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The Complete Michael Palin Diaries

The Complete Michael Palin Diaries

Volume I: THE PYTHON YEARS (1969-1979)

Michael Palin’s diaries begin when he was newly married and struggling to make a name for himself in the world of television comedy. But Monty Python was just around the corner . . .

Enjoying an unlikely cult status early on, the Pythons then proceeded to tour the USA and Canada. As their popularity grew, so Palin relates how the group went their separate ways, later to re-form for stage shows and the celebrated films THE HOLY GRAIL and LIFE OF BRIAN. Living through the three-day week and the miners strike, and all the trials of a peripatetic life are also essential ingredients of these perceptive and funny diaries.

Volume II: HALFWAY TO HOLLYWOOD (1980-1988)

After a live performance at the Hollywood Bowl, The Pythons made their last performance together in 1983 in the hugely successful MONTY PYTHON’S MEANING OF LIFE. Writing and acting in films and television then took over much of Michael’s life, culminating in the smash hit A FISH CALLED WANDA (for which he won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor), and the first of his seven celebrated television journeys for the BBC. He co-produced, wrote and played the lead in THE MISSIONARY opposite Maggie Smith, who also appeared with him in A PRIVATE FUNCTION, written by Alan Bennett.

Such was his fame in the US, he was enticed into once again hosting the enormously popular show Saturday Night Live, in one edition of which his mother makes a highly successful surprise guest appearance. He filmed several journeys for television and became chairman of the pressure group, Transport 2000. His family remains a constant as his and Helen’s children enter their teens.

Volume III: Travelling to Work (1988-1998)


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.
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Genre: Biography & True Stories / Biography: General / Biography: Arts & Entertainment / Autobiography: Arts & Entertainment

On Sale: 10th December 2015

Price: £38.97

ISBN-13: 9781474601719

Reviews

Palin's style is so fluid, and his sincerity so palpable, that it is often easy to underestimate just how talented he is as a comedian, broadcaster and a writer . . . [the diaries] are just too good and he is too modest
SUNDAY EXPRESS on THE PYTHON YEARS
Delightful and often extraordinarily funny . . . An entertaining and at times deeply moving read
MAIL ON SUNDAY on THE PYTHON YEARS
If anyone writes a diary purely for the joy of it, it is Michael Palin . . . This combination of niceness, with his natural volubility, creates Palin's expansiveness
THE TIMES on THE PYTHON YEARS
Palin reminds me of Samuel Johnson: driven, intellectually formidable, and spurred on by self-reproach and the wholly irrational idea that he's not really getting on with it . . . Palin is a seriously good writer. These diaries are full of fine phrases and sharp little sketches of scenes
DAILY MAIL on HALFWAY TO HOLLYWOOD
His entries are riddled with the astute wit and generosity of spirit that characterise both his performances and his previously published writing
TIME OUT on HALFWAY TO HOLLYWOOD
It's clear why Cleese later nominated Palin as his luxury item on Desert Island Discs . . . he makes such unfailingly good company . . . this is the agreeably written story of how a former Python laid the foundation stone by which he would reinvent himself as a public institution: the People's Palin
GUARDIAN on HALFWAY TO HOLLYWOOD
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
SUNDAY TIMES on TRAVELLING TO WORK
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
SUNDAY EXPRESS on TRAVELLING TO WORK
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
EVENING STANDARD on TRAVELLING TO WORK