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Pole To Pole [Paperback]

Michael Palin
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 Mar 2009

'The cracked and fissured ice-pack offers no comfortable reassurance - no glimmer of any reward to the traveller who has made his way to the top of the world. The Arctic Ocean, known to the Victorians as the Sea of Ancient Ice, stares balefully back as we descend towards it, reflecting nothing but the question: Why?'

Michael Palin's adventure begins when he is enrolled in the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society...

Travelling by train, truck, raft, Ski-Doo, barge, balloon and bicycle, Michael Palin experiences every extreme the world has to offer. Braving the cold grip of the Arctic Circle, and the swirling snowstorms of Spitsbergen, Palin has to cope with friendly locals, occasional gunfire and his own unruly digestive system before he can finally stand in Scott's shoes at the South Pole, in the Land of the Midnight Sun.


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Pole To Pole + Around The World In Eighty Days + Full Circle
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (5 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753823268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753823262
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 310,905 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

Amazon Review

Having circumnavigated the globe from west to east in Around the World in 80 Days, Michael Palin proceeded to stretch even his endurance with his next journey, travelling due south from the North Pole, arriving five months later at the southernmost point of the globe, the South Pole. The result is Pole to Pole, Palin's account of his extraordinary journey between July and December 1991, passing through 17 countries from Greenland and the former Soviet Union in the north to Kenya, South Africa and Chile in the south.

From the frozen wastes of both poles, to the scorching heat of Africa, Pole to Pole is a travelogue of bizarre extremes. Palin revels in the surrealism of it all as he travels through a range of vastly different European and African communities undergoing massive social and political upheavals in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Palin's shrewd observations are as ever interspersed with his eye for the weird and the comical, as he meets Santa Claus and Lenin, goes shopping for camels in Omdurman, and makes a final hectic dash to the South Pole via Chile. It's all quite exhausting! --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

No.1 bestseller Michael Palin's epic journey from the North Pole to the South Pole.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes Pole Position. 19 July 2006
Format:DVD
'Pole To Pole' is yet another fantastic documentary from Michael Palin and an excellent follow-up to 'Around The World In 80 Days.' It appeared at first difficult to see how a sequel would work, after the first '80 Days' series, but with his now well known format, Palin carved another enjoyable adventure out of what already seemed a difficult journey.

'Pole To Pole' does not have the same sense of deadline or urgency as '80 Days', but this is entirely self-explanatory, since the former was set around the travels of fictional Verne adventurer Fogg, who did in the book travel the world in that specific time. This time round, Palin does have the opportunity to spend more time on the places he thinks would be of most interest to the viewer, and the parts in Africa are especially captivating. Filmed during the famine and millitary oppression that still haunts Africa to this day, it is a clear and at some times brutal account of life in poverty stricken Africa.

This journey takes quite some time longer to complete than '80 Days' which is not surprising since they chose to follow the thirty degree longitude line in order to cover the most amount of land; and there is a great deal in this DVD. It was recorded in 1991, a year that saw a lot of change across the world, from Russia to Africa, and Palin brushes with this change and its effects on the people with his usual light hearted humour and optimism.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up one Pole then another 17 Mar 2004
By metacritic VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
The second in the excellent Palin travel series, where Michael's off on another globe trotting adventure.
Inspirational and simplicity in itself: Michael this time sets out to journey from the North Pole to the South Pole following as closely as possible the 30 degree longitude line, without resorting to air travel until absolutely necessary. Well that's it in theory anyway!
The series is filmed in the excellent spontaneous fashion of 'Around the world', which adds a genuine touch of realism which is often missing from many documentary series. Follow Michael on his journey through 17 countries experiencing many cultures and traditions along the way, as well witnessing some major historical events unfolding such as the fall of the Soviet Union and the abolition of apartheid.
This adventure does not quite surpass around the world perhaps, but none the less is avid viewing. Michael as ever is in top form with his excellent witticisms at just the right moments, as well as his uncanny knack of mixing so well with people of all nationalities and backgrounds. Relive Michael and his team's trials and tribulations as they battle ever on against various obstacles to complete this colourful journey.
The series could almost be used as a modern history study due to the sheer momentum of events which took place in the countries they had travelled through. If only all learning was this much fun!
The Series is filmed as eight 50 minute episodes spread across 3 DVD discs with a post filming interview with Michael. Each episode is very nicely chaptered at the key scenes as well as an overall scene selection for all episodes on each disc. The picture quality is excellent, shame it is only presented in 4:3 aspect ratio rather than perhaps a wide screen format (but this is just a minor gripe). This really is an excellent accompaniment to 'Around the world', do your self a big favour and buy it!!! This is one you can watch many, many times.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely Funny, but Infomative too 5 May 2005
Format:Paperback
Pole to Pole, by Michael Palin is more of a adventure book than a travel guide mainly because of the fact that it was filmed and written around 15 years ago. The thing about Michael Palin is that he writes like an average adventurer, not a snobbish 'I am better than you' adventurer. That, along with the fact that he always tells the truth about the countries and places he visits, and the fact that he uses humour to describe mix-ups, and confusion, makes his books so enjoyable to read. Just in case you are wondering, Pole to Pole is from the North Pole to, well, the South Pole, going through 17 countries (there was still the Soviet Union at this time) and taking various types of public transport.
Pole to Pole is the second book in the trilogy that consists of 'Around the World in 80 days', 'Pole to Pole' and 'Full circle'. All three are interesting, vibrantly discribed, and written with the right amount of humour (not too much, but not too little)
This is a good travel/adventure book, and for a relatively low price too. You should buy this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pack up your case and of you go 15 Mar 2004
Format:DVD
This is yet another amazing series by Palin, he set the standards in around the worldin 80 days and the bbc sent him pole to pole. Some of the characters he meets are amazing and he puts passion and emotion in many a scene. He dosen't just bring the world to you he brings its friendly people to our screens something that today isn't exactly the first thing people think of those abroad.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars North Pole to South Pole via Africa 23 Jan 2006
Format:DVD
This review is based on watching the DVD version of "Pole to Pole", the BBC TV program made in 1991 that showed Michael Palin traveling from the North Pole to the South Pole.
The trip was based on several self-imposed rules. The use of aircraft was only allowed when surface travel was not possible, and public transportation was used as much as possible. The trip attempted to follow the 30 degree east longitude line, down through Scandinavia, the then-existing USSR, Turkey and all the way down through the continent of Africa.
The trip took five months and was quite arduous at times. Transportation was almost non-existent in central Africa, parts of Africa had to be avoided due to civil war and Michael Palin was hit by several health problems including two cracked ribs.
The wonderful thing about Michael Palin's travelogues is the enthusiasm, wit and charm that Mr. Palin shows. There are many impromptu encounters with the local people that are humorous and interesting. And, of course, there's the beautiful photography showing the stunning nature that was found along the way.
On the down side it was depressing to see the poverty and hints of political repression and social unrest in parts of Africa. The AIDS epidemic in Africa was also mentioned, and Michael Palin visited an evacuated village near Chernobyl.
This trip was made in 1991 and already when the trip was over world history had changed the landscape, in that the USSR completely unraveled shortly after Michael Palin traveled through it. The years that have passed since 1991 can be noticed in other ways too. For example, the situation in most of Africa has unfortunately gotten worse rather than better.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth owning
A little dated but entertaining and informative
Published 19 days ago by D. C. Raithby
5.0 out of 5 stars Pole to Pole
Excellent book, well written and the reader is also pulled into every mile of the journey with Michael and his crew.
Published 27 days ago by Peter Sheldon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 1 month ago by graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book to go with the dvd
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Alastair Burnett
5.0 out of 5 stars good to watch
my sister loved it, well worth the money
Published 2 months ago by roy boy
5.0 out of 5 stars book
give me a chance i have not had time to read it yet,can only go by tv prog! ! !
Published 6 months ago by red
5.0 out of 5 stars One to collect
This was bought to replace an old video tape which didn't play properly. Am a great Michael Palin fan. Thanks.
Published 6 months ago by Margaret Mills
5.0 out of 5 stars top
Good DVD. Michael Palin is one of the best I will watch it again and again, I have a few more of his
Published 8 months ago by Stephen Yates
5.0 out of 5 stars Master story teller
Great to see the whole journey without breaks for adverts. Made us want to rush to the travel agent again.
Published 8 months ago by L G LOVEDAY
5.0 out of 5 stars Sort of enjoyed this!
I sort of enjoyed this DVD though I would have found the journey Michael Palin took rather stressful. Traveling in underdeveloped countries would not be something I would enjoy. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Rose
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