There are many setbacks and it paints an honest and occasionally harsh picture of real life in the countryside - thieves, criminal gypsies, grasping contractors, fraudulent clines et al. But it also offers a heart-warming account of Davies s vocation: to keep alive the rich tradition of English bacon. A hidden gem. --The Oldie
A splendid little book written by one of Britain s last traditional bacon curers a man so good at what he did that people travelled from all over Britain to his remote farm to buy his extraordinary bacon. --Country Landowner & Rural Business Magazine
As unexpected treasures go, this one is right up there. --Shooting Gazette
From the Publisher
Maynard's manuscript sat on my desk for several weeks before I got round to the task of, as I thought, rejecting it. It looked like an ape's breakfast and I felt sure it would never make any money. But I was touched at the thought of a now-elderly bacon curing apprenctice and his life story, and felt that out of courtesy, I would read a couple of chapters in order to write a fair rejection letter. I took it home with me that night. By 3am I was still reading. Yes, it was a tale simply told, yes, it would take so much editing that the profit margin would be totally eroded. But by dawn I had finished a straight read-through and I was hooked. I loved Maynard, I loved his approach to life and I loved his approach to food. My next difficult task was persuading my long-suffering colleagues that we should throw time and effort toward his fringe project. We publish country books, but not like Maynards! But in the end, everyone was won round - and we have never looked!
back. Maynard is totally dyslexic - so much so that even writing his own name doesn't come easily, and he doesn't hide that fact. He had dictated the entire manuscript to his long-suffering wife Ann and as any editor will tell you, the spoken word is entirely different to the written word. But, although I have never had to cover a manuscript with so much red ink in all my career, I had no difficulty in keeping that strong, prevailing voice of Maynard coming through - his distinctive turn of phrase, his quirky sentences - I left them all in. In many instances, no one could put things better than Maynard. The honesty shines through: the triumphs and failures are seen and described by Maynard alone. I have learned a lot through him. And so, happily, have many other readers. We are a medium-sized company, but I think the majority of all the fan mail we get is for Maynard. It often runs along the lines: 'I hardly ever read books but I have just finished Maynard, the Adventures of a Bacon Curer and I loved it. I can't wait to hear what happens next. I am a great fan and can relate to all the things he has said....' The good news is that Maynard is currently writing the sequel to his life story in bacon - and it looks as promising as the first book - which I am happy to say is now in its THIRD printing. I knew I thought it was special, but it is so gratifying to find that other people agree too. Karen McCall, Merlin Unwin Books
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