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Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years…
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Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years 1969-1979 (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Michael Palin

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6151815,832 (4.04)20
Member:timjones
Title:Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years 1969-1979
Authors:Michael Palin
Info:Phoenix (2007), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 776 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:nonfiction, diary, diaries, entertainment industry, television, theatre, BBC, Monty Python's Flying Circus, film industry, family life, London, New York, writing, Britain in the 1970s

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Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years by Michael Palin (2006)

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
My review is highly biased. I love Python so this insiders view was simply amazing...to me. ( )
  dirac | Mar 26, 2014 |
it seems like palin is a nice but very funny guy. he like the others are kind of in awe of john Cleese who gets away with a lot because he writes so well. graham chapman seems to be a crazy guy who can be quite sweet when sober.terry j is kind of gung ho-- a palin favourite. idle is on his own program and not that likeable. terry g is hardly mentioned--too earnest? ( )
  mahallett | Jan 8, 2013 |
These diaries cover Michael Palin's Monty Python years, though their coverage of "The Holy Grail" and "Life of Brian" is better than that of making the TV series, and Ripping Yarns, and towards the end begin to look ahead to the second half of his career - the travel programmes and non-Python films.

For a Python fan such as myself, these are well worth reading. Non-Python fans might find the minutiae of the Python years less interesting, but these diaries also give a good picture of what Britain was like in the 1970s - very different, in many respects, from today. ( )
  timjones | Jan 1, 2013 |
Rather than an autobiography with half-remembered stories, these diaries provide a decade's worth of stories written while they are still fresh. Insights into not only the relationships between the Pythons, but their connections with others such as George Harrison and Keith Moon, about the politics of the day, and about [author: Palin]'s own home life - particularly moving are the illness and eventual death of his father, and the story of Al and Eve Levinson. As well as being intrinsically interesting because of the subject matter it is also a joy to read, particularly in later years as Palin seems to become happier with the medium of writing a diary, with longer and more indepth entries. ( )
  draigwen | Oct 31, 2010 |
You may have guessed by now that I’m quite a fan of Michael Palin’s travel documentaries. Well, I’m also a fan of Monty Python and couldn’t resist the opportunity to delve into his diaries, starting with the beginning of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and finishing with the Life of Brian.
Michael is himself apologetic at the beginning of the diaries, stating that he didn’t feel there was enough about Python in there, because he didn’t realise how big the whole thing would become. He continues this humble theme all the way through, demonstrating just what a nice, normal person he is. From discussing holidays with the children, to visits to the dentist and occasional commercials to pay the bills, you might think this is boring. But it’s not- it’s a view of an ordinary life that just happens to be shared with Mr Gumby, songs about lumberjacks and George Harrison.
The book is divided into each of the years- it’s not a daily account, and Michael explains why there’s gaps or gives a brief overview of what happens and it’s meticulously detailed with footnotes in case you don’t recognise some of the figures (eg. various people at the BBC, politicians, managers). I read this over a long period on the daily commute and it was relaxing to be taken through the day to day, followed by filming in exotic locale such as Tunisia or flying Concorde (I don’t think I would, even if they still existed, after one of MP’s trips)!
I think you’d need to be somewhat of a MP fan to enjoy this- it’s not just about Python and Ripping Yarns but daily life in Britain of the seventies but if you are a fan, get a hold of this book! I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, Halfway to Hollywood, 1980-88. ( )
1 vote birdsam0610 | Oct 10, 2010 |
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I have kept a diary, more or less continuously, since April 1969. (Introduction)
Today Bunn Wackett Buzzard Stubble and Boot came into being, with about five minutes of film shot around Ham House.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312369352, Hardcover)

Michael Palin has kept a diary since newly married in the late 1960s, when he was beginning to make a name for himself as a TV scriptwriter (for The Two Ronnies, David Frost, etc). Monty Python was just around the corner.
         This volume of his diaries reveals how Python emerged and triumphed, how he, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, the two Terrys---Jones and Gilliam---and Eric Idle came together and changed the face of British comedy. But this is but only part of Palin's story. Here is his growing family, his home in a north London Victorian terrace, which grows as he buys the house next door and then a second at the bottom of the garden; here, too, is his solo effort---as an actor, in Three Men in a Boat, his writing endeavours (often in partnership with Terry Jones) that produces Ripping Yarns and even a pantomime.
         Meanwhile Monty Python refuses to go away: the hugely successful movies that follow the TV (his account of the making of both The Holy Grail and the Life of Brian movies are page-turners), the at times extraordinary goings-on of the many powerful personalities who coalesced to form the Python team, the fight to prevent an American TV network from bleeping out the best jokes on U.S. transmission, and much more---all this makes for funny and riveting reading.
         The birth and childhood of his three children, his father's growing disability, learning to cope as a young man with celebrity, his friendship with George Harrison, and all the trials of a peripatetic life are also essential ingredients of these diaries. A perceptive and funny chronicle, the diaries are a rich portrait of a fascinating period.

"Michael Palin is not just one of Britain's foremost comedy character actors, he also talks a lot. Yap, yap, yap he goes, all day long and through the night . . . then, some nights, when everyone else has gone to bed, he goes home and writes up a diary."
---John Cleese
 
"This combination of niceness, with his natural volubility, creates Palin's expansiveness."
---David Baddiel, The Times
 
"A real delight to read."
---Saga Magazine (UK)
 
"His showbiz observations are so absorbing. . . . Palin is an elegant and engaging writer."
---William Cook, The Guardian (UK)
 
"A wealth of fascinating stuff about Monty Python."
---The Independent (UK)
 
"Our favourite TV explorer shows us the workings of an unstoppable machine."
---Daily Express (UK)
 
"A riveting commentary to a remarkably creative decade."
---Academy (UK)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:31 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Michael Palin's diaries begin in the late 1960s when, newly married and struggling to make a name for himself in the world of television comedy, he began writing for hugely popular programmes, such as The Frost Report and The Two Ronnies. But Monty Python was just round the corner." "In this first volume of his diaries he tells how Python emerged and triumphed. Enjoying an unlikely cult status early on, the group then proceeded to tour in the United States and Canada, appearing, like pop stars, at sold-out stadiums coast to coast and on national chat shows. They even stayed in hotels newly trashed by Led Zeppelin, later investors in Monty Python and the Holy Grail." "With this growing fame in the United States came the move from local public broadcasting to national television there and battles over censorship followed as up to one line in four was cut from the Python sketches, rendering them incomprehensible. Eventually both Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin took the stand in the Federal Court in New York to defend the Pythons' position." "As their popularity grew, so Palin relates how, individually, the Pythons also went their separate ways. John Cleese wrote and acted in the now classic Fawlty Towers, while Michael Palin acted in an adaptation of Three Men in a Boat as well as creating, with Terry Jones, the memorable Ripping Yarns series. But, at the same time, Michael and the others were working to help keep the group together so they could reform for stage shows and the now celebrated series of films including The Holy Grail and The Life of Brian, many of whose lines are known by heart by a considerable proportion of the English-speaking world." "The birth and childhood of his three children, his father's growing disability, learning to cope as a young man with celebrity, his friendship with George Harrison, living through the three-day week and the miners' strike, and all the trials of a peripatetic life are also essential ingredients of these diaries."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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