Travelling to Work
By Michael Palin
Ten years in different directions. The third volume of Michael Palin's celebrated diaries.
The third volume of Michael Palin's celebrated diaries.
TRAVELLING TO WORK is a roller-coaster ride driven by the Palin hallmarks of curiosity and sense of adventure. Michael was not the BBC's first choice for the travel series AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, but after its success, the public naturally wanted more.
Palin, however, had other plans. There was his film AMERICAN FRIENDS, a role in Alan Bleasdale's award-winning drama GBH, the staging of his West End play THE WEEKEND, a first novel, HEMINGWAY'S CHAIR, and a lead role in FIERCE CREATURES. He did find time for two more travel series, POLE TO POLE in 1991 and FULL CIRCLE in 1996, and wrote two bestselling books to accompany them. These ten years in different directions offer riches on every page.
Michael Palin is a scriptwriter, comedian, novelist, television presenter, actor and playwright. He established his reputation with MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS and RIPPING YARNS. His work also includes several films with Monty Python, as well as THE MISSIONARY, A PRIVATE FUNCTION, A FISH CALLED WANDA, AMERICAN FRIENDS and FIERCE CREATURES. His television credits include two films for the BBC's GREAT RAILWAY JOURNEYS, the plays EAST OF IPSWICH and NUMBER 27, and Alan Bleasdale's GBH.
In 2006 the first volume of his diaries, 1969-1979: THE PYTHON YEARS, spent several weeks on the bestseller lists. The second volume, HALFWAY TO HOLLYWOOD: DIARIES 1980-1988, was published in 2009. He has also written books to accompany his eight very successful travel series including HIMALAYA and POLE TO POLE. He is the author of a number of children's stories, the play THE WEEKEND and the novels HEMINGWAY'S CHAIR and THE TRUTH.
- Other details
- Publication date:
24 Sep 2015
- Page count:
Palin shows himself in these diaries to be an acute observer as well as a champion curator of an anecdote ... The best sort of convivial read, like having a gossip with an old friend over a few drinks ... Travelling to Work is a delight. It is a book you find yourself devouring in a great greedy session — Helen Davies, SUNDAY TIMES
Michael Palin introduces his splendid new volume of diaries by saying that he was juggling three careers during the decade it covers... the life it records is so phenomenally varied... How he finds time to update his diary is a mystery. Update it he does though and he does so with fluency, wit, glowing affability and lightning flashes of anger... Weaving between observation and introspection, he comes up with a pithy phrase to describe everything from a Suffolk sunset to the end of apartheid but he sparkles most brightly when evoking the speech and the personality of his associates — Nicholas Barber, SUNDAY EXPRESS
Filled with amusing and revealing anecdotes (like the time he discovered Cleese was writing jokes for the Dalai Lama). The book also charts Palin's reincarnation as a television adventurer and opens with him embarking on the filming of Around the World in 80 Days — Elizabeth Day, OBSERVER FOOD MONTHLY
This volume takes in a remarkably prolific period... As well as four BBC travel series not covered in depth since he has written separate books on them, the decade includes promotional work for A Fish Called Wanda; the making of Fierce Creatures, a sequel of sorts; the tortuous progress towards getting American Friends, a film about his great-grandfather, off the ground; a role in a Nora Ephron film (eventually left on the cutting-room floor); and a debut novel, Hemingway's Chair, written in only four months. There also frequent rows with the other Pythons about a reunion. As the book ends John Cleese is keen on them putting on a show at the Millennium Dome. It would take them another 15 years to do it — Patrick Kidd, THE TIMES
These diaries record an astonishingly successful career . . . Yet he never becomes objectionable; he always keeps that saving touch of everyman, if not quite Mr Pooter, a nobody . . . These diaries are remarkably good company, always dependable, never upsetting: safely enjoyable, page after page. And that's quite a triumph of tone — David Sexton, EVENING STANDARD
At first you think how lucky Palin is to be living his life. Then, gradually, you see the dark side. He connects with you in a lovely way, which is very calming — William Leith, THE SPECTATOR Books of the Year
This amiable, intelligent record has a cumulative appeal — Christopher Hirst, INDEPENDENT