Read Full Circle by Michael Palin Online


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"; volcanoesMichael 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....

Title : Full Circle
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780563521976
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Full Circle Reviews

  • Janelle
    2019-05-20 19:09

    Unfinished. It's not so much that I disliked this, it's more that I didn't think I could stand listening to 11 hrs of it. Palin's narration was a tad fast for me, and he seemed to spend as much time describing sitting around waiting as he did picturing the locations he visited. I think I would prefer to watch the series.

  • Andy
    2019-05-18 15:03

    It's ok, nowt special & was a real struggle to finish it. Better to watch the TV shows I think as ive learnt very little or got any real insite into places that he's visited.

  • Alastair
    2019-06-02 17:00

    This was the first of Micheal Palin’s books that I read way back when I was still at school, I also watched the tv programme but as always the book is better. I’ve gone back numerous times to re read sections about the varied countries and cultures that surround the Pacific. Few travel books manage to give such a good taste of such a diverse group of countries. I did have an aim once to visit all of these counties and maybe I still will fingers crossed.

  • Julian Walker
    2019-06-16 13:10

    His longest and most exciting adventure to date (as of his writing, not my reviewing). Written in his usual observational style, it is peppered with wry comments, a host of memorable characters and, this time, more drama from home – reminding you that whilst it is on the face of it a jolly ramble, his journey took the best part of a year to complete and was quite draining.Despite that you get the feeling that he is just getting into his stride and I am looking forward to reading his later travels.Up to his high standard and highly enjoyable.

  • Usha
    2019-05-26 11:22

    Superb book as usual by Michael Palin.His style of narration makes you feel as if you are participating in the journey. My geography has improved and I have learnt a lot of things. Its a lifetime experience to see the world. Very few get this opportunity. For others like me, it has to be learnt thru the experience of those who travelled.Books by Palin that I have read - Himalaya, Sahara, Pole to Pole and Full Circle. All of them are classics.

  • Mark Gannon
    2019-06-13 11:07

    This is the third book by Michael Palin I have read and I love his writing style. Humorous, informative- without been heavy handed- and entertaining, this was a great book. There are places that were visited in this book that have a real impact on the reader, due to the fact that they no longer exist- mainly the places that are now flooded and underwater due to the building of the Three Gorges Dam. Anyone who is interested in traveling will love this book.

  • Heather Culley
    2019-06-03 19:28

    He sure like soccer.

  • Billy Gunn
    2019-06-17 14:04

    Classic Travels With Mr Palin. Funny, entertaining, quintessentially British and thoroughly great.Warning Bath plug sold separately.

  • Tom Owens
    2019-05-19 12:12

    The Pacific Ocean is the biggest ocean on the planet. It covers some 30% of the surface area of the globe and approximately 40 countries (across 4 continents) have some kind of Pacific Coastline. Everything from fully developed countries such as the USA through islands nations, deserts, developing economies and even uninhabited jungle is represented as you circumnavigate its borders. Which is precisely what Palin did over the course of 250-odd days back in the late 1990s, primarily for the TV series which this book is the accompaniment to.Starting in the Bering Strait between Russia and the USA, Palin and his intrepid team navigated across to Russia, down through China and Vietnam, across to the Philippines and Borneo. They then took in Australia and New Zealand before starting the long drag up the East Coast of South America before cutting over to Mexico and the USA and returning to the start of it all.It is the sheer diversity of these places that makes the journey fascinating. They all share a common body of water but that is where the similarity ends in most cases. For some the Ocean is the lifeblood, whereas for others it is a leisure activity or even a nuisance.Palin conveys this fantastically throughout. His style and approach to travel is one that manages to get into the heart of everywhere he passes through, and it draws you into a place in a way which is beyond the simple physical geography or location. The interactions and encounters with the locals and the culture of each and every stop paint a vivid picture, which is in essence the real trick to travel writing. It all feels very natural too; there are times when the whole expedition seems moments from disaster or when a cultural taboo is magnificently broken – exactly like your average person may do.I think it is very easy to simply list places/activities and string something together into a kind of “travel itinerary/diary” but it takes a level of skill to get into the heart of a place and really begin to understand the people and the lifestyle.Lonely Planet and Rough Guide do a fantastic line in Travel Guides; Full Circle gets more into the intangibles of travel – the feel, the atmosphere and the more obscure nuances. And it does this really well; short, snappy sections manage to provide enough insight without becoming tedious or too “dry”.Palin’s writing style (based on diary entries and recollections) works too. You are invited to follow in his footsteps and almost follow the journey yourself, using your imagination to fill in the gaps. Most of the wonder of travel for me is the discovery element of things; and the way the book is written allows you to experience those moments in a very similar way to the way Palin himself would have.Overall I thought this was a very enjoyable read, and one which certainly conveys the wonders and the excitement of travelling around this fantastic planet of ours. It has also provided me with food for thought in the way I have been recording my travels, so hopefully I’ll be able to take some of the elements from Full Circle and incorporate them into my travel blogs.The way I feel when I read this book is how I want people to feel when I tell them about my adventures; excited, intrigued and inspired to do something similar. I have plenty to work on obviously!Verdict: 4.5 stars out of 5

  • Sam Still Reading
    2019-06-12 19:09

    Yes, another Michael Palin book review (you may be happy to know that I have only two more of his books in my possession)! This is another one of his travel odysseys, this time completing a circle around the countries bordering the Pacific Ocean. From Alaska to Russia, China, Vietnam, Australia, Chile, Mexico and the USA (to name a few), Michael and his team become involved in daily life. This is different to the Around the World in Eighty Days concept, as aeroplanes may be used in transport, but there are still exotic boat and train journeys to impress us.This is an accompaniment to the BBC TV series (which I haven’t finished watching)- but you can still read the book if you haven’t watched the TV series. Michael Palin describes views and events with clarity that will transport you to far reaches of the world.In this book, he visits Australia (namely the Top End- ie. the Northern Territory is described) and it’s interesting to see an Englishman’s take on the remoteness. I find that area of Australia less remote (it’s only a couple of hundred kilometres between towns, not roadhouses/service stations- excellent) but I suppose it’s a lot different from England!I found reading about Japan and Chile particularly interesting as I love Japan (and interesting to compare notes) and Chile because I’ve never even thought about visiting there!Once again, this is a well written travelogue by Palin that invites wanderlust!

  • Susanne
    2019-06-15 17:23

    It gets four stars from me - though I guess, I would have given it 4.5.Palin circles the Pacific and I got the impression that he enjoyed the trip until New Zealand a lot more than the rest. Maybe thats due to the family emergency mentioned - so that his perception of the trip changed - or it was really what he saw and experienced.There is an incredible warmth and enjoyment on the western shores of the Pacific - all through Asia you can feel it and enjoy it as well. South America and North America even worse in my mind come across as cold and aloof, unwelcoming. (I've got the same impression from the tv show which I watched after finishing the corresponding parts in the book)Don't get me wrong - it is a typical Palin-travelogue and I enjoyed as much as the other works I've read...but there is a somewhat strange sense about it...

  • Clare
    2019-06-08 12:15

    1996: The West wasn't as enlightened about the East as much as it is today, but it still astounds me that a traveller expects South Korea and Japan to be virtually the same! At least Palin admits his prior ignorance but surely a European is aware there are differences between Norway and Germany? Told through the eyes of a Englishman; he highlights what he considers to be the most alien to him. I do own the DVD of Full Circle and the BBC have continued to broadcast programmes that focus primarily on what they think will shock us, however there are some facts and anecdotes (especially regarding Peru)that personally makes it a light enjoyable travel read.

  • Tim Corke
    2019-05-30 13:28

    An epic read for an epic journey.Palin is just a master at these journal/accounts and cannot help but amuse, inspire and document the marvels of the world in a way that everyone can relate too. Filled with wonderful trips, landmarks, experiences of life in countries around the Pacific Rim, it brings home the variety of culture in the world.At times you could sense elements of frustration and tiredness with the journey but as one that has experienced a year-long trip of my own can completely relate to the ongoing demands placed upon him.Coupled with beautiful photos, Full Circle is a joy to have experienced.

  • Maria Elmvang
    2019-06-13 12:26

    I remember watching the TV-program "Full Circle" back when it aired in Denmark. Michael Palin was my favourite Monty Python, and I loved his quirky humour as it expressed itself in his travel vlog as well.This book is his written journal of some of his experiences during his travels. It covers about 300 days in just over 6 hours, so he doesn't have time for more than a very superficial description of his journey, but it's still enough to appreciate the vastness of his undertaking, and the amazing difference in the cultures he travels through as he navigates his way around the Pacific Ocean.Not a book that will blow you off your feet, but quietly very enjoyable.

  • Toni
    2019-05-19 15:07

    I'm predisposed to like Michael Palin, so it's not surprising that I enjoyed this book, which traces Palin and his film crew as they traveled around the Pacific Rim in over 200 days in 1996. Palin is a descriptive writer, and his wit shines through often, making the journey in photographs and words an enjoyable one. This is no cutting edge, off-the-grid gonzo journey, so if you're looking for that, look elsewhere. If you're a sucker for travelogues, especially ones covering great distances, then this is worth a read. I was sad to finally come to the end.

  • Florence
    2019-06-08 18:04

    Michael Palin and a film crew make a broad sweep, visiting all of the countries that border on the Pacific Ocean including North America, Asia, Australia, and South America. A trip like this is not for the faint of heart. During his travels Palin has been in some perilous situations. Having done some adventure travel myself, I know the frustration of trying to sleep when the locals are partying furiously in the hotel bar at 4 AM. It makes for a long night. I was saddened by the instances of almost casual animal cruelty that seemed to take place frequently in many of the places visited.

  • Daniel O'donovan
    2019-06-03 13:23

    Having watched the series I wasn't sure what the book would add. Obviously its still the same journey but there is something special about the book form. I had the audio book version and it is read by Palin - which makes the experience all the more interesting.I have done some traveling but could never do what Palin does. The amount of time away from home, though there was a couple of days at home in the middle, is a difficult thing. Palin has an excellent style telling us of his travels. It is no surprise that some people call him 'The nicest man in the world.'

  • Marcus
    2019-05-24 18:30

    I found this a bit harder to get into than most of Mr. Palin's other travel diaries (the ones that I've read at least). His frustration and desire to end his arduous journey show very clearly in his writing. That being said, he describes some incredible sights and places. He shows, once again, that he is willing to go to any length in the name of adventure. His ability to put a positive spin on situations that would leave me raging never ceases to amaze. The more of his books that I read, the more he affirms himself as my favourite of the Pythons.

  • Apryl Anderson
    2019-06-06 14:06

    Without realizing it, I read this just following Peter Jenkins' A Walk West...I think my library's trying to tell me something...Alas, at this point in life I try to be content as an armchair traveler, and this is a wonderful way to fly! I recently re-watched Palin's BBC series, and 15 years on, it's interesting to see what's changed and what remains the same. Asia will always hold a place in my heart; sometimes as a heart-murmur, but a treasured place indeed.

  • Robert
    2019-05-31 16:24

    Third of Michael Palin's travel logs , this time at the title suggests he goes full circle around the rim of the Pacific ocean, taking in such countries as China, Vietnam, Indonesia, New Zealand, Mexico to name a few.As ever the audio version is superb with Michael really making your feel like your on the journey with him.Highly recommended.10 month journey , takes place between 1996 and 1997.

  • SpaceBear
    2019-06-03 19:14

    Another great travel read from Palin. Pretty annoyed that in his voyage up the BC coast, his only mention of Vancouver was as a place of rest. I also loved the anti-climactic end; that the journey ended one mile short of going 'full circle' around the Pacific because of weather concerns, and that Palin was totally indifferent to this.

  • Gavin Rock
    2019-05-31 14:15

    3rd palin novel I've read, and I'm getting bored of his style. Concentrates a lot on meeting some local and telling their story, doesn't offer enough of an opinion on a place as a whole. Don't feel like I know that much more about any place he visited. You can tell that his journeys are made more for tv than for the written word. Read Bryson instead.

  • angrykitty
    2019-05-26 17:07

    really enjoyed this book. was the third that i read, and really, was just as good as the first two. i have to say though, that as much as i love the books, i don't really care for the tv show as much. odd.

  • Kate Millin
    2019-06-11 16:00

    The account of his trip around the Pacific - written in his interestingly rye (?) style. Interesting as it included places I have heard about from other members of the family - makes me want to travel even more.

  • CatherineMustread
    2019-05-20 15:27

    My fourth Michael Palin and perhaps my favorite as Palin circles the Pacific Rim, hitting almost every country except those in Central America. What's with that? Great photography.

  • Mary
    2019-05-18 13:17

    Though it's more than a decade old already, I thoroughly enjoyed this journey around the Pacific Rim. Palin's verbosity is much better served in this forum ;) An excellent, heartwarming trek. Stunning photography. Now I want to watch the series.

  • Jenny
    2019-05-20 15:01

    I listened to the audiobook with Michael Palin himself as the narrator. He gives vivid accounts of the crew's over 200 day-journey along the Pacific Rim. I laughed many times while listening. Palin is a highly professional entertainer with a great variation in accents, dialects and perspectives.

  • Helen Whelan
    2019-06-16 14:06

    Read this a number of years ago as my introduction to travel writing. Pailin's narration made me feel like I was actually watching his show. Made me want to up sticks, pack a bag and trek to new horizons.

  • Chris Steeden
    2019-06-09 18:18

    Another solid travelogue from Palin although for some reason this did not seem to have the bounce and enthusiasm of the others. This maybe due to his wife's illness or just the enormity of the trip. Still Palin always makes a good guide.

  • Thaila Bentley
    2019-05-23 14:13

    This has to be one of the best and most honest books I have ever read! His writing blends his travels and funny personal stories seamlessly and brings them to life off the page! Makes me want to visit these destinations on the Pacific Rim too! Thank you Michael!