Halfway to Hollywood: Book summary and reviews of Halfway to Hollywood by Michael Palin

Halfway to Hollywood

Diaries 1980-1988

by Michael Palin

Halfway to Hollywood by Michael Palin
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2011
    680 pages
    Genre: Biographies/Memoirs

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Book Summary

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 endeavors (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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Pythonophiles will find this essential, of course. But fans of good writing should dip into these pages, too." - Kirkus

"These voluminous and copious diaries may be too detailed for a large general readership, but Monty Python and Palin fans will find them indispensable..." - Library Journal

"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." - The Washington Post Book World BR>
"[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." - The Times (UK)

"A real delight to read." - Saga Magazine (UK)

"His showbiz observations are so absorbing. ... Palin is an elegant and engaging writer." - 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)

"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

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