Visit our Christmas Gift Finder
Click & Collect from 2 Hours
Last Christmas Delivery Dates
Free UK Standard Delivery on orders £20 and over Order in time for Christmas 18th December 2nd Class | 19th December 1st Class Free Click & Collect to shops From 2 hours of your order*
Alas Poor Johnny: A Memoir of Life on an Exmoor Farm: Foreword by Boris Johnson (Paperback)
  • Alas Poor Johnny: A Memoir of Life on an Exmoor Farm: Foreword by Boris Johnson (Paperback)
zoom

Alas Poor Johnny: A Memoir of Life on an Exmoor Farm: Foreword by Boris Johnson (Paperback)

(author), (editor)
£7.99
Paperback 232 Pages / Published: 28/03/2015
  • Not available

This product is only available to collect in store.

  • This item has been added to your basket
Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. Please check by using Click & Collect
In 1951 Buster Johnson moved from Surrey to Exmoor with her husband Johnny, four children, a couple of dogs and a vanload of pigs and poultry. Naturally gregarious, she exchanges a life of domestic servants and bridge parties for a remote and spartan existence at West Nethercote, a farm in the heart of Exmoor national park. Alas Poor Johnny, written some ten years later, is her vivid and fascinating account of their life there, and of farming on Exmoor in the fifties, told with a strong sense of drama and of the absurd. The void left by her lost cultural and social pursuits becomes filled by the minutiae of everyday life, and by her husband Johnny and their four children. Above all, it is filled by the animals. These take the place of absent friends in her affections, their personalities permeating the book. There is a small but strong supporting cast, including busybody Mrs Stevens at the next door farm; Arthur the ex-cowman who moves with them from Surrey; SRN Tommie, the butt of an aggressive ram - and Alby the rabbit catcher, who plays the mouth organ and dances wild dances, enchanting the children. Finally, threading through all this with a glint of steel, is Johnny. He is her antithesis; strong and undemonstrative, generally preferring animals to people. Their relationship is the heart of the book. Alas Poor Johnny is a first-hand account of life on a farm in the 1950s, written at the time but reading with the freshness of the present. It will appeal to anyone, whether interested in Exmoor and old farming practices, a lover of the countryside and of animals, or just wanting to cheer themselves up with a good story, well told. It is a delight to read, hugely funny and, at times, touching. Buster and Johnny spent the rest of their lives at Nethercote. She died in 1987, without ever publishing her book. Her daughter Birdie, who herself lived there for many years, has now done so on her behalf. Boris Johnson, Buster's grandson, has written a foreword.

Publisher: Troubador Publishing
ISBN: 9781784621827
Number of pages: 232
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
`Buster Johnson came by accident to the long, low farmhouse called West Nethercote and decided never to leave. Her evocative memories gather together an array of family and neighbours, plagues of rabbits, a mutinous ram and the shepherd calling to his dog from across an Exmoor valley. She vividly describes a way of life that was already passing away. Alas Poor Johnny is a splendid book. It deserves to be widely read.' -- Tom Mayberry * South West Heritage Trust *
'Alas Poor Johnny is one of the most remarkable accounts of highly rural life ever written in this mainly rural region.' -- Martin Hesp
'In Alas Poor Johnny Buster Johnson brilliantly juxtaposes her cosseted, comfortable life as a child and the stark reality of life on Exmoor. The book conveys a real sense of Exmoor character - a mix of warmth and humour, but with an underlying toughness and, yes, indifference sometimes. Reading it brought back unexpected memories of my own childhood. The final chapter, in which Johnny fixes up a real Heath Robinson affair of stirrup and wire so they can turn the lights off from the bathroom without having to go out to the engine shed, had me nearly crying with laughter. It is a fitting end to an amazing story.' -- Nigel Hester * Exmoor *
'Buster Johnson came to Exmoor by accident and never left. Her story is funny and touching and underpinned with a steely resolve to make the best of things. It's Cold Comfort Farm written with love. Enjoy.' -- Tony James

You may also be interested in...

This is Going to Hurt
Added to basket
£8.99   £6.99
Paperback
Step By Step
Added to basket
£20.00   £16.99
Hardback
Becoming
Added to basket
£25.00   £19.99
Hardback
Tina Turner: My Love Story (Official Autobiography)
Added to basket
Educated
Added to basket
£8.99   £6.99
Paperback
We Need to Weaken the Mixture
Added to basket
£20.00   £15.99
Hardback
The Choice
Added to basket
£8.99   £6.99
Paperback
Churchill
Added to basket
£35.00   £29.99
Hardback
Brutally Honest
Added to basket
£17.99   £13.99
Hardback
Roger Daltrey: Thanks a lot Mr Kibblewhite
Added to basket
How to Be a Footballer
Added to basket
£20.00   £10.00
Hardback
The Secret Barrister
Added to basket
£16.99   £13.99
Hardback
The Tour According to G
Added to basket
£20.00   £14.99
Hardback
My Name'5 Doddie
Added to basket
£20.00   £16.99
Hardback
First Man In
Added to basket
£20.00   £13.99
Hardback

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.