Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jeff Wells | All My Patients Have Tales

All My Patients Have Tales
Favorite Stories From a Vet's Practice

By Jeff Wells
226 pp. St. Martin's Press. $24.95

I loved James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small as a child and have been a sucker for personal anecdotes about animals and pet ownership ever since. For the most part literature in this genre is fluff - it's warm, fuzzy, and mindless reading. I think most people would agree though that a little fluff now and then is a good thing. 

All My Patients Have Tales is written in the spirit of James Herriot, filled with unexpected encounters and curious patients; though it falls short of the spirit embodied by Herriot's prose. Wells starts as a greenhorn straight out of vet school and takes the reader through his early years of practice. By the end of the book he's a well seasoned pro, having learned how to handle not only challenging patients and problems but their owners as well.  I appreciate that Wells shares tales about dogs and cats but also includes ones about non-domestic animals. The book is a fast read, filled with lighthearted humor, moments of trial and triumph, and even a little potty humor. The stories are brief, making this a good non-committal pick-up and put-down sort of book or a fast weekend read.

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