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

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  3,936 ratings  ·  90 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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shovelmonkey1
Oct 05, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Rex Fuller
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
Chris
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.
Christine
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
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
Richard
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
Andrew
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.
...more
Melissa Miller
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
Ape
bookcrossing:

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
...more
Lisa Jenn Bigelow
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
Sam Still Reading
Jul 10, 2010 Sam Still Reading rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
...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
Charles
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
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
...more
S.
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
...more
Phil
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+
...more
David
Mar 03, 2014 David rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
Rima
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.
Linda
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
Elizabeth
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
Paul Reece
A simple sojourn of a book that though unspectacular on parts is certainly gripping in others. In particular, I clung to every sea-faring passage be it on a dhow or across the Pacific. Initially thinking of giving 3 stars, the fourth was clinched following the emotional ending as Palin once again found himself alongside his dhow-mates of 1988 - some twenty years previous.

I'm glad I've read this account of his travels.
Terry
I am unsure of why I go this book as it is neither timely nor remarkable. Michael Palin is funny and has a few interesting observations but the obsession with time and lack of depth are disappointing. To a certain extent, Palin travels a world that no longer exists. He talks about seeing the Twin Towers, easy border crossings in some places that are now fortresses and vice versa, as well as largely unautomated container ships. He refers to a Somalia that is a functioning nation, a Soviet Union t ...more
Susanne
The first of Palin's travel books, it shows him as a novice at travelling the way he does. In dairystyle, he tells his tale of travelling in Phileas Fogg's footsteps - over a hundred years later, but (considering this is 1988) no less complicated it seems. So you'll hear about an endless number of customs offices, car drivers, fixers and what not, about timetables and sanitary troubles, but mostly about the incredible richness of this planet.
Palin tells it gently, lovingly, as if you were sittin
...more
Siria
A gently humorous and enjoyable book, Around the World in 80 Days follows Michael Palin as he attempts a modern-day version of the circumnavigation of the globe described in Verne's classic novel of the same name. Undertaken in 1988, much of what he's describing now seems as remote in time as it does in physical geography--a world where Margaret Thatcher's still relevant, Benazir Bhutto is newly elected, and the first Bush is about to come to power in the United States. Still, it's engagingly wr ...more
Zack
Gosh, how to rank this one? It's a great story, Palin is a fine writer, there are plenty of twists and turns and he's got a great eye for detail. It's just the ending...well, it leaves me wanting a little more. Like there were three pages missing from the back of my copy or something. Oh, don't use that as an excuse not to read it: it's full of nice travel photographs, his style is very accessible and upbeat, and it's written by the most lovable of the Pythons so you know exactly how his voice s ...more
Ollie Wood
more booze on other ships.... :(
Catherine  Mustread
Jul 06, 2009 Catherine Mustread rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Catherine by: Suible
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
Thought Gerry would enjoy listening to this on our recent car trip, but he'd "already seen it on TV" which is no substitute for the book if you ask me. I enjoyed it more because of having read Verne's version twice. Interesting that public transportation options have decreased since the 1800s. Michael Palin is fun to read/listen to. Still working on Palin's Pole to Pole.
Jo Lin
I must confess to never having watched a Michael Palin travel documentary the whole way through, save for snippets while channel surfing. So reading this book was a pleasing surprise. Palin's light, amusing style goes down very easy indeed. Given that the journey in question was a bit of a marathon, it seems that the biggest challenge in writing this novel would have been achieving the right pacing, such that the reader doesn't feel that there are obvious episodes of speeding up and slowing down ...more
Christopher J.j.
Audio version. Well done.
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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
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