on 10 January 2011
Is Bruce Parry the nicest man alive? I think so. I think only the 'Lost Land of the Jaguar/Volcano/Tiger' team are in the same league as Bruce's passion & empathy for the natural world & the people who live so much in harmony with their surroundings. He has a very open & honest way which endears him both to viewers & any society he happens to be in. He's not an adventure thrill seeker, he genuinely just wants to meet new people & understand them better. Tackling the globe a piece at a time Bruce is now taking on the Arctic Circle. Conveying not only the impact that climate change is having on the land & peoples of this area but also how history & the modern world continue to have ripple effects that change & shape life up on the northern fringes. The first episode dealt with Siberia, not only its way of life up in the harsh North but how it is reclaiming its spiritual essence that was outlawed under Soviet rule.
Curiously the series does not run chronologically like the book does. The Siberia section is right in the middle on the Summer Solstice. The book actually starts in Greenland at the beginning of April & runs right through Canada, Siberia, Alaska & ends in Norway towards the end of October. Much of the narration from the series is in the book written in diary entries, but obviously only so much of his observations can make it onto the show so the book is like the unabridged version. Like all BBC co-publications it is beautifully produced & packed full of photographs from the series. An excellent companion guide to an excellent series. Bravo Bruce.
on 12 January 2011
The lavish hardback is the perfect accompaniment to the BBC 2 show currently airing on a Sunday night. Saying that, it can also be thoroughly enjoyed as a standalone book.
Packed full of stunning photographs from Bruce Parry's latest expedition in the Arctic, this is a visual delight as well as being thoroughly informative and engrossing.
Bruce's endearing character and likeability that drew viewers in during Tribe and Amazon shine through in his diary extracts, describing his times in some of the toughest conditions, including Greenland, Canada, Siberia, Alaska and Norway. Bruce describes some of the most incredible natural wonders, such as The Northern Lights, and the indigenous people he met along the way with such passion, wander and humour that you will be hard-pushed not to completely absorbed.
As well as being enlightening, the book has a more serious undertone, when Bruce highlights the changes being experienced by the people and communities visited, due to changing social pressures as well as climate change.
I've heard that Bruce is doing formal signings in London on 18th January (High St Kensington Waterstone's at 5.30pm) and 20th January (Stanford's, Covent Garden at 5.30pm)!