James Herriot is the pen-name of a British veterinary surgeon James Alfred Wight, who may be considered one of the most well-known veterinarians in the world throughout the existence of the profession. Having spent most of his life in Yorkshire countryside, treating animals of all kinds, he finally found a way to tell the world about what the work of veterinarian is: about its difficulties, sad and funny moments, about people who surrounded him throughout his work in this area.
The novels are only semi-autobiographic – although the majority of characters are based on real people, their personalities underwent certain changes, and a lot of situations and stories are only distantly related to the things that happened in reality. Nevertheless, his novels, known under the common name All Things Great and Small, still represent a unique perspective of the 20th century veterinary medicine that has drastically changed since the times of Herriot.
All of his novels and short stories are imbued with sincere love for animals, no matter of what kind they are, excellent sense of humor and ability to see good sides even in the most dreary events, as well as understanding of how one has to deal with both funny and sad episodes, none of which feel to be insincere or false.
All in all, the book has everything a good book should have: nice English language, interesting topic, memorable characters. Although it is not always humoristic, it is still extremely kind towards every living being; the best kind of reading for everyone who loves nature, animals and wants to read something that is not likely to be found anywhere else.