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Publisher's Summary

Following a drunken misunderstanding, Simon Dawson gave up his job in the city, moved to the wilds of Exmoor and became an accidental self-sufficient smallholder with an array of animals. But that was years ago now.

Following up on his first book, Pigs in Clover, this is the story of what happens when he suddenly realises that his life is changing all over again. He's not quite the spring chicken that he used to be: he is, horror of horrors, getting older.

With a cast of best friends (some more helpful than others) including Ziggy, a panicked soon-to-be father desperate to grow up; Garth, an annoying teenager; and a rather handsome pig called The General, a plan is hatched to help each other mature (or immature).

Heartfelt discoveries and hilarious endeavours ensue as they work through their age-related angsts, all with a fair dose of pigs, chickens, lambs and animal madness along the way. This is Exmoor's uplifting, laugh-out-loud antidote to middle age in the mud - a place where you truly realise that the sty's the limit!

©2015 Simon Dawson (P)2016 Soundings Ltd

Critic Reviews

"An amazing story of love, laughter and the challenges of living from the land.... Simon's self-sufficient rural life is an inspiration to us all." (Ben Fogle)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Love this author & book!

I was surprised at how thoroughly entertaining I found this memoir, which details Simon and Debbie Dawson's life on a 20-acre "smallholding" in rural Exmoor in the UK. The narration is flawless, the anecdotes humorous, and the story itself more complex than expected.

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  • TJ
  • 05-15-17

Excellent 2nd book

This is the follow-on to the first book pigs in clover and is almost as good as the first book.

Simon has become my hero, I listen to audio books while driving and this book made me look forward to getting in the car each day and driving a couple hundred miles. I've never listened to a book so fast, I listened every minute I was in the car.

I do love the character Ziggy too, I do hope he really exists somewhere.

The guy who narrates is brilliant at the various voices, I normally get annoyed when it's not the the person themselves reading the book but Ben Allen is excellent.

Thanks to simon and Debbie for sharing their fun, exciting yet challenging life with us all,



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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-03-17

Great book.

i loved this book and was sorry when it finished. Not as funny as the first book but you realy get the felling how Simon copes with a small holding. I wish i could do what he did.

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  • Deborah
  • 11-01-16

Loved every minute

Laugh, cry & cringe is what I did throughout this book and loved every minute. I didn't want to put it down and I didn't want it to end.

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  • stella
  • 06-16-16

Brilliant!!!

I love these books, fantastic read , I have even started making soap and jam!!!

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  • A.Connor
  • 05-29-16

not nearly as good..

book 1 'Pigs in Clover' is superb.

book 2 'Sty's the Limit' feels stretched, creating a story from not a great deal much more; lots of repetition from book 1

absolutely loved 1, would not recommend 2

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  • Mr William Dewar
  • 02-01-16

Epilogue confession

Would you try another book written by Simon Dawson or narrated by Ben Allen?

Initially I really enjoyed this book and the previous one, however the confession in the epilogue of this book spoiled everything for me. I would not try another 'real life' story but may consider pure fiction.<br/><br/>Ben Allen's narration was very good.

What was most disappointing about Simon Dawson’s story?

The confession about certain characters in the epilogue.

Which character – as performed by Ben Allen – was your favourite?

Ben Allen played the 'teenager' very well.

What character would you cut from The Sty's the Limit?

The ones affected by the confession in the epilogue