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The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District (Paperback)
  • The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District (Paperback)
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The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 320 Pages / Published: 03/03/2016
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'Absorbing, often funny, and beautifully written... a testament to the importance of maintaining a connection to the land' - The Observer 

Some people’s lives are entirely their own creations. James Rebanks’ isn’t. The first son of a shepherd, who was the first son of a shepherd himself, he and his family have lived and worked in and around the Lake District for generations.

In evocative and lucid prose, James Rebanks takes us through a shepherd’s year, offering a unique account of the rural life and fundamental connection with the land that most of us have lost.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780141979366
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 236 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'Two pages into The Shepherd's Life, I was gripped. Twenty pages in, I was amazed. By its end, I knew I'd read an extraordinary book, at once political and beautiful - a major addition to the modern British literature of landscape, that can stand alongside Ronald Blythe's classic Akenfield as a portrait of a place and its people as seen from within' - Robert Macfarlane

'A very good book' - Alan Bennett

'Affectionate, evocative, illuminating. A story of survival - of a flock, a landscape and a disappearing way of life. I love this book' - Nigel Slater

'Bloody marvellous' - Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk

'A powerful - and quietly electrifying - meditation... Page by page, he builds what amounts to a 21st-century pastoral manifesto. The book is an unsentimental education, part history of farming in the Lake District, part personal memoir. And yet it still soars... Rebanks's prose is beautifully sure-footed' - Helen Davies, The Sunday Times 

'A remarkable achievement... Utterly unsentimental, The Shepherd's Life is, nevertheless, profoundly moving... The human values that imbue The Shepherd's Life are, perhaps, ones that Britain, disillusioned and scandal weary, could do with being reminded of right now' - Melissa Harrison, The Financial Times 

'Rebanks's enthusiasm and talent for poetic writing is infectious... [His] words create not only a gorgeous landscape painting of the Lake District and its inhabitants, human, animal, bird and fish, but also a useful social document... What is most striking about this book is its authenticity; this is the real thing' - Carol Midgley, The Times 

'A wonderfully detailed and candid account of a life that is both individual and typical of this role in rural society... told with perfect pitch, in prose that flows as easily as speech, cleaves hungrily to the particular, and shifts without strain between the workaday and the imaginative' - David Craig, The Guardian 

'Absorbing, often funny, and beautifully written... a testament to the importance of maintaining a connection to the land' - The Observer 

'Captivating... A book about continuity and roots and a sense of belonging in an age that's increasingly about mobility and self-invention. Hugely compelling' - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times 

'Exceptional... Rebanks's way with words is akin to that of that of an expert shearer with the clippers - swift, deft, skilled - and the resulting prose is lean, vivid, tough and handsome. I loved his book. It is one to restore faith in writing and the business of publishing - a story not like any other, told from the inside by someone whose passion for his subject lights up almost every sentence' - Tom Fort, Literary Review 

'An unforgettable survivor's book that raises important questions, not least about education... one of the most truthful depictions of contemporary rural life that I have read' - Richard Benson, Independent 

'More than a tribute to a rare and doughty tribe. If hills could speak, this is surely a tale the fells would tell' - Horatio Clare, The Daily Telegraph 

'An enlightening, exquisitely written account... I was beguiled by this book, an eloquent love-letter to a cherished way of life' - Brian Viner, The Daily Mail 

'May well do for sheep what Helen Macdonald did for hawks' - Stephen Moss, The Guardian 

'Punchy, well-read and occasionally lyrical... a glorious book, alive with the author's voice, which is strong and individual, as befits a man who makes a living in this ancient but precarious way. Most striking is its honesty' - Herald Scotland 

'Rebanks offers a fascinating account of his life in farming that is in equal parts memoir, social commentary and procedural. Even for the most committed urbanite, it's a brilliant read' - Alexander Larman, The Observer 

'James Rebanks's unsentimental, sharply detailed memoir about his life as a shepherd gripped me from the first page' - Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal 

'A timely and important book, with flashes of beauty in its spare and honest prose' - Sadie Jones, author of The Outcast

'In James Rebanks we hear a new voice from the fells. The toil and the beauty in The Shepherd's Life are utterly compelling' - Nicholas Crane, author of Coast

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Reviews

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“A wonderfully charming but hard life.”

James Rebanks' 'The Shepherd's Life' is a story of Shepherding in the lake district. A way of life that is little changed since the Vikings. Structured by the seasons, demanding, exhilarating,... More

Hardback edition
2 similar books recommended
24th April 2015
Helpful? Upvote 123

“Well written and absorbing, but thoroughly misleading and in some ways rather unpleasant.”

I didn't particularly warm to Rebanks, and not merely because he tells us in the opening pages that at his school he and his classmates competed to smash the most expensive piece of equipment they could, or that... More

Paperback edition
8th April 2016
Helpful? Upvote 115

“A Shepherd's Life”

Honest, passionate, gruff, brutal, generous - full of northern grit and pride and no-frills description of the day-to-day ups and downs (plenty of both) on the family farm in the beautiful, often harsh, Lake District.... More

Paperback edition
13th April 2016
Helpful? Upvote 100

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