Synopses & Reviews
As the journey unfolds, the Sahara reveals not the emptiness of endless sand dunes, but a huge and diverse range of cultures and landscapes and a long history of civilization, trade, commerce and conquest stretching from the time of the ancient Egyptians to the oil-rich Islamic republics of today.
Starting and finishing his adventure in the once stable, now uncertain colony of Gibraltar, Palin crosses the Strait to Morocco, and pauses in Fez and Marrakesh before traversing the mighty Atlas Mountains. In the stony, hostile wastes of Western Algeria he spends time in one of the refugee camps of the Saharawis, a population in exile. Recovering from an overdose of camel stew, he heads south to Mauritania, where he rides the longest train in the world, finds a holy city half-engulfed by sand, and nearly gets run over by the Paris-Dakar Rally. Arriving in Dakar a few days behind them, he samples the city's exhausting nightlife, then takes a train to the heart of Mali, home of great music, the largest mud building in the world, and the great River Niger, on which Michael rides to the legendary city of Timbuktu. He walks with nomadic herders and rides with a Touareg camel caravan through Niger, scales the Hoggar Mountains and flies into the oilfields of Algeria, before investigating Colonel Gaddafi's Libya and the stunning classical remains of Tunisia, where Life of Brian was filmed and Palin crucified.
"This tie-in to the Bravo series...consists of Palin's journal entries, full of his trademark self-deprecating humor....Readers looking for engaging, detailed insight to the Sahara will hit paydirt here..." Publishers Weekly
"[Palin] 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." Library Journal
"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
Michael Palin's travel books have repeatedly topped the bestseller lists. In this book he is back at his adventurous best tie-ing in with a major BBC TV series. The book/series will travel through many countries little known to the West, providing opportunities for Palinesque adventures to please the large and loyal audience who followed 80 Days, Pole to Pole
and Full Circle.
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.
About 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. He is also the author of a novel, Hemingway's Chair.