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Travelling to Work: Diaries 1988-1998 (Palin Diaries 3) Hardcover – 11 Sep 2014

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Travelling to Work: Diaries 1988-1998 (Palin Diaries 3) + The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One (Palin Diaries 1) + Halfway To Hollywood: Diaries 1980-1988 (Volume Two) (Palin Diaries 2)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (11 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297844415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297844419
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Palin shows himself in these diaries to be an acute observer as well as a champion curator of an anecdote...the best sort of convivial read, like having a gossip with an old friend over a few drinks... Travelling to Work is a delight. It is a book you find yourself devouring in a great greedy session (Helen Davies THE SUNDAY TIMES)

Michael Palin introduces his splendid new volume of diaries by saying that he was juggling three careers during the decade it covers... the life it records is so phenomenally varied... How he finds time to update his diary is a mystery. Update it he does though and he does so with fluency, wit, glowing affability and lightning flashes of anger... Weaving between observation and introspection, he comes up with a pithy phrase to describe everything from a Suffolk sunset to the end of apartheid but he sparkles most brightly when evoking the speech and the personality of his associates (Nicholas Barber SUNDAY EXPRESS)

Filled with amusing and revealing anecdotes (like the time he discovered Cleese was writing jokes for the Dalai Lama). The book also charts Palin's reincarnation as a television adventurer and opens with him embarking on the filming of Around the World in 80 Days (Elizabeth Day OBSERVER FOOD MONTHLY)

This volume takes in a remarkably prolific period... As well as four BBC travel series not covered in depth since he has written separate books on them, the decade includes promotional work for A Fish Called Wanda; the making of Fierce Creatures, a sequel of sorts; the tortuous progress towards getting American Friends, a film about his great-grandfather, off the ground; a role in a Nora Ephron film (eventually left on the cutting-room floor); and a debut novel, Hemingway's Chair, written in only four months. There also frequent rows with the other Pythons about a reunion. As the book ends John Cleese is keen on them putting on a show at the Millennium Dome. It would take them another 15 years to do it (Patrick Kidd THE TIMES)

These diaries record an astonishingly successful career . . . Yet he never becomes objectionable; he always keeps that saving touch of everyman, if not quite Mr Pooter, a nobody . . . These diaries are remarkably good company, always dependable, never upsetting: safely enjoyable, page after page. And that's quite a triumph of tone (David Sexton EVENING STANDARD)

At first you think how lucky Palin is to be living his life. Then, gradually, you see the dark side. He connects with you in a lovely way, which is very calming (William Leith THE SPECTATOR Books of the Year)

Book Description

10 years in different directions. The third volume of Michael Palin's celebrated diaries.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. G. P. Shawcross on 29 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As others have said, a very entertaining read but there are also views into some of the darker moments in his life when he has lost some of those closest to him. I was fortunate in seeing his one man show about his travels at the Grand opera House in York last night. My ribs are still aching now and he really does come across as the nicest man in England (and how he hates being called that!).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By brian marlow on 31 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Palin's diaries are always disciplined.Descriptive.Sometimes the minutiae of life comes thro and you always get the sense of a lot of job writing connected to work going on without too much detail given,But his efforts at getting things right are palpable.A restless man with the ability to connect with people.But i imagine whilst polite he would press his views about a subject on those that know him.But no matter how entertaining his diaries are,it would be a mistake to think you know him from this diary.Does anyone know really about another person?A good and enjoyable read with sometimes his personal insights into those he meets and knows.He's successful at it, he touches a chord with a great many people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Martynrb on 16 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
I didn't want it to end! It's really hard to define - it's 'just' a diary, many of the entries are quite short and don't go into much depth, etc., etc. I don't think it's just that I'm a Palin fan, although if it had been written by someone I've never heard of it wouldn't have the same pull, but there is something compelling about it and I can't wait for the next instalment.
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By DCM on 20 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Palin's diaries are engaging and hard to put down. He faithfully kept a diary of the events of his life, which reads like a story that continually has new threads that are followed and left off as he takes up new projects. The writing is very clear and, amazingly, there are no less-interesting parts. It's all good. Additionally, he was much more prolific that I realized - I knew about the Python work, A Fish Called Wanda, American Friends, and the travel series', but Palin has done much more than this, and here is a look behind the scenes about how these projects evolved and developed. Highly recommended (also highly recommended are the two previous volumes).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Michael writes his diaries in way where in a few well chosen words it is as if you were a parrot sitting on his shoulder sharing every moment with him. Not dead one!
Great read which only whets your appetite for the next volume, a concurrent visit to his accompanying one man show just made it all the more pleasurable to read.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cj Rutter on 20 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
***SPOILERS****

I have been a huge Michael Palin fan since the first of his classic travel trilogy (80 Days, Pole to Pole and Full Circle), as I call them. As a result, this was the volume I was most looking forward to. Getting his personal thoughts on those three historic journeys. However alas I was disappointed.

The book starts well enough, charting Michael's 80 Days adventure then the book turns to his work on GBH and the filming of his movie American Friends, which I wasn't quite so interested in as I have never seen GBH nor American Friends. Anyhoo, it was with baited breath that I then waited for his personal recount of his next adventure Pole to Pole. But rather shockingly and I know this is not Michael Palin's fault, there is no recount of his Pole to Pole adventure. The airline on the way home lost his private diaries, so there is nothing from that year from May to December. I was absolutely gutted.

So I read on and finally got to Full Circle which feels more like a disjointed collection of anecdotes than one cohesive personal travel diary, he only seems to be travelling for a couple of pages then he's back home the next.

As these are Michael's personal diaries and not his published travel diaries to accompany the various series' then there is more emphasis on time at home, also dealing with the loss of loved ones (including his Mom and Graham Chapman from Monty Python), dealing with his wife's brain tumour, Also his involvement with various TV and movie projects including the lacklustre "Fierce Creatures" outweigh that of his travels.

Which is fine as it's a personal diary but at the same disappointed that despite the title "Travelling to Work" and the front cover graphic quite clearly hinting the content of the book, (i.e.
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By M. Wardle on 21 April 2015
Format: Hardcover
Good grief. What started off with a well-written description of adventures and people encountered, it progressed quickly into a plethora of self-praise amd self fixation, and I am only on page 59! i can't bear the thought of another 1,990 pages of this and am taking it to a charity shop.
A bit of gracious humility always is appreciated in reading an autobiography.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's good to find that Michael Palin hasn't lost his dry sense of humour. This volume gives the same sense of entertainment as his previous volumes. The only problem is that I've finished it and want more, so am reading it again.
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