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New Europe [Hardcover]

Michael Palin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Sep 2007
Until the early 1990s, when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, travelling behind the iron curtain was never easy. In undertaking his new journey through Eastern Europe, breathing in its rich history, filming its exquisite sights and talking to its diverse peoples, Michael fills what has been a void in his own experience and that of very many of his own generation. As in all his series, Palin's New Europe takes the form of a journey through countries which have rich and complex cultures. Few have survived intact, as the ebb and flow of warring armies has continually changed the map of Europe. Starting in the mountains of Slovenia he travels down through Croatia and the former Yugoslavia to Albania before turning northwards to embrace Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, The Ukraine, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, the former East Germany, Poland, the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad (as Konigsberg originally home to the Teutonic Knights), Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, opening up a new and undiscovered world to millions of viewers and readers.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; First edition edition (5 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297844490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297844495
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 26.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 348,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Palin established his reputation with Monty Python's Flying Circus and the 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 very successful travel series, Around the world in 80 days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Hemingway Adventure, Sahara, Himalaya and New Europe. He is also the author of a number of children's stories, the play The Weekend and the novel Hemingway's Chair.

Product Description

Book Description

No. 1 bestseller and superstar doing what he does best, introducing millions of avid readers to little-known peoples and places. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Michael Palin established his reputation with MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS and RIPPING YARNS. A self-confessed dromomaniac (travel addict), he has written books to accompany his six very successful travel series, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (1988), POLE TO POLE (1991), FULL CIRCLE (1995), HEMINGWAY ADVENTURE (1999), SAHARA (2001) and HIMALAYA (2003), the last three published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. HIMALAYA was the No 1 bestseller for 11 consecutive weeks.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle tour of Eastern Europe 20 Sep 2007
By Sally Wilton VINE VOICE
I was lucky enough to have bought this at a book signing by the ever genial Michael Palin. Have had a good look through this book and was pleased he has covered many of the places I have visited. The great thing about this book is that it is packed with fabulous photos of places making one wish to visit them asap.

Lots of explanations about the recent history of these countries and a book well worth having for reference as well as pleasure. Good value at the moment from Amazon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable jaunt 8 July 2008
Michael Palin is cool. I really like him. A lot of people find him a bit too eager to play the fool but this is nonsense because he's just great. Anyway what do you expect from a member of the Python team?

This book is a very enjoyable journey through the former Soviet bloc countries of Eastern Europe. If you watch the accompanying TV series at the same time then it becomes even more enjoyable as the book contains material that the TV programme doesn't and vice versa.

On the one hand this book is really rather superficial. You never really get to know a great deal about any of the countries that Palin visits. This is made up for by some of the interesting places he goes to and people he meets. If you are after a detailed description of what Eastern Europe is like today and what the fall of Communism has mean't you won't find it here. What you will find is plenty of inspiration to go and have a look for yourself. I certainly now have a hankering for Budapest.

I've watched Palin's other TV series but this is the first time I've read one of his books. While it was very enjoyable I still can't get over a feeling of jealousy. I'd love to go to these places. This feeling is only compounded when he says something like "I meet my friend Misha who shows me round..." This last point is surely a criticism of myself rather than the book. Maybe I'll get round to visiting some more places in Eastern Europe later in my life.

The photos in the book are excellent and appear at least once every two pages.

The only big disappointment I have is that Palin deals with some countries only very briefly. I really wanted to know more about Slovakia and he never visited Belarus at all.

Overall this is a great book for getting away from your usual humdrum and travelling by proxy. It's a really enjoyable and easy read. Maybe I'll buy some of his other books and watch his previous series again.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By E. Heckingbottom TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a fantastic book! My copy spent many weeks in the classroom (school is my postal address!), where it is attracting the attention of several of my class of 10 & 11 year olds - showing that it has an appeal to all ages. Geography and literacy covered in one fell sweep!!!

I have been totally engrossed in this series - so much so that I was thrilled to receive the DVDs for Christmas this year; however, I have to say that the book is even better! There is so much more in it - so much insight into a changing world - and the photos are amazing as he travels through the former Yugoslavia and on into much of Eastern Europe.

Although some of the places that he visits are places that I know - and some are places that family and friends have visited, the majority of the places that he visits are places that I have never been to - but this book has increased my urge to travel to the parts of Europe that were formally virtually taboo - although I know only too well that I will never be able to experience half the things that Michael Palin has been fortunate enough to experience - he has the advantage of celebrity and the power of the BBC to help him - lucky thing!

Having said that, this book is a worthwhile addition to any personal library - and a terrific addition to any coffee table.

My only sadness is that Michael Palin has been reported as saying that this might be the last of his wonderful journeys. All I can say is - for the sake of those of us who have loved your insight into the rest of the world, PLEASE keep travelling, Michael!

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 14 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
my least favourite of Palin' s travel series
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5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF PALIN'S BEST 2 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This travelogue gave me a comprehensive update on this region,since I was there in 1988, as only Michael palin can do it !
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2.0 out of 5 stars After "Brazil", this is dissapointment 31 Mar 2014
By Nikola
I liked Palin's Brazil very much. It presented a country in very various and lively way, it made me start saving money for my next long vacation to be there - and not visit only Rio and Sao Paolo. So, I bought this one quickly after.

There are few problems with a book. As I lived in "New Europe", I presume is the first one. There is not much new revealed to me, and I don't think only of ex-Yugoslavia, but also of Bolgaria, Romania and Baltic country, which I have not visited yet. Despite being 120+ days around, he did not manage to show countries in interesting ways, as he did for Brazil.

Second problem is repetitiveness, especially from political point of view. Too much time is spent on stories about ex-communist countries, what people think now, how they feel about changes, etc.

And the third one is that some countries receive very little attention. Serbia, for example, is presented only through Belghrade, and even that on very short level.

Not sure I will be continuing with his other travel books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great fan 20 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My wife really likes Michal Palin on the tv and thought she would like the book to read and she really enjoyed it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
very enjoyable also a good book for youngsters to read and learn how other countries have survived horrible times in their history
Published 5 months ago by john fleming
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Every book I have read of Michael Palin has exceeded my expectations. Great read! Love it love it love it!
Published 10 months ago by Mandymoo
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Interesting Book
Having visited many of the places that Michael Palin takes you to in this book it is a good insight to life in Eastern Europe
Published 12 months ago by John Bartram
2.0 out of 5 stars Impersonal, disappointing
Travel books are about the traveller and their travels yet this book is truly superficial being more akin to a skim through an encyclopaedia. Read more
Published 16 months ago by R. Smallwood
4.0 out of 5 stars NEW EUROPE
Published 18 months ago by Donald Young
5.0 out of 5 stars new europe
another great book from the pen of michael palin.if you have read his other travel books then add this to your collection. Read more
Published on 8 Jan 2010 by roadrunner
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent description of Eastern Europe
excellent description of the eastern european countries -particularly liked the one on romania as i will be visiting that country - also the ctach up with Ilie Nastase . Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2009 by KRISHNA JAGA
5.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating insight
This book is a must for anyone who, like me, is visiting a new EU member country for the first time.
Published on 4 Aug 2009 by world traveller
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Palin's New Europe
Excellent report by the author of his travels through the newer countries of Europe, recounting his many conversations with the locals who have experienced many changes.
Published on 18 Jun 2009 by Old Rocker, Manchester
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