“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.” —John Cleese
“For Palin it has been one hell of a ride, but he seems to have maintained equilibrium all along the way. . . . In sum, it’s tempting to call him a Renaissance Man. But that, as any Pythonite would be quick to tell you, would be silly.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World
Michael Palin has kept a diary since he was newly married in the late 1960s, when he was beginning to make a name for himself as a TV scriptwriter, and 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 too is his growing family, his home in a north London Victorian terrace, his solo effort as an actor, and his writing endeavours (often in partnership with Terry Jones) that produce Ripping Yarns and even a pantomime.
Meanwhile, Monty Python refuses to go away: his account of the making of both The Holy Grail and the Life of Brian movies are page-turners, and the sometimes extraordinary goings-on of the many powerful personalities who coalesced to form the Python team makes for funny and riveting reading.
A perceptive and witty chronicle, the diaries are a rich portrait of a fascinating period.
“[C]harming and at times revelatory . . . A voice of (relative sanity) in the eye of a comedic storm, Palin paints so vivid a picture that the reader becomes a Python by proxy.” —The New York Times Book Review
“It is terrifically good: funny, astute, and wonderfully written. . . . ”—The Boston Globe
“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.” ---Academy (UK)
Listen to Michael Palin read from his book Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years in this audiobook excerpt. Michael Palin's diaries begin in the late 1960s when he began writing for hugely popular programs. He recounts how Monty Python emerged and triumphed. From the success and cult status brought by Monty Python, Palin shares stories from their world tours, their stay at hotels recently trashed by Led Zeppelin, their battles over censorship, and how individually the Pythons went their separate ways.