All Cheeses Great and Small – By Alex James

 Posted by Robin:

‘All Cheeses Great and Small’ tells the story of how Alex James, the former bassist of Brit pop band Blur, made the transition from rock-star to (self-declared) bad farmer. In this memoir James muses on his love for the Cotswolds and newly discovered passion for making cheese.

His previous memoir shocked and entertained with ridiculous anecdotes and one-liners. “I stopped having sex occasionally“, writes James, “but only so that I could take more drugs“. In All Cheeses Great and Small, however, James escapes his vacuous former life and confesses his preference for the glamour of The Cheese Awards to the Brits.

So what’s this got to do with this month’s theme for The Neverending Library? Giving up sex, drugs and rock and roll for milking cows and building fences doesn’t sound very ‘indulgent’ at all. Or as James writes early in the memoir, “Hedging, ditching and dry stoning all sounded like medieval forms of capital punishment“. But, in reality, James’s new country life is as hedonistic as ever; he’s just swapped the cocaine and groupies for dreamy-eyed country walks and an Aga.

I’d love to be able to disguise my jealousy and say that this is all a bit, well, cheesy. I can’t. James’s boyish enthusiasm for the Gloucestershire countryside is infectious. He writes with wit and charm and his prose, at times, borders on the poetic.

So if you’ve ever entertained the idea of fleeing the city (or dreamt of being an eccentric rock star-cheese maker), then indulge yourself in this escapist fantasy of country life.


Read This Book …
If the Blur song ‘Country House’ sounded like a good advice.


This book is a … Twee Read / Knowledge is Power


Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback ISBN: 9780007453146
ebook ISBN: 9780007453139


Buy The Book:


If you liked this, then you’ll love…
Try Robert Plant: A Life by  Paul Rees, England is Mine  by Michael Bracewell  and Ramble On: The Story of Our Love for Walking Britain by Sinclair McKay.