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Full Circle

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,446 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Michael Palin has certainly been busy since his days with Monty Python's Flying Circus. In Full Circle, Palin and a film crew go on a year-long adventure visiting 18 countries along the Pacific Rim. The film was eventually made into a 10-part PBS series, to which this book serves as a companion. Not for nothing is this part of the world called the "Ring of Fire"; volcanoes ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 1997 by BBC
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4.03  · 
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 ·  2,446 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Eighteen countries along the Pacific Rim,nine and a half months and 50,000 miles,this is another one of Michael Palin's epic journeys.The photography is the best thing about the book,there are some dazzling images.It is a thrilling adventure.
Jan 05, 2017 marked it as dnf
Unfinished. It's not so much that I disliked this, it's more that I didn't think I could stand listening to 11 hrs of it. Palin's narration was a tad fast for me, and he seemed to spend as much time describing sitting around waiting as he did picturing the locations he visited. I think I would prefer to watch the series.
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
This was the first of Micheal Palin’s books that I read way back when I was still at school, I also watched the tv programme but as always the book is better. I’ve gone back numerous times to re read sections about the varied countries and cultures that surround the Pacific. Few travel books manage to give such a good taste of such a diverse group of countries. I did have an aim once to visit all of these counties and maybe I still will fingers crossed.
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bios-nonfiction
It's ok, nowt special & was a real struggle to finish it. Better to watch the TV shows I think as ive learnt very little or got any real insite into places that he's visited.
Sam Still Reading
Nov 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: armchair travellers
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: watching the TV series
Yes, another Michael Palin book review (you may be happy to know that I have only two more of his books in my possession)! This is another one of his travel odysseys, this time completing a circle around the countries bordering the Pacific Ocean. From Alaska to Russia, China, Vietnam, Australia, Chile, Mexico and the USA (to name a few), Michael and his team become involved in daily life. This is different to the Around the World in Eighty Days concept, as aeroplanes may be used in transport, bu ...more
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I tried to watch the series as I read the book and what struck me was how different his attitude could be from how he comes across on film. For instance, in China, the section of the book seems a bit depressed. Everything is murky and dirty and a bit depressing. But on film, he never loses this appearance of easiness and comfortableness with everything and everyone.

I’m a fan of his diaries, and this is really not too much different from them. To have been away from family and friends for so long
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Superb book as usual by Michael Palin.
His style of narration makes you feel as if you are participating in the journey. My geography has improved and I have learnt a lot of things. Its a lifetime experience to see the world. Very few get this opportunity. For others like me, it has to be learnt thru the experience of those who travelled.
Books by Palin that I have read - Himalaya, Sahara, Pole to Pole and Full Circle. All of them are classics.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Michael Palin himself. For the first third of the book, I thought it was not working very well as a standalone book, it was meant to be a "companion" to the original TV series and without the pictures it felt like listening to someone's superficial diary notes, that were meant to be elaborated on later, but the author has never gotten round to it and he is just reading them to you as he had jotted them down. I had a feeling I am looking at an unknown count ...more
Julian Walker
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
His longest and most exciting adventure to date (as of his writing, not my reviewing).

Written in his usual observational style, it is peppered with wry comments, a host of memorable characters and, this time, more drama from home – reminding you that whilst it is on the face of it a jolly ramble, his journey took the best part of a year to complete and was quite draining.

Despite that you get the feeling that he is just getting into his stride and I am looking forward to reading his later travel
Mark Gannon
This is the third book by Michael Palin I have read and I love his writing style. Humorous, informative- without been heavy handed- and entertaining, this was a great book. There are places that were visited in this book that have a real impact on the reader, due to the fact that they no longer exist- mainly the places that are now flooded and underwater due to the building of the Three Gorges Dam. Anyone who is interested in traveling will love this book.
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are two things going against Michael Palin in this book:
1. He writes the entire thing in the present tense: It might just be me, but I really really do not enjoy books written as if things are happening as you read. With regard to this book in particular, I found my thoughts wandering and I wasn't able to distinguish the various countries he passed through very well and found myself zoning in and out. This might also be related to '2' below however.
2. He packs 18 countries and a year and a
Billy Gunn
Classic Travels With Mr Palin. Funny, entertaining, quintessentially British and thoroughly great.

Warning Bath plug sold separately.
Tom Owens
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Pacific Ocean is the biggest ocean on the planet. It covers some 30% of the surface area of the globe and approximately 40 countries (across 4 continents) have some kind of Pacific Coastline. Everything from fully developed countries such as the USA through islands nations, deserts, developing economies and even uninhabited jungle is represented as you circumnavigate its borders. Which is precisely what Palin did over the course of 250-odd days back in the late 1990s, primarily for the TV se ...more
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
The ex-Monty Python star made a bunch of humorous travel shows for the BBC. This is the very entertaining companion book to one of them.
Aug 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travelling
It gets four stars from me - though I guess, I would have given it 4.5.

Palin circles the Pacific and I got the impression that he enjoyed the trip until New Zealand a lot more than the rest. Maybe thats due to the family emergency mentioned - so that his perception of the trip changed - or it was really what he saw and experienced.
There is an incredible warmth and enjoyment on the western shores of the Pacific - all through Asia you can feel it and enjoy it as well. South America and North Ameri
Jul 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
1996: The West wasn't as enlightened about the East as much as it is today, but it still astounds me that a traveller expects South Korea and Japan to be virtually the same! At least Palin admits his prior ignorance but surely a European is aware there are differences between Norway and Germany?

Told through the eyes of a Englishman; he highlights what he considers to be the most alien to him. I do own the DVD of Full Circle and the BBC have continued to broadcast programmes that focus primarily
Maria Elmvang
I remember watching the TV-program "Full Circle" back when it aired in Denmark. Michael Palin was my favourite Monty Python, and I loved his quirky humour as it expressed itself in his travel vlog as well.

This book is his written journal of some of his experiences during his travels. It covers about 300 days in just over 6 hours, so he doesn't have time for more than a very superficial description of his journey, but it's still enough to appreciate the vastness of his undertaking, and the amazin
Tim Corke
An epic read for an epic journey.

Palin is just a master at these journal/accounts and cannot help but amuse, inspire and document the marvels of the world in a way that everyone can relate too. Filled with wonderful trips, landmarks, experiences of life in countries around the Pacific Rim, it brings home the variety of culture in the world.

At times you could sense elements of frustration and tiredness with the journey but as one that has experienced a year-long trip of my own can completely rela
Daniel O'donovan
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Having watched the series I wasn't sure what the book would add. Obviously its still the same journey but there is something special about the book form. I had the audio book version and it is read by Palin - which makes the experience all the more interesting.

I have done some traveling but could never do what Palin does. The amount of time away from home, though there was a couple of days at home in the middle, is a difficult thing.

Palin has an excellent style telling us of his travels. It is
Jul 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I found this a bit harder to get into than most of Mr. Palin's other travel diaries (the ones that I've read at least). His frustration and desire to end his arduous journey show very clearly in his writing. That being said, he describes some incredible sights and places. He shows, once again, that he is willing to go to any length in the name of adventure. His ability to put a positive spin on situations that would leave me raging never ceases to amaze. The more of his books that I read, the mo ...more
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Michael Palin and a film crew make a broad sweep, visiting all of the countries that border on the Pacific Ocean including North America, Asia, Australia, and South America. A trip like this is not for the faint of heart. During his travels Palin has been in some perilous situations. Having done some adventure travel myself, I know the frustration of trying to sleep when the locals are partying furiously in the hotel bar at 4 AM. It makes for a long night.

I was saddened by the instances of almo
Jun 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travelogues
I'm predisposed to like Michael Palin, so it's not surprising that I enjoyed this book, which traces Palin and his film crew as they traveled around the Pacific Rim in over 200 days in 1996. Palin is a descriptive writer, and his wit shines through often, making the journey in photographs and words an enjoyable one. This is no cutting edge, off-the-grid gonzo journey, so if you're looking for that, look elsewhere. If you're a sucker for travelogues, especially ones covering great distances, then ...more
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: michael-palin
Third of Michael Palin's travel logs , this time at the title suggests he goes full circle around the rim of the Pacific ocean, taking in such countries as China, Vietnam, Indonesia, New Zealand, Mexico to name a few.

As ever the audio version is superb with Michael really making your feel like your on the journey with him.

Highly recommended.

10 month journey , takes place between 1996 and 1997.
Apryl Anderson
Feb 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without realizing it, I read this just following Peter Jenkins' A Walk West...I think my library's trying to tell me something...Alas, at this point in life I try to be content as an armchair traveler, and this is a wonderful way to fly! I recently re-watched Palin's BBC series, and 15 years on, it's interesting to see what's changed and what remains the same. Asia will always hold a place in my heart; sometimes as a heart-murmur, but a treasured place indeed.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, travel
Another great travel read from Palin. Pretty annoyed that in his voyage up the BC coast, his only mention of Vancouver was as a place of rest. I also loved the anti-climactic end; that the journey ended one mile short of going 'full circle' around the Pacific because of weather concerns, and that Palin was totally indifferent to this.
Gavin Rock
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
3rd palin novel I've read, and I'm getting bored of his style. Concentrates a lot on meeting some local and telling their story, doesn't offer enough of an opinion on a place as a whole. Don't feel like I know that much more about any place he visited. You can tell that his journeys are made more for tv than for the written word. Read Bryson instead.
Dec 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves to travel
This book is fascinating, anyone who loves to travel will appreciate this book which is written in diary form by the ex Montypython man, Michael Palin. His sense of humour makes one laugh out loud as he circumnavigates the Pacific Rim - full of funny anecdotes
Thaila Bentley
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This has to be one of the best and most honest books I have ever read! His writing blends his travels and funny personal stories seamlessly and brings them to life off the page! Makes me want to visit these destinations on the Pacific Rim too! Thank you Michael!
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though it's more than a decade old already, I thoroughly enjoyed this journey around the Pacific Rim. Palin's verbosity is much better served in this forum ;) An excellent, heartwarming trek. Stunning photography. Now I want to watch the series.
Kate Millin
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The account of his trip around the Pacific - written in his interestingly rye (?) style. Interesting as it included places I have heard about from other members of the family - makes me want to travel even more.
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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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