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Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years 1969-1979 (original 2006; edition 2007)
Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years by Michael Palin (2006)
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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."
"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."
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:31 -0400)
"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.
(summary from another edition)
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