The Palin Diaries: 1980-1988

Well, if you already read and talked about The Python Years now is time to read and talk about "the sequel" Halfway to Hollywood.

What do you think?

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Palins passepartout: Well here's my opinion for what it's worth. I have read the first volume twice and will probably read it again. I have read the second volume once and I knew before I'd finished it that I wouldn't rush to read it again. Not taking anything away from michael, but it just wasn't as interesting as the first one. But maybe that's because it wasn't primarily python as the first one was. I have to agree that it was more serious and business-like. Having said that, I'm still a big fan!

kisch: I liked it better in parts than the first volume. Interesting to observe how his writing style developed.

Not that late: My review:

Well, the truth is that he didn't have as much fun in those years, and therefore neither will you. He talks a lot about busines, meetings, production... and he barely meets the others once or twice a year (except for Gilliam, who he works with for some years). Even when they are doing The Meaning of Life he talks about it like something they have to do rather than a movie they are excited about (like they were with Holy Grail or Life of Brian).

There is some funny bits (like that time when he hurts his hands, although he is in pain is really funny; or when he and George H. can't find where they have parked his car after watching a movie!).

But believe me when I tell you that only true love will move you to read all this book, and in the end, the reward you get is to know how he got involved with the travelling documentaries, so it's a great introduction for his travel books.

clockworkgirl21 at 10:01 am January 08

I've been trying to get my library to buy the second book for a few months now. I don't know why they won't, since they have the first, but I'll keep trying!
I could buy it myself, but as a college student, I have to save my money for food!

Not that late at 1:40 pm January 10

I bought mine in amazon, but I bought it used (from the marketplace), you get real bargains there, I mean REAL bargains, and the "used" books are as good as new.

gerryhenke at 11:41 am January 10

I have seen the movie Holy Grail and maybe the Life of Brian. (Life of Brian, is that about the football star with ALS?) Are you telling me to that only true love will move me to finish the book? Currently I have been working as a photographer and I am very interested in his travel books.

Not that late at 1:36 pm January 10


Colonel Daughter at 7:43 am January 07

I'm curious about the fact that you didn't mention at least 3 'big' things: in '87 his siter died and graham found out he had cancer; and what about 'wanda' with john cleese?
Did he edit his diaries so much?

the_thina at 3:13 pm January 07

well, i dont think gray found out he had cancer until late 88/early 89, so that fact is probobly why he didnt mention it. it was not long between when gray first got the diagnose and his death.

clockworkgirl21 at 10:03 am January 08

Also, Graham kept it to himself for quite awhile after learning he had cancer. He didn't share the news until it was obvious he wasn't healthy.

the_thina at 12:26 pm January 10

yeah, I know... poor boy, just thinking about all that almost makes me cry. :( and when they came to that part of the story in almost the truth I did cry

Not that late at 10:23 am January 07

No he didn't. His sister's death is on the book, all about Wanda too, I don't recall reading about Chapman having cancer...

He also did a lot of films those years, and he is specially proud of The Missionary.

I didn't want to summarize the book, I just meant I missed the other pythons and their joy working; the book is essentially more serious, just that.

Colonel Daughter at 6:19 am January 09

Thank you NTL - actually I'd like to read it, now :) but I have 2 other books awaiting to be read ... ( I could do like John C and have a shelf full of unread books :D )

Here Comes Another One at 10:31 pm January 09

Yes - 'for your retirement,' lol. I wonder if he's read them yet? He's certainly not retired!

Here Comes Another One at 6:00 am January 07

Thanks, that's really informative, NTL! I will give the book a go, and come back with my views. Your review has made my decision about whether to read the Diaries first or the travel books - I'll read the Diaries first.