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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
24
4.6 out of 5 stars


on 3 June 2017
I have enjoyed reading this book, I was under no illusion that this was a true hand book as opposed to a series of tales about poaching but still filled with useful if dated information.
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on 27 December 1998
I bought the original version of this book at theBath and West Show in '52 or '53, and spent my two summer days at the Show oblivious to all except the country between the book's covers. Mr. Niall is a fine writer with the better end of his memory firmly rooted in traditional England. As a result of the book I read him for years in the great Country Life Magazine, which I am delighted to see is still going strong. Memories and traditions in the book reach back well into the last century, and anyone with a feeling for English and indeed pastoral tradition should buy it. It is not pretty-pretty water-colour, but the real rural life by which country people lived until the urban way of life became obligatory for most. As an aspirant poacher at the time, and a countryman at heart always, I valued and appreciated the lore and sounds and smells of the country, which the book conveys.
Unfortunately I lent my copy to a famous friend, who kindly let another friend see it, so it was never returned. I cannot blame them. Had anyone lent me it, I would have been most loth to give it back. I have been looking for a replacement over the years without success. So when I have bought my new copy, I will treasure it and not repeat my previous mistake. Buy it yourself and see what England was until recently. And do not lend it if you want to see it again. END
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on 4 August 2000
This book was originally written in the early fifties and it is interesting to note that although the social setting has changed, the ways and means of poaching remain.
Ian Niall takes us into the world of the poacher through the experiences of his many friends such as Little Hugh, Butcher Murphy and Black Bill.
In this book, Ian Niall explains the techniques used to catch fur, feather and fish. He prefers humane hunting and takes great pains to deplore any cruel practices which cause unnecessary suffering.
He starts with hares and rabbits and discusses the methods of ferreting, netting and shooting. The middle section covers the capture of partridge, pheasant and grouse whilst the final part is concerned with trout and salmon.
The chapters flow logically from one to the other and underline the constant battle of wits between the old poachers and the keepers and game wardens.
This is the sort of book that has you reaching for your game cookbook.
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on 16 July 1999
I have never heard a bad word spoken about this book-it has for years provided the inspiration for boys of all types, and a source of happy reminiscence for old men. Ian Niall writes so vividly becuase he writes about reality-he is a countryman. For me it was the inspiration of a lifetime, and gave clarity in a world of clouded vision. His tale charts, in parallel, the change of a society, and surely there is no more poignant moment in British literature than the closing page, and the harsh reality hits home, that these are times and lives and loves long gone and not for us to enjoy, merely to marvel at the memories of an old man and wish that we too might have shared.
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on 20 October 2014
A very well written book, giving a great account of what used to be a common part of ordinary country life. Ian Niall sketches a few of the characters who supplemented their family's rations and describes a variety of their preferred methods and the tips that each had for improving the likelihood of success. This is not a book about organised gangs using violent means to make big profits. I found it very readable, entertaining and informative.
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on 18 May 2013
Not as I was expecting ,, I thought it was going to show and describe methods how to poch, but it is actually a story of 5 different people of how they did poch , so I was not expecting a story but the story is a real page turner and actually quite factual and easy to read
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on 16 July 2012
This makes great reading - a wonderful style of writing, the product of many years experience flirting with the wrong side of the law and an unconventional education.

A nice way to end the book, too, with the benefit of hindsight and a wry smile.
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on 30 May 2008
This is a very special book for anyone interested in the countryside. The author writes in a delightfully enthusiastic and engaging way about traditional methods of poaching a wide variety of game and fish. I cannot recommend this book enough.
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on 9 May 2011
This book is more of ian niall's memories as a poacher then an actual handbook.An entertaining read never the less
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on 17 April 2013
Well written & full of great descriptions of tales of long ago, I was quickly transported back to when the wind & rustle in the undergrowth made for a good meal or none that evening. Very goof read - recommended
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