Around the World in Eighty Days by Michael Palin

No, the above is not a typo- this book really is by Michael Palin of Monty Python fame. It is the book to accompany the BBC series of the late 1980s- is it possible for one man (and his film crew) to go around the world in eighty days or less without leaving the ground?

I’m not going to tell you the answer. For that, you’ll need to read the book and/or watch the series.

Michael Palin writes possibly the best travel books around. He has the ability to take you there to Bombay, Hong Kong or the Rockies in just a few words and capture the essence of the place. It’s not just because I’ve seen the series (I watched the series about twelve months) ago- his writing really is that good.

There’s another unexpected novel aspect to his journey- mobile phones and internet didn’t exist. There are references to Telexes, satellite phones…how they managed to communicate through it all was amazing. I suspect there is also not as much call nowadays for trips on cargo ships!

What I also liked about this book was that it’s not sugarcoated- Palin tells you when he’s feeling rotten, missing home and when he’s truly delighted. I highly recommend this book if you’re an armchair traveller or you just want to see what the world was like twenty years ago.

8 out of 10.

4 thoughts on “Around the World in Eighty Days by Michael Palin

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    1. I think I liked Around the World in 80 Days better- maybe because it was the first in the series and a little rough around the edges. Although any Palin book is a good book!

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