on 10 December 2008
This is a fantastic book to be enjoyed separately or as a companion to the BBC series. Beautiful photographs sit alongside wonderful writing in the way that Sir David Attenborough only knows how, bringing these facts of a strange and different world to life with vivid imagery. I think even if the photographs were not there it would be hard not to create a picture of this cold blooded world in your mind.
on 29 March 2010
A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting read. If you have an interest in Herpetology then some of the facts outlined may not come as any sort of surprise to you but all in all, very informative. I'm not a massive reader but I read this book over two evenings and would read it again!
It's by Sir Attenborough so naturally, you can be assured of how good it is.
The photography in the book and on the cover is stunning although a great many of the images look as though they are scans of old film images - some look a little blurred but all in all, stunning photography.
on 22 September 2012
Naturally, this is a good book. Sir David doesn't 'do' bad books, nor television. Althought ostensibly written for the layman, there's enough of interest here to keep both the casual reader and the informed non-academic entertained. What makes him genuinely great amongst modern writers of the language is that he doesn't impart himself into what he writes: he has always understood that his subject takes precedence, and he is happy to let his knowledge, rather than his ability to turn a phrase or coin a pun, do the talking. Coupled with the simple elegance of his English and his willingness to allow humour to creep into what he writes, rather than his determination to crow-bar it in, this means that reading anything he commits to page is never less than a pleasure.
My sole issue with Life In Cold Blood (and it's not one that affects my rating of the book or series) is that it was billed as being the final installment of David's documentaries on animalia. This is patently untrue. Life of Mammals, Life of Birds, Life in Cold Blood (i.e. reptilia and amphibia)... where are the fish? Blue Planet was only narrated, not produced, by Attenborough and, besides, was an overview of the oceans as a habitat and their multivarious inhabitants, whatever their taxonomy. Had I the courage I would have questioned Sir David about this when I got my copy of Life In Cold Blood signed at the Trafford Centre in 2008. However, I'd been waiting in line for over two hours, so who knows how long he'd been signing cover after cover. In the event I managed nothing more than a "thank you so very much". And despite my being just another face in a queue that probably exceeded a thousand, he still managed a sincere smile. Truly, a national treasure.
on 21 April 2012
Having read a lot of books about reptiles, from hepetocultural ones to scientific ones, Life in Cold Blood was a great addition to my library.
This book, despite isn't properly scientific, give you a huge amount of information about all groups of amphibians and reptiles. The book is beautiful written and doesn't matter if the subject is evolution, ethology or anatomy, all is explained so well that you want to read more and more.
There's also a great amount of full color pictures that show you some aspects that you are reading about, and others are simply wonderful.
One of the great things about this book is that presenting a lot of information, give you all you need to start some researches and go deeper in some aspects you want to know more about. So from here you can buy more specific books, or simply looking around the web, and for some lucky people just go in to the bush and try to see with their eyes the wonderful "Life in Cold Blood".