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Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  705 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
One hundred years after the birth of Ernest Hemingway, Michael Palin sets out to discover the man behind the legend: a hard-drinking womanizer who liked cats and shooting -- but wrote like a dream and left an idelible impression on the twentieth century through his work.
Fueled by intensive reading for his bestselling novel, Hemingway's Chair, and, as always, driven by a d
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published 1999 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Mikey B.
This book takes us to many places where the famous author lived drank, fought and shot various animals... It’s a National Geographic view of Michigan (where Hemingway was born), Paris, Spain (Pamplona), Italy, Africa (Kenya), and Idaho where Hemingway died (actually killed himself).

Hemingway lived in Toronto, Canada for a time, but alas old T.O. gets no mention (or photos) in this book – it can’t compare to the above mentioned exotic locations!

It’s a very cursory look at this very spirited write
Jan 01, 2014 Brad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, travel
A slightly unstuffy, upper middle class, English twit, roaming the Earth in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway sounds like the makings of a fun adventure, and if Michael Palin had given more to his journey (or perhaps simply had been better at recording what he did give) it could have been a fun adventure, but most of Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure ends up being pretty difficult to enjoy.

Palin spends much of his time going to the places Hemingway went, recording how they've changed over the
Apr 09, 2014 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
During a signing session at Stanfords bookstore in London Covent Garden I told Michael Palin about my small town Cuneo, in North West Italy, and the fact that he did not mention it nor visit it. Hemingway actually came here in 1954, to buy some famous rum chocolates which are still produced nowadays. He underlined what an interesting story that was and asked me why, instead of being there and telling him the tale, it did not occur to me to bring some ... Such a funny encounter..
Jan 10, 2013 Nienke rated it liked it
Leuk en vermakelijk boek, de manier waarop Michael schrijft is altijd lichtelijk ludiek, maar toch serieus. Ik was benieuwd naar de persona van Hemingway, al moet ik zeggen dat ik gemengde gevoelens over de man heb. Daad- en wilskrachtig, zeker. Avontuurlijk ook. Maar zijn voorliefde voor stierenvechten en jagen vind ik - als vegetariër zijn - toch een tikje wreed en nodeloos.

Desondanks was het zeker leuk om meer over de man te weten te komen, na het lezen van 'The Old Man and the Sea.' Hoe hij
Sep 06, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it
I have to read all my Palin books again so I can forget about the Palin that makes me want to throw up and move to Canada!
Sep 14, 2011 JDK1962 rated it really liked it
Great armchair travel book...makes you want to get off your couch and go.
So, I'm sadly a little more familiar with Michael Palin's work than I am with Ernest Hemingway's, despite my degree in English. I had my first encounter with Hemingway a mere year-and-a-half or so ago (Islands in the Stream) and have since only read The Old Man and the Sea, though I enjoyed both enough that I've been meaning to get around to reading more at some point. But anyway, I like Michael Palin's travel shows and books, and that's why I originally picked this up, and not because I'm a big ...more
Sep 20, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An easy read, and a great sample of a unique character and unique parts of the world. Hemingway's writing doesn't interest me, but I really did enjoy the way Palin presented the journey (thanks to the BBC). My one complaint is that, for no seemingly good reason, the book didn't even try follow Hemingway chronologically. It jumped around his timeline so much that I had no sense of when he was in various places and for how long.
Mar 07, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
I consider myself an Ernest Hemingway fan, I love his straightforward writing style and his ideas. I also like Michael Palin (English comedian of Monty Python fame) so I expected great things from this book and I'm pleased to say I wasn't disappointed!

The premise of the book is simple; Palin, himself an admirer of Hemingway, goes on a BBC funded trip abroad to visit all the places Hemingway famously loved and wrote about to get more of an idea of who Hemingway was, his legacy and the perceptions
Aug 14, 2013 Elsa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Palin's travel books are always very good. He is such an amazing travel writer that I belive he could write about a bus ride in rush hour and still make it sound as an interesting and hilarious journey.

I'm ashamed to confess that I never read anything from Hemingway, not even The Old Man and the Sea, but this book makes me want to read all his books. I never thought about the places where the books were written. Like everyone else I knew that the story of Fiesta - The sun also rises, ta
Jun 11, 2012 Elaine rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful time I had reading this. Michael Palin utilizes that Oxbridge background from his own education and his father's profession, and just entertains entirely throughout the book. I read it, first of all, because I think that Hemingway's presence in NW lower Michigan is much overlooked by many. Therefore, I began reading because Palin sets out from Chicago and goes to that area of such grandeur and beauty: Pure Michgan! I often think that those who have read the torment of the Nick ...more
Eva Whiteley
After ready Himalaya I wanted to read another travel book by Michael Palin. I chose Hemingway Adventure on one merit, it was cheap to buy in comparison to all of the other Palin travel books. Hemingway is a renowned and respected author who I should know more about. Instead, I’ve never read any of his books. In this written documentary Palin uses his travel writing experience to detail the locations where Hemingway played out his life. Woven into each location is a trip through Hemingway’s life, ...more
Nov 15, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"Oh, Michael. You are not helping my crush at all by being so damn lovable. [...] This is my favourite of the (two) Palin books I've read so far. Sahara was great, but long, and I admit I expected more funny, considering the Python history, which was probably not fair at all. Hemingway Adventure was much more concise, funnier (I'm a sucker for funny, what can I say?), informative, and, most significantly, full of passion. The guy really likes Hemmingway, and it shows, which makes the read t
Sep 17, 2007 Cau rated it liked it
Shelves: methamphetamine
as the title suggests, the book is about hemingway's journey around the world.
the author pays homage by revisiting hemingway's favorite haunts and, with the help of some great photos, gives us a glimpse into the scenes that inspired hemingway to write his novels.
from some serious barhopping in cuba, to a spot of bullfighting in spain. to me the book serves as a some kind of an unconventional biography for this literary legend.
although i admit, the book is not an easy read. the prose being cramme
Aug 14, 2013 Dark-Draco rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Well, for the first book of Palin's that I've read, I wasn't all that impressed. I did like the writing style and got to the end of the book, so it was entertaining in some small way, but not the most memorable of books read. I've read a bit of Hemmingway, but it was a while ago and I couldn't relate any of the tales to what he'd written. Somehow, I felt that the book was missing something - maybe it needs to be read in conjunction with the TV series, so you can see the places more clearly. Even ...more
Jun 12, 2014 Johanna rated it really liked it
This was a 'holiday read' I picked up at an Oxfam shop. That may be totally irrelevant but it fit the bill perfectly. I love Palin's gently humorous style and his subject has captured my imagination since I first picked up 'For whom the bell tolls' myself. Palin tracks down Hemingway's various haunts and homes through the years. A thriving industry appears to have arisen around many of them- a reflection on the strange world we live in.
All that magnetism and creativity don't seem to have made h
Jan 08, 2008 L.J. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Hemingway fan, general reading
Me likes some Palin and him good story teller about even gooder storyteller Papa H.
Okay, not to come across as a complete moron, I actually really liked this book. For one thing Palin is funny without being overly silly, he looks at his subject pretty pragmatically. Hemingway is a not treated more than a successful writer that was lucky enough to enjoy life and sadly ended it. I am one who would have gladly walked with the old man and wished to have a drink, a hunt, or a lesson in composing sen
Aug 23, 2011 Gerrit rated it it was ok
This book is a collection of notes that Palin gathered travelling Hemingway's trail and that is why it is very fragmented (both in space and time). I would have liked some more information on Hemingway instead of a 'making of' a BBC documentary. Also, my copy lacks a proper map. Quite strange for a book that is all about travelling.

Nevertheless, the book made me read The Sun Also Rises again.
John Orman
Jun 27, 2013 John Orman rated it really liked it
For this work of research and semi-adoration of Papa, Palin traveled all over the world to catch up to Hemingway's world--Chicago, Italy, Paris, Spain, Kenya, Key West, Cuba, Montana, and finally Idaho.

Archival photos of the great author are intermingled with photos of Palin's journey, taken by Basil Pao.

At the age of nine, Ernest wrote in elementary school: "I intend to travel and write." And that he did!!

Palin undertook his journey upon the 100th anniversary of Ernest's birth, and this book is
Raghav Modi
Feb 04, 2014 Raghav Modi rated it it was amazing
Michael Palin Hemingway Adventure is a perfect homage to an author whose life was full of tragedies and triumphs, one who found it hard to stay still at ony place and was always on the lookout for his next adventure. The book is a great insight into the life of a legendary literary figure and how his impact hasn’t diminished after decades.

Detailed review -
Portia Costa
Aug 29, 2013 Portia Costa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this one. A slightly different vibe to his journeys like 80 Days and Pole to Pole etc, where he was against the clock and had to make travel connections. This one's more leisurely and meandering, and seems more personal and perhaps more intense, because of Michael's passion for Ernest Hemingway's life and writing.
Jul 24, 2012 Marcus rated it really liked it
Filled with Palin's unique humour and thirst for adventure, this was a thoroughly enjoyable travel diary. The absolute adoration that Palin holds for Hemingway is very apparent throughout this book, reminding the reader that celebrities are normal people and that they have heroes too. It has also accomplished in its indirect goal, which is to make me want to read more Hemingway.
Jul 15, 2010 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was actually quite enjoyable. Started off slow, though I'm not sure anyone could make the lower peninsula interesting. Palin did a nice job not getting maudlin or over-reverential with the subject.

Although the publisher's put his name front and center, he, as movie-star, resided in the background of his tale.

Nice, light read.
Aug 28, 2014 Pedro rated it really liked it
A nice and easy introduction to Hemingway's life narrative, conveyed in Palin's English objective 'anthropology through the looking glass' style. I personally have a lot of time for Palin with his wit and charm but I can't help but feel he plays up his 'Englishness' for a target audience, which comes across as more than stereotypical.
Jan 20, 2014 Seana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Other than maybe Spain, Palin does more to dissuade than encourage a trip to these destinations. It also painfully obvious that this is a companion read to the BBC series. It doesn't stand up very well on its own. I would have preferred more of an account of Palin's own experience than the inconveniences of getting the right shot.
Apr 13, 2012 Robert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: michael-palin
Excellent as always, Michael Palin's is a superb author and narrator. His experiences and take on Hemingway are really interesting.

Don't think Hemingway would be my cup of tea though, interesting character that he is ......
James Lang
Mar 02, 2016 James Lang rated it it was ok
If you are in the subset of people who enjoy travel writing and the works of Ernest Hemingway, a decent read. I suspect the television show was probably more enjoyable. Some interesting moments, but nothing exceptional in here.
Apr 15, 2013 Sage rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only really read this for the chapter on Spain, but ended up getting more into it and learning a bit more about his life. Still not a great fan of Hemmingway, his writing or as a person, but it was interesting book for setting the legacy into context.
May 07, 2008 Fawls13 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who like lots of pictures in their reading!
I gave it 4 stars because it was a good travel book. Entertaining, pretty well written and lots of pictures. So it was a good book for reading on the plane, in airports or anytime light reading was wanted.
*By contrast Anna Karenina is NOT a good travel book*
Nicole Marino
Dec 17, 2009 Nicole Marino rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
As always, an engaging record of travels; all the moreso because of Palin's attachment to his subject...and the photos are beautiful. I even met Michael at a booksigning for this in New York...definitely a happy day!
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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 about Michael Palin...

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