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92 Reviews
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, entertaining and enthralling
After reading the Self Sufficiency Bible by Simon Dawson, I popped over to his blog for more inspiration and discovered that Pigs In Clover was due for release. What a great idea, after being totally inspired by his previous book, I couldn't wait to read the next, thankfully I did not have to wait for long.

This book is absorbing, intelligent, witty and very...
Published 22 months ago by Mrs. C. Lord

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Was okay
another story of how a couple upped sticks from city to live in the country except that I don't think the husband was all that keen to start with. by the end of the book, he did seem to feel as though he belonged and I hope after all the stress they went through with everything, they're still enjoying their new life
Published 19 months ago by dragon53


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, entertaining and enthralling, 6 May 2013
By 
Mrs. C. Lord - See all my reviews
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After reading the Self Sufficiency Bible by Simon Dawson, I popped over to his blog for more inspiration and discovered that Pigs In Clover was due for release. What a great idea, after being totally inspired by his previous book, I couldn't wait to read the next, thankfully I did not have to wait for long.

This book is absorbing, intelligent, witty and very engaging. I laughed out loud and swallowed back tears, giggled and sniffled, I might have even snorted once ;) Simon gives you a very intimate glimpse into those years as he and his wife changed their lives completely, leaving London and relocating to their small holding.

I was totally hooked and by the end of the book, I felt like I knew them both so well and really understood the changes and hardship they had been through.

A wonderfully brilliant book, that I couldn't put down
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A slow read, 25 May 2013
By 
Simon Suter - See all my reviews
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Don't get me wrong. "A slow read" is not meant in a pejorative sense. In fact the just the opposite. I tried to read Simon's book as slowly as possible in the vain hope that it wouldn't end. A marvellous and heartwarming read, warts and all. Am looking forward to the next ten years....or maybe the seed has been sown and another pig farmer is born.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining story of a London estate agent to Exmoor Smallholder, 1 May 2013
By 
A. J. Homa "mullacott" (Devon UK) - See all my reviews
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Simon Dawson is witty, honest and entertaining in the way that he writes about his transition from a high maintenance London estate agent to a self-sufficient Exmoor Smallholder. He describes his land, his home and his lifestyle, and you feel you are actually there with him and his wife Debbie.

Following on from his informative first book, "The Self-Sufficiency Bible: Window Boxes to Smallholdings - Hundreds of Ways to Become Self-Sufficient", Pigs in Clover covers the first 11 years of their new way of life. We, as the reader, get to know the various animals, and the relationships that Simon develops with them, the angst of trying to live this life on very little money, and how he accidentally fell in love with it all.

Buy this book. It is thought provoking, entertaining and funny. You won't be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, 28 May 2013
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I kind of stumbled upon this book by accident. Looking through an article in the Saturday Mail the other day, I saw a two page spread about a chap and his wife who had set up a small-holding for themselves, and the associated pleasure and pain they had experienced whilst doing this. As I was reading this article I realised this was someone I'd sat next to at school for a couple of years, never would have guessed that farming would have been on his agenda. Anyway, without much previous interest in agriculture or anything country (committed townie), I downloaded his book on Kindle and had a read as to what Simon Dawson had been up to since he left school.
All I can say is, what a wonderful story. I read the whole thing at one sitting over a bank holiday Sunday, much to my wife's irritation, cover to cover (can you say that with a Kindle book?) I've read some of the other reviews and you'll read the cliché "I laughed and I cried" - and you know what? - I did - big laughs and big cries - I was worn out at the end. A bit like after having watched Its a Wonderful Life. Simon and his wife Debbie are everyday people, on a journey into something most of us have only experienced vicariously through re-runs of The Good Life. Their account is the un-sanitised real life experience of this 70's fantasy - beautifully written by Simon - taking them from their comfy life in London, to the early days of having their livestock as hobby and then forward into the developing reality of how life will be as their enterprise gathers momentum. Like a really great piece of writing, you can see the characters (in this case real people) develop as they go through their experiences. Simon is particularly fearless describing some of his own incidents and feelings. A really inspirational account of their decade long journey, absolutely loved it. More please.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be missed!, 17 Sept. 2013
By 
Michael Keay (Tipton, West Midlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pigs in Clover: Or How I Accidentally Fell in Love with the Good Life (Paperback)
I have recently purchased and now finished reading 'Pigs in Clover'. I have a great love and affinity for the Exmoor area, and this is a must read.The trials and tribulations, both funny and sad of an Estate Agent from London and his wife leaving the 'Big smoke' for the country life and setting up a smallholding. It is not without hardship and sacrifice that they achieve their goal. The book is written for how it is. I admire the determination and will power of the couple and it is clear despite all, they so made the right choice.Simon's love of his animals is evident and both laugh out loud and weepy moments go hand in hand. Well written. A joy to read. I will now purchase other books written by Simon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost like being there!, 19 May 2013
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I live in the West Country myself and this book is very evocative of the area. That coupled with the friendly and immediate writing style I was carried along as if I was there with Simon learning to speak "pig", chatting to chickens and reading stories to everyone. http://youtu.be/rtH7G3ahDmE Lucky animals to have Simon as their farmer!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner !, 16 May 2013
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A great read , you feel like your part of the family , easy to see why they made a move away from London .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who loves life, 12 May 2013
A fantastic roller coaster read that makes you examine your own goals and motivations in a funny non preachy way. Thank you Simon Dawson!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chatting over a pint, 4 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Pigs in Clover: Or How I Accidentally Fell in Love with the Good Life (Paperback)
First a confession from me; having had a dream similar to Simon's I have, over the last few years, read a number of books with similar themes. It is, however, fair to say that this is by far the best of the genre...

If you read it chapter by chapter, as I did the second time I read it, you quickly realise that this is not a book, it is more a series of conversations, the kind that you have with a friend, over the course of several years, preferably in a pub over a pint or two. Of course, much of the time it would be your round, but that is part of the struggle of starting a smallholding, beer is often a luxury for those involved (we won't mention the dandelion wine...).

The book is a frank and intimate telling of two people turning their lives upside down and inside out, on an almost spontaneous rejection of all that they previously held dear; like safe jobs, regular salaries, work and even family.

Simon and Debbie landed up in Devon with a dream, or rather two dreams, Simon's of a three - days - in - the - country - four - days - in - London kind of existence, with Debbie throwing herself headlong into country life with abandon. With such differing views it is inevitable (to the reader) that something is going to have to give. I won't spoil things by telling you what happens, Simon does that better than I ever could, but the story is played out almost in real time, the details are all there; the great, the good, the heart-warming and the scary, and the bits that a lesser man would have "forgotten" to mention.

You have to admire Simon's honesty, he could so easily have written a whitewashed, sanitised, version of events, but instead chose to tell the story as it happened, with full descriptions of the emotional turmoil he went through before reaching his conclusions.

Like I said above, I've read a few books with this theme, I'll do you a favour and tell you that this is the one that you should buy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, 30 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Pigs in Clover: Or How I Accidentally Fell in Love with the Good Life (Paperback)
If you want me to read anything, just give me a receipt! I'm not one for reading books it sends me to sleep, but have to admit I didn't want to put Simon's book down.

If you've read the book - I've been holidaying at Stef's riding establishment for 24 years, so remember Debbie and Simon very well, used to hand feed the orphaned lambs and collected eggs from the chickens when they were at Stef's. I can relate to the book very well and Simon describes the area and situations with much accuracy and hilarity.

I am sure electrocuting your testicals isn't funny, but it did have me rolling around crying with laughter... as it did Debbie. Obviously, owning so many farm animals, does have it's downsides and very sad times, which Simon doesn't leave out. I'm glad he doesn't leave those parts out, it's all part of the reality in farm life and the book wouldn't be right without it.

I didn't find anything I disliked about the book at all. I would recommend it to anyone and really hope Simon is writing a continuation. This really is an excellent book, just buy it !
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