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Sahara

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Michael Palin's epic voyages have seen him circumnavigate the globe, travel from the North to the South Pole and circle the countries of the Pacific Ocean. This was perhaps the greatest challenge yet: to cross the vast and merciless Sahara desert.

Shrugging aside the perils of camel stew and being run over by the Paris-Dakar rally, he travels through some of the most spectacular landscapes on earth. For the Sahara is no empty wasteland, but home to a diversity of cultures whose ...

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Overview

Michael Palin's epic voyages have seen him circumnavigate the globe, travel from the North to the South Pole and circle the countries of the Pacific Ocean. This was perhaps the greatest challenge yet: to cross the vast and merciless Sahara desert.

Shrugging aside the perils of camel stew and being run over by the Paris-Dakar rally, he travels through some of the most spectacular landscapes on earth. For the Sahara is no empty wasteland, but home to a diversity of cultures whose long history stretches from the time of the ancient Egyptians to the oil-rich Islamic republics of today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brisk, fresh ... makes you want to go where he has gone, if not necessarily to eat camel liver." -Daily Telegraph UK

"A good-humored romp through the greatest desert on earth." -Spectator UK

"A classic for the armchair traveler ... one is left full of admiration for the good-natured patience of our genial guide." -Ireland on Sunday

Publishers Weekly
Fifty years after he was given his first book, Tales from the Arabian Nights, consummate traveler and Monty Python founding member Palin trekked to Francophone Africa, believing that the Sahara embodies "the thin line between survival and destruction, the power to take life or to transform it." Fortunately for his readers, the Sahara seems to have transformed Palin (Around the World in 80 Days, Full Circle). This tie-in to the Bravo series airing in April consists of Palin's journal entries, full of his trademark self-deprecating humor (writing about the far-removed city of Djenne, which a British tour group nonetheless infiltrated, Palin confesses that "I know I shouldn't feel this way, but when I'm asked if I've ever been to Stoke-on-Trent all my romantic illusions of desert travel begin to wilt"). But Palin is also a piquant political observer (he notes that African women may be "by nature more direct, more open, more honest and considerably less submissive than their menfolk expect them to be"), and the Sahara's exoticism frequently inspires him to craft beautiful descriptions (the bizarre "battleship-grey" baobab trees "look like some prehistorical arboreal throwback, gnarled and twisted like old prize-fighters"). Readers looking for engaging, detailed insight to the Sahara will hit paydirt here, although newcomers to Palin's work may find themselves dismayed by his ubiquitous appearance in the photographs that dot nearly every page of this book. 175 color and b&w photos. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In this narrative, Palin, one of the founding members of Monty Python, fulfills a lifelong fantasy to travel across the Sahara Desert. His fascination with this harsh and uncompromising part of the world began when he was given a copy of Tales from the Arabian Nights. From Gibraltar, Palin starts and ends his journey across one of the world's most fascinating yet hostile environments. Accompanied by a film crew for a series airing on Bravo, Palin chronicles his journal entries for each stopping place, destination, or watering hole along the way. Across the Strait to Morocco, he stops in Fez and Marrakech before beginning the trek across the Atlas Mountains. The author then moves on to Mauritania, Dakar, Mali, and the River Niger. Throughout, the listener is introduced to exotic and simple foods, walks alongside nomadic herdsmen, rides with a Touareg camel caravan, climbs the Hoggar Mountains, and finally flies over Algeria's oilfields. Borders and frontiers-some safe, many extremely dangerous-and nationalities that trace many of their customs back to colonial overseers heighten the mystery and danger of the Sahara. Palin brings into focus the complex issues facing this region and the simmering tensions that lurk just beneath the surface. He is a writer and world traveler with a large following; as a reader of his own words, his latest entry in this venue will not disappoint his many fans, or even newcomers to his work. Highly recommended for all public library collections.-Gloria Maxwell, Penn Valley Community Coll., Kansas City, MO Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312305437
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 4.56 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Palin is one of the most popular comic figures of our time. His exploits with the Monty Python team and in subsequent films such as A Fish Called Wanda are now the stuff of legend. It is as the adventurous traveller of his major television series however that he has acquired a vast and loyal following.

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