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New Europe Hardcover – 13 Sep 2007
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No. 1 bestseller and superstar doing what he does best, introducing millions of avid readers to little-known peoples and places. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Michael Palin established his reputation with MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS and RIPPING YARNS. His work also includes several films with Monty Python, as well as THE MISSIONARY, A PRIVATE FUNCTION, an award-winning performance as the hapless Ken in A FISH CALLED WANDA and, more recently, AMERICAN FRIENDS and FIERCE CREATURES. His television credits include two films for the BBC's GREAT RAILWAY JOURNEYS, the plays EAST OF IPSWICH and NUMBER 27, and Alan Bleasdale's GBH. He has written books to accompany his six very successful travel series, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, POLE TO POLE, FULL CIRCLE, HEMINGWAY ADVENTURE, SAHARA and HIMALAYA. He is also the author of a number of children's stories, the play THE WEEKEND and the novel HEMINGWAY'S CHAIR.
Visit the website for more information www.palinstravels.co.uk--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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.
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.
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.
There are few problems with a book. As I lived in "New Europe", I presume is the first one. There is not much new revealed to me, and I don't think only of ex-Yugoslavia, but also of Bolgaria, Romania and Baltic country, which I have not visited yet. Despite being 120+ days around, he did not manage to show countries in interesting ways, as he did for Brazil.
Second problem is repetitiveness, especially from political point of view. Too much time is spent on stories about ex-communist countries, what people think now, how they feel about changes, etc.
And the third one is that some countries receive very little attention. Serbia, for example, is presented only through Belghrade, and even that on very short level.
Not sure I will be continuing with his other travel books.
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Please rectify the issue
Palin just happens to visit places I have recently visited myself and thoroughly agree with his comments( on Croatia, the taste of...Read more