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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cross between guidebook, photobook and science book
This is a strange hybrid of TV tie-in book, photo book and holiday guidebook that doesn't end up really being any of those three, but is still a good coffee-table

The "Planet Earth" TV series from 2006 set out to film some of the most remote and uninhabited (by humans) places on the planet, so a guidebook that attempts to give you tourist information about all...
Published on 3 Jan. 2011 by Mr. Stuart Bruce

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but lightweight.
I remember when I was seven I was given an illustrated dictionary, I loved that book, not for the utility of looking up words and spelling but for the generous number of cut-away drawings of things, maps and pictorial essays which punctuated the text. Given that this was the seventies the balance of text to images was about seventy-thirty. This book is a product of the...
Published on 23 Mar. 2011 by Ed.F


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cross between guidebook, photobook and science book, 3 Jan. 2011
By 
Mr. Stuart Bruce "DonQuibeats" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth (Lonely Planet Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth) (Paperback)
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This is a strange hybrid of TV tie-in book, photo book and holiday guidebook that doesn't end up really being any of those three, but is still a good coffee-table

The "Planet Earth" TV series from 2006 set out to film some of the most remote and uninhabited (by humans) places on the planet, so a guidebook that attempts to give you tourist information about all of them is always going to have a tough job. If you were serious about a 'holiday' in any of these places, you would be looking at many thousands of pounds, and several weeks of travel- there are no weekend breaks here.

Such holidays are so unique and usually customised by expert travel agents that there's very little real 'guidebook'-style information here- there are almost no hotel listings (because there are usually no hotels in these places), very little travel information, and certainly no prices. As the book itself says, "you can't put a price on adventure" (p146), though it's probably also a case of "if you have to ask then it's out of your range" as well. What you do get is a few web addresses for some travel operators, and that's it. As well as feeling a bit short of useful information, it's also a little bit lacking in real character- there's not a lot of proper travel writing in it and what there is doesn't often invoke a real sense of any of the places being discussed. So as a Lonely Planet guidebook, it's a bit thin on the ground.

As a TV tie-in book it works better. The book is sorted into ten chapters, each one corresponding with a different episode in the series (with the exception of episode 1, "Pole To Pole", which is ignored as it is more of an overview of the breadth of the planet), and within each chapter different sections of the programme get six pages each- firstly a brief explanation of where the Planet Earth team filmed and then a travel writer's notes on the "experience" (which range from insightful to pretentious, and sometimes make you think the writer has just watched the TV show rather than actually been there), each accompanied with a handful of stunning photographs. The print quality is excellent and the production values of the publication are high so as such it makes a very nice coffee table book. Then each section has two pages of text that are a brief introduction to what would be involved if you wanted to get there yourself, which in some cases is simply not possible, so occasional alternative destinations are suggested. Chapter 11, "Deep Ocean", predictably isn't as long as the others.

So this book is a little bit short of scientific detail and depth to support the series (for that you could try the other tie-in book Planet Earth: As You've Never Seen It Before). The photographs are not as good as watching the show in high definition (if you can, buy the Blu-Ray Planet Earth - Special Edition [Blu-ray]- absolutely the best way to show off your HDTV if you've got one), and there is another, larger and more extensive Planet Earth photography book already- Planet Earth: The Photographs. And by Lonely Planet standards it barely serves as a real guidebook to anywhere, only the briefest of introductions, and a bit more text about the character of the travel experience would've been welcome.

Despite my criticisms it is still a lovely book, more inspiring than useful but definitely inspiring, and very tempting to pick up and dip into regularly, and I'm probably just jealous because I'll never get to go to most of the amazing places in the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a perfect combination, 16 April 2011
By 
T. J. Bacon "TJB" (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth (Lonely Planet Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Bringing together the wisdom of the editorial of Lonely Planet with the majesty of BBC's Planet Earth was a masterstroke of genius. The strength of the book lies in its portability. Yes this isn't a coffee table book but what its lacks in physical weight it makes up for in its splendid capture of some of the most stunning photography you will have seen. Ever wondered how to get to some of the places that seem so far away and that you'd only ever imagined you would glimpse on TV? Well now through this product you can find out how to transport yourself there! And for those of you (inc. me) who can't get there cos of the budgets involved then one can dream and this book certainly will help.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but lightweight., 23 Mar. 2011
By 
Ed.F "edz314" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth (Lonely Planet Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I remember when I was seven I was given an illustrated dictionary, I loved that book, not for the utility of looking up words and spelling but for the generous number of cut-away drawings of things, maps and pictorial essays which punctuated the text. Given that this was the seventies the balance of text to images was about seventy-thirty. This book is a product of the 21st century and as befits such an artefact the ratio of text to images is reversed and more. There is precious little text in this book but it makes up for it with a surfeit of glorious imagery. In this respect it reflects the series it's supporting/benefiting from which was also very much balanced towards striking images rather than any deep information or understanding. Of course this reflects the current BBC ethos which is to be very pretty but puddle deep.

This is supposed to be a companion to the series, which was billed as part of the BBC's science/nature output but was really a very luxurious travelogue. Younger children will like the book as it's a wonderful visual feast, older children will look at it once and then ignore it as there is nothing really informative in it. Adults will find it migrates to the toilet library and stays there until you throw it way. A missed opportunity, again, just like the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Treats for the Traveller, 19 Dec. 2010
By 
Purpleheart (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth (Lonely Planet Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a companion book to the BBC David Attenborough series Planet Earth : Complete BBC Series (5 Disc Box Set) [2006] [DVD], covering 50 destinations from that documentary.

The structure of the book is as follows:
Mountains - 3 including the Simien mountains, the Rockies and the Torres del Paine, Chile
Fresh Water - 9 including Angel Falls and the great salmon migration in Canada
Caves - 4 including Lechguilla cave and the underwater cave in the Yucatan
Deserts - 6 including the Gobi, Sahara, Death Valley and the Australian Outback
Ice Worlds - 3: Artic, Antartica and Arctic Canada
Great Plains - 6 including the Himalayas, Mongolia and life on the Tibetan plateau
Jungles - 4: Borneo, New Guineau, the Amazon and Kibale Forest, Uganda
Shallow Seas - 6 including humpback migration in Hawaii and Penguins on Marion Island
Seasonal Forests - 6 including the call of the Lemur, Madagascar and Valdivian forest, Chile
Ocean Deep - 3: Dragon chimneys, Japan, Guatemala Bains and Pacific Volcanoes, off the coast of French Polynesias

Each destination has six pages with stunning photos, an Experience section which places you in the destination and some facts and lonely planet type orienting information. The photos are wonderful and the book plays to the armchair traveller or to someone who wants inspiration for one of their own jaunts.

I found the Experience section disappointing - written in the second person - eg 'It doesn't take long for you to sink into a daily rhythm of sunbathing, snorkelling, chilling in the village....you give in and sign up for a scuba diving course'. I understand the idea is to make it vivid and engaging but it really grates once you've read more than one or two.

Overall, it's a visual delight and a good companion piece to the truly stunning series - somewhat let down by a narrative style which can have a patronising tone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tie in book - not cash in book, 15 Dec. 2010
By 
Ripple (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth (Lonely Planet Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you sat in front of your TV during the BBC's series Planet Earth drooling and thinking "ooh, I'd like to go there and see that", then this is very much the book for you. I have to confess I missed the series on TV, but this book soon had me ordering the series on DVD - and I must say that while it can be read and enjoyed without having seen the show, it comes into its own once you have seen it. The book features some lovely photographs but what I enjoyed most about it was the characteristic Lonely Planet slightly irreverent touches.

As with many Lonely Planet books the layout is a slave to formula. Each episode of the series is given a chapter, namely:

Mountains
Fresh Water
Caves
Deserts
Ice Worlds
Great Plains
Jungles
Shallow Seas
Seasonal Forests
Ocean Deep

Then for each topic a number of example destinations are taken showing:

What you saw on screen in the TV series
When to go
Experience (the jewel in each case written as a travel journal of what you see)
Taking Action
While You're There
Getting there
Side bars of relevant information
Useful facts

So for each location, you get six pages. If I were to be slightly picky, I'd say the coverage isn't even (we get more Freshwater than Mountains for example) and for my taste I'd like to see a bit more of the human and cultural aspects as well as the animals, but it's the "experience" sectors that really stood out for me.

It's a genuine "tie in" book rather than a "cash in" book - by that I mean that it genuinely adds value rather than just showing what you saw in another format. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Non-travellers guide, 20 Oct. 2011
By 
Picard (USS Enterprise) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth (Lonely Planet Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The problem with most licensed products is that, well... they can just 'suck' completely. Books don't escape this problem either, and here is a classic example; a 'guide' to the Planet Earth that is co-authored from the BBC and Lonely Planet. Its failure? The product has no real value because it doesn't fall into a specific category. Instead, it is a mix of hard data, facts, photographs, tips and information regarding the planet Earth, but all consolidated into a random mix.

Had the book been structured so that it followed the actual BBC Planet Earth program then it would be a different story entirely, but for now, you're far better off finding a book that is entirely dedicated to describing our planet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warning: reading this may trigger wanderlust, 24 Feb. 2011
By 
This review is from: Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth (Lonely Planet Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth) (Paperback)
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This an enjoyable book to dip into, especially if you saw any of the destinations in the original BBC series and then thought to yourself "what were those place names again, and how do I get there?"

So the book covers the 50 locations from the TV series. There is just enough information - generally the basics - on each of the featured locations. This includes things like highlights, when to go, how to get there, etc. The book is full of colourful pictures, many full page and also double spreads.

In terms of structure, the book is divided by terrain - mountains, fresh water, caves, deserts, ice worlds, great plains, jungles, shallow seas, seasonal forests, and ocean deep.

As others have said, the book does try to tick rather a lot of boxes and ultimately it will never replace acquiring a proper guidebook for the location you're interested in. That said, it is enjoyable to dip into and lose yourself in and is a great 'broad brush' overview of some of the most scenic locations in the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Daydream traveller..., 15 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth (Lonely Planet Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As others have noted the Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth maybe isn't quite big enough to be classed as a coffee-table book, although with full-colour layouts throughout it's certainly beautifully enough presented to be considered one. It's not exactly a travel guide either, although there are travel tips throughout there's none of the detail that would actually make them useful. It feels more like the book is there to stimulate and guide your imagination than your actual travels.

Some of the destinations featured might be beyond the reach, physically or financially, of most of us but it doesn't mean we can't dream about visiting them and the book is also full of extraordinary photographs to aid the fantasy. Maybe that's the perfect use for this book, sitting on your bedside table ready to stimulate dreams of far-off places? Of course, it also works as an excellent souvenir of an excellent TV travel series...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Travel guide lite - but too small, 3 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth (Lonely Planet Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There is something of a missed opportunity here; there is some sumptuous photography in this book printed on some nice quality paper but it's so small! It's an odd choice as the size of this book, about A5, suggests that this is intended to accompany you on trips to the places described. But its far too lightweight for that, and is obviously intended and something to inspire. And here is its downfall - the pages are so small that the impact of the photography is wasted. This should have been a much bigger format book.

So what is it? Well, you can sort of think of this as a Lonely Planet Guide Lite. There's information here to inspire you to visit these destinations, what to see, what's nearby, but none of the distracting, dull, (and demoralising!) detail of things like visa requirements. It's a book to make you want to go.

But if only it was bigger!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful visuals, the rest pretty meh, 19 Dec. 2010
By 
Paul Fillery (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth (Lonely Planet Traveller's Guide to Planet Earth) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"Planet Earth" was a wonderful series, with breathtaking photography. This book captures a lot of images from the series in several themed chapters - deserts, oceans, etc. And the pictures are stunning - the natural world in all its splendour, as only the BBC can manage. Sadly the written sections, which are mini-travelogues for the countries featured, are relatively pointless. The images generally speak for themselves, and if you wanted a travel guide to one of the countries featured then there are plenty of far better options. Not really sure who this book is aimed at, and can't help feeling it would have been better as a larger, coffee-table style photobook. Because despite the flannel and waffle in the written sections, the photos alone almost make it a wonderful purchase.
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