The Farm by Richard Benson

About the book

When Richard Benson was growing up he felt like ‘the village idiot with O’levels’ – glowing school reports aren’t much help when you’re trying to help a sow give birth, or drive a power harrow in a straight line without getting half the hedgerow stuck in the tines. He left Yorkshire to work as a journalist in London, but returned when his dad called with the news that they were going to have to sell the family farm, and, in so doing, leave the home and livelihood that the Bensons had worked for generations. This is not only a moving personal account, but also one that reflects a profound change in rural life.

Reviewed by BBC Reading group:

As a factual comment on farming it was interesting, but we felt the material was poorly served by the writer.

Star rating: *

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3 thoughts on “The Farm by Richard Benson”

  1. Review by Anton U3A Bookies
    Not great literature but an emotive subject. Varied response from the group – a good easy read.
    Star rating: **


  2. Review by U3A Lymington
    Slow start but evolved into a discussion on country versus town living and all its implications.
    ** 2 stars


  3. Once again mixed feelings. Some were confused if it was a work of fiction with a lot of facts or a factual book with a story woven into it. The author had captured the heartbreak of having to give up the farm. The effects it had on the family – his father’s depression and the search for alternative employment. Funny, sad and poignant – overall a thought provoking book that triggered a good lively discussion.
    3 stars ***


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