The rules were simple. He had to make the journey in 80 days using only forms of transport that would have been available to Fogg. And so, complete with visas, running shoes, an inflatable globe, and sound advice from Alan Whicker, Michael Palin began his incredible journey.
Crossing 17 borders and meeting innumerable challenges, he saw Venice from the back of a rubbish barge, rode around the Pyramids on a camel called Michael, and was attacked by a cockatoo in Hong Kong, amongst many other adventures.
Phileas Fogg may have brought a Princess back from his travels, but Michael Palin brought back a fascinating and frequently humorous account of the journey of a lifetime.
© and (P)1993, 2003 BBC Worldwide Ltd
"Palin writes well and is an accomplished actor. This is his story, and he tells it very well. Listeners familiar with Palin's acting, particularly in Monty Python, will find his skill with accents and voices undiminished. He can even sound American when he wants to. Longtime fans will be delighted to spend time in his company; listeners who don't know his work may discover a new friend." (AudioFile)
Growing up on the adventures of Mr. Fog and his servant, I was pleased to find this book available in unabridged form. The author, in the first few seconds, says that anyone looking for deep incites will be disappointed. As I was not, I thoroughly enjoyed both the story of the journey around the world and the author's narration.
The problem for me was the production. The narration is often overlaid with music which does not need to be there and, in this reviewer's opinion, detracts from the audio presentation. Indeed, my overriding impression is that parts of the book sound remarkably like a radio broadcaster speaking over a background track. The music ads nothing to the narrative and frequently makes the voice of Mr. Palin hard to hear.
That quibble aside, I would recommend this if you have a spare credit lying around or if, as I do, you have enjoyed the author's various television programmes depicting different journeys.
I'm a fan of Palin's travel writing - watched all of the TV series and read the odd book version. However, this is my first audiobook of his travels. The book is narrated by Palin himself and the narration is excellent throughout (well except for his Scottish accent that sounds more Geordie!). I think with the audiobook version you don't get quite a lush picture painted as the TV series simply because you lack of the visuals that television brings. However, this is top notch travel writing and his exploits around the world in 80 days are essential listing for anyone interested in world travel. Throughout the book he compares travel in the late 80s to travel in the days to Fogg. Listening 25 years later it's also quite interesting to compare travel today to the late 80's. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable listen!
We are a married couple who love listening to audio books, luckily we like mostly the same things. Rosie is severely ill & bedbound.
Michael Palins first travel program was a milestone in his reinvention as a travel writer and social/cultural observer.
He has such a warm voice that it's so easy to be drawn into his adventures and imagine the sights as he travels. The fact that the ook was written as he travelled enabled you to picture the events.
It's interesting listening to his descriptions of places and cultures and to realise how much they have changed in the past 25 years. His easy going nature means people he meets open up to him enabling little nuggets of information you wouldn't normally hear to be revealed.
Even if you havent seen the series of the same name this is a must for those that enjoy travel books read by a warm and friendly narrator.
I recommend this book without reservation and listen to it frequently and never get bored
Every evening before going to sleep, I treated my self on a part of his 80 days travel.Felt sorry he arrived back home!
I generally like listening to factual books. These are books that I would like to read, but never make the time.
I really enjoyed listening to this book! Having not seen the original TV show, I didn't know if he would make it back in 80 days or not, which added to the drama. Michael Palin's descriptions bring the places alive. I especially enjoyed the crossing in the small boat. The peace and tranquillity that Michael Palin conveys, was beautiful. A great listen!
Avid reader and listener, psychologist by profession historian by nature
I have to preface my review by stating I am a huge Palin fan so pretty much anything Mr P does will be good in my opinion. Saying that this really is a fat account of his first travel adventure, which was over 20 years ago now, unbelievable! Palin has such a flair to saying so much in such a concise and amusing way. I found myself laughing out loud so many times whilst listening to this. The only reason I didn't give this full stars is this is an abridged version so isn't long enough, I would have easily spent another 7 hours in Palin's company.
I loved the TV show and I thought I would try the book. He is able to go into a lot more detail in the book and explains a few things that would never have made it on air!
Palin has a nice writing style even if it is in a diary type format and I'm so pleased the book is narrated by him as his voice is nice to listen to.
It's a great listen and that I did not want to end, I would have been quite happy to listen to another 80 days.
If you saw the tv series you must get this, it is a must .... He brings the journey to life and you are with Michael at every stage. You will not be disappointed.
"A fantastic journey"
Michael Palin is an great guide through this exciting journey. His blend of humour and acute observation really make this book a gem.
The concept of following Fogg's path around the world without modern conviniences like air transport and with modern problems of political beaurocracy make this a wonderful story.
On top of that, Michael Palin is an outstanding reader.
This is my first non-fiction book and as I have enjoyed Michael Palin's television series this is why I chose one of his books. The book is even better than I had imagined his narration brings things to life and even made me laugh out loud much to my husbands surprise. It has left me eager to download the rest of his books and spend more time listening to his marvellous adventures.
Entertaining, interesting, I laughed out loud.
"Worth hearing as a backup"
I was positively entranced when I first saw Michael Palin's "Around the World in 80 Days" on my local PBS station years ago. The man knows how to tell the story of his adventures with a certain dry irony that makes you want to do what he has done, just to see if you can handle it as well as he did. I enjoyed watching the series on TV, and I enjoyed listening to this book because of Mr. Palin's humble humor in telling the tale. But... This book is not a substitute for the original TV series even though it covers many of the events and characters seen in that series. What it really does well is to serve as an addendum. It describes additional scenes and events and sheds new light on others shown in the series. If you have seen the original TV series, this book will shed additional light and tweak some good memories. If you haven't seen the original series, you may want to rent or buy the DVDs when they come out before listening to this.
The combination of a trip any seasoned traveler would envy and the witty observations made by Michael Palin is a delight. I listened to it twice, back-to-back, and then went back and bought another of Palin's travelogues. The narration just adds to the enjoyment, so the audible version really adds value!
Around the World in 80 Days is one of my favorite Jules Verne stories, so when I saw this on Audible I jumped on it. Michael Palin is a funny guy and a great story teller. The only let down in this book is how fast he travels through some areas, I really wanted to hear more about many of the places he visited.
I did not appreciate many of his views on America and found almost his entire time in America to be tedious and un-enjoyable, but overall I liked the book.
"Highly Entertaining Travelogue!"
I have not read the print version. But, really. This is Michael Palin reading Michael Palin! How much better can it be?
This was a fascinating look at world travel by means other than air. So much of the world is treated as fly-over country. Here, Michael Palin and his BBC film crew had to move through the world at its own speed and rhythm. I also liked the very idea of the project: do what Jules Verne's fictional character did in Around the World in Eighty Days, only in modern times.
I am a big Monty Python fan so just listening to Michael Palin was a joy. If you don't care for British humor, this may not be your cup of tea. But what made this performance so good for me was Michael's droll humor and witty observations. Throughout the book, there were regular laugh out loud moments.
I found the book to be very funny. And sometimes quite poignant.
I came to this book late, 2012, whereas the around the world trip described took place in the eighties. So some of the social/political observations were a bit dated. But it didn't matter because things don't really change all that much in this world. Names and ruling parties come and go but the human drama remains the same. I enjoyed this book very much. Highly recommended.
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"!
"A pure delight"
Mr. Palin does a great job narrating his own adventures and makes it a pleasure to listen to. It is entertaining how he describes the conditions, locations and people he runs across in his odyssey. This is pure old school travelling without the hype and glamour you would get by watching The Travel Channel or other travel shows... or listening in this case. :)
When there is background music it is far from distracting and is relaxing compared to what Mr. Palin was going through.
Fans of Monty Python will enjoy this download for who is doing this adventure, but do not expect that humour all the time. Do not get me wrong, he does include his remarkable wit and makes listening a breath of fresh air.
If you have never travelled this download will give you a sense of the adventure of what it is like sometimes, but not all the time. For 7.5 hours worth it is most enjoyable. Download this then plan your next adventure!
"well written, well read"
a very funny, very personal, and very well written story. as an added bonus, it is read by the author.
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