Monty Python Speaks! by David Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
How satisfied you are in reading books about the history of Monty Python will be reflected in which order you read them in — most of them regurgitate the same quotes over and over, with just a little bit more spin.
This is the first of several history of Python books that I finished, and, most of the information being new, I enjoyed it. If you’ve listened to the Python Autobiography or read some of the other books about them, you may not have the same opinion.
That said, one of the unique things about this book is that it is basically a series of interviews, all interwoven. Getting these guys in the same room is, at best, difficult, and, at worst, could cause a major land war in Asia, so the writer has split the difference and interviewed them all separately. The interviews were then sifted for commonalities, torn apart, and you get all of the Pythons discussing their own personal perspective on a whole range of topics — which I found VERY insightful.
One of the funniest things in the book is when John Cleese describes how he and Terry Jones went at it for two hours, screaming at each other, about whether or not the chandelier in the World War 1 scene should be a stuffed goat or a stuffed yak. These, my friends, are the types of creative battles they had that resulted in near murder.
Really, the book is a great ride, and I could only wish there was more of it. It does, however, bear several strong similarities to the audio book of the Autobiography of Python — so it may also bear similarities to the book.