Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years (Palin Diaries #1)
“Michael Palin is not just one of Britain’s foremost comedy character actors, he also talks a lot. Yap, yap, yap he goes, all day long and through the night . . . then, some nights, when everyone else has gone to bed, he goes home and writes up a diary.” —John Cleese
“For Palin it has been one hell of a ride, but he seems to have maintained equilibrium all along the way. .
1/5 The Monty Python star recalls the influential comedy troupe's huge success in the 70s and the making of their first film.
2/5 The actor and travel writer recalls the Monty Python team's success in America, their break-up and the start of their own solo projects.
3/5 The comic actor and travel writer shares more poignant memories from the 70s, reflecting on his relationship with his ailing dad.
4/5 The comic actor shares his surreal experience of guest hosting a big American...more
Eventually I plucked up the courage and started it. My initial fears did prove groundless. This is a very readable book.
Palin's writing style does evolve as the book progresses. As he gets in...more
There is a big difference between reading an unedited diary and reading a memoir. Palin comes across as a very nice guy (and John Cleese not) but if you want to know how Monty Python developed their sketche...more
First, I'm a raving Monty Python fan. I have a rough knowledge of the order of events in the Python history, and the members of the troupe.
Second, I'm a big fan of Michael Palin in general. I've seen many of his travelogues and I'm generally not disappointed by his output.
Third, I generally enjoy reading diaries.
Here are some items I found to be engaging reading in the book (in no particular order):
The actor and writer recalls how the influential comedy group reconvened in 1977 to make their most controversial film.
Then, instead of various days, months, and years dictating the titles of the various chapters, I would have used the following chapter titles:
Chapter 1: Turning ambiguous into 'deliberately vague'
Chapter 2: Wanting others to believe what you believed happened
Chapter 3: Blurring and obfuscation with an innocence quite touching
Deciding to publish his diary was a clever idea. Unlike an autobiography, which is inevitably tainted by current thoughts/feelings on what happened, a diary really charts the ups and downs as they unfolded. He's surprisingly candid and insightful about the good and the not-so-good within Monty Python, and he does it so in a witty and yet nice way. His diary consists of...more
“Michael Palin is not just one of Britain’s foremost comedy character actors...he also talks a lot.
Michael chats, quips, fantasises, reminisces, commiserates, encourages, plans, discusses, and elaborates. Then, some nights, when everyone else has gone to bed, he goes home and writes up a diary.”
You can almost hear Cleese’s signature tone of ire in your head as...more
I think diaries are more interesting than memoirs because you read about what the person thought was important at the time rather than what was more important in retrospect. Michael is instantly likable - probably the most fun parts are his frank discussions of the personalities in Python - Gra...more
25 Jan 2009 - started and read 1969-70
This is a slow moving because it goes thru the minutiae of dinners and travel, but throughout Palin's overnight stardom with Python, we see how he copes three young children, a father becoming physically and mentally weak, the strong personalities of the other Python's, newfound wealth - all by the age of 32.
08 Aug 2009 - finished 1974, interesting because that is the year Python filmed Holy Grail
07 Sep 2009 - finished 1975,...more
The entries cover the beginnings of the series, Holy Grail, appearances on Saturday Night Live, Life of Brian and the very beginnings of Time...more
Michael is himself apologetic at the beginning of the diaries, stating that he didn’t feel there was enough about Python in there, because he didn’t realise how big the whole thing would become. He continues this...more
The private Palin is as he seems: a decent guy, a disciplined writer (both of his diary and of his other work), a proud dad, a g...more
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