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David Attenborough - Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster Audiobook

David Attenborough - Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster

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Publisher's Summary

His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly five decades and there are very few places on the globe that he has not visited. In this volume of memoirs David tells stories of the people and animals he has met and the places that he has visited.

Over the last 25 years he has established himself as the world's leading Natural History programme maker with several landmark BBC series, most recently the hugely popular Life and Blue Planet, alongside Life on Earth, The Living Planet, The Trials of Life, The Private Life of Plants, and Life of Birds.

This is an updated autobiography of David Attenborough's life, read by David Attenborough himself.

©2010 David Attenborough Productions Ltd (P)2010 AudioGO Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.8 (117 )
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  •  
    Tim & Brig 16/09/2016
    Tim & Brig 16/09/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "Engaging and wonderfully informative"

    An unparalleled journey through the working of life of, who is surely, the pre-eminent natural history broadcaster of the past 100 years. Fantastically engaging and beautifully read by the author himself. 10/10.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don 23/08/2016
    Don 23/08/2016
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    "Life on Air"

    David Attenborough has such recognisable voice is reputation precedes him and the book was on here didn't disappoint i love every moment

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela 01/08/2016
    Pamela 01/08/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "Fabulous tome"

    A really wonderful book on the work life of one of the world's genuine human treasures read with the subtle humour that only the author himself can carry off. Well done David Attenborough, known in Australia aa The Bro.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anu 01/06/2016
    anu 01/06/2016
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    "Pure Gold in terms of content and narration "

    I absolutely loved it. The content and experiences shared by Sir Attenborough reminded me of the tales of sindbad the sailor. I learned more from this book than my zoology texts. It also gave me an insight into the television world and how that has evolved from the begning to this day. And his narration is such a pleasure to listen to. Once I started listening never wanted to stop.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth 10/05/2016
    Kenneth 10/05/2016 Member Since 2015

    A reader from my youth in several languages, to have now discovered Audible is more than a bonus.

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    "A fortunate man"

    Although this is a very long book, the reading of it by its author is simply seductive. It has an authenticity to it, it has a fascination to it, and it has an extension to our knowledge to it. Once begun, it was very difficult to stop listening; but the great pleasure was to be able to listen to certain sections time and time again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    suzie 23/04/2016
    suzie 23/04/2016
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    "Lulled by his beautiful voice"

    Loved every minute of it David Attenborough's beautiful voice and enthusiasm is the key to his success. He is a national treasure

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia 21/04/2016
    Julia 21/04/2016 Member Since 2014
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    "extraordinary career "

    from the birth of television and always remained at the very forefront of production. a legend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dominic 22/02/2016
    Dominic 22/02/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Perhaps the greatest presenter of natural history"

    David Attenborough recalls in vivid detail the countless trials, moments of wonder, and above all discovery, that defined his career.
    This book traces not only his personal journey, but also that of the natural world, many of its non westernised native peoples, and the evolution of filming and television.
    There are animals and plants aplenty, the most fascinating characteristics of which are well described, in addition to a wealth of entertaining anecdotes.
    The listener could hope for no greater voice of authority on the events and animals herein, as the entire book is captivatingly narrated by the man himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aimee and Pete 06/02/2016
    Aimee and Pete 06/02/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Captivating and entertaining"

    David Attenborough tells his own story beautifully. Highly recommend this tale of, surely, the longest career in television.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liv 03/12/2015
    Liv 03/12/2015
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    "Attenborough - he hugs your ears"

    I love all things that David Attenborough has produced, whether it is a documentary, debate, or book. He is such an interesting person and I love that he enjoys so much of what he has done. His voice is like a hug for your ears, and always makes things better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Liviu
    Bucharest, Romania
    5/01/11
    Overall
    "Made me think about childhood dreams"

    It's one of the most inspiring books I've read, extremely well narrated by the Sir. Attenborough. It's not one of the boring memoirs where you start with childhood and go on. You'll like it if you like Sir. Attenborough's work, nature, or want to find out how nature films are made. I loved the witty style of writing and the subtle jokes. It made me think of childhood dreams when I wanted to be an explorer and study animals and have my own natural reservation and it made me want to get up and run to the park to look at birds ans squirrels, which I did. Any book that can do this is a great book, in my opinion.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • peter
    Pound Ridge, NY United States
    26/07/11
    Overall
    "A Life Worth Living"

    This is the first time I have ever given a book 5 Stars. Anyone reading this review should bear in mind that I am English and the Attenborough experience delivers nostalgic recall of evenings sitting in front of the family's black and white TV while his programs were the highlight of the week. Yes...I am biassed!

    Even so, who ever thought that DA had such a sense of humor and knew instinctively how to write and tell a story; i was in stitches at least 50 times. His English is unfussy, grammatically sound and so easy to understand. His humility is admirable; his subject fascinating; his absorption with his professional career quite enviable. His enjoyment of colleagues has a charm all its own. His love of animals is, of course, a constant rumble though the Chapters. All comes across with the resounding clarity of the trained broadcaster's voice. His respect for others who lived to make a difference in broadcast media simmers constantly. His association with such landmark projects as 'The Ascent of Man', 'Civilization', 'Bicentennial' and others underlines DA's sense of what is important, what should be recorded in the annuls of man. His comments on the pace of change of media technology and its impact on his work remind us how far we've come in 70 decades. Yes...DA has been around, working in broadcsating, for 70 decades.

    Thoroughly enjoyable; I shall search his other writings the moment I close the last page.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Quentin
    Bozeman, MT, United States
    23/02/12
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    "Probably my favourite audiobook"

    I've listened to many really great audiobooks, but I think this is probably my favourite so far.

    As well as covering the flora and fauna for which Attenborough is most famous, this is a fascinating insight into the early life of the BBC, the technical challenges of dragging 16mm cameras through rain forests, and a whole variety of other unexpected treasures.

    Very highly recommended.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Raglan, New Zealand
    26/05/13
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    "The Life of a BBC stalwart"

    This was a really entertaining listen. It didn’t really hold too many surprises. David Attenborough is a great speaker and of course he narrates his own story to his usual impeccably high standards. It begins with the early days of television, with big clumsy noisy cameras and an industry finding its way with the new technology, learning by its many mistakes.

    Over the next 50 years Attenborough makes more and more programmes with a naturalist focus, including the classic Life on Earth and many subsequent series about different groups of animals and their environments.

    By the end, the author felt that he had filmed a full set, and had filmed every major group of living creature on the planet. Although he seems very modest and genteel, and tells his tales with stereotypical British understatement, he was actually an intrepid adventurer who put himself in significant danger on multiple occasions, and this makes for great listening.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • lynn
    ADELAIDE, Australia
    25/06/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Joy To Listen to"

    Possibly the very best audiobook I have downloaded. Fascinating on so many different levels such as the start of television documentaries, the primitive nature of the equipment and what went on to get the superb images. How "sledgehammer" productions such as Life on Earth came about, the research and time required and the care the whole crew put in to get the images just right. All delivered with clarity of speech and an obvious concern for the people and animals encountered over 50 years of tv production. Simply wonderful.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Quentin SF
    Cambridge UK
    23/02/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Probably my favourite audiobook"

    I've listened to many really great audiobooks, but I think this is probably my favourite so far.

    As well as covering the flora and fauna for which Attenborough is most famous, this is a fascinating insight into the early life of the BBC, the technical challenges of dragging 16mm cameras through rain forests, and a whole variety of other unexpected treasures.

    Very highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • R. Sippel
    San Jose, CA United States
    7/09/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "wanted to speed the book up"

    I did enjoy the book, liked listening to how shows were filmed and the expeditions. But for the first time I wanted to be able to speed a book up and could not. I have enjoyed David's adventures but wanted to read the book at a faster pace.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lawrence
    Greensboro, NC, United States
    14/07/11
    Overall
    "Remarkable"

    This book will satisfy your craving for the inside story of many of the iconic programs presented by the legendary broadcaster. What I found particularly interesting were the unexpected anecdotes: How snooker may well owe its popularity to Attenborough. General Montgomery's tales of Churchill urinating in the Rhine. Attenborough directing the Queen's New Year message. Etc. Great stuff!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kelsey
    BLACK EAGLE, MT, United States
    8/06/11
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    "A joy to listen"

    Attenborough's memoirs are fantastic in helping to understand not only public broadcasting philosophy in Britain, but also how the BBC became the top producer of natural history documentaries that are educational, encourage critical thinking about the natural world, help us understand the myriad relationships in the natural and physical world, and great fun to watch. Attenborough's reading lends considerable personality to this first-hand account that is interesting, sometimes very comedic, and entertaining through its entire length. A must for David Attenborough devotees.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    New Zealand
    3/09/12
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    "A good way to spend 19 hours"

    19 hours is just not enough to cover such a prolific career. I was worried this might be a bit slow, but found in the end that I still had a few questions and could have happily listened for another few hours. Written with humility and a sense of humor. Extra good if you like animals.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Mark
    Upper Belvedere, United Kingdom
    20/11/10
    Overall
    "Unforgettable David"

    This was the second David Attenborough book I have listened to (the first being Life Stories) and I was yet again totally enthralled. Informative, witty, well-paced and read with the wonderful soothing voice of David himself, this audible book is a pleasure to listen to.
    To be honest, I wasn't overly sure I would be as interested in his broadcasting memoirs, as I was in his adventures in the natural world, but I was certainly wrong - these are, after all, the memoirs of a marvelous man and not of the BBC. And anyway, there were plenty of natural world tales to keep me satisfied. There were a few small overlaps of recounts from the Life Stories book - but these were enjoyable as the re-telling differed, expanded and added to the previous listening. Also, it felt like I was re-visiting an old friend as I listened to a part-recognised tale.
    David's memories of the early days of broadcasting and of the BBC are a wonderful window into long-gone days, of the people, the trial and error learning and of the adventures that were encountered. David manages to recount these with such warmth and feeling that you can almost imagine yourself there, alongside him. Through highs and lows, this book takes you along. I found the background to the making of the various television series very interesting, bringing a new perspective to when I now watch them. The hardest part to listen to was when David recounted the loss of his Wife - I freely admit to moist eyes and a tight throat at his words.
    Broken down into 3 downloads, this book was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, I hastened from the end of one part to the start of the next. If you are wondering if it is worth downloading - it is. If you are asking yourself 'Will I find it interesting?'- you will. If you are thinking there are better books to listen to - there are few. Download this book and enjoy.

    48 of 49 people found this review helpful
  • michael d porteous
    25/10/10
    Overall
    "David Attenborough - Life on Air"

    David Attenborough, in my eyes, is one of the last great adveturer's, try to remember when listening to this production that he, and his crew were there, in the face of danger, breaking new ground (in more ways than one!).
    He pioneered many TV milestones, and has become the voice of nature.
    I highly recommend this book.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Fliss
    London, United Kingdom
    23/02/11
    Overall
    "Utter wonderful. Download; you won't regret it."

    Hours upon hours on delightful listening. This gentle, humble, tenacious man takes us on the journey of his life and, if like me you grew up with him on the television, our lives too. Always compelling, sometimes a little sentimental but always delightful I sometimes sat on a bench once getting off the tube before going to where I had to just to here the end of a story. It's an utter delight and I will easily, nay definitely, listen to it more than once.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Solrod Strand, Denmark
    27/06/11
    Overall
    "Magical"

    19 hours of a pleasure able journey with a very charming chap, than you for sharing this with us Sir David

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Mr R.
    4/08/11
    Overall
    "What a fantastic life he is leading."

    I did not know half of what David has done in his past and having grown up watching him on TV, I had no idea of the talent that this gentleman has.

    This is by far the best audio book that I have listened to and would recommend to all.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • S. Foster
    UK
    16/07/11
    Overall
    "I didnt want it to end"

    I loved every minute of listening to the Author reading his memoirs, he has such an amazing voice and is a brilliant story teller. I raced through it but towards the end started rationing my listening because I simply didnt want it to end. Thank you David for a wonderful listen.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • IAmKat
    24/05/11
    Overall
    "Brilliant! A must if you like Attenborough"

    I'm still only on the first section but this is brilliant. I'm very fussy about my audiobooks and if the voise of the narrator isn't pleasing to my ears then it's a major turn-off. Of course David Attenborough has a brilliant voice, so that coupled with his interesting lifestory makes this the perfact book for me. I'm listening to it while working in the office and it's a great background sound track. Well worth getting if you have enjoyed any of his TV or Radio shows

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    26/07/11
    Overall
    "A captivating account of an adventurous life"

    David Attenborough is a giant of natural history and this book charting his many TV series brought home to me just what a contribution he's made to our understanding of the natural world. I hadn't really realized what hardships and privations he's had to go through to capture the footage of unusual life forms in inaccessible places. It's fascinating to hear how the advances in technology have aided his work and enabled him and his team of dedicated camera and sound men bring the natural world into our living rooms. This is a wonderful book and I enjoyed every minute of it. Attenborough is an excellent raconteur with a lively sense of humour. Unreservedly recommended as a great listen.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Sara
    Romsey, United Kingdom
    5/05/11
    Overall
    "Outstanding!"

    This has been a brilliant book to listen to - such value for money! David Atenborough writes eloquently and with a breadth of vocabulary, and reads with such clarity - the voice of an experienced broadcaster! The book goes through his life in chronological order giving a fascinating insight into both David's life and the development of the BBC, television programming, filming and scheduling over recent decades. I was amazed by how much David had done beyond the wildlife programs for which he is so well known. He comes across as a humble, highly intelligent and ever curious individual. A long and interesting life!

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    Sleaford, United Kingdom
    23/05/11
    Overall
    "Outstanding"

    The most engaging and awe inspiring biography I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. Genuinely moving scenes interspersed with humorous tales of events of his travels around the globe. He reads, as anyone would expect, superbly and the hours pass by remarkably quickly. My only disappointment was there was not more to listen to as it was that perfect a listen. My thanks, David Attenborough for sharing this with us.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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