Buy Used
£2.28
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One Hardcover – 3 Oct 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

See all 14 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£8.65 £0.01
click to open popover

Special offers and product promotions


Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; 01 edition (3 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297844369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297844365
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 475,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Review

His showbiz observations are so absorbing . . . Palin is an elegant and engaging writer (GUARDIAN)

Accomplished . . . If Palin's comic genius is a given, this is a more rounded portrait of the decade which saw the Pythons become icons. Our favourite TV explorer shows us the workings of an unstoppable machine (DAILY EXPRESS)

Palin's style is so fluid, and his sincerity so palpable, that it is often easy to underestimate just how talented he is as a comedian, broadcaster and a writer . . . [the diaries] are just too good and he is too modest (SUNDAY EXPRESS)

Delightful and often extraordinarily funny . . . An entertaining and at times deeply moving read (MAIL ON SUNDAY)

If anyone writes a diary purely for the joy of it, it is Michael Palin . . . This combination of niceness, with his natural volubility, creates Palin's expansiveness (THE TIMES)

Palin's steady eye, contemplative bent and instinct for honest appraisal make him the perfect chronicler of a frequently insane period which saw the Monty Python team become the most celebrated comedians in the world (TIME OUT)

A real delight to read (SAGA MAGAZINE)

This combination of niceness, with his natural volubility, creates Palin's expansiveness. (David Baddiel THE TIMES)

A slow burn, revealing its pleasures only gradually, and allowing readers the warm glow of hindsight denied its writer . . . This book will make the perfect present for those comedy obsessives of a certain age, who will know exactly what it is long before they have unwrapped it (SPECTATOR)

Palin's style is so fluid, and his sincerity so palpable, that it is often easy to underestimate just how talented he is as a comedian, a broadcaster and a writer..... they are just too good and his is too modest. (Ruth Cowen THE SUNDAY EXPRESS)

a real delight to read; (SAGA MAGAZINE)

his showbiz observations are so absorbing..... Palin is an elegant and engaging writer. (William Cook THE GUARDIAN)

Palin's steady eye, contemplative bent and instinct for honest appraisal make him the perfect chronicler of a frequently insane period which saw the 'Monty Python' team become the most celebrated comedians in the world. (John O'Connell TIME OUT)

'a slow burn, revealing its pleasures only gradually, and allowing readers the warm glow of hindsight denied its writer¿¿ this book will be the perfect present.¿ (Marcus Berkmann THE SPECTATOR)

'the charting of the haphazard and often perilous ascent of the Python phenomenon up the greasy pole of fame makes for delightful and often extraordinarily funny reading¿. An entertaining and at times deeply moving read. With nearly two decades of recent dairies still untapped, we may confidently sit back and wait for more.¿ (Michael Simkins THE MAIL ON SUNDAY)

a wealth of fascinating stuff about Monty Python. (William Cook THE INDEPENDENT)

our favourite TV explorer shows us the workings of an unstoppable machine. (DAILY EXPRESS)

a riveting commentary to a remarkably creative decade. (ACADEMY)

Book Description

Michael Palin's diaries of his life before, during and after Monty Python.

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always been a fan of Michael Palin and have been reading this book with interest. But where are the scandles, dishing the dirt? he mentions Graeham Chapman been boozed up on more than a number of occasions and John Cleese's motivation of money, but not a lot else of the Python's rock and roll status they enjoyed in the UK and USA. Where are the groupies the amusing stories? not here I'm afraid.

Just factual accounts of Micheal's day to day life and details of what was a very productive and creative time for him and for the Python shows, live performances and films.
1 Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps the oddest thing about a book written by one of the foremost comedians of a generation is the lack of humour in it. But then, this was never designed to be a funny book. Rather it is the story, the journey, of how one of a group of six men became comedy icons, men who set a comedic standard that 30 years later is still to be transcended.

Comedy, we learn, is HARD WORK, not simply dashing off a sketch with a dead parrot in it and then settling back next to the pool, drinking Chateau de Chasselas and waiting for the bank to send a wheelbarrow full of money around. Rather, this book is about how the Pythons variously loved and hated each other, their doubts and egos, how they fought (and mostly, thankfully, won) their fights against censorship.

This is a diary, not a biography or a hagiography, and so we can take it as honest when Palin relates how, ten years after Python first came upon us, he still drives a Mini and how during a meal Eric Idle `reveals that three of the Pythons are broke` (although John Cleese has a `dirty Rolls`).

If you are looking for belly laughs, get a CD of Python. If you want to know about the egos and the alchoholism, the pain and the pleasure, buy this book. The book won`t make you laugh, but you may learn more about what makes Palin laugh. And what it cost him.
Comment 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
According to Palin, this book contains about a fifth of the diary he kept between those years, and one inevitably wonders about the stuff that was left out. It could be that he has shocking secrets that would destroy his career or at least his public image; or there may be things too intimate to be shared with the public; or things that would embarrass other people; or opinions about colleagues and friends that he would rather keep to himself; or things that he and his publishers thought would not interest the general reader or even the hardcore Python fan. I suspect a combination of the above, except for the shocking secrets.

Certainly the book contains but a few stinging criticisms of individuals, and even those are reasoned and not vindictive - the nearest to an exception being his (justifiably) rather bitter comments about the Bishop of Southwark after their clash over The Life of Brian. And there are only hints at the sexual profligacy that we know from other sources the Pythons indulged in. Judging, as one must, by what is in the book rather than by what might have been left out, Palin comes across as intelligent, hardworking, kind-hearted, tactful, reasonable and caring, a man who does not trample on others to achieve his goals, but treats everyone with respect and courtesy and maintains many long-term friendships. He turns down a lot of lucrative advertising and acting jobs that do not accord with his values, and seems rather embarrassed about the prospect of making a lot of money (which by the end of this book he has done). He is a good father to his kids, frequently taking them swimming and often shipping them abroad to spend time with him when he is filming, but his relationship with his wife Helen is given the sketchiest treatment.
Read more ›
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The 600 pages were apparently edited from about five times as much original material. I think the amount chosen for inclusion should perhaps have been reduced by about half again as there are many accounts of "Python" meetings and other business meetings. That said, the diaries make a gentle and pleasant read for anyone who was around during the Python years and has an interest in the making of Monty Python and other projects in which Palin was involved. There are some insights into the personalities of the Pythons and the stresses and conflicts which emerged in the years following their initial success. The book becomes more interesting as the years pass and some well-known non-Pythons like George Harrison become part of the story though the analysis of characters and current events never attains any depth. Palin comes across as a thoughtful, likeable man, who clearly makes a great deal of money during these years but for whom money is not the primary motivation. To sum up, the book is an enjoyable bed-time read, though not a book to return to once read.
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This book is wonderfully vivid and engrossing - unlike so many post-Python retrospectives, which can often seem either lifeless or over-eager to grind certain axes, this takes you back to when it all happened, and also provides all kinds of delightful and insightful anecdotes about Palin, his colleagues and his comedy.
Comment 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I've been intending to read this for some time but was intimidated by its size, however I now forced myself to give it a go and found it to be quite enjoyable.

As it says on the cover, this edition covers the period roughly from the days when Monty Python was the first inkling of an idea up until just after the release of Life of Brian. The format is literally Palin's daily diary entries, and most of the time they appear to be unedited. Footnotes abound however to explain brief bits of background or to explain who various people are.

It's a really interesting insight not only into Palin but the whole python team, especially having be written at the time rather than from hazy, rose-tinted hindsight. There is also a lot of coverage of his other activities which has prompted me to consider looking them up on DVD.

There's no way of escaping the fact though that it is a very long book, and not something that can be quickly read. My usual problem with reading diaries is that I skip over the subheadings that are the entry dates, and this is again the case here, which in places leads me to lose track of the passage of time.

A lot of the entries make mention of food. Palin takes great pains to mention what he has eaten, where and with whom. Fairly typical content for a diary I suppose but it becomes a bit like a joke to me as I read about more and more meals

A good read and well deserving of four stars. I will probably read the sequel, though this volume does end at a convenient point, but most likely not for a while, as I have lots of other books to read too.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Look for similar items by category