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20 December 2012

 Hardcover published 1975. Farming Press Ltd. (UK)

A friend very kindly bought this book as a gift for me since she had an amazon account and I didn’t. I wanted it because a) it was the first in the series, and b) I already owned two of the author’s later books and they made me laugh every time I read them. To sum up, the author worked in advertising before he and his wife decided (like a lot of other people in Britain – perhaps influenced by The Good Life TV series) to buy a smallholding or larger farm and take up that lifestyle. And no, while I did love the TV series, it wasn’t why I bought my farm in 1989. James started with a pig farm and the story of how ‘any fool could be a pig farmer’ is rife with misunderstandings, mad pigs, odd events, even odder neighbours, and wildly funny outcomes. (He went on four years later to be a dairy farmer and can only be described as a glutton for punishment.)

The book started with an incredibly accommodating bank manager, moved on to learning about pigs by buying all of a local pig farmer’s livestock and gear, and – well, at this point I was chuckling loudly because James was planning to learn on the job since he’d begun the entire project knowing nothing about pigs, farming, or anything much else in that area. Having begun in a very similar way myself in 1989 I was aware of all the pitfalls he’d discover. After all, my own first book about this sort of thing (Farming Daze, published in 1993 and still selling with – currently – five sequels and a sixth due out in 2013) has some very similar descriptions. And I can say that three sorts of readers buy this sort of book. One is an experienced farmer with a large farm who reads this and howls at the idiot and his blunders. The next is the city person who reads this and howls at the idiot and his blunders while thinking that it would happen to him/her too under those circumstances. Then there’s the third, the person who has a smallholding/farmlet and nods sagely, yes, that’s exactly how it was for them and they’ve had many of same things happen to them too. Which, since that trio of reader types cover a wide area, may be why these books (including mine) continue to sell and I suggest you buy one of the books in this series and join the flock.

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Lyn. I was hoping to find a kindle version to purchase. Do you know if this will happen with your ‘Daze’ series.

    Kind regards

    Comment by Glenn Hibburt — 24 March 2016 @ 22:43

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