The Beasts They Turned Away by Ryan Dennis is a very different novel to the norm. When I think about it, most farming books I’ve read tend to be memoir or definitely non fiction. So many novels with farms as their setting are romantic or comedic. I’m thinking now of novels like Cowgirl or the Aisling books and while it’s great to have farming showcased, the authors get so much wrong that it sets my teeth on edge.
Are Cows Just Numbers?
Every Irish bovine has a number that is individual to them. It’s called a tag number and they have to wear a bright yellow tag in each ear. Each bovine is also issued with a passport which contains details such as their sire (father), dam (mother), date of birth, breed and sex. The passport must accompany them if they are being sold or sent to the factory. Before such documentation became compulsory, many farmers gave their cows [...]
The launch of my book Till the Cows Come Home has been and gone. I have to admit that in the run up to it, I was thinking to myself that never ever again will I be crazy enough to launch a book in the spring. Let’s just say that most farmers were at silage rather than thinking about attending book launches!
In Sight of Yellow Mountain: A Year in the Irish Countryside by Philip Judge
I read a review of this in the Irish Independent recently, Judge was compared to James Herriot and as I love Herriot’s book and enjoy writing by smallholders and farmers, I was really looking forward to this.
Philip Judge moved to Wicklow with his family, to a cottage on an acre. [...]
It’s a long time since I had a rant so maybe it’s been brewing for a while, without me noticing. I’ve so many things to rant about, some more maddening that others, that I decided to create a list! When I reached the number 8, I wondered if any of these things are infuriating other farmers too – so do let me know. Surely Brian and I can’t be the only ones?!