Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Around the World in 80 Days: Companion to the Pbs Series (Best of the BBC)” as Want to Read:
Around the World in 80 Days: Companion to the Pbs Series (Best of the BBC)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Around the World in 80 Days: Companion to the Pbs Series (Best of the BBC)

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,837 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
British actor and comedian Michael Palin -- best known to American audiences for his work in Monty Python and the film A Fish Called Wanda -- follows in the footsteps of Jules Verne's fictional adventurer Phileas Fogg and circles the globe in 80 days.
Paperback, 262 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by Bay Books (first published 1989)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Around the World in 80 Days, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Around the World in 80 Days

A Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonBlood River by Tim ButcherInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertInto Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Favourite Travel Books
169th out of 1,413 books — 3,182 voters
Number the Stars by Lois LowryThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettA Time to Kill by John GrishamThe Joy Luck Club by Amy TanThe True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
Best Books of 1989
74th out of 189 books — 128 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 05, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it really liked it
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
Ms Abudhabi
Jul 14, 2015 Ms Abudhabi rated it really liked it
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 ..
Rex Fuller
Mar 07, 2014 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it
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
Jul 27, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it
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
Susan (the other Susan)
Dec 10, 2015 Susan (the other Susan) rated it really liked it
Delightful audiobook by the smart Palin.
Liz Baessler
May 26, 2016 Liz Baessler rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 15, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it
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
Andrew Gallagher
May 11, 2015 Andrew Gallagher rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour, easy-good, british
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
Jen Saxton
Nov 10, 2015 Jen Saxton rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 06, 2009 Christine rated it liked it
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!
Bussaracum Chuenchomlada
Apr 23, 2014 Bussaracum Chuenchomlada rated it really liked it
Michael Palin said it himself in this book that nowadays you can go around the globe in less than 40 hours on a plane, but you won't see much. Using any mean of transportation, trains, cars, even a fishing dhow, but the plane, Palin takes us through his journey to follow the footsteps of Phileas Fogg. It is full of wild and wonderful moments and it has plenty of nostalgia for those who were born before the internet and cellphone became ubiquitous. See the world in the late eighties. They don't m ...more
Oct 03, 2015 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
Richard Bartholomew
May 05, 2016 Richard Bartholomew rated it really liked it
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
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.
Melissa Miller
Nov 13, 2013 Melissa Miller rated it it was amazing
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
May 18, 2013 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
Sam Still Reading
Jul 10, 2010 Sam Still Reading rated it really liked it
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
Eva Whiteley
May 08, 2015 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
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
Dec 02, 2013 Charles rated it really liked it
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
Wendy Unsworth
Jul 12, 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
Jul 26, 2013 S. rated it liked it
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
May 26, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having watched the television program many years ago and enjoyed it I wanted to try the book. If you liked this on television you will like this. I had the same mixture of Palin's humour and observation. There is more than about the crew than on TV. I found it interesting all the places he visited, some of which I had also been to although with a more conventional method of travel.

This is a very good book.
Jun 21, 2014 Phil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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+
Apr 24, 2016 A rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books, travel
While I imagine the program of this book to be wonderful, listening to Michael Palin read the book makes his writing seem rote, somehow out of a sense of duty to document what went on each day. There is no sense of adventure which usually comes through in the television programs. However, I am still a huge Michael Palin fan and will continue to be.
Mar 03, 2014 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: good
Obviously I really like Michael Palin, and travel is something that is particularly interesting. The 80 Days circumnavigation has a particular majesty to it that this gentle Englishman takes to perfectly. Although it feels a bit listy in places, the obvious charm of the journey grows and I found myself laughing along at all the amusing observations, and following the journey excitedly.
Kate Schindler
Sep 02, 2010 Kate Schindler rated it really liked it
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
James Henderson
Jun 18, 2015 James Henderson rated it it was amazing
Who knew just how difficult it would be in this modern era to reproduce the famous trip around the world. Michael Palin succeeded but only after extraordinary efforts and then just in the nick of time. It's a captivating journey that makes one want to join Michael on another of his adventures.
Nov 04, 2014 Rima rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny when you try to send a post Brit around the world. I loved the influence of different cultures but I feel either Michael was never in a place long enough or he wasn't actually bothered to truly understand and appreciate the diversity of cultures in each country.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Long Way Down
  • Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die
  • Stephen Fry in America
  • Are You Dave Gorman?
  • A Piano In The Pyrenees: The Ups and Downs of an Englishman in the French Mountains
  • Conquistadors
  • The Greedy Bastard Diary: A Comic Tour of America
  • A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Seven Years on the Silk Road
  • The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok
  • The Pillars of Hercules
  • Off the Tourist Trail: 1,000 Unexpected Travel Alternatives
  • Terry Jones' Fairy Tales
  • In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams
  • The Dark Tourist
  • No Mercy: A Journey to the Heart of the Congo
  • Mad World, My Masters: Tales from a Traveller's Life
  • North of South: An African Journey
  • The Hotel on the Roof of the World: From Miss Tibet to Shangri La
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...

Share This Book