Sunday, October 9

Ticklish Tales

I turned and had my first view of Granville Bennett.

He seemed to fill the room.  Not over tall but of tremendous bulk.  Fat, I though at first, but as he came nearer it seemed to me that the tissue of which he was composed wasn't distributed like fat.  He wasn't flabby, he didn't stick out in any particular place, he was just a big wide, solid, hard-looking man.  From the middle of a pleasant blunt-featured face the most magnificent pipe I had ever seen stuck forth shining and glorious, giving out delicious wisps of expensive smoke.  It was an enormous pipe, in fact it would have looked downright silly with a smaller man but on him it was a thing of beauty.  I had a final impression of a beautifully cut dark suit and sparkling shirt cuffs as he held out a hand. 

"James Herriot!"  He said it as somebody else might have said "Winston Churchill."

Chapter 18, All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot, published 1976.

I really enjoyed reading this description of small-animal veterinary surgeon, Granville Bennett.  He develops as a very large, munificent, overwhelming character, who in perfect benevolence nearly fills James to bursting point with four points of beer, three massive pickled onions and a stack of mustard and roast beef sandwiches.  The constrast in characters and the story from James' point of view is just ticklingly hilarious, as always.  It is amazing how beautifully he writes up his own personal experiences so that they are just enchanting!


  1. James Herriot is fantastic! He's funny and insightful and you can tell that he absolutely loves every creature he talks about. If ever I tried my hand at writing my own memoirs, I'd hope they were atleast a tenth as amazing as his. :)

  2. I think that if I ever wrote any book at all, it would have to be my goal to have humour a tenth as beautifully authentic and wonderful as his ALWAYS is.


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