Michael Palin was the Ringo Starr of Monty Python.
that is to say, in the middle-brow cocktail party conversation, 'how does every team in the world correspond to the Beatles,' Palin was always the moral heart or enabler of everything the team did, rather than the edgy leader or chick-magnet foil to the brooding antihero. I guess the mean thing to say was that he was the completely expendable one. meh
anyways... AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS is a pretty expendable book. unlike its Victorian antecedent, the actual task isn't so difficult to do anymore, but conversely, the amount of time spent in each country is no longer enough to get more than descriptions of train stations, boat cabins, and a few superficial details of the travel experience. 'car ferry! rip-off artists! hotel under construction! local food!' so this book is kinda how not to do a Round the World (RTW) trip. possibly the TV series behind filmed simultaneously was better.