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Travelling to Work Diaries 1988-1998 by Michael Palin
  

Travelling to Work Diaries 1988-1998

Biography / Autobiography   

RRP £25.00

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Sue Baker's view...

The third volume of Michael Palin’s diaries taking in the years 1988-1998, a period of huge change as he stumbled upon a whole new area of interest – travel. The TV programmes and books based on his journeys were an instant hit and he had then to find the time to take on new journeys, fitting in the gruelling journeys around an ever increasing schedule.

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Who is Sue Baker

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. As he begins his third volume of entertaining diaries, Michael Palin is on the cusp of a new career presenting travel programmes. He relishes such serendipity saying ‘As soon as life becomes predictable I hop off to one side, lured by whatever it is I’ve never done before.’ Riding high on the success of film A Fish Called Wanda, Palin is in demand and, although travel documentaries will occupy his principal focus for the next twenty-five years, he remains busy with many other projects including his first West End play, as his honest and forthright diaries reveal. In the midst of all this, family life remains his anchor, but the abiding impression one gets is of a man grasping every chance to try something new. His exploits are all chronicled with humour and admirable candour in what he calls a ‘rough-and-ready on-the-spot account of a fundamentally wary and conservative soul drawn to risk like a moth to a flame.’
~ Amanda Hodges

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Synopsis

Travelling to Work Diaries 1988-1998 by Michael Palin

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.

Reviews

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 THE 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


About the Author

Michael Palin

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

11th September 2014

Author

Michael Palin

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Author's Website

www.palinstravels.co.uk/

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Publisher

Weidenfeld & Nicolson an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Hardback
592 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography

Autobiography: arts & entertainment
Television
Individual actors & performers
Diaries, letters & journals

ISBN

9780297844419

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