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Travelling to Work

Travelling to Work

TRAVELLING TO WORK is the third volume of Michael Palin’s widely acclaimed diaries. After the Python years and a decade of filming, writing and acting, Palin’s career takes an unexpected direction into travel, which will shape his working life for the next 25 years. Yet, as the diaries reveal, he remained ferociously busy on a host of other projects throughout this whirlwind period.

TRAVELLING TO WORK opens in September 1988 with Michael travelling down the Adriatic on the first leg of a modern-day AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. He was not the BBC’s first choice for the series, but after its success and that of the accompanying book the public naturally wanted more. Palin, though, has other plans. Following the tumultuous success of A FISH CALLED WANDA, he is in demand as an actor. His next film, AMERICAN FRIENDS, is based on his great-grandfather’s diaries. Next he takes on his most demanding role as the head teacher in Alan Bleasdale’s award-winning drama series GBH. There is also his West End play, THE WEEKEND, and a first novel, HEMINGWAY’S CHAIR, and a lead role in FIERCE CREATURES, the much-delayed follow-up to WANDA. Michael describes himself as ‘drawn to risk like a moth to a flame. Someone grounded and safe who can be tempted into almost anything.’ He duly finds time for two more travel series, POLE TO POLE in 1991, FULL CIRCLE in 1996, and two more bestselling books to accompany them.

These latest Diaries show a man grasping every opportunity that came his way, and they deal candidly with the doubts and setbacks that accompany this prodigious word-rate. As ever, his family life, with three children growing up fast, is there to anchor him.


TRAVELLING TO WORK is a roller-coaster ride driven by the Palin hallmarks of curiosity and sense of adventure. These ten years in different directions offer riches on every page to his ever-growing army of readers.

Unabridged edition, written and read by Michael Palin

(p) 2014 Orion Publishing Group
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Genre: Biography & True Stories / Diaries, Letters & Journals

On Sale: 11th September 2014

Price: £25

ISBN-13: 9781409150039

Reviews

This amiable, intelligent record has a cumulative appeal
Christopher Hirst, INDEPENDENT
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
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
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 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
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
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