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New Europe

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  1,103 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Until the early 1990s, when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, travelling behind the iron curtain was never easy. In undertaking his new journey through Eastern Europe, breathing in its rich history, and exquisite sights and talking to its diverse peoples, Michael fills what has been a void in his own experience and that of very many others. NEW EUROPE is very much a voya ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 26th 2008 by Orion Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2007)
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Maria ní Chnoic
I was a teenager when the Berlin wall came down and so my geography lessons learned in school were about a world where countries such as the USSR and Czechoslovakia existed. Unfortunately, as an adult, I never took the time to learn about these both New and very, very old Countries of Europe that have emerged now that communism has lost much of its stronghold. Fortunately for me, this is now changing as in my work we are beginning to collaborate more and more with these formerly Soviet countries ...more
This is true to form of Palin's other, well known travel books. He travels pretty quickly through a lot of places, and touches on them briefly in his books, accompanied by good photographs to illustrate his story. In each place he picks an interesting place, or person, or event, and focusses on that primarily for the chapter on that city. It is successful in a fairly light way, and I often find that Palin's introduction is where he does his deepest theorising.
New Europe is Palin's effort to cat
Rex Fuller
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For 123 days in 2006 and 2007, Michael Palin visited 20 countries that, except for Turkey, were formerly part of either Yugoslavia or the USSR. He covered some twelve thousand miles beginning in Slovenia, then moving down the Adriatic, through Turkey, swinging north to the remaining Balkans, on to Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, then hopping up to the Baltics, then Poland, and finally to what used to be East Germany. The cultures of these places are as old as any. So the title, “New E ...more
Jan 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Palin is a legend, an all-round national treasure. And this account of his travels around the former Commie states - New Europe - increased my curiosity and fascination all the more, and only fed my wanderlust. He is a wit too (well, Monty Python of course). One of my favourite parts?

"We take a coffee break at the self-consciously literary Café Wilde, who published the first medical textbooks in Estonian. This doesn't stop them having a bronze sculpture of Oscar Wilde, seated on a bench
Nikolay Dyulgerov
Jun 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Despite some big historical inaccuracies about Bulgaria which I couldn't help noticing as a Bulgarian, it was a somehow enjoyable read.
I don't know how much of the historical facts about the other countries included might have been false, but I guess it comes with the book - after all it's a more or less personal opinion, or at least a personal view mixed with the views of the staff the author worked with.
Jul 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: travel-stories
Komt niet zo vaak voor dat ik een boek niet uitlees maar dit is er zo een. Leek veelbelovend: de beroemde Palin die in 1990 door Oost- en Zuid-Europa reist. Het is het net niet. Ik las tegelijk een stukje uit een boek uit vrijwel dezelfde tijd van Lieve Joris over Hongarije. Veel sprankelender, de mensen die ze ontmoet gaan voor je leven.
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4/5 stars.

Beginning in The Julian Alps of Slovenia and ending 123 days later in Berlin, Michael Palin's New Europe is a fascinating account of his journey around and between 68 different areas of many Eastern European countries.

It features many wonderful photographs, and is peppered with lots of interesting facts. For instance, did you know that it costs 2,000 euros a month to light the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, and that it's the second largest administrative building in the world next
Simon Powell
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Ten years since Michael made this journey, and the EU dream's smashed by the idiocy of Brexit. A fascinating journey it was too.
In 2006, professional traveler Michael Palin visited all the countries of Eastern Europe, plus Turkey, and made a show and wrote a book about it. New Europe. Most of these countries wouldn’t like to be called “Eastern Europe”, not to mention “New Europe”. Palin’s journey is seen from the perspective of the UK, his own land. It’s more accurate to say that he visited the Baltics, Central Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans and Turkey, but that is such a mouthful.

Now, in 2016, his book i
Feb 14, 2009 rated it liked it
OK, this book left me both fascinated and disappointed. No, not the references to concrete apartment blocks - I have been to some central/eastern European countries and those blocks are part of the landscape. Necessities (as in Britain not always well planned but very cheap and functional) to house the people after the WW2 devastation. One big take-away for me was the way Tirana's leftist mayor has tried to brighten his city up by painting the blocks in bright cheerful colours. Maybe we could le ...more
Kristal Cooper
Michael Palin, of Monty Python fame, seems to be spending his post-Flying Circus days travelling the world. This book is a detailed, daily travelogue of a five month trip through a couple dozen Eastern European countries. It’s not meant to be humorous, though it does include precious snippets like: “I went to have a pee and found the bath and basin full of pig parts.”

My favorite bits were about Poland and East Germany, countries I was lucky enough to visit in 1987. I wonder if they’re simply the
Tito Quiling, Jr.
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel, non-fiction
Right after finishing Palin's Sahara, which ended in looking over the Strait of Gibraltar, it seemed that I had crossed over to continental Europe by way of Slovenia and Croatia. What I mainly appreciated about this title, New Europe, is that Palin and the crew chose to focus on Central and Eastern Europe instead of the more famous Western European countries such as France, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal (even the United Kingdom, yes, it's a European country). In addition, the staff and Plain trav ...more
Robert Hepple
Michael Palin’s account of travels through the countries of eastern Europe makes a quite informative read. The countries concerned are mainly former eastern-bloc and breakaway Soviet republics, so there is a similar theme running throughout when Palin seeks opinions or describes architecture. Palin’s infectious glass half full optimism is evident, with some countries aspiring to EU membership, and some trying to live with ideological differences. Nevertheless, since the publication of the book i ...more
Eva Whiteley
New Europe is the third of Michael Palin’s travel books that I have read, and in comparison to the first two I found this read a bit hard going in places. This is because at the time of travel many of the places where still in a transition from an old way of life to a new way of life. Cities and towns where bleak, but the people where optimistic. Unfortunately, I was not inspired to put any of the places that where visited on my ‘must visit’ list. However, I don’t think that the trip intended to ...more
Nikola Jankovic
I liked Palin's Brazil very much. It presented a country in very various and lively way, it made me start saving money for my next long vacation to be there - and not visit only Rio and Sao Paolo. So, I bought this one quickly after.

There are few problems with a book. As I lived in "New Europe", I presume is the first one. There is not much new revealed to me, and I don't think only of ex-Yugoslavia, but also of Bolgaria, Romania and Baltic country, which I have not visited yet. Despite being 1
Laura J
A delightful book, the first I've read by Michael Palin. (I've looked at the list of his other books and would like to read Full Circle about his Pacific Ring of Fire travels.)

This book about Europe has 21 chapters with easy-to-read segments within each country's chapter. I referred often to the helpful map showing Palin's route through eastern Europe and the countries that were once part of the Eastern Bloc.

Palin is a good storyteller, often with wry humour. Into the stories of each location,
Virginia Van
With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Eastern Europe was suddenly open to tourists like Michael Palin who sets out to fill in a void in his travel experience. Rich in history and complex cultures, few of these countries have survived intact, as the ebb and flow of warring armies has continually changed the map of Europe. Starting in the mountains of Slovenia he travels down through Croatia and the former Yugoslavia to Albania before turning northwards to embrace Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, The Ukrai ...more
João Duarte
Michael Palin é famoso por ter pertencido aos Monthy Python mas, desde então, tem-se dedicado a explorar o mundo - e de uma forma não menos notável.

Este "A Nova Europa", tal como já acontecera com "A Volta ao Mundo em 80 Dias", deriva de uma série televisiva homónima. Neste caso, o alargamento da União Europeia para 27 estados-membro é o mote para Palin viajar por essas regiões não raro bastante desconhecidas.

Trata-se, portanto, de um livro bastante interessante, em particular num momento que a
Jan 28, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I always enjoy Michael Palin's travel books but this one is only getting three stars because it is somehow of less substance - perhaps because it is not as "exotic" - than some of the others. Also, he is in some of the countries for only a day or two, with only short anecdotes that left me a little disappointed. I will say though, that the book makes me want to go traveling in some of these former Eastern Bloc countries. And I did learn some more recent European history that I was unaware of, es ...more
Adriano Godinho
it's an interesting travel book, just a little bit not catching for me. Even if I was really interested in the matter, because I moved to Czech republic and wanted to know more about the eastern countries. Although the book didn't catch my interest and I couldn't continue until the end of the book. I don't know if it was my personal interest that couldn't take profit of this book, the truth is that there's some really nice and interesting moments in this book. I really found interesting the pass ...more
Jul 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It doesn't take much to stoke the fires of interest inside me when it comes to European travel, but throw an intelligent, humourous and fascinating ex-Pythonite into the mix and I'm happy as a pig in Slovakian mud. I haven't really seen any of Palin's travel shows, and this in essence just a companian to those, but there is enough factual content and anecdotal fabulousness to make that all but irrelvant. He has grace, charm and genuine affection for the places he vists and the people who open up ...more
Meredith Walker
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Ten years ago, for four months, Michael Palin visited 20 countries that were formerly part of either Yugoslavia or the USSR (and Turkey). It’s not as engaging as his other travel works, though descriptions of Krachow’s obscene ruins (and alike) does leave a lasting, emotional impression. It is still interesting, especially in how he describes the places and more precisely, the people, capturing the sensibilities of those who have had to maintain spirit despite having had their cultures disrupted ...more
Feb 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, travel, its-tv
i've read all of palin's other travel books, and so when i found this on i had to get it.

of all of palin's books, i found this one to be the least interesting. maybe it's just that i don't find eastern europe as interesting as africa, or teh pacific rim, or maybe it was the overall tone of the book, but it just seemed a little too repetative....eastern european country that is now not communist, and is now struggling to find itself, etc. etc.....still, not unworthy of reading if you li
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is particularly interesting given that it was written around ten years ago, when an optimistic Palin wrote about "a Europe which could be united for the first time in history by cooperation rather than conflict". I think it's fair to say that things haven't panned out quite as we would have expected with Brexit posing questions about this New Europe. However, the book is still worth a read with a view to comparing Palin's view of Europe from a decade ago to today's political situation.
Joshua Andert
Nov 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Interesting, but as a budget travel myself I think Palin misses out on the crucial experiences of having to cross boarders, buy things etc... with people whom you can't communicate using anything but your hands. I think he's a little spoiled having people do everything for him. His comments of Eastern Europe are interesting. I really don't think I'd consider him a "traveler." Maybe a posh traveler.
Bernardo Moura
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este livro foi uma boa surpresa, inicialmente estava cético de que fosse possível falar de tantos países de uma forma interessante. A verdade é que Michael Palin se encarrega de nos introduzir no meio sociocultural, havendo direito a uma achega à história de cada país e a uma leve descrição das paisagens e cidades. Muito bom para conhecer os países da chamada "Europa de Leste" que são frequentemente deixados para segundo plano.
Aug 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
Thinking about visiting Eastern Europe or just interested in finding out more about the Countries that have suddenly appeared since the fall of the Berlin Wall then this book is for you. Micheal Palin wonderful documents his travels throughout Eastern Europe full of wonderful stories and characters that make these countries so wonderfully mysterious and really makes you want to visit them.
This is the first Michael Palin book I've read. He has some interesting conversations and interactions with people during his travels in central and eastern Europe. One nitpick: it bothered me a bit that the travels occurred over the course of two summers and that the book wasn't very forthcoming in where or why this break occurred.
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
As usual, a well written version of his travels in the 'new europe' Wonderful to read of these new countrys and see what has existed for many years behind the iron curtain.

I did enjoy this book, but I must confess, it took me a while longer to read this book, I normally read Mr Palin's travel storys a lot faster.

Maybe it is getting to be a bit old hat, for me.
Kathleen McRae
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
5 star read! Michael Palin's journey through Europe starting in Slovenia and winding around eastern europe then up thru Ukraine and Russia then back to Germany. He has great info not only historical but ethnic and social and political. I particularily enjoyed his humorous depictions and funny details of people ,places and events
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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...

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