Diddly Squat – A Year on the Farm by Jeremy Clarkson

Diddly Squat – Jeremy Clarkson

(Four and a half out of five stars)

If you’ve had a look at the other reviews on this blog, you’ll by now know that I am a big fan of Jeremy Clarkson’s writings. Having recently just finished ‘Can You Make this Thing Go Faster?’ I decided to go straight to this, his latest book, written about the first year of actually ‘working’ his farm. I did so because at two hundred and seven pages, and with larger writing, only around two hundred and fifty words to page, it was likely to be a quick read.

It was. Even quicker than I anticipated because the gap between chapters often amounts to between three and five pages, albeit there are minimalist sketches on the otherwise blank pages. (This accounts for the deduction of half a star in my rating.)

(This is being petty, I know. But it didn’t happen in any other of his books that were awarded five stars, so had to be reflected some way.)

That aside, ‘Diddly Squat‘ is vintage Clarkson, though I feel he has somewhat mellowed in his time away from high performance cars and racing across continents in old banged-up jallopies.

The wit is still acerbic but perhaps tempered by an appreciation for how much graft farmers put into twenty-four hours, together with his appreciation for the countryside in which he lives and works.

Jeremy is often much maligned by those who don’t quite ‘get’ him, but hopefully those who do so will, upon reading this book, have their eyes opened by what he is doing to help re-establish the equilibrium in the environment.

So yeah, in a nutshell, ‘Diddly Squat‘ is funny, sarcastic, wicked, self-deprecating while also highlighting the serious issues faced by the UK farming community in this day and age.

Once again – another great read.

‘If You’d Just Let Me Finish …’ by Jeremy Clarkson.

This is the eighth book (I think) of Jeremy Clarkson’s that I have read. So, you could say I’m a bit of a fan.

Not so much of his other books that focus on the performance of various cars whose names consist of seemingly random letters and numbers, but these reproductions of his weekly articles for the Sunday Times.

The first thing to like, is the short, punchy, delivery, each chapter coming in around the one thousand word mark. For readers like me with only short windows of time to read, or indeed those with a short attention span, this is ideal. No need to continuously backtrack to pick up on any plot / character details. Just read; put down; pick up and repeat..

Then of course there’s the humour.

I know Jeremy Clarkson has his namby pamby detractors – but I find it difficult to believe that those who condemn him for being bullish and arrogant or whatever, do not privately think the same way in many situations. Oh, please God, I hope so – what a terribly boring world we would live in if everyone was so easily offended / outraged.

Personally, I find Jeremy Clarkson’s humour spot-on. He is one of a very few writers who can actually make me laugh out loud.

As this book did – frequently.