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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,477 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Michael Palin recounts his extraordinary crossing of the vast and merciless desert.

Michael Palin is off again, this time to the seemingly desolate Sahara Desert. There’s no easy way across, as he and his team discover on their most challenging expedition yet.

From a starting point in Gibraltar, Michael makes his way to Morocco, then over to the Atlas Mountains to the little
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Published October 7th 2002 by BBC Physical Audio (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,481)
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Miss GP
I found Sahara to be just a little disappointing around the edges. As always, I learned a tremendous amount about the countries through which Palin traveled and I enjoyed his wit. There was something missing in this one, though. It's as if Palin wasn't having a good time. I'm not sure if the conditions were more difficult than he anticipated or if he was overwhelmed by the poverty of those he met, but overall the book lacked the joie de vivre evident in his other travelogues. It's not bad by any ...more
Chris Scott
Like ‘Everest’ and ‘Yukon’, the word ‘Sahara’ is a good selling tool for Jeeps, hotels, boots, you name it. Palin’s book carries the name but, as anyone who saw the BBC series will agree, he spent little time in the desert, failed to get under its skin and instead concentrated on the less arduous and more social and photogenic aspects of West and North Africa. Fair enough, the product is MP not where he happens to be or who he’s talking to (the book, not much deeper than the TV series, is packed ...more
I have this idea that I want to go to Tunisia. It has a lot to do with Carthage and my fantasies about recapturing the past, a place in which my mind always seems to dwell. This book isn’t the ultimate travel guide by any means, but it combines my interest in traveling through northern Africa and my undying love of Michael Palin. If only he would be there to do that spectacular hoppity dance he did as the cured leper in Life of Brian, I’d be on a plane right now.
Sam Still Reading
Aug 17, 2010 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 by the same author
You probably would have guessed by now that I really enjoy reading Michael Palin’s travel books. That would be correct, I find them a delightful way to reminisce after watching the accompanying TV series as they give a lot more insight and background.

Did you know that Sahara was filmed in two parts? Or that 9/11 occurred while they were in the middle of the Sahara and didn’t see any footage for days? How many times did the crew get food poisoning?

You’ll find all this and more in Palin’s meticulo
Bearing in mind what has happened in the countries mentioned in this book over the past 10 years some of the aspects are a little outdated - the ease of access to gas producing plants, the joking about being kidnapped and Gadaffi.

However, there were some excellent anecdotes and I found myself smiling throughout - the englishman who lived with a cockeral that diliked women for example. The need for armed guards in Algeria, and the constant cowering when large groups of people walked past maybe sh
Michael Palin is of course very funny (Monty Python), but many don't realize he is also a thoughtful adventurer who took on an Around the World in 80 days challenge and has followed it up with many other journeys. This is a travel journal of his televised trip across Africa in 2001.
Generally I would say it made me want to get the DVD, as lots of the relationships and movement is lost on paper. But he does show a different side of the trip here, as he talks frankly about some reactions he had to
Vikas Datta
Another gem from Mr Palin - an engaging account of traipsing around the large desert across over half a dozen countries of north and northwestern Africa with apparently flippant observations offering a wealth of insightful information on matters political, social, anthropological, economic and environmental. A dashing good read
I much enjoy Michael Palin's travel books and television shows. I enjoy the humor and the novel "themes" employed, that often pass through wonderful places most travelers never get to. Of course, no matter how strange or potentially dangerous the locale he visits, he must have a small entourage with him to do the filming and support. I think Palin tries to maintain a measure of distance from his staff, but in the back of my mind I truly wonder how it affects the honesty of the tale (perhaps none ...more
James Henderson
Michael Palin is an extraordinary traveler who can see things most people completely miss and find those characters that make his journey so unique. Reading his books is the next best thing to being with him as he travels the world.
I really like everything Michael Palin did and/or wrote, but as this book is the only one I didn't see the documentary on TV, I thought at first it won't be that interesting as previous travel memoirs.
The title didn't appeal to me much, as I do not think there's much to say about Sahara... about any kind of desert. But this book actually isn't about desert - it is about people and countries doomed to habitate one of the cruelest environments in the world. And I was more than pleasantly surprised
Michael Palin writes with humour, honesty, and with great attention to detail. I really enjoyed how he described the history of each location as he passed through it, but did not focus too much on the history, which would have made it a bit dry. There was a nice balance between his description of his own experiences as a traveller, the history of the places he was visiting, and the lives of the people he met. I felt like I was very much in his shoes, travelling with him. It's a great book for ki ...more
The Night Hawk (Erin)
Oh so good. And Palin reading it too on the audiobook? Fantastic.
Michael Palin can't help to travel and so he does - through the Sahara this time. The book following it is typical Palin: a warm account of his travels, with little anecdotes about the baser aspects and observations of the changing world of the desert.

I loved the book, but while reading I found myself a little uneasy with the - if you want to call it that - lack of political realities (Lybia f.e.). I guess, it is not the aim of this book to be political, but the 'innocence' with which Palin reco
Scott Gardner
Found it to be as slow as the series was
Ann Taylor
Aug 27, 2008 Ann Taylor rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: travel buffs who can recite the dead parrot skit from memory
Insist on reading the hard-cover version of all his books. The photography is spectacular. We've fallen in love with Michael (yes, the Monty Python Michael Palin) Palin's travel books. We're half-way through reading his "Himalaya" and have his DVD, "Pole To Pole" in our DVD player.

He writes with a self-effacing good humor, always willing to be the butt of the joke as he journeys along in his dapper Oxford and khakis and comfortable walking shoes.
Go here for more:
Carol Wakefield
A delightful travel book by a very enthusiastic traveler. He even complains only minimally about some late night runs into the desert with a trowel, paper and matches following unfortunately upsetting camel stew. Palin is so very open to each new experience and appreciative of his opportunities that he easily carries along the reader. And from the security of my air conditioned home I can find his travels in 133 degree temps almost enticing. Well--almost. . On to palins next adventure.
Michael Palin's tour of the Sahara was a major one. Covering eight Saharan countries, as well as the disputed Western Sahara, Palin roasted in 140 degree weather, rode as part of a camel train, ate camel livers and lived to tell the tale, and was run over by the Paris-Dakar rally. Humorously told and interspersed with photographs by the brilliant Basil Pao; Palin's Sahara journey is always lively, with new sights, smells, tastes, and adventures around the next sand dune.
This is a great "read." I am actually almost finished listening to it on audio book--and I recommend it this way as it is a delight to hear him speak and do the voices, each unique.
Palin and his crew travel the Sahara to film his show. Partway through the trip they hear about the attacks on 9/11. As a result the book is not merely a travelogue, it is also a stark reminder on how things changed on that day. And how they didn't.
I can't wait to read his other works.
This is a fine travel book. Palin gives you a sense of place, including some history, physical description and interaction with the locals. He wrote this tp accomplany a film he shot as he traveled around and through the Sahara. He begins at Gibralter and ends there, but hits about everything in between. I found myself online checking out more details about many of the fascinating places he stops at. A fun read all together.
Kevin Godin
I generally love travel books and Palin has a good eye for taking a reader on trips with him. This book (so far) is a bit of a tough read. The adventures are engaging enough, but it all feels 'flat' somehow - like, perhaps, Palin was not always enjoying the ride. Pain's writing is warm with a familiar wit, and this really saves the book for me. While Sahara was not a knockout for me, I think I need to see the TV series now!
My dad's just been to Tunisia so this is why I read this book and so glad I did. I'm lucky enough to have the whole set of these photo illustrated editions - and I will be (re)reading them all! As usual, wittily written and full of 'wow' and 'well, I didn't know that' moments. Can't believe dad didn't go to where 'Life of Brian' was filmed - but he did ride a camel...
Martin Mulcahey
It really pains me not to give a Palin travelogue 5 stars, I just find this to be the weakest of an otherwise excellent lot. So the rating is more because Sahara suffers by comparison, buy the others first and save this one for last. Perhaps because in this travel Palin is a bit more confined in the range of personalities and cultures he meets? Still good stuff, but not great.
An interesting book. I had seen some of the episodes of the TV series some time ago. I do feel that I preferred the film to the book. Michael Palin's reactions to some of the peope he meets is quite fascinating. However, I really wish more had been said about how the people explained their own country to Michael Palin.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
My first book by this wonderful travel author. How has he eluded me for so long? Michael Palin is that perfect mix of an excellent observer of all that is discordant and wise and genuine combined with a fearless desire to visit places others fear to trod. Happy to have discovered this new-to-me author.
Interesting but I wish that he could have spent more time in each place. It would also be interesting to see if he did this journey now how much things have changed since, as 9/11 happened part of the way through his journey and so much has happened since.
obviously i have read all of the plain travel books. this one, like himalaya had less writing and more pics, and for some that might be a plus, but to me that was a negative. overall though, still good.
Frank Kelly
Wonderfully adventuresome chronicle by the witty and well spoken Michael Palin. I finished the book wanting to leave immediately for the region and to experience what Palin experienced. Superb read.
No one writes a better travel narrative than this former Monty Python member. This is the third of his series of 5 or 6 that I've read, and none of them have fallen short of my expectations.
Another romp with Michael Palin ,this time around the Sahara. Just as enjoyable as the others. You can tell that even during the lowest moments of the trip, he was enthusiastic.
The great travelling comedian brings us to the greatest desert region in the world and explores the land and its people in this exceptional companion to the documentary series.
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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...
Around the World in 80 Days: Companion to the Pbs Series (Best of the BBC) Himalaya Diaries: The Python Years, 1969-1979 (Palin Diaries, #1) Full Circle Pole to Pole

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