Interactive book blog

Teaching and learning

Several things happen in these chapters, including Gerry’s descriptions of his tutors, George and Theodore. 

Why do you suppose Gerry’s family was so eager for him to have a  tutor?

Which man seemed to relate better to the boy? To be a better teacher?

Also, what did you think of the houseguests and the frequent moves? Who is really in charge in the Durrell family, as far as  you can see? Why?

Going to Greece and Finding a home: Chapters 1-3

I hope you were able to meet our lovely greyhound visitors on March 2! They were very sweet and well-behaved, and we hope they’ll come  back to the library. They were both much better behaved than Roger, the family dog in this book!

A few questions about the first three chapters:

1. Did any part of the book make you smile or laugh? If so, which parts?

2. What about the settings? Did you enjoy Durrell’s descriptions of England and Corfu?

3. Which family member did you relate to most?

4. What did you think of Spiro? Why do you suppose he took this family under his wing?

As always, comments are welcome, and so are further questions. Don’t forget we’ll be having a total boox get-together on May 4, with Greek snacks! More details to follow. Stay warm!

Mary Johnson

Some questions for reading and discussion

Hello, everyone, and welcome to our big read! Whether you’re reading via Total Boox or in hard copy, you’ll probably have lots of thoughts and questions as well as laughs. Here are just a few ideas to think about as you’re reading.

1. Gerald Durrell wrote about his own life, but when the book was first published, he insisted it was fiction, not autobiography or memoir. Do you agree? If so, why do you think he fictionalized his family and their experience?

2. Gerry was also the youngest member of his family. Do you think he gives a fair picture of his mother, brothers, and sister, or does it seem exaggerated?

3. Going along with question 2, how different would this story have been had another member of the family told it? Whose voice would you particularly have wanted to hear?

4. The title of Gerry’s first book is “My Family and other Animals”. Did you find the animals a plus or a minus as you read this book? Why?

5. What about the picture you get of the people of Corfu? Do you think it was fair? 

6. It seemed rather extraordinary for a mother to take her adolescent family so far away, as it seems, almost on a whim. What did you think of Gerry’s mother? Were her actions and attitudes believable to you?

7. Finally, did you like the book? (It’s fine if you didn’t; not everyone would.) Why or why not?

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