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All Things Wise and Wonderful
by James Herriot

This is the third James Herriot book, at least in the form that his work has been packaged for the U.S. market. Like its two predecessors, All Creatures Great and Small and All Things Bright and Beautiful, this book originally appeared as two shorter volumes in Britain. U.S. publishers simply prefer to sell heftier books, because they believe that their customers demand them.

In a change of pace from the previous two books, Herriot organizes this work around flashbacks. He recounts incidents from his (often humorous) period of service in the Royal Air Force during World War II, then conjures up memories of his prior life as a vet. Or, at least thatís how he presents them.

While Herriot insisted that all his stories were drawn from real incidents, he did take some literary license with details, including chronology. Thus, some of the stories placed by his books in the 1930s and 1940s, for instance, actually were based on events from much later. In addition to pseudonyms (both for people and places), he also employs composite characters (and places).

This book is every bit as memorable as the prior three.

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