The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 Volume One (Palin Diaries 1) Paperback – 11 Sep 2014
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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)
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)
Michael Palin's bestselling diaries before, during and after Monty Python.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
But then again, what were they expecting? the very title, 'diaries 1969-1979 the python years doesnt exactly suggest this is simply a book about comedy. this book gives such a good insight into what not only made palin himself tick, but also how the pythons worked to become who they are.
they are after all his diaries, his personal thoughts.
as a fan of the pythons and especially michael palin, i love this book. i love being able get an insight into how human problems such as death of parents, and alcoholism have affected this super-human comedy group.
this is essential reading if you love the pythons, just dont be expecting belly laughs. it is after all his personal thoughts. hes not going to be writing in comedy script all the time is he.
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After seeing him recently on his Tour, I just had to buy the diaries. Very readable, thoroughly engaging and hard to put down. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Bought for my husband as a birthday present. He has read most of it. It has kept him quiet for sometime now, so must enjoy reading it. Would recommend.Published 14 months ago by Gem Nash
I had this book as a Christmas present.
Have to say, I have always liked Michael Palin. But reading the book made me very angry. Read more