Gerald Durrell : The Authorized Biography
London, HarperCollins. 1999, 1st UK Edition. (ISBN: 000255660X) Hardcover. Unblemished by formal education, undaunted by profound alcoholism, Durrell wrote 37 books, among them ''My Family and Other Animals,'' the classic memoir of his childhood years on Corfu. He reached millions of television viewers with his unlikely blend of wicked humor and passionate belief in conservation. He founded a zoo on Jersey in the Channel Islands, now widely regarded as one of the world's best. He championed the captive breeding of endangered species, when most zoos regarded the idea as anathema. And he saved whole species from extinction. Durrell did all this, moreover, with panache and self-deprecation. Awarded the Order of the British Empire, he modestly averred that the O.B.E. stood for ''Other Buggers' Efforts.'' And on the brink of death, at the age of 70, he summed up his own contribution this way: ''Life is like a superlative meal and the world is the maitre d'hotel. What I'm doing is the equivalent of leaving a reasonable tip.'' 644p. illus bibliography. Large heavy volume. As New/As New.
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