- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: BLACK SWAN; 1 edition (15 April 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781784160746
- ISBN-13: 978-1784160746
- ASIN: 1784160741
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 245 g
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Running Hare: The Secret Life of Farmland Paperback – 15 Apr 2017
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That John Lewis-Stempel is one of the best nature writers of his generation is undisputed., Country Life
Englightening and stylish...Readers who enjoyed the author’s last book, Meadowland: The Private Life of an English Field, will find much in the same vein here: a mix of agricultural history, rural lore, topographical description and childhood memories. I learned a good deal.... Lewis-Stempel is a fine stylist, adroitly conjuring scenes in which “medieval mist hangs in the trees” or “frost clenches the ground”... -- Sara Wheeler, Observer
A beautifully written paean to the countryside in all its rich diversity. -- PD Smith, Guardian
A beautifully observed book, full of poetic descriptions. Brilliant and galvanising., Sunday Express
Lewis-Stempel is a fourth-generation farmer gifted with an extraordinary ability to write prose that soars and sings, like a skylark over unspoiled fields. This wonderful book (a worthy follow-up to his brilliant Meadowland) is a hymn in praise of enlightened farming methods which reject lethal chemicals and allow insects, birds and flowers to thrive, as once they did.
As an experiment Lewis-Stempel rents an ordinary arable field (his own property is a hill farm) to plough and manage in the old-fashioned way, transforming it into a traditional wheatfield to attract wildlife. Even ― he hopes ― hares. The work is back-breaking but the rewards are sublime. Like the hares, Lewis-Stempel’s words dance., Bel Mooney, Daily Mail
Fans of Lewis-Stempel's bestselling Meadowland will find here the same easy-reading prose fuelled by daft-as-a-brush enthusiasm and embellished with lyrical flourishes ... the mud-spattered details of a farming life lend The Running Hare a unique realness., Mail on Sunday
A beautiful love letter ... to a wheat field [and] a pleasurable read, BBC Countryfile
A stirring rural fantasia...Lewis-Stempel's heart and mind are absolutely in the right place. I salute him and I adored his appreciation of the quirky detail., The Times
This rather beautiful book is very much in the mould of the new nature writing, but it’s also wondrously inspiring. -- Marcus Berkmann, Daily Mail
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Top international reviews
In this gem of a book, written with deep knowledge, poetic lyricism and stark realism, the writer reveals to the reader not only the true value of sound conservation and insights from our forebears, but also the miserable wreck of nature and our own well-being wrought by multinational chemical companies and machinery manufacturers. Poignant, cogent and heart-lifting by turns, this book reached out to me as few have. I lived for 14 years just down the road on the breast of the Sugar Loaf mountain in South Wales, so I know the places, the names, the smell of woods and the plants of the hedgerows and love them just as much as he.
I commend this book to you. If you have an open mind, if you have any love for your fellow creatures on this abused planet, if you have any wish to see our modern situation squarely and fairly, buy, read, ponder... and then do something to make the world better, as John did.
In this book he takes as his focus a four acre unremarkable and featureless field that has been cultivated using modern intensive methods, with pesticides and industrial fertilisers. Using traditional methods his goal is to see how much wildlife can be tempted back to this barren and sterile environment. His ultimate prize is to entice a hare into his rural utopia and we follow his progress throughout a single year of ploughing, sowing reaping and harvesting.
What John Lewis-Stempel achieves in such a small area and in so short a time, not to mention his ability to bring it all so vividly to life for the reader, is nothing short of astounding. There is hope for us all yet.
It's a very engaging read, and once begun, I found the book 'unputdownable'.
We need insects to pollinate fruit and flowers, we need birds to provide music in the countryside! Please read this book and tell your friends about it.
fabulous book. it prompts a grieving in me for all we have lost, the countryside of my childhood. Yet it is written with information and hope. A mist read for all agriculturalists.