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)
This is a great book as you can just relax and listen.
"A lovely book, badly produced"
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.
"Top Notch Travel Writing"
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!
"Easy to listen to and facinating"
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
"Pleasure of travelling with Palin"
Every evening before going to sleep, I treated my self on a part of his 80 days travel.Felt sorry he arrived back home!
"Feels like you are there with him"
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!
"Brings back memories"
Great stuff, Mr Palin. Same boyish enthusiasm as always.
Kick started the whole series of specials- well worth a listen.
"Palins first excellent adventure"
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 wish it was around the world in 160 days!"
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.
"YES YES YES....."
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.
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