Diaries 1969-1979 : the Python years

by Palin, Michael.

Format: Print Book 2007
Availability: Unavailable 0 of 1 copy
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Michael Palin has kept a diary since newly married in the late 1960s, when he was beginning to make a name for himself as a TV scriptwriter (for "The Two Ronnies, " David Frost, etc). Monty Python was just around the corner.
This volume of his diaries reveals how Python emerged and triumphed, how he, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, the two Terrys---Jones and Gilliam---and Eric Idle came together and changed the face of British comedy. But this is but only part of Palin's story. Here is his growing family, his home in a north London Victorian terrace, which grows as he buys the house next door and then a second at the bottom of the garden; here, too, is his solo effort---as an actor, in "Three Men in a Boat, " his writing endeavours (often in partnership with Terry Jones) that produces "Ripping Yarns" and even a pantomime.
Meanwhile Monty Python refuses to go away: the hugely successful movies that follow the TV (his account of the making of both "The Holy Grail" and the "Life of Brian" movies are page-turners), the at times extraordinary goings-on of the many powerful personalities who coalesced to form the Python team, the fight to prevent an American TV network from bleeping out the best jokes on U.S. transmission, and much more---all this makes for funny and riveting reading. The birth and childhood of his three children, his father's growing disability, learning to cope as a young man with celebrity, his friendship with George Harrison, and all the trials of a peripatetic life are also essential ingredients of these diaries. A perceptive and funny chronicle, the diaries are a rich portrait of a fascinating period.
"Michael Palin is not just one of Britain's foremost comedy character actors, he also talks a lot. Yap, yap, yap he goes, all day long and through the night . . . then, some nights, when everyone else has gone to bed, he goes home and writes up a diary."
---John Cleese "This combination of niceness, with his natural volubility, creates Palin's expansiveness."
---David Baddiel, "The Times"
"A real delight to read."
---"Saga "Magazine (UK)
"His showbiz observations are so absorbing. . . . Palin is an elegant and engaging writer."
---William Cook, "The Guardian" (UK)
"A wealth of fascinating stuff about Monty Python."
---"The Independent" (UK)
"Our favourite TV explorer shows us the workings of an unstoppable machine."
---"Daily Express" (UK)
"A riveting commentary to a remarkably creative decade."
---"Academy" (UK)
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Brilliant comedians are rarely drop-dead funny in private. In these 600-plus pages culled from his daily journals, Monty Python cocreator Palin is sharp, witty, poignant, literate, poetic, enlightening, entertaining, educational, but never laugh-out-loud funny. Nor does he display much of the Pythons' mad, anarchistic wit. Still, members of the Python cult will cherish every scrap of information he provides about the Python TV series, not to mention the glimpses he affords of his fellow Pythons evolving from obscure comedy writers to international celebrities. All this is done without any of the neurotic, seething eccentricity of Palin's performance personae. (Perhaps he elided anything of that sort; the original journal is reportedly five times as long as the finished book.) Meanwhile, those who don't worship the Python should appreciate Palin's pith. He has a real knack for the quick verbal portrait and the succinct description of an exotic locale, as he showed in his post-Python television travelogues. In an earlier, more word-friendly era, he clearly would have had a substantial career writing.--Helbig, Jack Copyright 2007 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "As one of the six Pythons to have assembled back in the late 1960s, Palin provides insights into the group's dynamics during the decade that brought the Monty Python troupe to international acclaim. This abridgment can be satiating and frustrating, often simultaneously. At face value, it provides many behind-the-scenes moments and explores how and why the comedy troupe went about its business. Yet the mere knowledge that it's an abridgment will have listeners yearning to hear more-especially Python-quoting fans. The short, occasionally abrupt entries feel authentic, as journal entries can often be a mere few sentences. But listeners may constantly question how much has been trimmed. Occasionally, the journal entries read as a mere chronological list of events. As narrator, Palin proves adept at adding life and emotion in his mild-mannered voice to the more pedantic lulls in the audiobook. But given the audiobook's shortcomings, a bonus interview or some other material might have improved the overall enjoyment for listeners. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's/Dunne hardcover. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Palin, Michael -- Diaries.
Monty Python (Comedy troupe)
Actors -- Great Britain -- Diaries.
Comedians -- Great Britain -- Diaries.
Publisher New York :Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press,2007
Edition 1st U.S. ed.
Language English
Notes Reprint. Originally published: London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006.
Includes index.
Description xxii, 650 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
ISBN 0312369352
Other Classic View