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Himalaya

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,945 ratings  ·  69 reviews
This book is compiled from Michael Palin's diaries, records the pleasure and pain of his most challenging journey so far and Basil Pao captures the sensational beauty of the finest mountain scenery in the world.
Hardcover
Published September 27th 2004 by W&N (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Manu Prasad
Michael Palin's amazing journey across the whole length of the Himalayas, beginning in Pakistan and ending in what was once known as East Pakistan, and covering on the way India, Nepal, Tibet, a small part of China, and Bhutan. What really comes through is the range of perspectives the author gains and shares with us through the journey itself, but more importantly, through the people he meets.
Isolated tribes beyond Peshawar who would seem to be living in a different era altogether, the dangerou
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Stephen Dawson
Another classic Palin adventure. Here he spends four months travelling along the Himalaya (though ending with a trip through Bangladesh to the Bay of Bengal). In one sense the journey is a bit of a cheat, in that it isn't a continuous trip but a series of trips presented as a continuous whole, but with such formidable geography (and politics), the team can be forgiven that.

As always, the writing is excellent, and the geography is inspiring, and ably captured by the photographer Basil Pao. He tal
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Lynne
I listened to this book on tape, but I think that it would have worked better as an actual book. I could have used some photographs and a map to break it up a bit. It started really slow, but I enjoyed it by the end. Although it was published in 2005, the commentary hasn't aged well. He refers to "the end of (this) Iraq war" several times. Oops!
Christine Blachford
Michael Palin and his team travel the length of the Himalaya, shooting a documentary for the BBC, interviewing interesting people and gathering gorgeous views. The journey takes you from the flat lands of Bangladesh to the highs of Everest Base Camp, and along the way Palin meets so many unique characters. Monks, farmers, miners, he follows the ways of life for these people, discovering just how different life can be from one side of a mountain to another.

Palin is well known and well travelled,
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Virna
Jan 29, 2014 Virna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: photographers, himalayan travelers
One of my personal treasure; bought at New Delhi airport at the last leg of my himalayan adventure. I've never heard of Michael Palin before, but upon looking at the beautiful photographs in the book (taken by the famed Basil Pao who went with Michael almost anywhere BBC sent him to) and Michael's no-nonsense account of his journey across the Himalayan countries, I was hooked.
Waqietalin's prayer flags and Tintin!

I did get to visit some places Michael described in the book, but where I went, he went further. While I didn't get to v
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Deborah
Michael Palin (of Monty Python fame) introduces the astoundingly diverse people and places along the greatest mountain range on earth, "Himalaya," in this book-companion to the BBC television production. Photos by Basil Pao lend color and form to the subjects Palin's witty and insightful narration.

Here are a few interesting facts I learned from "Himalaya":
* Himalaya is Sanskrit for "Abode of Snow."
* The Kalash in Northwest Pakistan are thought to be descendants of Alexander the Great's army.
* I
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Hitbybus
I found this book to be kinda slow and boring. I listened to it on audiobook and found myself constantly daydreaming and the story continuously running together. There were a few interesting parts to the book, but ultimately, I was unimpressed.
Madhavi
Himalaya is a book that takes you on an armchair's journey across the length of the himalaya's.
The author's journey, takes him across the Himalayan & remote parts five countries of Pakistan,India,China,Bhutan,Nepal and Bangladesh. His journey brings across the cultural diversity of the regions which are at times cut-off from the rest of the developed or rather the developing world beyond it.

Along the journey he visits the old cities along the old trade routes, samples the local fare,passes t
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Dean Hamilton
"Buddhism is a very steep religion."


This type of trenchent observation is what makes Michael Palin's travels a genuine joy to behold.

Having gone "Around the World in 80 Days", travelled "Full Circle" and traipsed across the Sahara. Michael Palin and his indefatigable BBC crew elected to visit the high peaks of the Himalaya. Covering 1800 miles, from Afghanistan to the China, the Himalaya is the highest mountain range in the world encompassing the top 14 tallest mountains in the world and some 30
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jeanie
This book was 9 CDs long, and it seemed to take a really long time to get through. Michael Palin traveled through the Himalayas to film stuff for the BBC. He wrote this travelogue, too. I think the trip was somewhere around 4 months, and I think he narrated something for almost every day of the journey. The beginning of the trip really didn't grab my attention for some reason. He started in Pakistan, and I guess I just don't have any real connection to Pakistan. I didn't think we'd make end of t ...more
Sam Still Reading
Jan 16, 2011 Sam Still Reading rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: armchair travellers
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: read other books in the series
Everyone knows by now that I really enjoy Michael Palin’s travel diaries of his TV series (even though I have read more of the books rather than watch the series). Himalaya has spent some time on the bestseller list and it’s easy to see why. Palin and crew cover areas that the average person would be unlikely to visit and give you a warts and all experience, including what it feels like to have altitude sickness and meet the Dalai Lama.

I haven’t seen the TV series of this one, but I bet it’s maj
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John G
Jan 22, 2007 John G rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wishful travelers
I listened to this book on tape (unabridged, read by the author) while jogging in the SM mountains, which I pretended were the mighty Himalayas. Palin is only a fair writer but - of course - an excellent presenter. I think my review might have been less positive if I had read rather than heard this book. I particularly enjoyed the bits about the supposedly Greek hillbillies of Pakistan, claiming descent from Alexander's conquest, as well as Palin's visit to some of the weirder ethnic minorities ...more
Mridul Grover
Michael Palin takes us on a journey across the length of the Himalayas like never taken before.The account made about the journey takes you from your chair right into the heart of the Himalayas. Apart from the serene and sublime beauty of the Himalayas the journey takes a deep insight into the lifestyle,culture and religion of the mountain people who spend their life in such harsh condition with just basic utilitarian commodities and still are such bonhomie..!!!...Their austere and persevere way ...more
Shweta Ganesh Kumar


This is the kind of book that you feel bad about finishing. Michael Palin takes you on a wonderful journey through the lands that owe a lot to the mighty Himalayas.
The book written as the pages of Michael's diaries is a detailed yet fun narrative of the life in this region.
It is a tale simply told with wit, humor and sensitivity.
As I devoured the book, I felt like I was walking through the North-west frontier province, shivering in a tent on the snow capped mountains, wolfing down exotic meals
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David Musgraves
This one may have gone over a bit better with me had I seen the BBC program that the book accompanies. As a stand-alone book, it lacks a little bit of depth that it tries to make up for in breadth, but doesn't quite succeed.
Beverly Hollandbeck
Since I read my first book about climbing Mt. Everest (Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer), I've been fascinated with the Himalayas. Palin does not disappoint.
Kate Millin
Michael Palin's energy and enthusiasm amazes me, and comes through as well in his writing as it does on the screen. I am not sure I would want to go through some of the privations he did to visit these places, but I do find a vicarious enjoyment by experiencing it through him. What comes through is the fact that the people he visited seem to enjoy their lives, cultures and families despite the hard environment they live in. A good lesson in the fact that having a lot does not necessarily mean li ...more
Bibliophile
Himalaya is apparently based on the journals kept by Michael Palin whilst filming his tv series about traveling in the great knot of mountains that stretches from Western Afghanistan into China. Palin remarks on his impressions of the countries through which he and his companions pass, and although he is certainly charmed by the numerous mountain people he meets along the way, he's also a clear-eyed realist about hardships of their daily lives. This is a fun read with some lovely photos; nothing ...more
Katherine
I was lucky enough to get this signed by Michael Palin so it's a bit of a treasure in my house.
David
Very good read. It has some kind of a charming tone, something that derives from Palin's notes and commentaries which are very sympathetic. Also, sometimes the book gave me a good round of laugh. Perhaps it is thanks to concoct of British accent, post-colonial countries they visited and tons of yak dungs they encountered along the way :)

What is worth to mention, Palin is great observer, objective and sincere and he never looked down on any person he met during their travel. He is full of respect
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Geoff Tebbutt
I have had this book about 4 years and just dipped into it now and again, looking at the pictures! This time I am reading it and find Palin's brief paragraph-long descriptions of incidents both great and small just right, for example the instance in 1842 of Army Surgeon Brydon bringing news alone up the Khyber Pass of the annihilation of 17,000 colleagues who set out to conquer Afghanistan for the British - wow! what are we doing there again.
He paints a very colourful and informative picture of
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Chris Steeden
Another great travelogue from Palin. Lots of detail in this book in the same format as he started back in Around the Word in 80 Days. As he has gone on the detail, both observational and historical, have increased and the books are better for that. Always easy to read and Palin is certainly a great guide. You know what you are going to get with the books. This is not extreme adventure by any stretch but as I will probably never get to go to any of these places it is the next best thing.
Belle
Uninteresting, not funny, not personal, just facts, skindeep. This is the travel book of a diva about his travels he made for making his tv programme. And it goes something like this: "I don't know how we got here, but it is beautiful". And then you get a history lesson, like the information you would get while watching a travel program. It would be more interesing to read the story of the person who had to go to great lenghts to arrange all these journeys. Someone from the tv crew.
Sunil Nair
I open Himalaya, whenever I wish to see photographs of its snow capped peaks or to get inspired to plan a travel just as Mr. Palin did.

The book is more than a travelogue and provides a wonderful perspective of the regions geography, demography, culture and the vibrancy of a billion people south of its west to east expanse.

I suggest its a good idea to see the BBC documentary along with the book. It sort of completes the frame shown by Mr Palin.

Susanne
My personal favourite of Palin's books so far. As the title says, the book follows his trip through the Himalaya from the Afghanistan/Pakistan-border down to Bangladesh. In diarystyle again, he describes incredible heights, untouched cultures and nature, but also the influence of politics and economy.
With quite interesting insights into the results of world politics - told by Palin as the discoverer - a thoroughly recommendable book.
Karen
I was just thinking about what made this book different from other South Asian travelogues I've read. What Michael Palin gives us with this book is a view through a lens that's tinted by good humor and fairly eloquent descriptive language, yet relatively nonjudgmental. He presents the situations, people, cultural experiences, and so forth, rarely classifying them as negative (though often noting the positive, or the "quirky").
Annekanne
i really wanted to love this book but unfortunately i found it a bit dry. its great that theres a map with the route taken (i think its a must with travel books) and i love it that there are photos (however, all the photos of the people he met are great memories for him but mostly boring for me, id prefer other ones). i think his travels are really interesting but he cant really put it together in an interesting way.
Wendy Unsworth
Another treasured travel account by Michael Palin. Wonderful photography, the writing peppered with the usual Palin wit. These books are a treat.
Aileen
I think I liked this journey best out of all that Michael Palin undertook. It was lovely to read this and remember the trek from Pakistan across to Tibet then down through to Bangladesh following the great Himalaya range. Palin writes so comfortably, he meets and interviews interesting people and there are plenty of giggles along them way. Full of photos by Basil Pao too.
Jay Mansfield
Something of a coffee table book, I feel like I drifted through the Himalayas as Palin himself did, with behind-the-scenes people taking care of all the logistics; does he really experience anything of the places he visits to understand them in any depth at all.

Still, this is a beautifully set and bound book, and Palin's writing style is welcomingly relaxed and open-minded.
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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
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More about Michael Palin...
Around the World in 80 Days: Companion to the Pbs Series (Best of the BBC) Full Circle Diaries: The Python Years, 1969-1979 (Palin Diaries, #1) Sahara Pole to Pole

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