It seems to me that Gerald Durrell is underrated as a writer; so many other writers are far less deserving yet have praised heaped on them (classic writers especially - Hemm... *cough*). So I wonder why this is? Perhaps it has something to do with the subject matter Durrell chose - wry humour, animals, travel. Perhaps if he decided to write about a world war that he was not really involved in then he would be a great? My opinion is that, ultimately, Durrell is a down to earth, non pretentious writer with the discipline for expression. I think this is why I admire his work.