In Pole to Pole we join Michael Palin on the second of his epic challenges. Travelling from the North Pole to the South Pole, he experiences every extreme the globe has to offer. As he crosses 16 countries by train, truck, raft, Ski-Doo, barge, balloon, and bicycle, he meets a diverse range of fascinating characters and landscapes while his own endurance is tested to the limit. With his customary aplomb, he plunges himself into the local cultures, starring in a crayfish documentary in Novgorod, attending a baby-rolling ceremony at a Cypriot wedding, and consulting an Mpulugu witch-doctor. He samples the local cuisines, from goat stew in Kigoma to seal lasagne in Tromsø, and the local customs, beating himself with birch twigs in a Finnish sauna and enjoying a mud massage in Odessa. His incredible journey is a delight for anyone interested in our weird, wonderful world.
©1999 Michael Palin (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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"An interesting story with excellent narration"
This is a really interesting journey with great narration by the author. Especially intriguing to reflect on the world he travelled through in the early 90s.
"I felt I was there ..."
Michael Palin has the gift of creating word pictures so the listener can feel he/she was actually there. His words have the ring of authenticity. Nothing is sensationalised, just told like it was. He is not afraid to revel both the light and the dark of himself, which makes him engaging.
"Entertaining, as you would expect"
Listening to this book is equally as entertaining as watching Michael Palin on TV. The scenes are painted with vibrancy and detail, giving the listener a trip From Pole to Pole which is entertaining from beginning to end.
"How travel writing should be..."
By now, pretty much everyone knows what they're going to get when they read or listen to a Michael Palin travel book: If you're looking for a normal travel guide, this isn't it. If you're just wanting an audio version of the TV series, this isn't it either. The books delve much deeper into the day to day of the trip than was conveyed on the screen. You find out more about the crew that travel with MP on his travels, and the things that happen off camera. Think of this as the companion piece to the TV series. To get the full effect, you want both, and ideally you'd watch one episode, then read/listen to the chapters/days in the book that go along with it, etc...
As for the narration, MP is of course the only person who could do it. He's not just narrating the book, he's re-living it, and breathing life into the words for you.
I've only marked the "story" rating as a 4, because whilst it's a grwat read/listen, it doesn't *quite* reach the heights that he reached on Round the World and Full Circle....
Top class travelogue. Well read by the author. Informative in a historical way as well as just geographically as this was written around 1991 and his experiences in the Soviet Union, Zimbabwe and South Africa would be very different today. Funny in parts. Well recommended.
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