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Around The World In Eighty Days Hardcover – 4 Dec 2008
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The first of Palin's highly acclaimed travel trilogy, Around the World in 80 Days finds the former Monty Python comic swapping his dead parrot for his rucksack, and setting off in the footsteps of Jules Verne's intrepid traveller, Phileas Fogg. In 1872 Fogg set off from The Reform Club in London on an 80-day journey around the globe which took him through southern Europe, the Middle East, China and the USA.
Palin's journey is no less hectic and incident-packed than his illustrious predecessor, as he pursues Fogg in an increasingly frenetic attempt to get back to the Reform Club within the allotted 80 days. Along the way we are treated to Palin's trademark traveller's tales and bizarre journeys, from the idyllic but at times traumatic medieval boat journey across the Indian Ocean, to dog-sledding and ballooning across the USA. Some of the finest sections come with Palin's often hilarious accounts of cultural confusion encountered throughout India and the Far East. Around the World in 80 Days is full of what has made Palin such a popular and enjoyable travel writer: wry, humorous, but ultimately humane observations on the world's foibles, and the pleasure and pains of travelling. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
The first of Michael Palin's travel adventures in a new, completely redesigned and updated edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
I was immediately engaged with him on his journey which his observations and character studies more than bring to light and this really works as a diary format.
Total armchair travel. Total enjoyment. Total Palin.
However I was wrong! As this was supposedly his first expedition it has that wonderful virgin territory quality and has all the joy and very little of the occasional malaise of his later trips. The sheer happiness Michael finds in visiting India and China (which he'd never visited before) and his teasing, slightly mocking tone towards Phileas Fogg's own experiences make this book an absolute joy to read.
And the best thing? Because this was written when the author was predominantly a comic actor and not a travel writer, it has a wonderful humour to it that helps the trip seem a breeze.
My one criticism would have to be the latter part of the trip - in America. Although bits of it are fun, one gets the impression the author was out for camera shots at this point and had lost interest in new horizons. However, the train trip is interesting...
Anyhow, as an book for a holiday reading this is one of Palin's best combining both his skills as a comic and as a traveller in perfect balance. Oh and, if you like this, do try A Piano in the Pyrenees or Long Way Round.
They are funny and they show lifestyle's from all over the world.
Around The World In 80 Days is the first TV journey Palin made and also with the most suspense.
This book that comes with the TV show is beautiful, great pictures and stories
and the book itself is of high quality (paper,binding etc.)
J. van der Heijden
The trip was intended to follow the route traveled by Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne's novel from 1872. The self-imposed rule was that airplane travel was not allowed so only trains, buses, ships and cars could be used. This was problematic for Michael Palin because in 1872 there were many passenger ship lines, while in 1988 there were almost none because of air travel. As a result he had to obtain passage on various cargo and container ships that normally don't accept passengers.
All of Michael Palin's travel books (and DVDs) share the same qualities. Mr. Palin's wit and charm and exuberance are evident, and he has a knack of meeting interesting people and getting involved in amusing situations wherever he goes.
This trip is, however, unlike the others in that there is a pre-defined route involving a lot of sea travel, and a "race against the clock" element because the trip must be completed in 80 days. The time limit provides a bit of excitement, especially when Michael Palin passes through Singapore 10 days behind the fictitious Phileas Fogg.
The large amount of sea travel is a negative aspect because it's limited how many interesting things can be done aboard a container ship, for example. In fact, a significant number of the 80 days are spent on board ships, and it gets rather boring.
Still, there are many interesting experiences reported and photographed from the various cities passed through, as well as the countryside. The cultural differences are amazing and Michael Palin reports on it all in a way that makes you feel like you're there with him.
The pictures are beautiful, even though they were not all taken by Basil Pao, who became Michael Palin's regular stills photographer on all of his later trips.
My only criticism is that I would have liked there to be some maps in the book so I could follow the trip more exactly.
The audio version of this book is read by Michael Palin himself, which is a plus. But beware: There are both abridged and unabridged versions of the audio book.
In summary, a great start for what became a great series of travel books and TV programs.
That aside, there is nothing else that can fault this product. It has the music from the series, is well narrated by Michael Palin and rather than be a simple spoken diary, it has elements of acting in it as Michael tries to add voices and expressions of the people he has met on his travels.
If you have seen the series, then this ADDS to it as there are things he expands on in the audio book that are not in the series, descriptions, and comments on immodium that are downright hilarious!
Great to listen to in the car or just before bed, this cd is a perfect production all round and despite the silly packaging still gets five stars - it really IS that good!
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