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All Cheeses Great and Small: A Life Less Blurry Hardcover – 1 Mar 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007453124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007453122
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.8 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 431,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘James’s prose is clean and poetic. His childlike wonder at the simple things – from herons to heaps of rubble – can be infectious’. Daily Telegraph

‘A joy to read. Prose flows and weaves and curls itself into pleasing rhythms…(Alex James) can write like a god.’ Spectator

‘The upbeat tone matches that of his Blur-era autobiography A Bit Of A Blur, treating his downsize from rock heart-throb to cockerel-throttling country gent as if cheese contests were Britpop orgies. Riding bikes, the smell of berry bushes, piles of cow dung: all brilliant’ NME

About the Author

Writer, musician and cheesemaker Alex James is bestknown as the bass player in Blur, a time he chronicled in his acclaimed first book Bit of a Blur.

Alex James lives on a farm in Oxfordshire with his wife and five children. He writes a weekly column on all things food for the Sun, as well a regular column on farm and family life for the Sunday Telegraph.


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Katie on 21 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
As someone who lives in the same neck of the woods as the author, an awful lot of this book just doesn't ring true. It's funny to think that some "townies" reading this might really believe that those of us living in the countryside don't need to carry cash or keys, and rarely wear shoes. However I couldn't help but feel indulgent towards his childlike enthusiasm and admire his energy. All in all an entertaining (if inaccurate) read!
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By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 April 2014
Format: Paperback
After immensely enjoying Alex James' first, and ultimately far superior first volume of memoirs: 'Bit Of A Blur', I was eager to read the second. The bass player from Blur is a wonderful writer as well as a talented musician, and his own writing style has a nice flow, making his books easy to read.

Alas he also has a third talent, making cheese, which is not something you would usually associate with a rock star. Yet he has always has passion for the food, and 'All Cheeses Great and Small' begins where the first book left off. Alex marries, has children, gives up drugs, and sets up a new life in the country (go on, sing it: 'He lives in a house, a very big house...').

In 'All Cheeses Great and Small', Alex gives you a charming and enthusiastic look at life on the farm with lots of good humour. The contrast between Alex's new life and the one he lived in in 'Bit Of A Blur' couldn't be greater. Although he does briefly touch upon Blur's reunion (in the final chapter), the book is ultimately about farming and the beautiful countryside he so obviously loves, and I couldn't help but admire his honest approach about starting a new life away from music.

Alex's lifestyle might be very different now, but he still comes across as one of the nicest men you could ever meet. Whilst some fans might be taken aback by the lack of musical references, I found this book a joy to read. The beauty of this one though is, you don't have to be a Blur fan to enjoy it, or indeed have any knowledge of his years with the band, and so can read with an open mind and enjoy his innovative writing style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aged 59 on 11 May 2014
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure who this book is aimed at - there's not much about music and any would-be farmer is not going to find it very useful either. There's no agricultural problem that can't be solved by Alex throwing money at it and he can easily afford to make mistakes. When I got to the end I was informed that much of it had already been published elsewhere which might explain a lot.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kate Kirkpatrick on 4 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Not quite finished it yet and enjoying it a lot. He writes really well. At the start I slightly feared we would never get beyond lyrical appreciation of the countryside - and there is a lot of that - but as it progresses I have got caught up in it and now want to go and live on his farm. Good stuff Alex. Incidentally I am an older person with no knowledge really of his Blur-life, so was coming to this fresh with no expectations.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By robert callighan on 22 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was so excited when I heard that Alex James had another book out and I thought to myself 'if the new book is half as good as A Bit Of A Blur it would be fantastic and hugely funny'. Anyway its not......................hence 2 stars. Boring and droll.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elmer Nash on 5 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
All Cheeses Great and Small: A Life Less BlurryA lovely writing style, a gentle winding narrative that leads you to a new way of life. I don't know if this is a tale of downscaling or of a parallel universe but it's an interesting story of how an impulse purchase of a new lifestyle can be as successful as the old. Obviously it helps if you're well enough heeled to try it out but money doesn't mean that everything just falls into place and this book shows just that. It must have been fantastic to be able to have the country house you sang about. Before I read this book I'd heard and sung the song to myself but knew nothing of the band or who the band that sung it even were. Now I do but I love the story and would recommend it to anyone who likes dreams that come true stories....
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By julz-on-a-mission on 28 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book! After reading his first book I was excited to get a hold of this one. It is very different to Bit of a Blur but I knew that and was really interested to know about his rural life now and cheese making. For anyone that thinks its going to be all rock and roll again they will not enjoy this. The only thing that got to me was that it was written in a way that is all rose tinted glasses, everything is so lovely in the country, I live in the country and its not all roses and lovely all of the time, non the less its a great look into how his life has quietened down and gives a good insight into all the great bits about rural living.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Elle on 15 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Seriously, over £11 for the kindle version of this book? No thanks Mr James. What a complete and utter rip off.
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