Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the Spanish Inquisition, but an important document
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...
Published on 4 Nov 2003 by Gavin Wilson

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not quite in the state that was described, but ok.
Published 3 months ago by Stefan Zitzmann


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the Spanish Inquisition, but an important document, 4 Nov 2003
By 
Gavin Wilson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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. They know this book/CD, while maybe not the definitive biography, isn't going to be yet another fanzine. By and large, they're pretty serious. (The Pythons seem to have found it harder and harder to be funny, or at least zany, since about 1980.) And they're remarkably honest -- all of them admit that 'The Meaning of Life' was not as good a film as it should have been.
There's a lot of giving credit and taking credit -- originally the entire show was billed as a total team effort, but this CD reveals a certain paradox: having first said that every sketch was subject to team review and enhancement, each writer then goes on to say of certain sketches, "That was one of mine" or "That was one I wrote with John".
The influence of 'The Goon Show' and 'Beyond the Fringe' becomes apparent from these recordings. (So much so that I went out and bought a BtF CD.) Of particular interest is the immediate predecessor to Python, namely the children's programme DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET, written by Michael, Terry J and Eric, with cartoons added by Terry G. For me, that series is just a distant memory in black and white. But the way the Pythons refer to it here makes it seem like it was pretty much Version zero of Monty Python. Terry Jones admits that they wrote it for themselves, not for children, and it just happened to be scheduled during the children's TV slot on Wednesday afternoons. In the absence of any DVDs, videos or script-books from that series, we will just have to take their word for it.
It's fascinating to hear Eric Idle talk about the writing process: he wrote mostly on his own, but occasionally wrote with others. He comments that whereas he likes to hop around, trying to create more highlights in a sketch, John Cleese works in a very linear fashion, only progressing to the second line in a sketch when he has worked out the first line in immense detail. John Cleese talks about his dislike of puns, the lowest form of wit, in his words. Terry Jones comments on the stream-of-consciousness feel to each episode.
Hopefully this CD will enhance Michael Palin's status in the comic pantheon. John Cleese is always regarded as a god because he also created 'Fawlty Towers' and because of his previous work on 'The Frost Report'. But most of his best sketches work as well on radio as they do on TV. It's clear from this CD that Palin (as well as Gilliam) was the genius behind much of the visual humour that made Python something completely different from 'Beyond the Fringe' et al. Cleese could never be described as 'zany', if that means lovably ridiculous. Even on this CD, Cleese comes across as coldly analytical, whereas Michael is just so damned affable!
So there you go, five stars for content, minus one for sound quality. I wish it had been much longer!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Python Radio, 15 Oct 2003
By A Customer
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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 "DonQuibeats" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 19 Aug 2012
By 
I. J. Bernard (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book for my sons 27th birthday present, he was very impressed and enjoyed reading it.It arrived within 3 days of ordering.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 4 Aug 2009
If you have no sense of humour and can't stand Monty Python, then don't buy this book. For most of us, this is a brilliantly conceived and written interwoven account of the Pythons, and one you will want to dip into again and again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A good book for Python fans lots of information, 13 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pythons' Autobiography By The Pythons (Hardcover)
This was a gift to my son who loves Monty Python. A good book for Python fans lots of information.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 10 Aug 2014
Not quite in the state that was described, but ok.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Precise and punctual.
Completely satisfied
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 16 Oct 2014
By 
A. J. Baughan "Jimpy of Manby" (Ferndown, Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A bit long drawn out but very revealing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars my husband loved it!, 21 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Thanks, my husband loved it!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Pythons' Autobiography By The Pythons
The Pythons' Autobiography By The Pythons by Bob McCabe (Hardcover - 22 May 2014)
£9.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews