Customer Reviews

86
4.9 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 21 October 2009
Format: Audio CDVine 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.

Given that most information that is presented to children today seems to be big on whizz-bang interactive fun but very light on content, the fact that these CDs are, in effect, just an old man talking for ten minutes straight and yet my six year old asks to listen to them in the car, makes you realise how good they are. Truly wonderful.

PS 21/2/2011: Note that this set is the first series of Life Stories. The BBC has just begun broadcasting a new series of "Life Stories by David Attenborough" talks and these are not included on these discs, but are now available here David Attenborough's New Life Stories.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2011
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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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.

The twenty episodes are spread across three CDs and the collection also contains a six page booklet that gives a brief synopsis of each episode.

The collection contains the following episodes:

CD 1 - Sloth, Monstrous Flowers, Platypus, Giant Birds, Songsters, Bower Birds, Dragons
CD 2 - Archaeopteryx, Salamander, Birds of Paradise, The Serpent's Stare, Faking Fossils, Coelacanth, Dodo
CD 3 - Tracks, Bird's-nest Soup, Adam's Face, Amber, Large Blue, Collecting

All in all, this really is an audio collection for everyone. Kids will love this as much as adults will. Highly recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 20 October 2009
Format: Audio CDVine 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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2009
The first day I received this title I had already decided that this was my favourite book ever. It is written by a person with such an amazing natural history background and a wealth of wildlife experience and homes in on all the unusual and interesting facts that I am sure will appeal to everyone. Only one person could write a book containing such detail, knowledge and nature interest, the maestro himself ; Sir David Attenborough. This book demonstrates why the author is the leader in wildlife film making. Well done Sir David !
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 26 February 2010
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
David Attenborough gave many people of my age their first thrill of wonder at the way nature and its creatures work. His unique combination of knowledge, passion, and charm made us see the world through his eyes. At the same time we couldn't help learning because of the meticulous structure, of which we were unaware, that underpinned his famous TV series.

These highly focused short programmes offer a series of vignettes in much the same vein. For 10 minutes we are caught up with Attenborough's warm and cosy voice as he describes something that fascinates him, never noticing how much we learn along the way.

I have them on my MP3 player, and listening to them at random as they turn up on shuffle is a treat. Just brilliant.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2012
Attenborough's nature programs are second to none. Lately I also had the opportunity to enjoy some of his writings, including this reviewed book, and I found them equally fascinating and well presented, with all the fine characteristics of the TV programs.

Much like the late Carl Sagan, Attenborough shines with his pure, somewhat childish enthusiasm when he examines the natural world.

His presentations are never pompous and the underlying leitmotif of how wondrous, complex and delicate the earth ecosystem is, that runs through all of his work, totally lacks any hint of patronizing or retribution and never over-theatrical as some contemporary productions on the various nature and science channels.

The book contains 20 short interesting and humorous stories based on his 10-minute radio programs (which I never had the chance to hear). Each story contains roughly 5 pages of text followed by 5 pages of pictures and illustrations, which makes it a very light and enjoyable read.

The stories range from present day animals such as the Sloth, Salamander, Bowerbirds, Platypus and some other birds through extinct ones from the far and near past over to subjects as Fossils, Dragons, Collecting and even the human eyebrows get a chapter of their own.

There's one small problem with the print (at least with the hardcover edition I ordered). If this book ever gets a second edition I hope the publisher will fix it. The font used in the book has an irritating anomaly, that actually makes reading the text a bit challenging. Some letters (notably d,e,m,w) have often a small space after them. This causes any word containing these letters to appear split to more than one word. It took me some time to get used to it. Anyone suffering from even mild dyslexia might find that it's a real obstacle. I've uploaded a few images for your judgement. Not enough to knock off a star but worth mentioning.

Otherwise the paper, picture and binding quality are very good.

The amazing story about the Large Blue butterfly shows how sometimes even extensive conservation attempts may fail when the complexity and intricacy of an ecosystem are not fully understood.

Overall a real pleasure to read and highly recommended.
review image review image review image review image
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 22 October 2009
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
To my great shame, I was very late discovering David Attenborough - as an unruly child I had no interest in 'boring nature programmes'.

Finally, some years ago, as an young adult I found what I had been missing when I caught an episode of 'Blue Planet', I was hooked. Since then I have bought pretty much every DVD collection of the various series in which he has been involved - and thoroughly recommend all of them - and immersed myself in the world through his eyes.

Make no mistake, the man is a living legend. Whenever I catch a documentary on nature that doesn't involve him I always wish he was there, regardless of the quality of the photography, David Attenborough always adds a huge dollop of quality with his enthusiasm and endearing passion and the perfect voice.

So, its safe to say I'm a fan and let out a whoop when I saw this up for grabs through Vine.

It is predicatably superb. A thoroughly classy collection of audio episodes which I have devoured at an unhealthy speed! Again it is the sheer enthusiasm of the man that shines through, he is a welcoming host, clearly delighted to be sharing his passion for the subject with us. I have enjoyed every episode immensely and will certainly revisit them again.

If you are a fan of audio books/radio documentaries then I can honestly say this should count as an essential purchase. It's one of the top things I've heard all year.

They really broke the mould with David Attenborough.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There is no doubt that Sir David Attenborough is a consummate broadcaster who has lost none of his fascination with Life in all its forms. His softly spoken clear voice has been a considerable feature in the education of this country as to the wondrous variety of Life upon this world. Thus this collection of his recent series of ten minute radio broadcasts is a prized addition to anyone's audio library. Each one is a skilful blend of anecdote and detail, laced with some gentle humour, making them a joy to listen to. The scope covers flora, fauna, life current and life prehistoric, with Humanity passed and present also brought into the mix. Some of these tales are astounding such as the intricate relationship between the Large Blue butterfly and certain species of ants and wasps or the efforts the Bower Bird male goes to in attracting a mate. Some, very telling, such the tale of the Dodo which has a cautionary ending for our treatment of the penguin colonies. If you have an interest in Natural History then this is really essential. If you enjoy listening to broadcasting in general you will appreciate an excellently constructed and presented series. If you are already struggling with the annual question of what to give "......" for Christmas this year, this is an ideal choice there is so very much to enjoy; they will be grateful.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Like a previous reviewer, I listened to these CDs back to back immediately after receiving them. And like that other reviewer, I will listen to them again. The first time I was doing other things whilst listening, but David Attenborough is so interesting and easy to listen to that I wanted to listen straight away. The next time, I will sit down with no distractions and refreshments on hand to really absorb the whole thing. It's the sort of thing that is a listening experience, with David Attenborough's voice just washing over you.

I am always confident that I won't go wrong when buying something that David Attenborough has done. And these CDs have done nothing to dispel that confidence.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Life on Air
Life on Air by David Attenborough (Paperback - 20 May 2010)
£6.59

Life Story
Life Story by Mike Gunton (Hardcover - 9 Oct. 2014)
£5.95

David Attenborough - Life Story [DVD] [2014]
David Attenborough - Life Story [DVD] [2014] by Sir David Attenborough (DVD - 2014)
£8.99
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)
  -  
Over 15 years experienced surgeons Most Trusted Eye Surgery surgeon
  -  
Easy Money - Sell Story to a Magazine or Newspaper - Earn £1000s