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The Pythons' Autobiography By The Pythons Paperback – 15 Sep 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (15 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752864254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752864259
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 3.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

That The Pythons by the Pythons is going to be an absolute treat is evident even from the book's blurb. The six men behind Monty Python's Flying Circus--the most influential of all British TV satires--are actually four Englishmen, one Welshman and an interloping American, and it's largely in the words of John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam that we're told about the fractious process through which one of the great glories of British TV and film came into being.

Yes, Graham Chapman is here too, although sadly he died some years ago. The acerbic Chapman would have loved the frequent irreverent references to the fact that now he's dead. But nobody is spared in the hilarious introduction: its unsparing analyses of the post-Python careers of the participants would have most showbusiness types phoning their lawyers. But that's just one of the many joys in this chunky, arm-straining celebration of the glorious and surrealistic humour of the Monty Python team. Bob McCabe, the man who managed to corral the unruly members of the team here, has helped create this marvellous tome. It functions as a history of a well-loved comedy phenomenon, a biography of six extremely talented men and also a really eye-catching object: the book's design utilises the unmistakable animation style, created by Terry Gilliam, that was so much a part of the TV series and films. The iconoclastic attitude to the participants is perfect, but who would have accepted anything less from social critics as deadly as the Python team?

In fact, the revelation here that they were often at each others' throats suggests that inter-Python conflict may have been the catalyst that produced their inimitable humour. The only problem with The Pythons by the Pythons is resisting the temptation to read it at a sitting. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'As this unique glimpse into the minds of Palin, Cleese, Idle, Gilliam, Jones and Chapman demonstrates, Monty Python's peculiar brand of animation and philosophy remains a one-off comic phenomenon that changed the course of comedy... Irreverent and hilarious... This energetic insight into their collaboration is a peculiarly Pythonesque testimony to the most influential British satire of all time.' OBSERVER 'There is ... some wonderful material in here. If you're the kind of person who entertains friends with word-perfect renditions of Python sketches, you'll love this book.' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'This hefty tome includes individual biographies of the Pythons, making the tale of their rise and fall more surreal and interesting.' THE HERALD

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Over the years, Monty Python's Flying Circus has been elevated to a stellar status far beyond the expectations of its creators. Much of that has been achieved through continuing popularity with Americans, who didn't start to get the joke until long after the final TV episode had been screened here in the UK. And even the Pythons themselves do not quite realise their impact on the world: on this CD, Michael Palin talks about the creation of the 'Spam' sketch and the bizarre injection of some Vikings into the scene, with no inkling of the significance of spam in today's Internet world.
If you don't know Monty Python's humour, this is not the place to start. Go and buy 'Another Monty Python Record' on CD, or 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' on DVD.
This double-CD set is aimed at Python completists, and anyone interested in how great creative teams come together, get their ideas and work together. There's nothing here that isn't also in the bumper coffee-table book of the same name, which also has many magnificent, previously unseen photos. But on this CD, you get the Pythons' own voices, so it's more intimate, and the format enables those of us who spend more time in the car than reading books, to absorb some of the material.
Sound quality is variable. Michael Palin is very clear, though the interview is frequently interrupted by phone calls (presumably from BBC producers wanting to send him off to the Amazon). At the other end of the sonic scale, John Cleese is inteviewed in what seems to be a cavern, about 30 feet from a puny microphone, and his cutlery is sometimes more audible than his voice. Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones come somewhere in between.
All the contributors put some effort into dredging up memories from the distant past, i.e. 1960s and earlier.
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By A Customer on 10 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is by far the best book ever written about monty python. Even if you haven't seen everything they did or even you are a die hard fan (like me) here is every detail anyone could want to know. You need hours, weeks, months to see all the pictures and read everything. You can find out everything about their lives, the situation in british comedy in the sixties, how they met, the extremely detailed story of the flying circus, all the movies, the books, the albums and an enormous amount of unseen fhotos. A true achivement. Nothing less could satisfy the fans of those geniouses who made us laugh, made us think, made us better people, gave us great memories and now finaly... talk about it.
Thank you John,Eric,Graham,Terry,Michael and Terry.
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By A Customer on 15 Oct. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Like the book with same name, the audio version of "The Pythons Autobiography by The Pythons" is a delight for Monty Python fans. It's really like listening to a big radio show where the Pythons tell all the story in their own words, with the writer Bob McCabe, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam popping up between Python interviews and sound clips of sketches and movies to comment on what we're hearing. It's not pure comedy - there are funny moments in the interviews, but the Pythons talk seriously about their work and life. A very original and unique audiobook.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first thing I should warn potential buyers about is the size and weight of this book if you buy the hardcover edition. I did not realise that something weighing marginally less than a slab of marble would eventually be trying to make its way through my letterbox. The hardcover edition of this book is for only the sturdiest of bookshelves and the beefiest of arms. In short; it is not a tome to be read in the bath.

However, once you have decided whether or not obscenely large books are for you, I would definitely recommend this one. It is one of the more interesting books about the Pythons because it is actually written by them; hence the title. All of the Python's, bar Graham as he is conveniently dead, have written a few pages about their childhood and first forays into comedy, culminating in the formation of Monty Python. I found it incredibly fascinating to learn about the different backgrounds they each came from and the circumstances which eventually brought them all together.

In between the mini autobiographies are lusciously printed photographs spanning their entire career; taken on their film sets and various live performances among other locations. They really help to bring alive the Python's descriptions of their experiences of making their TV show and subsequent films and live tours. This book is perfect for the fair weather and the hardcore Monty Python fans alike.
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Format: Hardcover
First of all merry xmas to everyone!!
I was so deliriously excited when i opened my stocking to find this i couldn't put it down for 3 hours!As a result i didnt open my other presents.The only reason i put it down was to go to sleep,well it was 4a.m..
This is a must have for any python fan.Or any fan of comedy.
It chronicles all the of the pythons childhood and beginings in showbusiness.There are many,many pages dedicated to the tv shows and the movies.I have managed to get through the first half of it and i love it.And as for the weight of the book above stated.Yes it is a heavy book but that is because it is crammed full of a thousand never seen before pictures!In full glossyness.
overall this is a must buy!I am no going to finish the rest!!
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