‘Buster Johnson came by accident to the long, low farmhouse called West Nethercote and decided never to leave. Her evocative memories gather together an array of family and neighbours, plagues of rabbits, a mutinous ram and the shepherd calling to his dog from across an Exmoor valley. She vividly describes a way of life that was already passing away. Alas Poor Johnny is a splendid book. It deserves to be widely read.’
Tom Mayberry, Head of Heritage, South West Heritage Trust
"Alas Poor Johnny is one of the most remarkable accounts of highly rural life ever written in this mainly rural region."
Martin Hesp, Western Morning News
'In Alas Poor Johnny Buster Johnson brilliantly juxtaposes her cosseted, comfortable life as a child and the stark reality of life on Exmoor. The book conveys a real sense of Exmoor character – a mix of warmth and humour, but with an underlying toughness and, yes, indifference sometimes. Reading it brought back unexpected memories of my own childhood. The final chapter, in which Johnny fixes up a real Heath Robinson affair of stirrup and wire so they can turn the lights off from the bathroom without having to go out to the engine shed, had me nearly crying with laughter. It is a fitting end to an amazing story.'
Nigel Hester, National Trust, Exmoor
'Buster Johnson came to Exmoor by accident and never left. Her story is funny and touching and underpinned with a steely resolve to make the best of things. It’s Cold Comfort Farm written with love. Enjoy.'
Tony James, The Exmoor Magazine
"If you love Exmoor, it’s a given that you will love this book. But, actually, you don’t even have to like Exmoor that much to become charmed and cheered by it."
Sarah Mace, West Somerset Free Press
‘A blend of warm affection and harsh reality, this enthralling book is an extraordinary account of life on an Exmoor Hill Farm more than half a century ago. The descriptions of people, animals and events are founded on countless letters written by the author at the time. The resulting pages are disarmingly honest about how Buster Johnson and her husband Johnny tackled a multitude of challenges, from unreliable equipment to errant livestock, pets and relatives. Admirable qualities of fortitude, improvisation and good humour abound in every chapter.’
Rob Macklin, Head of Food and Farming, National Trust