Although described as a life story of David Attenborough, this is a strange biography which deviates from its topic seemingly to fill out the book, for example, when describing how Attenborough took a job in broadcast television in 1952, the book then continues with several pages on the timeline of TV, and a short box-off on World War II. Unfortunately, this variety of subjects covered can mean that not all are covered accurately, for example, the definition of Holocaust within the text is incorrect.
Happily, the rest of the text travels through Attenborough’s professional life, and the information boxes are mainly about countries he has visited, and facts about animals and their behaviour, as well as text towards the end that focuses on climate change and activism. There is some good contextual information on the development of film, camera and sound, particularly on the technological advances in this century and what they have enabled the cameramen and film-makers to do, including slow motion, light settings and more, but the bulk of the book’s focus is on animal behaviour and habitats.
The text is fairly dense and the prose written as a straightforward non-fiction narrative, but there are a few asides to the reader, and some informal language and phrases, such as the word ‘nope.’ The book does describe Attenborough’s life in full and emphasises the courage, determination, hard work and luck it takes to reach such heights in one’s career. It also nicely explores Attenborough’s complete love, enthusiasm and dedication to the living world. But overall, this book is probably one for Attenborough fans only.
There are illustrations throughout in black and white, although not of all animals highlighted, and a glossary and timeline at the back.