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David Attenborough - Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster Audio Download – Unabridged

4.8 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What can you say about the great man? I have been listening to "Life on Air" in the car throughout the Christmas period on a variety of long journeys and having Sir David Attenborough as your travelling companion is frankly as good as it gets since the world is a better place with this man around. Some reviewers have pointed out that with 16 CDs this is somewhat of a labour of love and could be viewed as a bit of a slog, that said I have found myself rationing this wonderful set of audio memoirs and trying to savour its narrative by treating it as a guilty pleasure.

On reflection the the part of the audio book I enjoyed the most was Attenborough's account of the early days of the BBC, how he stumbled into a job in the "Talks dept of Auntie". Its difficult now to visualise those early days of TV and quite how haphazard and prone to breakdown it was. The early deals at Alexander Palace would see programmes massively over run, a diet of home economics programmes shown in the afternoon "for women" and cameras so primitive that the heat from them would give you a suntan. Attenborough arrived at the right time in this embryo organisation despite his early failure as an interviewer when it was concluded by the feisty BBC executive Mary Adams that "his teeth were to big for television" but he was soon producing the programmes and I loved his hilarious reminiscences about the Sir Mortimer Wheeler and one of the first BBC quizes "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral"?. Indeed what this book reveals fully is that Attenborough is not only the BBCs greatest asset and a national treasure but someone who in addition is a brilliant raconteur and also has a very masterful line in dry and jocular humour.
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Format: Paperback
Attenborough writes, unsurprisingly, just as enthusiastically as he presents. Wonderful anecdotes, not only, of his extensive travels but also behind the scenes - literally - at the BBC. A real insight into why and how his epic series were made and the enormous team efforts required to get those magnificent programmes to the armchair viewer. Comic moments pop up with a dry humour which illustrate the modesty of a giant of natural history. Leaves you wanting more!
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Both myself and my partner are huge fans of David Attenborough. We are slowly collecting the DVDs of his Life collection and regularly plonk down in front of the TV to watch one of his shows. So when I had the opportunity to get Life on Air through the Vine programme, I jumped at the chance. As the title indicates, this is the story of Attenborough's career rather than his personal life (though this is touched upon now and again) and as such provides a fascinating insight into the world (and the origins) of natural history programming. The great thing about it being an audio book is that we can both listen together.

This is a truly wonderful, in depth account of his quite incredible career. What surprised me was how amusing it is, I laughed aloud on occasion. I particularly enjoyed Sir David's impressions of various people he met over the years. I never thought I'd hear his German accent! This really is a riveting listen even though there is a vast amount of ground covered it never gets boring. One very helpful feature is the fact that each CD is divided into tracks of 2 or 3 minutes making it very easy to get back to where you were after switching off for the night.

I'd also like to point out the great packaging. I have a lot of audio books and these unabridged readings often come in oversized plastic CD boxes with extra sections inside for the additional CDs. These are prone to breakages. This set however looks like a mini VHS box and has all the CD's on a thick spindle. It's a great idea and I have high hopes that this set will stand the test of time... in more ways than one.

I really can't recommend this set highly enough. Sir David has a wonderful voice and this is as close as we'll get to sitting down over dinner and listening to his anecdotes and tales of his Life on Air.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Sir David so chose to purchase his book to learn a bit more about his life before he became the well-known naturalist I am familiar with.
What a wonderful book! he has such a great way of telling a story, so descriptive, full of anecdotes and very funny! You can hear his voice in your head as you are reading, it pulls you in and keeps you reading for hours!
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have never listened to an audio book before so I found it more than a little daunting when 16 CD's arrived covering 20 hours of narration. I decided to play these whilst driving and was amazed at the quality of the sound. I found the first few chapters a little slow; they were an introduction to his early career. Given the unique quality of David's voice it's ironic he was turned down for radio, and started his career in television.

He became a pioneer of this media and given the constraints of early television it is amazing that he and his team managed to produce the documentaries that they did, the patience, tenacity and sometimes daring is described in wonderful and engaging detail.

Despite this slow start I soon found myself dragged into his world as he took me on his adventures, the people he met, the places he visited and the animals he discovered, there are times when he encountered real danger, but also some very funny moments.

David makes no attempt to preach, which is admirable given some of his experiences, he just tells it as it is. I felt that he was truly enjoying telling me his story and sharing his experiences.

His distinctive voice, humour and gentlemanly charm, made for compulsive listening.

I think I would, after listening to this masterpeice,consider myself a bit of an audio book convert, reading made easy. It is a veritable recreation of the televisual career of a true british icon who demonstrates his gift not just as a presenter but now as a narrator,his lush warm tones giving an even more vivid evocation of his subject matter than any tv programme ever could.
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