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Full Circle Paperback – March 5, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) (March 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075382325X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753823255
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,421,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Michael Palin has certainly been busy since his days with Monty Python's Flying Circus. In Full Circle, Palin and a film crew go on a year-long adventure visiting 18 countries along the Pacific Rim. The film was eventually made into a 10-part PBS series, to which this book serves as a companion. Not for nothing is this part of the world called the "Ring of Fire"; volcanoes punctuate the landscape, and Palin even climbs one still smoking from a recent eruption. But the difficult landscape is only one challenge in this at times hair-raising, at times hilarious, always fascinating journey around the world's largest ocean. In the Philippines, Palin witnesses "psychic surgery": on the Urubamba River, Palin simultaneously clings for his life to a dugout canoe as he shoots the rapids and keeps up with England's progress in the World Cup via shortwave radio.

Whether he's visiting a Gulag camp in Siberia or chowing down on maggots in Mexico, Palin meets the challenges of rough travel with grace, courage, and more than a little humor. Full Circle is fun to read, includes many color photographs from Palin's adventures, and makes a terrific addition to the armchair traveler's bookshelf. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Palin and his associates spent nearly a year touring the Pacific Rim developing and videoing a BBC program. Beginning on a small northern island, the group circles through 18 countries bordering the Pacific Ocean. In each area, Palin highlights something unique, such as slave labor camps or volcanoes. Palin's prior affiliation with Monty Python's Flying Circus has made him well known in the UK, but less so in the United States. Reading his day-by-day record of the journey, he includes personal feelings, anxieties, and thrills. The material, personalized with his creative viewpoint, is often intriguing. Despite publicity-laden acts like eating maggots with natives, he shows himself to be an intelligent, relatively normal, worried father and loving husband. His English pronunciations are generally understood from the context, except when he speaks of going to see geezers: most Americans will fail to fathom for approximately two (amusing) minutes that he is talking about geysers. Overall, he is an excellent reader, with a strong, clear voice and meaningful phrasing. The journey is so extensive that no subject receives any in-depth coverage, but the content is generally interesting. Libraries with devout armchair travelers should consider this well-written diary of an unusual trek. Recommended.?Carolyn Alexander, Brigadoon Lib., Salinas, CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Michael Palin does it again with Full Circle. Starting in Alaska Michael travels anti-clockwise around the rim of the Pacific Ocean visiting countries as diverse as Russia, Korea, Viet Nam, New Zealand, Colombia and the west coast of North American. He tells of his adventures getting to and exploring some fantastic natural wonders, visiting a Russian gulag with a former inmate, the relief of Japan, the Vietnamese reactions to a westerner, the biggness of Australia and the hardworking people of South America. The section on the United States is short and not always sweet. Palin is taken aback by the physical bigness of Americans, and rush, and loudness. By the time he reaches Canada and attends a "lumberjack" fair (no singing Mounties included!) he really "wants to go home". We also learn a bit about how the series and book were produced, his wife Helen and their children, and that being on a job for the BBC doesn't always mean smooth sailing! Michael's friend Basil Pao took the photographs - he also joined Michael on "Around the World in Eighty Days". I can highly recommend this book and not only to fans of Monty Python - it doesn't end how you might expect!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R Bell on October 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As always Palin has produced a great travel book and series... this I found better than his "80 Days". The other thing people might find interesting about this travel book is that it takes us to some places which are hard to reach even in this day and age, so this is the only way we can know them.
Also suggested- "Hemingway Adventure"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
If you love to read about exciting and exotic places, this is your book. If you like history, this is your book. If you like Michael Palin, this is your book. If you just like to read, THIS IS YOUR BOOK. I suggest you read the book first and THEN see the video series (although either stands perfectly well alone).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Hennessy on July 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I've seen the 10-part Full Circle tv series, and I had a serious addiction from the start. When it ended, I went through a withdrawl period. I silently rocked myself in a chair in my room repeating "I must get the book,... must find book...must read book." I've got it now and I'm back on a Full Circle high. The book goes into details that they never had time for on the series. It tells you everything that you would have noticed had you been in Japan or Australia or Chile.
Ahh... I can imagine myself right now on the streets of China getting a massage from a blind man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Travelling with Michael is to say the least exhilarating, fun, adventurous and a journey of discovery. While many can only dream of actually making the trip, Michael Palins' books are the next best thing. It's not just where he goes, but how he does it and perhaps most importantly: seeing it through his mind's eye, which needless to say can make humor out of nothingness. All you need is to relax and have the urge to increase your imagination. A wild but educative ride!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diana L. Braun on May 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This guy is a wonderful traveler and story teller - he describes both the people and the places that he sees, and ALL without any type of judgement, and some of the folks that he encounters live in circumstances that are unbelievable. He is also amusing so IF you like to travel, at least by book, this is for you!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After a couple of small time train journeys for the BBC Michael Palin got roped into Around the World in 80 Days. He followed that up with Pole to Pole and then Full Circle which was an epic journey that started in the Bering Straits beteen Alaska and Russia. And thence went in a counter clockwise manner around the Pacific taking in a stack of countries along the way.

This six CD, six hour(!) release sees Palin reading his own book of the journey. Not the sort of thing that's going to make it onto the Billboard best sellers list but a very valid release. I own this on DVD and also got the book Palin is reading from and so delayed getting any of his box set audio efforts wondering if I'd really get any use out of them. I needn't have worried and if the same concern is holding you back from parting with your hard earned rest assured that these discs are quite worthwhile. I actually tend to listen to them while driving long distance, there is something surreal about driving through very sparse inland scenes for hour after hour in the Australian 'red centre' while listening to Palin talk about the rainforest of the Amazon basin or the mountainous seas of the Bering Strait.

Of course you'd have to have the constitution of a buffalo to actually listen to them disc after disc. My record is two of these discs one after the other because ultimately have a guy read to you can get old hat after too long. Perhaps it would of been nice had they added some background noise that was complementary to the passage being read. But if you pace yourself this release is a worthy addition to the sort of albums you throw in the car in preparation for a long drive.

Highly recommended for fans of Michael Palins conversational style of travelogue.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Full Circle by Michael Palin tells his almost year-long trip around the countries of the Pacific Rim. Starting in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, he makes his way through Russia to Japan and Korea. Then on to China, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Stops in Australia and New Zealand are followed by the obligatory trip to the South Pole and then on to Chile, up through South America, and the West Coast of the USA, to Canada, and - finally - back to Alaska.

Palin's writing, already good, continues to improve with each new book. He meets interesting people, tries exotic food (but draws the line at eating dog), and is an intelligent observer at all times. I found myself less engaged in his travels toward the end of the book. I don't know if it was because he was so obviously looking forward to the end of this very long trip (almost 50,000 miles) or if it was because he was back in the familiar territory of the West Coast of the U.S.

I decry his choice to fly from San Francisco to Seattle, thereby missing the most beautiful stretch of Pacific coastline in the world right here in Oregon. Other than that, this is another fine book in the Palin travel series.
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