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Around the World in Eighty Days
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Around the World in Eighty Days

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  5,030 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
In the autumn of 1988 Michael Palin set out from the Reform Club to circumnavigate the world, following the route taken by the fictional Phileas Fogg 115 years earlier. He had to make the journey in 80 days - accompanied by a BBC film crew - using only forms of transport that would have been available to Fogg.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 1st 1991 by BBC Books (first published 1989)
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Sep 11, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Armchair travellers and people who like their books to come with additional TV
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: Michael Palin what a pal!
Shelves: travel-books
Ok, so I'm outing myself as someone who loves Michael Palin. BUT... yes, there is a caveat to this statement, I only love him when he's doing travel stuff and is not in any way attempting to be humorous in the style of Monty Python. Yes, yes many people persist in telling me that Monty Python is both pant wettingly funny and part of the premier league archive of ageing British Comedy along with the Goodies and the Goons (eh? Exactly) but it just makes me go yeah, yeah WHATEVER! Not my sense of h ...more
First things first, it was a great idea to attempt re-creating Fogg's journey around the world in 80 days, how will modern travel and the latest in crazy bureaucracy delay or improve the time taken? Palin says at the beginning if he went by plane he could be home in 36hrs, if he went by boat he could be back in 63 days, but what was the point in only seeing clouds or sea? It turns out he might as well have just done that for all he got to see. Everything is timetabled, as soon as he gets off one ...more
Jul 27, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Michael Palin's TV documentary of the same name is the basis for this book, the book itself actually comes from the diary Palin keeps on his journey, and the result is a delightful book, breezy and well-written (after all, the Monty Python troupe were writers as well as performers), and giving even more detail and color to the experience. Anyone who likes travel narratives would enjoy this one.
Linda C
Michael Palin and a film crew of 5 set off to follow Verne's Phileas Fogg's trip using land and sea travel, no air, in comparable time. They travel from London via the Orient Express to the Channel Ferry; then again on the Orient Express to Innsbruck where an Austrian rail strike brings the first of many delays. By the time they have completed Italy, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and India they are 10 days behind schedule due to bureaucratic and transport delays. Palin and the soundman have been sick and ...more
Rex Fuller
Mar 03, 2014 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From September 25th to December 12, 1988, Palin circumnavigated the world on the fictional route of Phileas Fogg in Jules Vern’s Around the World in Eighty Days. No aircraft. The Orient Express at Victoria Station, London. Ferry across the English Channel. Train over the Alps to Venice. Corinth Canal to Athens, then Crete and Alexandria. Train to Cairo. Ferry from the city of Suez to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Across Saudi Arabia to Dubai by car. Dhow to Bombay, a week behind Phileas Fogg (!). Indian ...more
Ms Abudhabi
Jul 14, 2015 Ms Abudhabi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
يقول مايكل بالين في هذا الكتاب أن في هذه الأيام يمكن أن تذهب الى جميع أنحاء العالم في أقل من 40 ساعة على متن طائرة، ولكنك لن ترى الكثير خلال ذلك بكثير. بعكس استخدام أية وسيلة اخرى من وسائل النقل كالقطارات والسيارات، وحتى المراكب الشراعية .

يسافر معنا بالين في هذا الكتاب بشغف كبير يجعلنا نشعر بالكثير من الحنين لأولئك الذين ولدوا قبل الانترنت والهواتف المحمولة . رؤية العالم في أواخر الثمانينات كان له سحره ولم يعد احد بقادر على اعداد مثل تلك الرحلات المثيرة ..
Susan (the other Susan)
Delightful audiobook by the smart Palin.
A good thing to read if you are thinking you would ever want to try to go around the world in 80 days, because then you will already know you will not get to see much!
Jan 01, 2017 Aaronb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got hooked on Michael Palin books after reading Pole to Pole. This time, Palin travels latitudinally - starting in London and trying to match the famous (but fictional) Phileas Fogg journey. He restricts himself again to water or overland modes of transportation. It's wonderful to be an armchair traveller as Palin meets (mostly) helpful characters in all countries from Africa to Asia.

My favorite part of the book was the journey to Singapore via the slow boat from Africa, with a great crew mad
Richard Bartholomew
Jun 08, 2014 Richard Bartholomew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
The central theme of Michael Palin's first travel book is the travel experience itself – primarily his own, as an urgent and unconventional passenger on trains and ships, but also conveying something of the day-to-day lives of those whose work involves transferring people and products across borders and oceans (sometimes in rather precarious circumstances). Palin's mix of train-spotter enthusiasm, good humour (perhaps strained to saintly patience at times) and empathy make him the perfect choice ...more
Liz Baessler
May 15, 2016 Liz Baessler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm keeping up my nonfiction by old British actors I've always liked stint. Over the years I've watched bits and pieces of Michael Palin's travel shows with my parents, and they always left me with a sense of easygoing fun and hope. (I must have caught part of this series once, because I distinctly remember seeing him score the coveted role of Man in Elevator in Cairo). Reading the book was essentially the same. I didn't get to the heart of any issues, and I didn't meet any uncomfortable truths. ...more
Mar 20, 2011 Ape rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel

I do actually remember buying this, and Pole to Pole, in a charity shop in Northallerton years ago. And I have only just gotten around to reading it! I never saw the tv series, although looking in the front of the book, this was all a good few years ago - he wrote this in 1989! Mind boggling. And there are mentions of walkmans with tape cassettes (not even CDs, never mind MP3s!) and relatively easy travel through the middle east. I suspect some things have changed since then.

As the
Feb 22, 2017 Stef rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
second time that i have read this. well written, good humor.
Jen Saxton
Oct 07, 2015 Jen Saxton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first delve into travel writing. It was a perfect start. Like many people, I am fascinated with our incredible, beautiful world but also like many people, I lack the time and money needed to explore it. Palin so aptly points out “how much we all see of the world on television and in the newspapers, and how little we know of it.” While I’m sure he’d recommend I spent time travelling wherever and however I can, I feel that reading some travel writing is a good start. Since I ‘travelled ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you listen to the news you must feel, as I do, that we are living in a pretty shitty place and a pretty shitty time. The world is not like that. As a matter of fact it is much, much better than what we are being bombarded with in the media. I'm not saying terrible things are not happening, they are, but it's not the only thing going on.

Because I needed to let some sunshine in and feel good about things I've turned to a few books that focus on the good that people do.

To start off I returned to
This is a very funny book. Having read this one and Pole to Pole out of synch (this is the first book based on his travel TV shows) this one is much better - the impending deadline and constant comparison of where his is compared to where Phileas Fogg was (until close to the end he was days behind the fictional traveller) mean that there is an air of tension.
There are a couple of other things that I like about this book. The first is the section detailing his journey by car across Saudi Arabia.
Sam Still Reading
Jun 27, 2010 Sam Still Reading rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: armchair travellers
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: watched the TV series
No, the above is not a typo- this book really is by Michael Palin of Monty Python fame. It is the book to accompany the BBC series of the late 1980s- is it possible for one man (and his film crew) to go around the world in eighty days or less without leaving the ground?

I’m not going to tell you the answer. For that, you’ll need to read the book and/or watch the series.

Michael Palin writes possibly the best travel books around. He has the ability to take you there to Bombay, Hong Kong or the Rock
I notice some other readers have complained that this book is not timely, given that it was written in 1988, and much of the world's political landscape has changed since then. Personally, I thought this datedness added an interesting dimension to Palin's travelogue. As he compares his experiences to Phileas Fogg's (fictional) ones, readers can consider how much has changed since 1988 -- and what has stayed the same. 1988... before the fall of the Iron Curtain, before the Gulf War, before Hong K ...more
Melissa Miller
Oct 28, 2013 Melissa Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book while I myself was traveling, and really enjoyed it. The pace of the book is much like the pace of the trip, a bit hurried and brief at times. It's at its best when Palin has the most time, as when he's stuck on various ships for days crossing oceans with no change of scenery. Then he's very insightful and can see the patterns and bigger picture. Perhaps because I too spend a lot of time on ships slowly crossing oceans I found these parts of the book the most interesting. Little ...more
Wendy Unsworth
Jun 22, 2012 Wendy Unsworth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I read this book when it was first published, which was in the late 80’s and re-visiting it was fun. I have always had a soft spot for Michael Palin and avidly followed all his travel TV programmes (as well as his nutty Monty Python days that came before)
The narrative is written as a day by day diary; there is only a snapshot of each country travelled as he moves with an increasing sense of urgency. Of course, this journey is against the clock.
The descriptions are fun, the people interesting an
Eva Whiteley
Dec 26, 2014 Eva Whiteley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Around the World in 80 Days has a different feel and approach to all the other travel books that I had read. First there is a clear deadline on how long the journey should take with plenty of vital onward connections that needed to be met. This led to some drama and pace up until at least day 40 when, Palin found himself quite a few days behind schedule in comparison to the fictional character of Phileas Fogg.

Secondly, and the reason why I enjoyed the book, is that it is less about the places of
Dec 02, 2013 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I finished "Around the World in Eighty Days" by Jules Verne, I remembered that (once upon a time) Michael Palin followed Fogg's route around the world for the BBC. Having (once upon a time) read Palin's travel books and thoroughly enjoying them, I procured a copy of this book, sort of as a dessert to the original. I wasn't disappointed. Palin's account is sweet and playful, with very little substance and all "plot" (like the original). Like Verne's narrative, actual description is doled out ...more
Jul 26, 2013 S. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Palin was the Ringo Starr of Monty Python.

that is to say, in the middle-brow cocktail party conversation, 'how does every team in the world correspond to the Beatles,' Palin was always the moral heart or enabler of everything the team did, rather than the edgy leader or chick-magnet foil to the brooding antihero. I guess the mean thing to say was that he was the completely expendable one. meh

anyways... AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS is a pretty expendable book. unlike its Victorian anteced
Jan 08, 2013 Phil rated it liked it
This was an interesting read, but ultimately a little unsatisfying - but that's more to do with the project itself, than the writing (although being Palin's first journey diary as a book, he is possibly less engaging than he would become later).

The main problem is that which makes all travelogues of constant movement unsatisfying - you don't get to go deep with anything. In fact the only times that you really get moments of profundity are when Palin is forced to stop and sit and think - the 30+
Kate Schindler
Sep 02, 2010 Kate Schindler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
FANTASTIC. I can't get over how much fun this was to listen to. And I'm glad I was listening, because I think I would have skimmed over a lot of parts about the routes and history had I been reading, but they ended up being interesting. The narrator was excellent, and it was so great to get a Victorian perspective on the world - like, actually on the world, since the whole idea was that the world was getting smaller. Also, it was a fantastic adventure story, and I can totally see why people were ...more
Andrew Gallagher
They say books transport you as you sit in a quiet room listening to the rain. Well clearly travel books do that and more however Palin gives the whole trip a personal perspective while taking you along as companion.You must be impressed by the scale of his task even allowing for the modern day assistance he gets. The boredom as he travels on container ships with little staff and few amenities would endear you to his plight on it's own. To imagine the lives of men working abroad these vessels on ...more
Apr 15, 2013 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is an attempt by Michael Palin to create a modern day version of the classic" Around the World in 80 Days" by Jules Verne. I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read the original book or had seen the miniseries. I felt that I needed more background. I did find some witty passages and interesting descriptive passages but I found the style did not flow as smoothly as I would have liked and I found his constant preoccupation with time annoying. However, to be fair, I have since rea ...more
Apr 13, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second Michael Palin travelogue I have read and I have enjoyed every second of it! For an armchair traveler who longs to be an 80-Day Circumnavigator just like Phileas Fogg, this is just the ticket (sorry to mix my metaphors...). From train travel across Europe on The Orient Express (trying not to salivate...sorry), to crossing the Indian Ocean on a dhow (which is about as far from The Orient Express that you can get and still be alive to tell the tale), this travel narrative is well ...more
Chris Steeden
Very interesting reading this 25 years after Palin did this trip in the sense of how far technology has evolved in such a short space of time. I am sure that a lot of the connections they struggled with would have been far easier with all the information we have to-hand nowadays. That, in a sense, made this more fun although fun was not what Palin had for the whole trip. Where this book fails slightly is in the lack of information that you would normally expect from Palin although he cannot real ...more
Jan 25, 2012 Maura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic, travel
Michael Palin (of Monty Python fame) attempts to follow the schedule of Phileas Fogg 'round the globe with a BBC camera crew in tow. Lots of pretty pictures; lots of anecdotes in which Palin is bemused by the strangeness around him. he comes across as the perfect travelling companion -- it's no wonder the BBC has hired him to do so many of these types of travelogues. so worth tracking down this book, or the TV series (they're available on video, and often get replayed on the Travel Channel or PB ...more
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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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