56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle tour of Eastern Europe
I was lucky enough to have bought this at a book signing by the ever genial Michael Palin. Have had a good look through this book and was pleased he has covered many of the places I have visited. The great thing about this book is that it is packed with fabulous photos of places making one wish to visit them asap.
Lots of explanations about the recent history...
Published on 20 Sep 2007 by Sally Wilton
2.0 out of 5 stars Impersonal, disappointing
Travel books are about the traveller and their travels yet this book is truly superficial being more akin to a skim through an encyclopaedia. What really matters is how the person telling the story reacts to their environment and the situations they encounter. Palin doesn't do this and just describes almost fact like what he sees but not much about how he feels. The book...
Published 9 months ago by R. Smallwood
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56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle tour of Eastern Europe,
This review is from: New Europe (Hardcover)I was lucky enough to have bought this at a book signing by the ever genial Michael Palin. Have had a good look through this book and was pleased he has covered many of the places I have visited. The great thing about this book is that it is packed with fabulous photos of places making one wish to visit them asap.
Lots of explanations about the recent history of these countries and a book well worth having for reference as well as pleasure. Good value at the moment from Amazon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable jaunt,
This review is from: New Europe (Hardcover)Michael Palin is cool. I really like him. A lot of people find him a bit too eager to play the fool but this is nonsense because he's just great. Anyway what do you expect from a member of the Python team?
This book is a very enjoyable journey through the former Soviet bloc countries of Eastern Europe. If you watch the accompanying TV series at the same time then it becomes even more enjoyable as the book contains material that the TV programme doesn't and vice versa.
On the one hand this book is really rather superficial. You never really get to know a great deal about any of the countries that Palin visits. This is made up for by some of the interesting places he goes to and people he meets. If you are after a detailed description of what Eastern Europe is like today and what the fall of Communism has mean't you won't find it here. What you will find is plenty of inspiration to go and have a look for yourself. I certainly now have a hankering for Budapest.
I've watched Palin's other TV series but this is the first time I've read one of his books. While it was very enjoyable I still can't get over a feeling of jealousy. I'd love to go to these places. This feeling is only compounded when he says something like "I meet my friend Misha who shows me round..." This last point is surely a criticism of myself rather than the book. Maybe I'll get round to visiting some more places in Eastern Europe later in my life.
The photos in the book are excellent and appear at least once every two pages.
The only big disappointment I have is that Palin deals with some countries only very briefly. I really wanted to know more about Slovakia and he never visited Belarus at all.
Overall this is a great book for getting away from your usual humdrum and travelling by proxy. It's a really enjoyable and easy read. Maybe I'll buy some of his other books and watch his previous series again.
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic insight into life in the rest of Europe.,
This review is from: New Europe (Hardcover)What a fantastic book! My copy spent many weeks in the classroom (school is my postal address!), where it is attracting the attention of several of my class of 10 & 11 year olds - showing that it has an appeal to all ages. Geography and literacy covered in one fell sweep!!!
I have been totally engrossed in this series - so much so that I was thrilled to receive the DVDs for Christmas this year; however, I have to say that the book is even better! There is so much more in it - so much insight into a changing world - and the photos are amazing as he travels through the former Yugoslavia and on into much of Eastern Europe.
Although some of the places that he visits are places that I know - and some are places that family and friends have visited, the majority of the places that he visits are places that I have never been to - but this book has increased my urge to travel to the parts of Europe that were formally virtually taboo - although I know only too well that I will never be able to experience half the things that Michael Palin has been fortunate enough to experience - he has the advantage of celebrity and the power of the BBC to help him - lucky thing!
Having said that, this book is a worthwhile addition to any personal library - and a terrific addition to any coffee table.
My only sadness is that Michael Palin has been reported as saying that this might be the last of his wonderful journeys. All I can say is - for the sake of those of us who have loved your insight into the rest of the world, PLEASE keep travelling, Michael!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book,
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Interesting Book,
2.0 out of 5 stars Impersonal, disappointing,
4.0 out of 5 stars NEW EUROPE,
This review is from: New Europe (Kindle Edition)A GOOD COMPANION TO THE TELEVISION SERIES BY A HUMOROUS WRITER WHO OBVIOUSLY ENJOYS HIS WORK AND HIS TRAVELS ACROSS THE WORLD
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Palin, indeed!,
This review is from: New Europe (Hardcover)This is arguably Michael Palin's masterpiece and could well be his swansong. There are few travel writers who are endowed with the descriptive prowess of Palin and his ability to see the funny side in the most mundane of situations.
"New Europe" sets new standards in travel writing, offering a healthy blend of irony and cynicism, and maintaining a fair balance between reality and imagination. Palin comes across as a seasoned traveller - cum - narrator, who is capable of adapting to the most austere of conditions and enjoying a conversation with people from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds. His descriptions of the meetings with the Mayor of Tirana and the Romanian shepherd - turned - millionaire convey a palpable frisson and are not readily forgotten.
In addition, the book contains a large number of well - chosen high - quality photos with equally engaging captions. It is only natural that the author should appear in many of them for, after all, this journey is part of his life.
Unlike the TV series, the book does justice to Eastern Europe, although the odd slight bias is inevitable. Furthermore, some of Palin's quintessentially English peculiarities, including his fascination with steam - engines, may have been misconstrued as prejudice by some East European readers.
Overall, this is an excellent book which has firmly established Palin as one of the most eminent present - day travel writers. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed Palin's previous works or, indeed, anyone who wants to learn more about East European countries and their rich cultural heritage.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, insightful - delightful,
This review is from: New Europe (Hardcover)Anyone who has heard Michael Palin's avuncular and distinctive tones (and that's probably 99% of the readership) will hear them instantly again on picking up this book. The man writes as he speaks which makes for an easy reading experience- Palin is a great communicator.
The beautiful photographs throughout the book are a wonderful enhancement to Michael's informative commentary. With close relatives in the Baltic States, I read that section carefully and found it highly accurate. This is a warm and sympathetic portrayal of our new European neighbours, which anyone who enjoyed the TV series would probably really appreciate. Michael Palin has defined himself as one of our great travel writers.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent description of Eastern Europe,
This review is from: New Europe (Hardcover)excellent description of the eastern european countries -particularly liked the one on romania as i will be visiting that country - also the ctach up with Ilie Nastase .
In the same mould like Sahara and Himalayas which I have - great photos as well - however the other 2 books had less Palin in the photos not so this book where Palin seems to be the chief protagonist in every other picture. spare us please.
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New Europe by Michael Palin (Hardcover - 5 Sep 2007)
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