Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A High Flier, 19 July 2008
This review is from: Life on the Wing: Remarkable Birds and their Extraordinary Lives (Hardcover)
'Life on the Wing' has an original format. Except for a single page at the start of each chapter, there is no 'text' in the normal sense. Instead each photograph is followed by an extensive caption of between 100 and 250 words. This is a novel approach and may well be adopted more often in the future as it is appealing on the eye and may be an easier read for some.

There are two big drawbacks to this book however. The first is that with the text being restricted to photo captions, you lose a lot of the fluidity and structure that you get in standard text. The author starts again with each caption causing many things to be repeated and some things never discussed. It ultimately makes for a rather fragmented and incomplete read.

Secondly the photos are almost exclusively from Scandinavia and North America, with a smattering from Spain and Tanzania. This leaves areas of the world (such as the Tropics and Australasia) totally unrepresented. In fairness however it must be said that very few birds are featured more than once so there is a great variety of species albeit they all come from similar regions.

The photography itself is flawless. Consistently superb and sometimes spectacular the photographs manage to convey a sense of action and behaviour without detracting from a clear profile of the bird with which to illustrate the points made in the caption.

If you want to learn about birds there are better books out there. However 'Life on the Wing' is a terrific portfolio of avian photography in temperate environments and is well worth a read.
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