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Mister Roberts [Paperback]

Alexei Sayle
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

3 Sep 2009

Above a small village in Spain, an English costume designer sees a bright shining star lurch abruptly across the sky.On Christmas Day a strong, silent man with blank eyes enters Bar Noche Azul.

Only a thirteen year old boy could have guessed that there was any connection between the two.

Wonderfully inventive, darkly funny and thoughtful, MISTER ROBERTS is both an original coming-of-age story and an unusual take on the corrupting influence of power.

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Mister Roberts + Stalin Ate My Homework + Barcelona Plates (Sceptre 21's)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (3 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340961562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340961568
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Liverpool, the only child of Communist parents, Alexei moved to London in 1971 to attend Chelsea Art School. He became the first MC of the Comedy Store and later the Comic Strip. After years of stand-up, television, sitcoms, films and even a hit single, he published his first highly acclaimed collection of short stories. BARCELONA PLATES was followed by THE DOG CATCHER, two novels: OVERTAKEN and THE WEEPING WOMEN HOTEL and a novella, MISTER ROBERTS. STALIN ATE MY HOMEWORK is his first work of non-fiction.

Product Description


'Ridiculously entertaining' (The Times)

'A deliciously barmy, yet affecting cautionary tale...the considered, pitch-perfect prose of a talented novelist who also happens to have a wildly perverse imagination, and a store of beautifully delivered one-liners.' (Scotsman)

Among the very few comedians to write fiction which can be taken seriously as literature . . . It's also extremely funny. (Independent on Sunday)

Brains, wit and welcome absurdity...there is also a surprising amount of warmth (Guardian)

'Full of inventive comedy' (Herald)

Hilariously bonkers ( Red )

Book Description

Critically acclaimed author Alexei Sayle introduces the curious tale of MISTER ROBERTS in his most funny and poignant novel yet.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. RpN
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's quite hard to explain what this book is about without spoiling it. I think I would have been put off by the plot if I had seen it set out [the pitch to the publishers must have been interesting]. And that would be a shame because, as usual, there is a dead-pan, wierdly compelling logic that sort of pulls you in. Eventually I stayed up till 2am to finish it. If you have enjoyed his earlier books you will almost certainly love this one. It's just a pity that it is so short - more of a novella really - and I think there was a lot of scope to take the main idea further. Let's hope that we don't have to wait too long for the next book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I, Roberts 16 Oct 2008
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
When an alien spaceship crashes in the south of Spain after an intergalactic battle, a young English boy living in the valley's English community discovers one of the robot suits the aliens used for planetary exploration. Donning the suit he becomes Mr Roberts and finds that the fearsome figure can be used for good or bad. Well, to be honest, it's only really used for greedy and nasty purposes, particularly when his neglectful mother gets her hands on it. Having a great deal of mild fun at the expense of Spanish customs, English ex-pats, theatre and television types, religion and even Scientology, Sayle's entertaining short novel makes for an enjoyable light read. Surreal and satirical, this is everything you would expect from Alexei Sayle and even better if you read it with his sarcastic rapid delivery Scouse accent in mind.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ello Alexei, got a new alien? 25 Oct 2008
Another really great book from Alexei Sayle. Short, at 180 pages, but sweet...but with a bitter aftertaste. The characters are fleshed out to a certain extent, in some cases not enough. The most amusing thing about the novel is the detachment with which anything regarding the alien life is presented, it's almost presented as everyday behaviour. I wish the book had been longer, it feels as if there was more to be told. But, overall, recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smashing. 11 Aug 2009
Mister Roberts is set in a community of British Ex-Pats in spain that congregate nightly at the local Bar Noche Azul. Somewhere over the hills from their close knit community, an alien spaceship has crash landed. Amongst the wreckage Stanley, a local teenager, finds an indestructable mobile suit of armour, shaped like a man in seventies formal wear. The suit gives Stanley incredible strength and anonymity. With great power comes great responsibility of course: something that Stanley's selfish mother does not have much of. Upon discovering her son's new toy, she has some rather demanding and brutal chores for him to do.

Those of you who have read Sayle's second short story collection The Dog Catcher will recognise the setting and some of the characters from the eponymous story of that collection. This may be a possible excuse as to why some of the characters are not as fleshed out in this novel as they could be. I would agree with those who wished the novel to be longer, but mostly on the grounds that reading anything by Sayle is a rare pleasure and it is always nice to have as much of his writing as possible.

Sayle's writing talents are too numerous to list, but I would say that creating characters is often where he is most comically inventive. A particular mention must go to a ginger-dreadlocked teenage bully named Runciman. As with his other works there is a masterful blend of comedy and brutality; banality and absurdity. He has been able to transpose that famed sense of humour into a concise literary prose style and shares more in common with the comic literary greats than he does with other comedians who have written novels.

If you want to start reading Alexei Sayle's fiction however, I wouldn't necessarily start here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Weird and wonderful! 28 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just the kind of story I love. Not a sci fi spoof, just a hilarious story of people out of place!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good 21 April 2014
By Kate
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think this book is very useful and easy to use. It was delivered very promptly in good condition. It will become a staple.
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5.0 out of 5 stars alexei sayle...spanish ex-pats, surely not!! 1 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
if your into reading on holiday, you could do a lot worse than taking alexei with you, from the sublime to the ridiculous, all in his stride!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire
I hate to say this because Im a big Alexei Sayle fan but I could not finish this. I reckon I can suspend my belief and enjoy stuff as well as the next one but this was just... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jaksenpollock
4.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - Very readable, atmospheric and quite funny
I've only read the first chapter, and I already expected this to be a bit mad like Train to Hell, but I really enjoyed it. Certain paragraphs were really top notch. Read more
Published on 28 Sep 2011 by Andrew Ives
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor, Derivative and unreadable.
I enjoyed Alexei Sayle's 'Barcelona Plates' and thought this would be interesting and entertaining too. Read more
Published on 23 Oct 2010 by William Eggleston
3.0 out of 5 stars A 3 star review until about half way through...
...and then by the end it *almost* edges four stars. But not quite.

Something made this not-quite-brillant, but maybe that's because I started with such high... Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2010 by philhatch
3.0 out of 5 stars underwhelming
this book was very average I am 47 and I felt this book should have been in a teenage section in a library I would rather see alexei on tv than read his stuff
Published on 3 Nov 2009 by David Wells
4.0 out of 5 stars True to form Sayle
"Mister Roberts" is as funny as most of Alexei Sayle's previous books. The plot is typically outrageous, but the writing is full of precise observations from, in this case, the... Read more
Published on 12 Oct 2009 by Pablo Landherr
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I've loved pretty well everything Alexei Sayle has written since he stopped doing stand-up and turned author. His short stories are brilliant ... Read more
Published on 25 Jun 2009 by Amazon Customer
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