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List price: £16.99|
Our price: £6.78
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Average customer rating:
3.5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 0563522798
Manufacturer : BBC Books|
Release data : 08 July, 2005
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A selection of product reviews
Accompaniment to the television series
It has to be said that this book is a little bit of a disappointment compared to the joys of the television series. The series (hopefully due out on DVD) offers an epic journey round the British coastline - it's been done before, but not as well. The television series was absolutely first class. The book?
Well, it is beautifully illustrated, although you do feel that it would have benefited from being physically bigger, from having a chance to display its images on a grander scale. But it does seem to offer loads of photographs with only limited text to support them. Having seen the television programmes, maybe you want something more substantial, something to flesh out the geology, geography, and history of each of the myriad landscapes and seascapes the camera visits.
Perhaps that's the problem. Given the shape of the British Isles, there are few of us who have not had some intimate contact with the sea - if not brought up on the coastline, few live more than 30 miles from it, and virtually everyone will have a beach or stretch of shore they knew as a child or visited regularly at some point.
Most of us have some sort of intimacy with the sea and the coastline - watching the television, I could rejoice in revisiting places I have lived (London, Liverpool and Cardiff), but I most wanted to see the Solway Firth of my childhood and youth. There's an element of excitement in following the TV programmes, looking forward to the night when the cameras with get to your special stretch of coast. That element of anticipation isn't present in the book. You can just turn to the right page.
And the page doesn't seem very substantial. It's well written and informative. It is an excellent stimulus, an excuse to get out there, to go fossil hunting, to start studying geology, to take an interest in local history, to watch the wildlife, to worry about pollution, to decide you want to paint or photograph. That's the problem! The coast is such a potent stimulus, has so many facets, has so much magnetism, once your enthusiasm has been fired, a whole shelf full of encyclopaedias won't satisfy your curiosity or thirst for knowledge.
The television programme is a first class stimulus to action. The book is interesting, informative, and a useful little reference volume to have to hand - nice pictures, convenient text, some useful addresses and contacts at the back. But, of preference, you'd buy the DVD first ... and hopefully get yourself back down to the shoreline with a fresh perspective and renewed interest.
BREATH-TAKING PHOTOGRAPHY BUT SPARSE IN SUPPORTING TEXT.
There is always a feeling with a film and a book - given a choice, which should one
do first, read the book or see the film. Will one spoil the other?
The same could be said about a TV series and an accompanying book.
Having being glued to each programme in the BBC TV
series we have to admit that we were really looking
forward to seeing, and reading, the book.
Expecting something of a larger 'tome', it was
somewhat disappointing to find only 192 pages in
mid-size paperback format.
The book is divided into two, the first part being
dedicated to the 12 coastal regions explored in the TV
series. The second part is a handy and clearly laid out
reference section indexing places, people, natural
history, historic events and facts to help one plan a trip
to an individual region.
It is undoubtedly a superbly illustrated book, but is sadly lacking in the text to
support the breath-taking photography -
almost as if the job of getting the book to press has
As a group with an interest in the North of Scotland, we
were really disappointed with this section. The TV
programme showed the 'Whaligoe Steps', south of Wick,
but there is no mention of this fantastic Caithness landmark in the book.
It would be fair to say that the BBC series had a certain mystery attached to it in that each programme might well touch on a childhood memory or a place revisited
and I guess this is impossible to carry into the book.
As a parting note, I guess we should remind ourselves that we are
reviewing the book and not the TV series!
You have to love the coast!
I caught only a few episodes of the TV series and it left me wanting more. Our coast is amazing - there are few things more powerful in destruction and beauty than the sea and our little island's coast is incredibly varied and vulnerable yet strong.
I was surprised by how little text there is in this book. The pictures, on the other hand, are plentiful and good quality. The writing is really there to provide information about the pictures, and the photos are really what I want when I buy this sort of book.
Although the TV series did perhaps do more to capture the imagination, it has the advantages of moving pictures and of sound. The book is worth having as an addition to your coffee table reading. Certainly anyone who hails from a coastal region will want to read "their bit"!