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58 Reviews
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not at all silly
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...
Published on 25 Oct 2006 by jon ryan

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Palin to significance
I'm about two thirds through this now and will finish it. After the Thatcher: the Downing Street Years (half way through; untouched for 5 years). Says it all really...

I can't say I'm thoroughly enjoying this. Palin can come across as pretty smug throughout this book but seems to enjoy carrying a large chip on his shoulder as far as John Cleese is concerned. In...
Published on 23 Jan 2008 by tallpete33


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Michael did first, 4 Nov 2007
By 
Zazoutoo (Merseyside, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One (Hardcover)
A well-written, occasionally funny collection of ten years of Michael Palin's diary of his first life as a member of the Monty Python team. It's not an autobiography so it hasn't been written with an eye on sales figures. It's simply his personal diaries which track the daily routines and thoughts of Michael's life.
Although it's not as zany as his Python persona but more of the gentle humour in his excellent Ripping Yarns and later travel shows, it's still a worthwhile read.
I'm not sure why the book ends before the Meaning of Life but it suggests a sequel is likely. I look forward to that being published.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One (Hardcover)
Excellent
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where's the sauce, 18 Oct 2007
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This review is from: The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One (Hardcover)
I've always been a fan of Michael Palin and have been reading this book with interest. But where are the scandles, dishing the dirt? he mentions Graeham Chapman been boozed up on more than a number of occasions and John Cleese's motivation of money, but not a lot else of the Python's rock and roll status they enjoyed in the UK and USA. Where are the groupies the amusing stories? not here I'm afraid.

Just factual accounts of Micheal's day to day life and details of what was a very productive and creative time for him and for the Python shows, live performances and films.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value per kg!, 3 Feb 2007
By 
Malcolm Baird - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One (Hardcover)
This is the kind of book to read if you are stuck at the airport for 4 hours. The material does not exactly grab you. Michael Palin is such a stable, likeable personality that his accounts, though well written, seem to lack bite.

However, given enough time, the reader can grasp what it must have been like to be making Python. It was quite hard work and the money was not all that good at first, but somehow there were sparks of collective genius produced by the team of actors and directors, something that is all too rare in the world of television. The BBC and even the Americans, gradually came round to the Python approach.

As I write, Python is being shown on the PBS network in the USA, more than 30 years after it was produced. The subjects of satire (e.g. TV programming styles and the British class structure)have changed in this period. The Cycling Tour of Cornwall had a good laugh at Russian Communism, but that has been gone for many years. I wonder how many US viewers today could recognise Edward Heath who had a strangled tenor love song dubbed over one of his speeches? And yet Python is still compulsive viewing. A possible reason for its continuing popularity is that it has a a dangerous hint of political incorrectness. It seems to verge on PI but it never quite crosses the line.

Leaving Python aside, the diary is a slice of social history. We get a flavour of life in the strike-ridden UK in the 1970s with inflation out of control and the occasional IRA bomb going off in downtown London, and the BBC types carrying on as usual over their wine and canapes. On a per kg basis, this book is good value.
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10 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull As Dishwater, 31 July 2007
By 
patoban (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
Why publish these? They are incredibly dull, read with little or no enthusiasm. Palin comes across as rather shallow, which I'm sure he's not. For diehard fans only I'd say.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather too long, 21 Jan 2007
By 
Mr. Simon Dear "Simon" (Surrey UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One (Hardcover)
I agree wholeheartedly with A Butterworth. The book, whilst a gentle and pleasant read, is far too long with much repetition of 'to such and such address for a Python meeting', the details of which only vary from the last such entry by the difference in who argued with whom.

There is mention of background current affairs which adds some colour but details such as how the business of Python was structured or run are only very superficially mentioned and could have been interesting. They did seem a disparate group of abrasive characters and I would have like to know how this really worked, personally and professionally.

In keeping with the reputation of the man, there is no criticism of, or revelations about anyone in the book which to my mind made the diaries read in a rather unrealistically. Not all of us are as generous as Mr Palin.

Pleasant and gentle though as the man says.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Borrrrrrrrrrrrring zzzzzzzzzz, 7 May 2011
This review is from: The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One (Hardcover)
First of all,im a huge fan of Michaels work from Python through to his excellent travelouge films he made for the BBC, but this book is as dull as dishwater.Save your money and buy Life of Brian instead.Dull,dull,dull
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11 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Must do better next term, 1 Nov 2006
By 
the mole (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One (Hardcover)
One wonders how this truncated, cobbled together effort found its way to a publishing house. It`s obviously neither a memoir nor an autobiography, merely a dull, edited version of Palin`s daily scribblings which are sadly often rather pedestrian.

His usual bright and humorous writing, as seen in the glorious travel books, rarely appears; there is very little of the amusing observations we have come to expect and enjoy.

The short snappy Diary entries do not showcase his writing skills well, they seem to be the wrong format for Palin`s undoubted talent as a superb author.
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The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One
The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One by Michael Palin (Hardcover - 3 Oct 2006)
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