps me coming back, especially when he's faced with a sick animal with unusual circumstances. His job now gets more interesting after knowing Granville Bennett, an eccentric animal surgeon who's a colourful addition to the already fascinating social landscape of Darrowby, at least in the way Herriot describes it.

Herriot's books have rekindled my interest in animals. As a kid I devoured book after book on animals, regardless whether I understood them or not. There's something about animals books that fills me with joy and amazement. They are many signs of God's greatness in animals, and I believe that's what draws me to them. (I did however tried reading a zoology book once but got overwhelmed. No offence, to any zoologist reading this. Zoology is a field I greatly respect and appreciate. It's just that I'm not quite the scientific-minded.)

Another things these books have taught me is how to appreciate what I do for a living. Herriot points out many times that being a vet isn't a comfortable job. I can't imagine myself looking up farm animals' rectums for days on end, despite my interest in animals. Getting calls in the middle of night about birthing cows and getting bitten by your patient are just some of the many inconveniences a country vet must endure. At least I can go home from work without bite marks or bandages.


mudin001 said...

nice review???

mudin001 said...

ops...silap letak question mark.. haha!

rol said...

Ah, mudin, thank you. But this is another one of my "can't seem to do justice to it" kind of review, actually. Oh, well. Better ones are coming insya-Allah.

Boleh tak kalau nak buat "request review"? Untuk buku Pak Pram, House of Glass? Terima kasih saya dahulukan. (Ada jumpa buku tu tapi belum mula baca.)

mudin001 said...

Oh.. buku Rumah Kaca Pak Pram sudah lama dibaca, sudah lebih dua tahun rasanya. Tak ingat sangat, tapi mulanya sukar juga ingin mengikut gaya bahasa dan penulisannya.

Insya Allah, tak janji :)

rol said...

Takpa. Sekadar nak tahu pendapat orang yang pernah membacanya. Terima kasih. :D

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