Why I want to write like Gerald Durrell is a question I can start to explain with the help of some interesting examples. Imagine a scene where a huge seagull is discovered under the dining table while a party is in progress. Or a dialogue between a mother and a son who are arguing about how to accommodate a large number of guests in their small house and end up moving to a bigger place just to overcome that particular problem. Does that catch your attention? Then read Gerald Durrell’s ‘My Family and Other Animals’ for such humorous anecdotes and more and also to discover for yourself why I want to write like this particular author.
A naturalist rather than a writer, Gerald Durrell nevertheless had a gift with words as is amply evident from his works. From describing his exploration activities to chronicling the eccentricities displayed by each member of his family, he possessed the ability to capture his readers’ attention in a way that many authors would have good reason to envy. His descriptions of flora and fauna are so mesmerizing that one can actually visualize the scene unfolding before him. And I dare someone to resist laughing at the chaos and bedlam that followed after his elder brother Larry opened a matchbox and an angry mother scorpion jumped out from it, ending up on the table and scattering her babies “like confetti”.
Writers are dreamers and most of them, if not all, nurture the dream that their writing would make their readers laugh and cry along with the protagonists. There is not an iota of doubt that Gerald Durrell had the laughing part perfectly covered. The Corfu trilogy, consisting of the books ‘My Family and Other Animals’, ‘Birds, Beasts and Relatives’ and ‘The Garden of the Gods’, depicts a semi autobiographical account of the author’s stay at Greek island of Corfu and his adventures there. The incidents, more often than not perpetuated by Durrell himself, as well as the family’s reactions to them provoke a fresh burst of laughter in every chapter. Add to that a host of the most unusual and quirky characters that one can encounter on this planet and you have a recipe that is sure to entertain.
Being an animal lover and an aspiring writer myself, I salute the genius of Gerald Durrell and dearly want to follow his example in writing. Someday, in the not so distant future, I may find myself writing a book on the antics of my pet dog Dobby (a project that I actually intend to take up sooner or later). On that day I know I will hoping down the line a reader will be enjoying my book the way I have chuckled over Gerald Durrell’s writings many a time. And that is exactly why I want to write like Gerald Durrell.