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The Pythons' Autobiography By The Pythons [Hardcover]

Graham Chapman (Estate) , John Cleese , Terry Gilliam , Eric Idle , Terry Jones , Michael Palin , Bob McCabe
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
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Hardcover 9.99  
Hardcover, 21 Oct 2004 14.24  
Paperback 8.57  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged 9.99  

Book Description

21 Oct 2004

For the first time all surviving Pythons have agreed to create the definitive story of Monty Python's Flying Circus and the 'genius' who created it.

Over thirty years ago, a group of five Englishmen - and one wayward American - rewrote the rules of comedy. Monty Python's Flying Circus, an unheralded, previously unseen half-hour show of sketches, hilarities, inanities and animations, first appeared on the BBC late one night in 1969. Its impact has been felt on the world ever since. From its humble beginnings, it blossomed into the most influential movement in modern comedy.

THE PYTHONS' AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE PYTHONS is a unique look at arguably the most important comic team of the modern age, lavishly illustrated with 1000 photographs, many culled from the team's own personal collections, many more seen for the first time. This is the definitive word on all things Pythonesque.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (21 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752852426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752852423
  • Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 20.8 x 25.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 942,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


The Python's autobiography demonstrates the virtues of oral over written material. (THE HERALD) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

In the style of The Beatles Anthology, this is the definitive, the official, the most lavish, the completely-different-to-anything-done-before-book on The Pythons' Autobiography of the Pythons.

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Michael would have been the first Python I ever met, although I didn't know it at the time. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed. Reviews shown are from other formats of this item.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Over the years, Monty Python's Flying Circus has been elevated to a stellar status far beyond the expectations of its creators. Much of that has been achieved through continuing popularity with Americans, who didn't start to get the joke until long after the final TV episode had been screened here in the UK. And even the Pythons themselves do not quite realise their impact on the world: on this CD, Michael Palin talks about the creation of the 'Spam' sketch and the bizarre injection of some Vikings into the scene, with no inkling of the significance of spam in today's Internet world.
If you don't know Monty Python's humour, this is not the place to start. Go and buy 'Another Monty Python Record' on CD, or 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' on DVD.
This double-CD set is aimed at Python completists, and anyone interested in how great creative teams come together, get their ideas and work together. There's nothing here that isn't also in the bumper coffee-table book of the same name, which also has many magnificent, previously unseen photos. But on this CD, you get the Pythons' own voices, so it's more intimate, and the format enables those of us who spend more time in the car than reading books, to absorb some of the material.
Sound quality is variable. Michael Palin is very clear, though the interview is frequently interrupted by phone calls (presumably from BBC producers wanting to send him off to the Amazon). At the other end of the sonic scale, John Cleese is inteviewed in what seems to be a cavern, about 30 feet from a puny microphone, and his cutlery is sometimes more audible than his voice. Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones come somewhere in between.
All the contributors put some effort into dredging up memories from the distant past, i.e. 1960s and earlier.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Python Radio 15 Oct 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Like the book with same name, the audio version of "The Pythons Autobiography by The Pythons" is a delight for Monty Python fans. It's really like listening to a big radio show where the Pythons tell all the story in their own words, with the writer Bob McCabe, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam popping up between Python interviews and sound clips of sketches and movies to comment on what we're hearing. It's not pure comedy - there are funny moments in the interviews, but the Pythons talk seriously about their work and life. A very original and unique audiobook.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six autobiographies rolled neatly into one 18 Sep 2007
By Mr. Stuart Bruce TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
The only book about Monty Python you'll ever need- six autobiographies rolled into one, great value, insightful, funny and very readable.

It tells the story of each of the Pythons in roughly chronological order, from their childhood and growing up to their first comedy work, then how Python formed, then how it fell apart. It does this solely using the Python's own words from new and in-depth interviews with each one,or in Graham Chapman's case (what with him being dead), quotes from his previous autobiography and interviews with his long-term partner and his brother. It makes sense without any words, apart from a foreword, from Bob McCabe who has done an excellent job of compiling and ordering everything.

If I had to criticise I would say that the pre-Python school days and revue days sections are possibly a little too long, and the post-Python "what happened next?" section is too short- not even a tiny biography of what each of the Pythons has been up to solo.

Don't buy this book expecting it to contain unpublished sketches or alternative punchlines or anything like that (like a reviewer below seems to have done). There are a few anecdotes but there aren't any gags, as such. But if like me you think Monty Python's Flying Circus and their films are some of the funniest TV shows and films ever made, then this is a great in-depth insight into how it all came to be.
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