Pole to Pole
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Pole to Pole

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,202 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Having circumnavigated the globe from west to east in Around the World in 80 Days, Michael Palin proceeded to stretch even his endurance with his next journey, travelling due south from the North Pole, arriving five months later at the southernmost point of the globe, the South Pole. The result is Pole to Pole, Palin's account of his extraordinary journey between July and...more
Published 2004 by BBC (first published 1992)
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I love journey stories. In the post-9/11 world, I find myself retreating to travel stories more and more. I rediscovered Michael Palin's Around the World in 80 Days a few months back, and decided to rent this series (on VHS) as well. It was so good that I went to [http://www.palinstravels.co.uk] and read the companion book of the series. It's free, but it's a grind as there's only a few hundred words on each page. Still, the story is worth telling -- going from the North Pole through Europe, the...more
In Palin’s travel universe I prefer the books where he mixed travels and literature (two of my favorite subjects), so, so far, my favorite books are “Around the world in eighty days” and “Hemingway adventure”, but I like all his books, and Pole to Pole was no exception.

It was a little strange to read this book 23 years after it was written, before the collapse of the URSS, before Mandela assume the presidency of South Africa, before the Euro, before cell phones become as common as sand in the de...more
Michael Palin writes a mean book but tapes a better show. So good I wanted to watch it but sadly not on streaming and will have to wait for disk. :(
Jul 29, 2011 Andrew added it
Shelves: comedy, travel, biography
I really enjoyed this book, for several reasons. The first is that Palin an genuinely funny, engaging writer who draws you into the narrative so you almost feel like you are there. Secondly, I watched the TV show along side this, and very little of the TV show is in the book. You might get a sentence that says "we spent the morning filming" and then it goes into no more detail than that, and he concentrates on other stuff that happens, so it's not just a book of the TV show.

And finally, the thi...more
I picked up this Michael Palin travelogue from a bookstore in Gatwick airport. I needed something to pass the 8 hour flight from London to Charlotte, NC since I was unwilling to foot the bill for a set of headphones. Although I spent about 16 US dollars on this book, it was well-worth it. I entertained my neighbors on the plane by chuckling periodically at Palin's characteristically British humor, and by guffawing at some of the situations in which he found himself as he trekked from the North P...more
Kiera Healy
I remember the show from TV when I was a kid, and so when I saw the book available I thought I'd pick it up. I'm glad I did! I love travelogues, and Michael Palin is a warm and personable writer (quite the opposite of Bill Bryson, whose MO tends to be "show up, don't talk to anyone, then complain about everything"). As the name suggests, this is the story of his journey from the North Pole to the South, largely overland - through Eastern Europe, central Africa, then a brief sojourn in Chile, bef...more
Sam Still Reading
Feb 13, 2011 Sam Still Reading rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: armchair travellers
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: read other books by the same author
Pole to Pole is the last of Michael Palin’s travel books that I have to read. (I still need to track down a copy of Hemingway Adventures in the future, but I may watch the series first as I’m not really into Hemingway). Set in the early 1990s (just before the fall of the USSR), Palin and the regular crew (including Basil and Clem) start at the North Pole with the aim of reaching the South Pole following the same longitude as closely as possible.

This takes them through Greenland, Finland, Estonia...more
Palin follows the crazy idea of going from the North Pole to the South Pole, as much as possibly going along the 30th Meridian East. Travelling in 1991/92 he goes through 17 countries with am incredibly diverse history, but surprisingly much in common. From the flailing USSR which ceases to exist as he reaches the South Pole over countries in East Africa that are deeply affected by this transistion (such as Zimbabwe) or the just opening South Africa.
At the same time it is an oddly personal book...more
Candace Arambula
I have read this book several times. I love how Palin gives you a taste of his adventures. Fabulous photography throughout adds to the descriptions of the amazing places he visits. Absolutely adore Palin books!
No, this book is not about a strip-club dancer forced to work alone a whole evening without a break. It is, literally, an account by the well-known Monty Python alum Michael Palin (not to be confused with his long-lost cousin in Alaska) of his travels from North Pole to South Pole, down through Europe and Africa. He is a travelling man. A companion book to the PBS series. I really enjoy his shows and have enjoyed the books as well. His humor is understated here, and it is pleasant. This is not t...more
I've started reading travelogues, because apparently it's not bad enough to suffer from a desperate need to be anywhere else but boring old suburbia, I need to torture myself by reading about the amazing experiences other people have had. Michael Palin's Pole to Pole is a really enjoyable book, part diary, but travelogue, told in Michael Palin's affable style, not holding back on any of the unpleasant aspects of his journey (and there were many!), but also written with a sense of joy and appreci...more
Michael Clyma
Great read, funny, informative, a real page turner.
Palin does a good job of turning his travel diary into a narrative. Far more than just a transcript of the TV series script. In fact not that at all - this stands alone. The TV series just pops up now and then.
A good read and I will seek out more of his works.
Catherine  Mustread
Jul 26, 2009 Catherine Mustread rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Travel book readers
Recommended to Catherine by: Suible
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
Enjoyed this even more than Palin's Around the World in 80 days. Interesting that he attempts to follow the 30 degrees east line through Europe/Africa. In looking at a world map, no other line would have contained as much the Pacific rim. land or as many countries. Next up would be Palin's Great Circle about Thought of this author while looking for an interesting book/cd combo to take on a car trip. Palin, travel writer and former comic, recently became head of National Geographic Society.
Apryl Anderson
This book makes me want to travel...back in time and well as place, because 1991 seems so far away. Except if you're in Africa, then its as timely as ever. (Names and faces change, but the politic remains much the same.) having said that, human nature is always worth observation, and Palin's love for the comic brings out the best in ever situation--including the worst.

Given the choice, the BBC video series is preferable to the book, which is ironically too heavy to pack for travel.
The heart of this book centres around the crew's journey across Africa. While never losing his sense of humour Palin makes some sobering comments about the state of that continent in the early nineties, when the book was first published.
Always entertaining and informative, a useful companion piece to the original TV series.
I chose this after Bill Bryson got too pretentious/whiny and found it a much better alternative. Palin includes interesting tidbits about the places he travelled through and some humorous perspectives, but he does so without Bryson's habitual lofty tone/condescension.
Palin's second journey going as the title suggests from the North Pole to the South Pole.

Great second journey filled with the usual Michael Palin documentary.... Audio version superb as always when read by the author.

Rereading on audio 11/09/14
Chris Steeden
Really enjoyed this one. A lot more detail than Around the World in 80 Days. You know what you're getting with the Palin books. It is hardly extreme adventure stuff but great for observational and historical content.
Brian F
Brilliant book, from the beginnings at the arctic circle and the north pole through to
our intrepid explorer reaching the point where Scott and Amundsen raced to, I found this
book a page turner from beginning to end.
Deník legendárního britského komika a cestovatele Michaela Palina z cesty od úplného Severu až na úplný Jih. Psáno s lehkostí autorovi vlastní, ideální jako odpočinková knížka, která člověku zároveň i něco dá.
Marianne Braam
I learned bout all the coutries Micahel traveled through and i like the easy eay he gets into contact with the locals. This is the only way to learn about other cultures
great book. read this one simultaneously with around the world, and those two still stand as my favs. strange thing is, i've never really watched the mini-series....
Having seen the series many years ago, I knew the plot. However, this was wonderful to listen too, especially as Michael Palin does the narration.
Laurel Kristick
A fantastic travelogue I first read over 10 years ago. This time I'm listening to the audiobook - Michael Palin narrates his book beautifully.
Kate Millin
Amusing but done in a way that shows he really cares about the people he meets. Very brave to have travelled in some very basic conditions.
Good old Palin - I loved the TV series of Pole to Pole and the book doesn't disappoint. Time to buy 80 Days Around the World!
Oct 27, 2008 Tracy marked it as to-read
Adding this as a placeholder. I wonder which of Palin's travel writings is the best?
Excellent read. Holds the interest through out with wallops of Palin humour.
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Michael Edward Palin, CBE, is an English comedian, actor, writer and television presenter best known for being one of the members of the comedy group Monty Python and for his travel documentaries.

Palin wrote most of his material with Terry Jones. Before Monty Python, they had worked on other shows such as The Ken Dodd Show, The Frost Report and Do Not Adjust Your Set. Palin appeared in some of the...more
More about Michael Palin...
Around the World in 80 Days: Companion to the Pbs Series (Best of the BBC) Himalaya Full circle Diaries: The Python Years, 1969-1979 (Palin Diaries, #1) Sahara

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