Monday, July 13, 2015

Around The World In 80 Days by Michael Palin - Book Report #138

If you listen to the news you must feel, as I do, that we are living in a pretty shitty place and a pretty shitty time.  The world is not like that.  As a matter of fact it is much, much better than what we are being bombarded with in the media.  I'm not saying terrible things are not happening, they are, but it's not the only thing going on.

Because I needed to let some sunshine in and feel good about things I've turned to a few books that focus on the good that people do.

To start off I returned to my hero Michael Palin.  It was way, way back in 1988 that Michael took the challenge the BBC offered him to travel around the world following the path of Jules Vern's character Phileas Fogg.  Could the journey be done in modern times given how the world had changed since the book was published in 1873?

This book is the companion to the TV series and it is best if you take the time to watch that to get the full experience.  I read the paperback edition that holds a copyright of 1999. The original hardback was published in 1989.

The book is presented as a series of journal entries and included two sets of pictures of his journey.  Not only does Palin describe the places he saw and the food eaten but he also describes his own doubts of his ability to pull off being a presenter.  He also goes to describe the adventures of his crew, lovingly called Passepartout, after Fogg's companion in the novel.

The overwhelming generosity of strangers and the openness of people is something I found surprising and touching.  A wonderful tonic to restore your faith in humanity.

Michael Palin has made a positive impact on the world.

Michael Palin has two websites.  The first one is dedicated to his travels and you can read each book on-line!

The second one is also very, very interesting if your are interested in the man himself.  Wonderful. Check out his Ramblings page.  Also wonderful.

Michael Palin

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