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Summary

Travelling to Work is the third volume of Michael Palin's widely acclaimed diaries. After the Python years and a decade of filming, writing, and acting, Palin's career takes an unexpected direction into travel, which will shape his working life for the next 25 years. Yet, as the diaries reveal, he remained ferociously busy on a host of other projects throughout this whirlwind period.

Travelling to Work opens in September 1988 with Michael travelling down the Adriatic on the first leg of a modern-day Around the World in 80 Days. He was not the BBC's first choice for the series, but after its success and that of the accompanying book, the public naturally wanted more. Palin, though, has other plans.

Following the tumultuous success of A Fish Called Wanda, he is in demand as an actor. His next film, American Friends, is based on his great-grandfather's diaries. Next he takes on his most demanding role as the head teacher in Alan Bleasdale's award-winning drama series GBH. There is also his West End play, The Weekend; a first novel, Hemingway's Chair; and a lead role in Fierce Creatures, the much-delayed follow-up to Wanda.

Michael describes himself as 'drawn to risk like a moth to a flame. Someone grounded and safe who can be tempted into almost anything.' He duly finds time for two more travel series - Pole to Pole, in 1991, and Full Circle, in 1996 - and two more best-selling books to accompany them.

These latest Diaries show a man grasping every opportunity that came his way, and they deal candidly with the doubts and setbacks that accompany this prodigious word-rate. As ever, his family life, with three children growing up fast, is there to anchor him.

Travelling to Work is a roller-coaster ride driven by the Palin hallmarks of curiosity and sense of adventure. These 10 years in different directions offer riches on every page to his ever-growing army of fans.

©2014 Anna Freeman (P)2014 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wounderfull

I have really enjoyed listening to all of Micheal Palin's diaries, the way he reads makes me feels he reading just for me and that we are good friends (sadly we are not). I would recommend all 3 volumes to any one with a passing interest in British comedy, TV and Film.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Sometimes sad sometimes very funny but always engaging. A great listen.

I enjoyed all the Michael Palin travel series and read his previous memoirs so thought I'd get this. Travelling to work brings together his thoughts about his travels and merges them with a thread of Python reminiscences, his work on films and some really difficult personal moments. He's just such an interesting bloke to listen to. Sometimes sad sometimes very funny but always engaging. A great listen! Don't get put off by the first 20 minutes. It gets better when he gets into his flow.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Unremittingly nice and lots of lovies

Would you listen to Travelling to Work again? Why?

Once was enough. Indeed by the end I'd had enough and realized I should have listened to it in parts with breaks. While it is fun to hear snippets about this person and that person, I can only take so many references to meeting this celebrity or that celebrity.

Would you recommend Travelling to Work to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes. I really enjoyed the diary at first and with appropriate rests throughout the book it would have been great.

Have you listened to any of Michael Palin’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Compared to the various travel adventures and Monty Python it gets samey. It would be hard to extract more variance from the reading of the diaries though he does throw in some impersonations.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would recommend taking this book in slices. Each slice is great. All together less so.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Lots of eating and drinking

well. it's alright. noting revelatory really. Mr Palin knows a lot of celebs and is quite a sociable chap.

he was once in a quite famous comedy group who now meet and bicker a lot, though are still friends it seems.

it's a nice book about a nice mans life read by the nice man.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

Interesting insight into celebs lifestyle. Good to hear honest view of relationships between the Pythons.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • r
  • LEICESTER, United Kingdom
  • 05-05-15

he's had an interesting life

but like the modern day Alan wicker with more humour lots of eating out surprised he's not bigger but plenty of interesting stuff and 30+ hours well spent with the great man

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An excellent listen

Palin draws you into his world spanning a decade of exciting adventures alongside the everyday life of a remarkable man.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Superb

I had hesitated before I chose this book as I had doubted that listening to the reading of a diary would hold my interest. How wrong I was! As ever, Michael Palin has produced an entertaining and captivating book which underlines his skills, both as a narrator and writer. Thoroughly enjoyable!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Monotonous

Too much of the sameness for audible. I really like Michael and his TV programmes, but it was a struggle after about 50%. Still going to try his travel diaries though. Some moving and funny parts in this book though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • 26-01-15

Just a diary?

For someone who fails every year to keep a diary this is how to do it facts pathos joy sadness they all appear & gave me a wonderful insight into michaels life

1 of 1 people found this review helpful