A Wild Life by Martin Hughes-Games

A Wild Life by Martin Hughes-Games

Title: A Wild Life
Author: Martin Hughes-Games
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: BBC, Media, Nature
Dates read: 17th – 18th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Corsair
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: Every dead tree sticking up out of the water had its own osprey.


The frozen wastes of the Southern Ocean; the tropical rainforests of South America, the scorching grasslands of Africa, the dizzy heights of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas: Martin Hughes-Games has been to every continent on earth filming natural history programmes.

We all know Martin as a member of the BBC’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch team, but before his presenting days he spent many years behind the camera producing wildlife documentaries. During a career spanning more than three decades, he has captured the extraordinary life and diversity of the animal kingdom on film – from bloodthirsty bats and man-eating tigers, to huge elephant seals and tiny but ever so painful centipedes.

Warmly told with humour and an inimitable style, and packed with insightful facts from the natural world, II A Wild Life II has to be one of the natural history books of the year.


This was a phenomenal novel. I’m a huge fan of BBC documentaries and all things nature. But I’d never really thought of reading something by a producer of these shows. Now I feel like this is a whole new, untapped area to sink my teeth into…

Each chapter in this novel features a different moment of production challenge in Hughes-Games adventures. They’re almost like separate, short stories. And each is as intense and intriguing as the last.

Encompassing the world and the many different ecosystems we have, you get to go on some very exciting journeys. Not only this, but the stories span the decades, giving insight into times and practices that may not quite be possible anymore.

There were so many moments in this that I don’t think I’ll forget. But the tales of the Mahout are probably the ones that struck me most deeply. Probably because they’re far out of my experience that I just can’t quote fathom it. Which, if I’m being honest, is frequently why I read…

This is an amazing book. Not only filled with nature and adventure, but also the challenges and intricacies of production that I had never even considered before.

<- Gorillas in the MistThe Outrun ->

Image source: Goodreads


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