Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interest in Hemingway's authorship is not necessary, 8 Nov. 2005
This review is from: Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure (Paperback)
I really like Michael Palin's travel documentaries, both the BBC TV programs and the books based on the programs. He has a knack for finding interesting people and places, and he presents it all with wit and charm and a personal engagement that is beguiling. The books are beautiful with lots of great color pictures, most taken by photographer Basil Pao.
This book is based on the BBC TV program where Mr. Palin traveled to all of the places where Ernest Hemingway had lived and traveled. One can't really say the program "follows Hemingway's footsteps" because some sequences are presented out of order, but it's all there:
Chicago and northern Illinois (Hemingway's youth)
Italy (WW I and duck hunting)
Paris (Hemingway's start as an author)
Spain (running with the bulls, bullfighting)
Key West (fishing, boxing)
Africa (hunting, airplane crash injuries)
Cuba (fishing, Hemingway's home for 20 years)
Montana and Idaho (dude ranches, Hemingway's death)
Each chapter that describes a place almost invariably leaves the reader smiling and thinking that it would be interesting to visit that place oneself.
Incidentally, my high opinion of this book (and the associated TV program) has nothing to do with any interest in Hemingway's authorship. I read "The Old Man and the Sea" when I was in high school, and have not read anything by Hemingway since. Still, I find his life interesting, and I think that Michael Palin has made a great travelogue by visiting the various places and telling about Hemingway's life.
I can especially recommend the audio version of this book, which is read by Michael Palin himself. He does a great job of delivering the dialog of the various people, all with their different accents.
Of course, the audio version of the book does not include the beautiful photographs, so the very best strategy might be to get both, and listen to the audio version while commuting and then look at the pictures when you get home.
Rennie Petersen
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