North Korea Journal
Michael Palin

Book cover image

Narrated By: Michael Palin

Duration: 2 hours and 54 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

THE BOOK BEHIND THE HIT CHANNEL 5 DOCUMENTARY


A glimpse of life inside the world’s most secretive country, as told by Britain’s best-loved travel writer.

In May 2018, former Monty Python stalwart and intrepid globetrotter Michael Palin spent two weeks in the notoriously secretive Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a cut-off land without internet or phone signal, where the countryside has barely moved beyond a centuries-old peasant economy but where the cities have gleaming skyscrapers and luxurious underground train stations. His resulting documentary for Channel 5 was widely acclaimed.

Now he shares his day-by-day diary of his visit, in which he describes not only what he saw – and his fleeting views of what the authorities didn’t want him to see – but recounts the conversations he had with the country’s inhabitants, talks candidly about his encounters with officialdom, and records his musings about a land wholly unlike any other he has ever visited – one that inspires fascination and fear in equal measure.

Written with Palin’s trademark warmth and wit, and illustrated with beautiful colour photographs throughout, the journal offers a rare insight into the North Korea behind the headlines.

Genre

Travel writing, Autobiography: general, Memoirs

Listen to a sample

[Lifts] the veil on one of the last blind spots on the globe

Irish Independent

The Python’s most dangerous journey yet. Palin journeyed into the heart of Kim Jong-un’s repressive and secretive regime.

The Times, 50 Best Book for Autumn

A fascinating proposition . . . [a] winning mix of genuine interest, good-humoured charm and that deceptively steely nose for humbug.

Wanderlust

An eye-opening look at a place that doesn’t figure on most travellers' bucket lists

Kirkus

Palin expands on his Channel 5 documentary with this absorbing and beautifully illustrated day-by-day account.