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The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One: The Python Years 1969-1979 [Paperback]

Michael Palin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 July 2007

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.

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The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One: The Python Years 1969-1979 + Halfway To Hollywood: Diaries 1980-1988 (Volume Two) + The Truth
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Product details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (5 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075382177X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753821770
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,668 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


"His warmth and capacity for joy are very appealing" -- Katie Owen, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

"a curiously fascinating pleasure" -- Nicola Barr, GUARDIAN

Book Description

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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not at all silly 25 Oct 2006
Perhaps the oddest thing about a book written by one of the foremost comedians of a generation is the lack of humour in it. But then, this was never designed to be a funny book. Rather it is the story, the journey, of how one of a group of six men became comedy icons, men who set a comedic standard that 30 years later is still to be transcended.

Comedy, we learn, is HARD WORK, not simply dashing off a sketch with a dead parrot in it and then settling back next to the pool, drinking Chateau de Chasselas and waiting for the bank to send a wheelbarrow full of money around. Rather, this book is about how the Pythons variously loved and hated each other, their doubts and egos, how they fought (and mostly, thankfully, won) their fights against censorship.

This is a diary, not a biography or a hagiography, and so we can take it as honest when Palin relates how, ten years after Python first came upon us, he still drives a Mini and how during a meal Eric Idle `reveals that three of the Pythons are broke` (although John Cleese has a `dirty Rolls`).

If you are looking for belly laughs, get a CD of Python. If you want to know about the egos and the alchoholism, the pain and the pleasure, buy this book. The book won`t make you laugh, but you may learn more about what makes Palin laugh. And what it cost him.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 6 Oct 2006
This book is wonderfully vivid and engrossing - unlike so many post-Python retrospectives, which can often seem either lifeless or over-eager to grind certain axes, this takes you back to when it all happened, and also provides all kinds of delightful and insightful anecdotes about Palin, his colleagues and his comedy.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gentle, pleasant read 20 Dec 2006
The 600 pages were apparently edited from about five times as much original material. I think the amount chosen for inclusion should perhaps have been reduced by about half again as there are many accounts of "Python" meetings and other business meetings. That said, the diaries make a gentle and pleasant read for anyone who was around during the Python years and has an interest in the making of Monty Python and other projects in which Palin was involved. There are some insights into the personalities of the Pythons and the stresses and conflicts which emerged in the years following their initial success. The book becomes more interesting as the years pass and some well-known non-Pythons like George Harrison become part of the story though the analysis of characters and current events never attains any depth. Palin comes across as a thoughtful, likeable man, who clearly makes a great deal of money during these years but for whom money is not the primary motivation. To sum up, the book is an enjoyable bed-time read, though not a book to return to once read.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 16 Nov 2006
some people will be moaning that the pages in this diary are not as funny as they were hoping for, simply because of the reason it was written by one of the greatest comedic group of all time.

But then again, what were they expecting? the very title, 'diaries 1969-1979 the python years doesnt exactly suggest this is simply a book about comedy. this book gives such a good insight into what not only made palin himself tick, but also how the pythons worked to become who they are.

they are after all his diaries, his personal thoughts.

as a fan of the pythons and especially michael palin, i love this book. i love being able get an insight into how human problems such as death of parents, and alcoholism have affected this super-human comedy group.

this is essential reading if you love the pythons, just dont be expecting belly laughs. it is after all his personal thoughts. hes not going to be writing in comedy script all the time is he.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Palin Diaries 5 Oct 2007
I feel I should start by saying I love Michael Palin's works, from film, TV to travel literature. That is why I feel slightly disappointed by his diaries. They were interesting for an insight into Python's workings and how Pailn worked during the seventies, but they did begin to drag awfully. There are only so many Python meetings, or film recordings one can read about before getting a little bored by them. Saying that, there are some fascinating anecdotes, as well as touching moments with his family. I especially liked when they climb up inside the Statue of Liberty and look forward to reaching her underwear! If you love Palin, or Python, then this book is worth a go, otherwise I'd say you could give it a miss and not worry too much.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 70's revisited 6 Dec 2006
I spent a while reading this book (I did read a couple books of fiction in between) but I felt that this was a very amenable way to get through these 600 pages. I enjoyed my revisit to the 70's which as a young adolescent went on pretty much unnoticed around me. I was astounded to read innocuous things (like 1st January not being a Bank Holiday, decimal currency, 90% tax etc) and loved this as a lightning stop tour of the 70's. I was genuinely moved by his descriptions of his ailing father and kept thinking of Mr Palin's own views on this as he approaches a similar age. Unfortunately the deep thoughts and feelings of Mr Palin are absent which I was disappointed by but at least this was consistent throughout. The lust for life exhibited by the author was inspirational and a good deal of it was very funny. Michael Palin would not want this to be an average Diaries and he has succeeded admirably. I will await the autobiography and 80's diaries with bated wallet.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 7 days ago by steve vaughan
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Of course the most interesting parts of these diaries are about the dynamics of the Python group, but it's quite touching to hear of Palin going about his every day life and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ms. Hr Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh and fascinate
As a Python fan for 40 + years this is the best chronology of the beginning, coupled with Michael Palin's insight into his personal life and family it simply makes for great... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Stuart Fairbairn
4.0 out of 5 stars No one expects the Spanish Inquistition
I will admit up front that celebrity diaries are not my favourite reading material. Before this I have only read one other celebrity diary, Kenneth Williams. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Christopher Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
This book is funny and insightful. Its more than just how python came into being, whats great about this book is you learn about Palins relationship with his friends and family... Read more
Published 12 months ago by K8 Willow
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I already had the book and ordered this for my kindle, it is an excellent read and a must for all Python fans.
Published 16 months ago by Mike Sturman
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
I am not a huge biography fan but this book in the form of a diary I found very readable. It was interesting to see how the things you know about people are all linked with little... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Duncan Reed
5.0 out of 5 stars great reading
brings back memories of growing up in the seventies. strikes, 3 day week, ira. shortages and the political up heaval of the time.
Published 16 months ago by Jollyjailer
3.0 out of 5 stars Bien
Totalmente recomendado.
No te arrepentirás de la compra.
El envío rápido y seguro por, solo tardo 3 días en llegar.
Published 18 months ago by Jolibud
5.0 out of 5 stars parrott
well how intersting..really enjoyed this book..full of amazing insights into a legend of comedy and would highly recommend to all and sundry
Published 18 months ago by andy docherty
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