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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
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*        = Good, with reservations



by Michael Palin

photographs by Basil Pao

Reviewed January 10, 2005.
Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin’s Press), New York, 2003.  First published in the United Kingdom in 2002.   256 pages.

Here’s a travel story with wonderfully detailed photographs of every step of the journey.  Michael Palin produced a television series about a trip through and around the Sahara, and while he was at it, he wrote this book.  He had a complete staff of cameramen for the series, and he included a photographer as well.

My rule of thumb for travel is that if a place is hot, I don’t particularly want to go there.  I don’t know much about Africa, and I’ve never been terribly interested in visiting, but this book piqued my curiosity about this amazing continent.

I admit that I still don’t want to go there, but Michael Palin’s story of his travels has helped me know and understand much more about the land and people of the Sahara.  The photographs on almost every page have helped me visualize his journey in much more detail than words alone could have done.

I read the book simply because I like a good travel story.  I recommend it even more highly to anyone planning to travel in northwestern Africa, but also to anyone who wants to understand that part of the world a little better.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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