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Michael Palin - Author

About the Author

Michael Palin 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, an award-winning performance as the hapless Ken in A FISH CALLED WANDA and, more recently, 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.

He has written books to accompany his six very successful travel series, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, POLE TO POLE, FULL CIRCLE, HEMINGWAY ADVENTURE, SAHARA and HIMALAYA. He is also the author of a number of children's stories, the play THE WEEKEND and the novel HEMINGWAY'S CHAIR.

Featured books by Michael Palin

Travelling to Work Diaries 1988-1998

Travelling to Work Diaries 1988-1998

Author: Michael Palin Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/09/2014

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, had 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 work-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 fans.

Brazil

Brazil

Author: Michael Palin Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2013

Brazil is one of the four new global super powers with its vast natural resources and burgeoning industries. Half a continent in size and a potent mix of races, religions and cultures, of unexplored wildernesses and bustling modern cities, it is also one of the few countries Michael Palin has never fully travelled. With the next Olympics to be held in Rio in 2016 and the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, international attention will be on the country as never before. Michael Palin's timely book and series take a closer look at a remarkable new force on the world scene.

ebook of the month

Other books by Michael Palin

North Korea Journal

North Korea Journal

Author: Michael Palin Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 19/09/2019

THE BOOK BEHIND THE HIT DOCUMENTARY A glimpse of life inside the world's most secretive country, as told by Britain's best-loved travel writer. In May 2018, former Monty Python stalwart and intrepid globetrotter Michael Palin spent two weeks in the notoriously secretive Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a cut-off land without internet or phone signal, where the countryside has barely moved beyond a centuries-old peasant economy but where the cities have gleaming skyscrapers and luxurious underground train stations. His resulting documentary for Channel 5 was widely acclaimed. Now he shares his day-by-day diary of his visit, in which he describes not only what he saw - and his fleeting views of what the authorities didn't want him to see - but recounts the conversations he had with the country's inhabitants, talks candidly about his encounters with officialdom, and records his musings about a land wholly unlike any other he has ever visited - one that inspires fascination and fear in equal measure. Written with Palin's trademark warmth and wit, and illustrated with beautiful colour photographs throughout, the journal offers a rare insight into the North Korea behind the headlines.

North Korea Journal

North Korea Journal

Author: Michael Palin Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/09/2019

THE BOOK BEHIND THE HIT DOCUMENTARY A glimpse of life inside the world's most secretive country, as told by Britain's best-loved travel writer. In May 2018, former Monty Python stalwart and intrepid globetrotter Michael Palin spent two weeks in the notoriously secretive Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a cut-off land without internet or phone signal, where the countryside has barely moved beyond a centuries-old peasant economy but where the cities have gleaming skyscrapers and luxurious underground train stations. His resulting documentary for Channel 5 was widely acclaimed. Now he shares his day-by-day diary of his visit, in which he describes not only what he saw - and his fleeting views of what the authorities didn't want him to see - but recounts the conversations he had with the country's inhabitants, talks candidly about his encounters with officialdom, and records his musings about a land wholly unlike any other he has ever visited - one that inspires fascination and fear in equal measure. Written with Palin's trademark warmth and wit, and illustrated with beautiful colour photographs throughout, the journal offers a rare insight into the North Korea behind the headlines.

Erebus: The Story of a Ship

Erebus: The Story of a Ship

Author: Michael Palin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/05/2019

NOW AVAILABLE: Michael Palin's North Korea Journal THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER In the early years of Queen Victoria's reign, HMS Erebus undertook two of the most ambitious naval expeditions of all time. On the first, she ventured further south than any human had ever been. On the second, she vanished with her 129-strong crew in the wastes of the Canadian Arctic. Her fate remained a mystery for over 160 years. Then, in 2014, she was found. This is her story. _______________ BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK 'Beyond terrific . . . I didn't want it to end.' Bill Bryson 'Illuminated by flashes of gentle wit . . . It's a fascinating story that [Palin] brings full-bloodedly to life.' Guardian 'This is an incredible book . . . The Erebus story is the Arctic epic we've all been waiting for.' Nicholas Crane 'Thoroughly absorbs the reader. . . Carefully researched and well-crafted, it brings the story of a ship vividly to life.' Sunday Times 'A great story . . . Told in a very relaxed and sometimes - as you might expect - very funny Palin style.' David Baddiel, Daily Mail 'Magisterial . . . Brings energy, wit and humanity to a story that has never ceased to tantalise people since the 1840s.' The Times

Clangers: The Story Collection

Clangers: The Story Collection

Author: Michael Palin Format: eBook Release Date: 27/09/2018

Penguin presents Clangers: The Story Collection read by Michael Palin Lets go down to the Clangers planet and see whats going on ... Join Small, Tiny, Mother, Major and Granny Clanger as they explore their tuneful planet under the stars. Includes twenty exciting stories with music and special effects from the Clangers TV series. Stories include: The Golden Planet, Baby Soup Clanger, Dragon Day and Tinys Lullaby.

Erebus: The Story of a Ship

Erebus: The Story of a Ship

Author: Michael Palin Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 20/09/2018

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Erebus, written and read by Michael Palin. In September 2014 the wreck of a sailing vessel was discovered at the bottom of the sea in the frozen wastes of the Canadian Arctic. It was broken at the stern and covered in a woolly coat of underwater vegetation. Its whereabouts had been a mystery for over a century and a half. Its name was HMS Erebus. Now Michael Palin - former Monty Python stalwart and much-loved television globetrotter - brings this extraordinary ship back to life, following it from its launch in 1826 to the epic voyages of discovery that led to glory in the Antarctic and to ultimate catastrophe in the Arctic. He explores the intertwined careers of the men who shared its journeys: the dashing James Clark Ross who charted much of the 'Great Southern Barrier' and oversaw some of the earliest scientific experiments to be conducted there; and the troubled John Franklin, who at the age of sixty and after a chequered career, commanded the ship on its final, disastrous expedition. And he vividly recounts the experiences of the men who first stepped ashore on Antarctica's Victoria Land, and those who, just a few years later, froze to death one by one in the Arctic wastes as rescue missions desperately tried to reach them. To help tell the story, he has travelled to various locations across the world - Tasmania, the Falklands, the Canadian Arctic - to search for local information, and to experience at first hand the terrain and the conditions that would have confronted the Erebus and her crew. Illustrated with maps, paintings and engravings, this is a wonderfully evocative and epic account, written by a master explorer and storyteller.

Erebus: The Story of a Ship

Erebus: The Story of a Ship

Author: Michael Palin Format: eBook Release Date: 20/09/2018

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Erebus, written and read by Michael Palin. In September 2014 the wreck of a sailing vessel was discovered at the bottom of the sea in the frozen wastes of the Canadian Arctic. It was broken at the stern and covered in a woolly coat of underwater vegetation. Its whereabouts had been a mystery for over a century and a half. Its name was HMS Erebus.Now Michael Palin - former Monty Python stalwart and much-loved television globetrotter - brings this extraordinary ship back to life, following it from its launch in 1826 to the epic voyages of discovery that led to glory in the Antarctic and to ultimate catastrophe in the Arctic. He explores the intertwined careers of the men who shared its journeys: the dashing James Clark Ross who charted much of the 'Great Southern Barrier' and oversaw some of the earliest scientific experiments to be conducted there; and the troubled John Franklin, who at the age of sixty and after a chequered career, commanded the ship on its final, disastrous expedition. And he vividly recounts the experiences of the men who first stepped ashore on Antarctica's Victoria Land, and those who, just a few years later, froze to death one by one in the Arctic wastes as rescue missions desperately tried to reach them.To help tell the story, he has travelled to various locations across the world - Tasmania, the Falklands, the Canadian Arctic - to search for local information, and to experience at first hand the terrain and the conditions that would have confronted the Erebus and her crew.

A Sackful of Limericks

A Sackful of Limericks

Author: Michael Palin Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/10/2016

If you've ever wondered what happened to the young fellow from Malta who bought his grandfather an altar... If you're concerned about the camper called Jack who found a huge snake in his pack... And if you suspect that an eccentric landowner called Grey spent Christmas a very strange way but aren't sure precisely what that entailed... Then a dip into Michael Palin's Sackful of Limericks will provide all the answers - and a lot of fun besides.

Complete Michael Palin Diaries

Complete Michael Palin Diaries

Author: Michael Palin Format: eBook Release Date: 10/12/2015

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.

The Complete Michael Palin Diaries

The Complete Michael Palin Diaries

Author: Michael Palin Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 05/11/2015

All three of Michael Palin's bestselling diaries, covering 30 years from 1969 to 1998. Throughout his years in Monty Python, his many successful film appearances, the writing of his novels and his travels to all corners of the globe, there was one constant in Michael Palin's life: the daily ritual of writing in his diary. Now, for the first time, the complete diaries have been brought together, charting Michael's highs and lows, and studded with his hallmarks of curiosity and sense of adventure. Volume one begins 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. Volume two follows his trail through seven movies and ends with his final preparations for the documentary that was to change his life - Around the World in Eighty Days. And volume three tracks his journeys to far-flung places, not to mention more films, award-winning TV roles and a first novel. 'Palin shows himself in these diaries to be an acute observer as well as a champion curator of an anecdote' Sunday Times

Travelling to Work Diaries 1988-1998

Travelling to Work Diaries 1988-1998

Author: Michael Palin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/09/2015

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.

The Golden Age of Railway Posters

The Golden Age of Railway Posters

Author: Michael Palin Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/05/2015

Few sights can reawaken memories of happy holidays of yesteryear as vividly as the superb railway posters that were so much a part of the great age of mass rail travel. Between the 1930s and 1950s - regarded by many as the heyday of advertising graphic art - a huge range of posters appeared, bearing slogans proclaiming the attractions of such resorts as 'Weston-super-Mare - in Smiling Somerset', and presenting a colourful picture of Britain at its best. Through images as diverse as bustling cities, scenes of rural tranquility and majestic mountain landscapes they offer an escapist paradise, where appealingly uncrowded beaches basking in permanent sunshine are just a train journey away. This beautiful collection includes over 80 vintage posters from the 30s, 40s and 50s, with individual poster captions describing the artists and locations depicted. Michael Pailin recaptures the spirit of the great days of railway holidays and train excursions in his entertaining introduction - an era that is both within living memory and yet part of a bygone age.

The Python Years Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One

The Python Years Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One

Author: Michael Palin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/09/2014

Michael Palin's bestselling diaries before, during and after Monty Python. 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.

Monty Python at Work

Monty Python at Work

Author: Michael Palin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/05/2014

Drawn from his published diaries, this is Michael Palin's account of the making of the Monty Python TV and stage shows, films, books and albums. Monty Python at Work opens on 8th July 1969 with Michael Palin's diary entry for the first day of filming on the very first episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus. The diary entries that follow - up until the opening of their final feature film, The Meaning of Life, in 1983 - chart the tumultuous story of how the now famous shows and films were conceived and brought to fruition. Palin records the evolution of Monty Python's comic style, the moments of creative inspiration as well as discord, the persistent self-doubt, and the happy accidents that shaped what are now classic comedy moments. He captures too the group's many anarchic exploits (John Cleese in a bikini; driving a Budget Rent-a-Van up Glencoe in full chainmail; filming 'Scott of the Sahara' on the beach at Torquay - ), as well as their battles with BBC suits, budget-conscious film producers and self-appointed censors. Thanks to Palin's as-it-happened accounts, we are taken behind the scenes to watch with unrivalled intimacy the creative processes that led to the finished work, seeing how it was actually put together. By distilling everything about the Pythons at work, this edition of Palin's diaries serves as an intimate guide to the legendary shows, films, books and albums. It will delight Python fans everywhere, and be a source of instruction and inspiration to those who seek to follow in their footsteps. 'No writer-performer has combined professional hilarity and personal sanity more successfully than Michael Palin. Anyone interested in how comedy happens should hang on his every word.' David Mitchell

Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years

Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years

Author: Michael Palin Format: eBook Release Date: 04/09/2007

Michael Palin's diaries begin in the late 1960s when he began writing for hugely popular programs. He recounts how Monty Python emerged and triumphed. From the success and cult status brought by Monty Python, Palin shares stories from their world tours, their stay at hotels recently trashed by Led Zeppelin, their battles over censorship, and how individually the Pythons went their separate ways. Yet at the same time they were working on the now celebrated series of films, including The Holy Grail, many of whose lines are known by heart to a considerable portion of the English-speaking world. The birth and childhood of his three children, learning to cope as a young man with celebrity, his friendship with George Harrison, and all the trials of a peripatetic life are also essential ingredients of these diaries. A perceptive and funny chronicle, the diaries are a rich portrait of a fascinating period.

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https://www.palinstravels.co.uk/

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