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Publisher's Summary

Butterflies animate our summers, but the 59 species found in the British Isles can be surprisingly elusive. Some bask unseen at the top of trees in London parks; others lurk at the bottom of damp bogs in Scotland.

A few survive for months while other ephemeral creatures only fly for three days. Several are virtually extinct. Simon Shepherd reads this bewitching book charting Patrick Barkham’s quest to find each of them - from the Adonis Blue to the Dingy Skipper - in one unforgettable summer.

©2010 Patrick Barkham (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-14-12

A strangely nostalgic book

This unlikely book all about a year of butterfly spotting in 2009 is strangely nostalgic, packed with reminiscences of childhood and country pastimes. I'm not sure it would appeal to someone without a minimum of knowledge of lepidoptera, because the author constantly cites names and habitats, and it really helps being able to picture in one's mind's eye the particular butterfly and even the country surroundings he is walking in. I loved it. And so beautifully read, just the right pace, wonderful local accents, faultless;

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Penny Krantz
  • 10-10-15

Are you a butterfly conservationist obsessive ?

Where does The Butterfly Isles rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It will continue to be high on my list to listen to during the winter until the butterflies come out again

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Butterfly Isles?

When Patick Barkham sets himself the target of sighting and photographing all 59 British butterflies in one summer - which means travelling up and down the Brbtish Isles in his spare time - to the deterioration and breakup of his relationship with his girlfriend.

Which character – as performed by Simon Shepherd – was your favourite?

One of the butterflies, eg, a peacock or comma

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it's good to go back to different chapters

Any additional comments?

Don't let your self come a butterfly obsessive but do take part in the annual Butterfly Conservation count as climate change, industrial farming practices etc take their toll on the butterfly and moth population.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Danielle
  • 07-20-15

butterfly chasing from my livingroom

this book was brilliant for a butterfly / nature enthusiast like myself who can't get out and about at the moment, took the edge off being stuck indoors and taught me new things about some of my favourite species. a great listen, highly recommend

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • jillian grant
  • 09-20-16

I enjoyed flying through this book.

If you could sum up The Butterfly Isles in three words, what would they be?

I can't.

What did you like best about this story?

The parts involving Matthew Oates.

What does Simon Shepherd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The accents of different people, though the Irish one was from the wrong part of Ireland, unless he knows something about Mr. Hughes I don't.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I loved hearing the talk from Matthew oates. I've heard him uligising about Purple Emperor butterflies before and he makes me laugh.

Any additional comments?

I never thought that I, a totally blind woman who has no concept of colour could ever find a book about visual insects enjoyable but I really did. Butterlies are boring to me and nothing more than pollenators and bird fodder but I really enjoyed the writing, narration and stories of how all the butterflies were found.