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28 February 2015

Hardcover, published 2011 by Two Roads, (UK)
I always enjoy a good ‘vet book’, no vet runs a practise for long without having some great stories to tell so the only question becomes, can the author tell the stories well? And that ranges from adequate to terrific. This book happily falls into the terrific category. Also into that category falls the author’s backdrop, he started out as a qualified vet in 1999 and now has his own practise, Pilgrims Veterinary Practise in the New Forest area of England. However only a few years into his employment he also started the Worldwide Veterinary Service Charity. Frankly this guy reminds me of the Energiser Bunny. His practise, the charity, and then too he runs an emergency service for animals (in Dorset,) and has a pet travel company. And before most of that he attained a karate black belt, and, to raise money to start his charity, ran the Marathon des Sables, a 152mile race across a portion of the Sahara and completed it, despite not being any kind of experienced runner while other, more practised runners, were dropping like flies. Mr Gamble has stamina.
The tales of two of his overseas missions, both to desex dozens of feral dogs, and the other events that happened to him during those missions are poignant and remind the reader that while charity may begin at home, there are times when it should travel further afield. With this book I would say the author has added yet another string to his bow. It’s well-written, often witty, the animal stories, many told against himself, are engrossingly funny or wry, and I read the book at a sitting.
After that I investigated because I’d never heard of the publisher. Two Roads is a small new outfit, an offshoot of Hodder and Stoughton, that began in 2010. Run by Lisa Highton it seems to have the knack of finding new, quality, authors. After all, one of the first books it published was Water For Elephants, promptly optioned and made into a movie. I checked out Luke Gamble then, finding to my pleasure that, yes, he has written more with The Vet:The Big Wide World (out in 2012.) I’ll be adding both books to my ‘wanted’ list and hope to be able to acquire them this year.

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