Whilst making his way down the world, Michael took part in an impressive and eclectic array of activities: a Russian kissing dance in Novgorod, a mud bath in Odessa, white-water rapids on the Zambesi and a squash game at 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Kartoum.
All of these adventures and more, including trying to buy a camel, are described by Michael Palin in his usual vivid and humorous style, leaving you wide-eyed with wonder whilst also laughing out loud.
© and (P)1999, 2003 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"Palin vividly reports on the almost daily changes in panorama and the acutely experienced differences in climate, culture, politics, plumbing, lodgings, food, and mores.....The narrative is witty and Palin's exuberance contagious." (Publishers Weekly)
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I've listened to several of Palin's travels & this is by far one of my favorites (they are all good though!).
In this voyage, Palin and team begin at the north pole then cut down to greenland and through Europe. They eventually reach Africa and continue southwards.
Alas, in South Africa they experience insurmountable transportation issues and have to hop over to South America to continue down to the South Pole.
Palin's narration makes this trip a delight to listen to & brings alive the places they pass through.
Charmingly eccentric in an English sort of way. Palin is an astute observer and more whimsical than laugh out loud funny. It is nice to hear him read his own work and this book was time well spent.
This book is a followup to his Around the World in 80 Days book and, like that volume, is a good companion to the video series although it can be read and enjoyed on it's own. What makes either of these works worth listening to more than once is Michael's humanity when describing the pathos and comedy he encounters in his voyages. The sites that he visits are important, but only as much as they affect, or have been affected by, humanity. It is the stories of the characters and how they go about their lives, and the heart that goes into their telling, that makes you wish you were actually there along for the ride. It is the way that Michael describes the great highs and the dire lows of humanity's habitations and constructions and achievements that make his travelogues the ones that cause you to forget that you aren't actually eating cobra, waiting with trepidation at a hostile border crossing, or fending off unwanted attention. Short of actually going on the trip, this is the best way to go.
Michael Palin is well-known for his talented acting and as a talented comedian as one of the Monty Python gang. Well, he has another talent - as the author of his "travel" series with the BBC! The book is delightfully written, eloquent, and brings to life as though you were there! A talented man and a delightful "read"!
"Pole to Pole"
This book is my favourite from the Michael Palin Travel books - although I love them all. Fantastic descriptions of the locations he and the BBC visited, colourful description of scenery architecture and the descriptions of the people he meets during his travels just make them come alive in my imagination.
Again I wish they weren't abridged as I was love to have the full length versions. That said, the book and the narration is absolutely first class and if you haven't listened to Michael Palin's books yet, you are in for a treat!
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