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Life Stories Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 000733883X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007338832
  • Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 2.7 x 25.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘Brilliant’
Guardian

‘A worthy inheritor of Alistair Cooke’
Telegraph

‘The nation’s favourite wildlife broadcaster’
The Times

Book Description

The complete BBC Radio 4 series written and presented by Sir David Attenborough featuring all twenty episodes about some of the strangest plants, insects and creatures from around the world. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Pardo VINE VOICE on 21 Oct 2009
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Things like these short talks make you realise just how lucky we are to have the BBC. For all its faults, the Beeb gave us David Attenborough and that alone is worth a lifetime's licence fee. These marvelous 10 minute nuggets began life on Radio 4, and were available as free podcast downloads for anyone organized enough to do downloads every week for the entire summer. I wasn't so I'm extremely pleased to be able to have the complete set - and without the annoying "This is a download from the BBC. For more informantion..." intro that appears at the start of the Beeb's podcasts.

Attenborough's voice has been part of my life almost as long as I can remember watching television. He could probably be reading the phone book and it would still have the effect of lowering my blood preasure. The fact that he isn't reading the phone book, but fascinating and engaging pieces on topics as diverse as celocanths and bower birds, just makes these three discs the perfect way to wind down on the journey home from work. I said pieces because they are part essay, part enclopeadia entry, part travelogue, and part autobiography all wrapped up in a delivery like a story told by a favourite and respected uncle.

What you get are three CDs with a total of 20 nine-and-a-half-minute talks: Sloth, Monstrous Flowers, Platypus, Giant Birds, Songsters, Bower Birds, Dragons, Archaeopteryx, Salamander, Birds of Paradise, The Serpent's Stare, Faking Fossils, Coelacanth, Dodo, Tracks, Bird's-nest Soup, Adam's Face, Amber, Large Blue, and Collecting. My personal favourites are "Bower Birds", "Archaeopteryx", and "Tracks" but they are all excellent. My daughter was particularly taken with "Salamander" to the extent that I am dreading her Christmas list.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Chris Hall TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Oct 2009
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Length: 6:52 Mins
First broadcast between 5 June - 18 October 2009, as an audio series for BBC Radio 4, David Attenborough's 'Life Stories' followed alongside the popular television series as well as the fully illustrated book, both of the same title. This audio presentation contains the complete collection of twenty episodes that beautifully explore some of the most amazing aspects and evolutions of the natural world.

Each episode lasts for just shy of ten minutes, in which Attenborough delivers a truly thought provoking insight into one chosen subject or area of nature. Attenborough's soothing, comforting and unmistakable voice manages to immerse the listener into the fascinating subject at hand, almost straight away, each and every time.

Attenborough's love and sheer unashamed passion for both zoology and botany are instantly apparent, as he offers up an interesting and colourful viewpoint on each episode. Not only does Attenborough lay down the basic understanding of the subject at hand, but he also takes on more challenging angles such as the evolutionary history or the subject's individual place within the natural world.

Attenborough's personal relationships and experiences in meeting with many of the subjects discussed, crops up on many occasions, adding in joyful recollections of these moments which bring out a light-hearted and down to earth atmosphere to the whole collection.

These ten minute episodes are perfect for listening to on short trips in the car or uploaded onto an ipod for daily commutes. Personally, I have found myself looking forward to discovering the next new and exciting aspect of the natural world each day.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul M VINE VOICE on 20 Oct 2009
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sir David Attenborough's Life Stories have been one of the genuine joys of listening to Radio Four this year, as these ten minute sections from his extraordinary career charm, amuse, and educate. There is a slight air of Sir David producing a type of mini greatest hits from his illustrious career in this three disc set, but when your career has spanned over half a century, any insights from this wise old commentator deserve our attention.

With fascinating stories from Sir David's travels, mixed with some memories from his early years, Life Stories is a jolly mix of the genuinely interesting, sublime, amusing, and strange. With stories about creepy reptiles, amazing Bower Birds, and how not to buy fossils in Morocco, there is enough on here to charm almost everyone, and combined with one of the most recognisable voices in world broadcasting, Life Stories is the kind of cd you will want to listen to repeatedly.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Timothy W. Dumble on 24 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Attenborough is like a meticulous Bowerbird collecting the most fascinating aspects of the natural world presenting them in a polished, yet avuncular style for our delectation.What he excels at depicting are the complexities and diversity of life and the interdependence of living things - especially prescient in a world threatened by global warming.He also, through the sharing of his own experiences, makes the natural world relevant in a human context, recalling the child like delight he felt in collecting fossils, amber and salamanders.

Humankind's threat to the natural world is eloquently portrayed in 'Dodo' detailing the extinction of not only the dodo but of the Great Auk and the threat to penguins.The fragility of life and the daily struggle to survive are poigniantly portrayed by the fossilised last movements of a dying Horseshoe crab in 'Tracks' and the perfectly preserved remains of mating insects in 'Amber.'

I originally listened to Life Stories on the radio and the accompanying book only adds to the pleasure and learning it provided - the photographs and illustrations are particularly useful.Attenborough consistently surprises and amazes the reader with the diversity of life in these vignettes.From relevations of the poisonous nature of the platypus to snake eyes and the incredible role of ants in the life cycle of the parasitic Large Blue butterfly (larvae)this short work is like a Victorian collector's cabinet of curiosities, full of items which sometimes repulse but always entrance the reader.
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