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He Died with a Felafel in His Hand [Kindle Edition]

John Birmingham
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £4.79 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Cult shared-housing comedy classic. These hilarious tales of urban terror reveal the dark truth hidden behind three seemingly innocent words – a phrase that you have seen a hundred times before but will never view in the same light again – WANTED TO SHARE. John Birmingham's rendering of a life in share houses will leave you laughing, cringing and reminiscing about your own brushes with the mad, add residents of flatmate hell.

Product Description


‘This is the grunge version of Melrose – the characters move speedily from one bed to another in Birmingham’s share-house hell… Not recommended for landlords’, Kathy Bil, Editor, Rolling Stone

‘You’ll read it with horrified amusement and, if you’ve ever shared a flat, the occasional wince of recollection’, Terry Pratchett

From the Back Cover

‘A rat died in the living room at King Street and we didn’t know. There was at least six inches of compacted rubbish between our feet and the floor. Old Ratty must have crawled in there and died of pleasure. A visitor uncovered him while groping around for a beer.’

So you think your flatmates are from Hell? Never clean up after themselves? Sometimes forget to flush the toilet? But did they ever run up a £20,000 credit scam from home? Ever blow up a perfectly innocent milk van? Or bring a stampede of corrupt police through your door?

John Birmingham’s did. And he secretly took notes on all of them. 89 flatmates later, this is his very funny horror story.

“You’ll read it with horrified amusement and if you’ve ever shared a flat, the occasional wince of recollection.”

“This is the grunge version of Melrose – the characters move as speedily from one bed to another… Yet the props here are beanbags, bongs and unpaid bills. Not recommended for landlords.”

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1006 KB
  • Print Length: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Duffy & Snellgrove (1 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FH4Y1I6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #191,649 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I first picked up this book a few years back on one of the many occasions I was locked out of my house I found myself in the tiny local library seeking shelter from the rain and Uni lecturers. I was seduced into removing it from a shelf of dull looking educational literature and novels you have to be over 75 to read. The gorgeously grotesque cover was enough to lull me into a false sense of security thinking I would only spend a few minutes reading it while waiting for my flatmates to arrive. How wrong I was this book is amazingly funny material and John Birmingham is a legend!! If there was a literary god of humour he would no doubt be..... Australian, and be full of 'life experiences' I kept turning the pages and before I knew what time it was I was being chucked out by a librarian (never thought I'd actually say those words). However it was incredibly difficult to get hold of a copy at the time, then in my quest to make it my own discovered a sequel 'Tasmanian Babes Fiasco' Again Fantastic!! Even better than the original!! I'm eagerly awaiting my copy of 'Weapons of Choice' & Dopetown. I know they won't disappoint. Can't praise enough!!! BUY! BUY! BUY!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great Aussie student housing stories 16 May 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
The title of this book may be deceptive. This is not a murder, nor a horror story. It is a humorous, fast paced collection of student living stories. John Birmingham lived in a number of student houses in various Australian cities with a fantastic variety of people, most of whom had interesting and some might say frightening idiosyncrasies, which makes for some hilarious stories. Birmingham cleverly captures the mood of student houses where a bunch of young, poor, different and supposedly intelligent people have come together to live under one roof. Inevitably there are differences of opinion, some problems with hygiene and people who can't/don't pay the rent. The book also illustrates the lengths to which students will go to entertain themselves when they are sick of daytime television. Watch out especially for the tale of the cocktail party held by the pretty Tasmanian girls up the road, and the days of preparation that go into having one hell of an evening. A really good read for anyone that likes a good laugh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me 10 Sept. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having had my share of share houses this book caught my eye.
At first the book was a little interesting and I thought it had potential. However it is not very well written, it skips around in time and the stories just seem repetitive after a while.
Drugs, drinking and more drugs.
There are a couple of funny moments, but mostly it's just the same - "Yay we took loads of drugs, acted like twats and someone had a bad trip so I left the house". Maybe I'm being a little harsh as I had high expectations on the variety of the stories but it definetly wasn't for me.
If you read Mr Nice (I haven't seen the movie so can't compare) and liked it, you will probably like this book. If you thought Mr Nice was a tool, you probably won't like this book either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best reads ever 11 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
i had this book forced upon me a by my best mate, i loaned him some CDs and he gave me this in return, i wasnt interested, but he implored me to read it. after reading a few pages i was absolutely enthralled, the story outlines the experiences of a guy in australian shaehousing up and down the east coast throughout the 80s/90s and is set out in the form of a group of short stories that all tie in with one another, he even has anecdotes from former housemates that share or dispute his claims as well as giving accounts on different events from their own experience. i have read the book over and over as it is such a great read. get a hold of it somehow and see for yourself, pure brilliance
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2.0 out of 5 stars Cocaine's hell of a drug 30 Jan. 2013
By Ben
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first felt inclined to read this book after an article appeared on the BBC website regarding terrible flatmates, and this was quoted. After being mislead from reviews on this fine website that it would lead to laughter I duly purchased it and proceeded not to laugh for the remaining 214 pages, actually I lie, I only read 203 pages and then gave up.

It's difficult to comprehend the meetings between John Birmingham and Flamingo publisher but I'd fathom it went something like this: "So Mr Birmingham, I heard you've got a great idea for a book?", "Absolutely, you know how we all end up sharing flats or houses at some point or another, I thought I'd share some of those stories" , "Sounds good, give me some examples John", "O, they're all basically the same, I move into a degenerate house with a bunch of juvenile, drug taking bawbags, I describe how decrepit the place is, something unhygienic, dodgy and predictable happens and I then move out, wash, rinse, repeat" the publisher gives a puzzled look "Ok, but won't it get a bit repetitive and annoying?", "O no, don't worry, it'll be chronologically incomprehensible, I'll use the word 'cones' a great deal to sound cool, it'll also be randomly inter dispersed with other folks identically tedious tales, but in a different font or in a grey box so as to confuse the reader." "Brilliant"

I gave this book 2 stars because I'm sure there are worse books out there, I mean I haven't read Mein Kampf, but I'm sure it's pretty bad. My main issues with this book is that it's very repetitive, poorly edited and I ended up disliking all the characters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A random buy
I didn't really enjoy the book because it didn't flow too well and I wasn't sure if it followed through too well. Read more
Published 15 months ago by helen
3.0 out of 5 stars I think I knew the bloke in the title!
I had no idea of this when I got the book of course, but once I read the story it was all a bit familiar - same place, same sort of time, same name (though wouldn't the author... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Flora Cake
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading for students about to house share
These are the random notes of an australian who has a massive number of house mates over the years, and has kept notes on them all. Read more
Published on 24 Dec. 2012 by Kristin
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy read
Great fun and easy to read. Full of peps and sexy, funky anecdotes about flatsharing. A good laugh, but all this is supposed to be realistic and based on real life experiences!
Published on 30 Sept. 2010 by cmarielle
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you grateful for the houseshares you've had...
This second hand book arrived complete with crumbs between the pages, which only added to the experience of reading it! Read more
Published on 29 May 2009 by Hansierydercles
3.0 out of 5 stars amusing but patchy
An amusing account of housesharing in Australia. You may find yourself questioning the stories from time to time, since the same thing happened your best friend's brother's... Read more
Published on 15 Jan. 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud funny in a gross way!
This book made me howl with laughter in parts and in others made me feel physically queasy. It brought back some nasty memories of house sharing that would have been better left... Read more
Published on 19 Nov. 2000 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny book, made my current house-share life seem better
Picked this book up at Dillons, during a touring visit of the UK. Very funny, especially since it helps me put my current housemate-from-hell problems in proportion. Read more
Published on 3 Jun. 2000 by _
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