Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.It has been a long while since I’ve finished reading a vintage Penguin paperback but at last I’ve finished it. Why at last? Well regular readers might recall I actually started The Spotted Deer by J H Williams in July?
Why so long? Well quite frankly I hated it. The author is working for the British Government (and let’s say here from now on) “the Empire”. Not clear of the date but I think the early fifties. He’s in Burma (now Myanmar).
In the beginning he makes it quite clear that he believes in empire. Now you might think that given how Myanmar has turned out he’s correct. But two wrongs don’t make a right. An empire is quite simply inexcusable.
Whilst not approving of it he also apparently accepts a colour ban on people not pale enough in bars. And whilst he might take the advice of local people he is British so he makes the decisions. He is the leader of an expedition to the Andaman islands. Whose inhabitants I think (I’ve forgotten this part to be honest – Quickly wiping away this from my memory) are described once as savages
Brexiteers will probably love this.
There has been a short and (very) occasional series on this blog seeing whether we can find a writer capable of usurping James Herriot from his status as the colossus of veterinary autobiography. We’ve had the young vet going off to South Africa from time to time. We’ve had the out of hours vet in Brighton. So let’s see the USP of the next contender.
Is this man mad? Yorkshire? James Herriot’s Yorkshire? Surely not…but yes it is.
The answer is he’s not mad…just. Apparently there was a TV series called Yorkshire Vets which he was in. The practice he has was James Herriot’s one. And it has an introduction by his son. Also whilst mainly in Yorkshire it’s not solely set there.
It’s also not awful. There is a particularly moving chapter, ironically not animal related, which I won’t spoil. Ultimately though I didn’t think it was anything special. I feel I’ve read this sort of thing before….and I have.
I think the point is this. If you approach this book as a fan of the programme you’ll love it. If you approach it as a reader however, you will know in the end that it’s been done better.
The search continues.
Until the next time.