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Sahara by Michael Palin


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The thought of travelling across the Sahara is not the most appealing; sand, sand and more sand comes to mind but as usual Michael Plain manages to find the weird and wonderful as he makes the journey in extremes of temperature and through gruelling terrain. Filled with wonderful photos of the journey from photographer Basil Pao, this is a far easier way of experiencing one of the harshest places on earth.

If you like Michael Palin you might also like to read books by Justin Cartwright, John Banville and Michael Frayn.


Sahara by Michael Palin

Michael Palin's epic voyages have seen him circumnavigate the globe, travel from the North to the South Pole and circle the countries of the Pacific Ocean, but this was perhaps the greatest challenge yet: to cross the vast and merciless Sahara desert.

As the journey unfolds, the Sahara reveals not the emptiness of endless sand dunes, but a huge and diverse range of cultures and landscapes and a long history of commerce and conquest stretching from the time of the ancient Egyptians to the oil-rich Islamic republics of today.

On his way, he encounters dangers such as camel stew, being run over by the Paris-Dakar rally and Dakar nightlife, as well as returning to the original spot where THE LIFE OF BRIAN was filmed.


'One of the most fascinating aspects of his account is the range of cultures that have left their mark on the area, from Roman amphitheatres to enormous natural gas pipelines, and from mud-brick mosques to French railway stations. Palin's brisk, wry narrative also includes stunning photographs by Basil Pao.'

/10/03) 'Entertaining account of Michael Palin's journey across the Sahara that ties in with the TV series'. WOMAN & HOME (October 2003) '... an epic voyage that uncovers a surprisingly large and diverse range of cultures and memerising landscapes... Sahara is a witty insight into this fascinating region. The sardonic humour of his Monty Python days stays with him throughout the trip and helps to provide a refreshingly alternative view of this alluring part of the world. If you've enjoyed Palin's other books you'll love this. And if you haven't, make Sahara your first introduction to his writing.

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

18th September 2003


Michael Palin

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Orion Publishing Co


272 pages


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