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The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District Paperback – 3 Mar 2016

4.6 out of 5 stars 771 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 01 edition (3 Mar. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141979364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141979366
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 771 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

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, author of Toast and The Kitchen Diaries)

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 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 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 Guardian)

Absorbing, often funny, and beautifully written... a testament to the importance of maintaining a connection to the land (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 New York Times)

From the Inside Flap

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. Their way of life is ordered by the seasons and the work they demand, and has been for hundreds of years. A Viking would understand the work they do: sending the sheep to the fells in the summer and making the hay; the autumn fairs where the flocks are replenished; the gruelling toil of winter when the sheep must be kept alive, and the light-headedness that comes with spring, as the lambs are born and the sheep get ready to return to the fells.

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