Get the new edition of The Life of Python on Amazon.com here:
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Review: Updated Edition of 'The Life of Python'
George Perry’s The Life of Python first appeared in 1994 when that revolutionary comedy troupe probably seemed deader than an ex-parrot. Of course, money has a way of bringing dead things back to life, and the promise of a nice pay day has recently reunited Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terrys Jones and Gilliam, and even Graham Chapman (appearing from beyond the grave via archival footage) for some live appearances. That means it’s a prime opportunity for Perry to get in on the action with an all-new edition of his book. For fans who’ve spent the last twenty years resisting The Life of Python, it’s a pretty straight piece of journalism/biography with individual chapters on each Python and a final extended one covering the guys’ collective career. There’s a great deal of informational overlap between the sections, and the bio chapters spend a lot of time looking beyond the Flying Circus at Gilliam’s big screen triumphs and failures (mostly failures), Cleese’s marital triumphs and failures (almost exclusively failures), and so on. The absence of Carol Cleveland in this story is glaring. Perry also makes no effort to tap into Monty Python’s insanity and inanity, so his book is more drily informative than fun, though his paraphrasing of a response Idle sent to some complete idiot who implied Chapman should be killed because of his homosexuality made me laugh hard enough to almost make up for that.