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Publisher's Summary

David Attenborough, Britain's voice of natural history, narrates his early adventures in Indonesia, New Guinea and Northern Australia.

David Attenborough first appeared in front of a television camera in the 1950s when, together with London Zoo's Curator of Reptiles, Jack Lester, he persuaded the BBC to mount and film an animal-collecting expedition. The result was Zoo Quest. Specially recorded for audio, David Attenborough's early adventures are sometimes life-threatening, often hilarious and always totally absorbing. The warmth and enthusiasm that have made him a broadcasting legend are instantly apparent here as he recounts this magical journey.

This collection includes three volumes from Attenborough's chronicles of his early expeditions:

In Zoo Quest for a Dragon, Attenborough tells of the crew's hazardous boat trip with a gun-smuggling captain and the terror of erupting volcanoes. He also depicts for the listener some of the incredible sights he and his team witnessed - breathtaking butterflies, taking tea with Charlie the orangutan and the voyage to the little-known island of Komodo to capture the elusive Komodo dragon.

Quest in Paradise describes his next animal collecting and filming trip to New Guinea, home of the exotic birds of paradise. David tells of his adventures during the trip: being an onlooker at a formal lovemaking ceremony, seeing the skills of ritual ax making, trying to master pidgin English and witnessing a 'sing sing' at which hundreds of tribesmen came together from all parts of the country.

In Quest Under Capricorn, David Attenborough ventures to the Northern Territory of Australia. In his first expedition to the other side of the world, he meets Aborigines, goes walkabout in the bush, and learns the craft of the artists of Arnhem Land.

Also included is David Attenborough in His Own Words, a collection of interviews taken from the BBC radio and TV archives.

©2017 David Attenborough (P)2014 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What listeners say about David Attenborough: The Early Years Collection

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I love Mother Nature

David Attenborough is a true gift for all ages, he lives in our minds through all his adventures making films of nature, we all never knew existed. This books tells of how he first got started making films and the goings on that he lived while making his films, something we never think about, I bet. You will be delighted with this book and the best part is David himself tells the story. His voice is probably the most recognizable to countless millions all over this globe.

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Great adventures told with humor and love

Best part is his ability to laugh at himself and colleagues, the mistakes he/they made, and the hilarious (and, yes, serious) situations they got into..He sometimes also gives perspective on how things have changed since he originally wrote some of the stories.

Great audio clips at the end of the audiobook of various interviews he's given over the years. Don't skip them!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-30-17

Good but a lot of overlap with Life on Air

Having recently listened to Sir David's "Life on Air" there seemed to be a lot of overlap in the content here - so I would recommend avoid listening to these two in close succession. Otherwise very good.

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  • caz
  • 04-30-20

Hail to Sir David Attenborough

OMG! This is the most relaxing narration EVER!!! I love listening to Sir David Attenborough when I go to sleep. He relieves me of stress and anxiety and makes me deal safe when I am asleep. ❤️ Sir David Attenborough and thank you so much 🙏

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  • The Crack In Space
  • 07-21-18

Perfect Insight

Excellent insight into the early career of Sir Attenborough. Each book is short and to the point with the kind of anecdotes you’d expect from someone so well traveled.

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  • The Messenger
  • 11-15-20

Audible's chapter organisation is pathetic

Love the story. It is fantastic and beautifully read. Audible's chapter organisation is pathetic. ZERO stars to Audible. I used to have it on CD and you could jump to the story you wanted easily. Here all three books are merged into one and it's trial and error when one finishes and another begins. Audible should be able to do much better than that.

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  • P Mck
  • 07-28-19

Even better than expected, quite brilliant!

I expected David Attenborough’s descriptions of his early days to be interesting but this went far beyond that - he showed himself to be a quite fantastic actor with completely convincing accents of characters he met in his journeys in the Australian outback. Sometimes I was laughing out loud at his stories. His narrative was absolutely gripping and amazing in the lengths he went to capture scenes on film for the very first time. I think these are the very best books I have heard on Audible!

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  • RichDiver
  • 12-06-17

Great stories from Attenborough's earlier years

Written and narrated by David Attenborough. What more do you want? A brilliant listen for long journies..

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-23-17

Loved it!

This was a great book- David's voice tells his stories so well, and I can imagine the places and people as he describes them.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-22-17

Very interesting

Good that it is narrated by David Attenborough and very interesting story and i like the old interviews included

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  • Rob gornall
  • 01-17-22

Can't get enough it

I'm biased because it's Sir Attenborough but:
The first 3 Zoo Quest Stories are excellently told, even if the 3rd gets a little rabbley.
The feeling of a real life adventure story told by someone who truly appreciates what happened to him is so worth it.
This finishes with some interviews and though a little bit of jerk in atmosphere are still enjoyable.

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  • Kerry Burrows
  • 01-13-22

I love David Attenborough stories

Always love learning from David, the details and his experiences just interest me, listening to the interviews at the end to learn even more was a great touch, highly recommend, loved it.

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  • Loretta.
  • 10-21-21

The Early Years Collection By David Attenbough

I Loved this book and very sad that I have finished it Thank you Sir David I enjoyed this book immensely ..

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  • Mark W.
  • 08-17-21

A global treasure

A master story teller recounting amazing stories of a much simpler world...a must listen

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  • Lynn Turton
  • 08-07-21

Genius

Richard Attenborough is beyond belief. His intelligence, recall ability, narration. Passion and dedication. He must have been so fit to do all the things he did in a day , quite extraordinary. The man is one of a kind and this audible was amazing!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-09-21

Too good.

There is only one thing which disappointed me about this book, and that was that it ended. Written spectacularly and read by the man himself, the stories are so exciting and eventful you sometimes can’t believe this was his life. Would love to read accounts like this from every one of his adventures.

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  • Momo
  • 07-07-21

Had me intrigued and laughing the whole way

I've always been a fan of this man, so I was pretty sure I'd enjoy this audiobook. But I didnt expect to find it quite as funny and interesting as I did.

Something I really like about this is the way Attenborough gives insight into how both the industry and he himself have changed over the years. Some of the things that happen in these accounts, would surely be looked down upon these days, but he keeps the account true to the time they occured, not warping them to make himself seem better in the present.

A really good listen, that I'd suggest to anyone else who likes this man

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-06-21

Spellbinding

Loved this book. So interesting to see the evolution of David himself over the years.

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  • Richard
  • 06-29-21

Absolutely uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable.

The adventures of the young David Attenborough are a great insight into one of the most amazing individuals of my lifetime. His stories about Indonesia, Northern Australia and PNG show the measures of the man. It will be a sad day when he passes and the world will be the poorer for it. Attenborough is an inspirational figure who says it how it is. He is passionate about the state of our environment without being a bigot or an evangelist. One of the best audio books I have listened to.