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Stalin Ate My Homework [Kindle Edition]

Alexei Sayle
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Alexei knew he was doomed to be different the day he was taken to see Sergei Eisentein's Alexander Nevsky instead of Walt Disney's Bambi. Born on the day that egg rationing came to an end, Alexei grew up with his parents and the Soviet Weekly. Each year they holidayed in Eastern Europe, where they were shown round locomotive factories and the sites of Nazi atrocities. Very funny and (almost) stranger than Alexei's fiction, this is a memoir about how Liverpool, Communism and a mother that his teachers were frightened of, made him want to leave home and make people laugh. Abridged.

Product Description


It's not like other comedians' memoirs. It's funny. (Guardian)

As strange and fascinating as any fiction . . . This would be excellent even if it weren't by someone famous (The Times)

'Fascinating and hugely entertaining' (Telegraph)

Sayle's book has charm and substance, both as memoir and history. (Times Literary Supplement)

'A great memoir of a strange childhood. "Just let me read you this bit" funny.' (Frank Cottrell Boyce)

'The brilliant satires on modern life of Alexei Sayle (the only comedian worth his salt as a novelist) are contemporary gems.' (Tim Lott, Independent)

'This touching, elegantly written memoir stands out... He looks back on his unconventional youth with comic bewilderment' (Independent on Sunday)

'A fascinating and entertaining memoir about growing up with parents who were staunch communists' (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

'It's not like other comedians' memoirs. It's funny.' Guardian

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 826 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (2 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043VDC3Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #114,959 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, insightful, clever and strange. 11 Oct. 2010
By Malcolm
This is not a showbiz bio. It is a memoir of a unique childhood presenting a first-hand close-up child's-eye view of the cold war and as such constitutes an important historical document. It's also (almost incidentally) very, very funny. It's also written in a transparently elegant prose style that every writer since Evelyn Waugh would do well to study. It also tells you more about the crucial flaws in Sten gun design, and the useless beauty of 1950s East European limousines than you could ever have believed you wanted to know. It's also a page turner. I read it in two lengthy sessions while the world around continued to fall into hideous disrepair. Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it. Here's how.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great entertaining read. Very Nice! 29 Sept. 2010
Another great read from Alexi. Very enjoyable and entertaining learning about his unconventional childhood. The way he describes his summer holiday to Czechoslovakia had me laughing out loud. A very honest account of his younger years which shaped the man he was to become. Lets hope its not too long until he gives us the next installment. More stories please.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny but... 29 Sept. 2010
Alexei's memoir of his childhood and teenage days in Liverpool doesn't have the vitriol he was most known for in the 80s, but retains his surrealist-outsider stance - a collection of stories and anecdotes more than an autobiography, but still with laugh-aloud moments.

The only criticism I have of this book is its ending - the last anecdote finishes, then the book ends, with no epilogue, postscript or sense of what happens next. It's as if a second volume will follow soon and nobody wanted to spoil the surprises that'll be in that book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Slow 25 Nov. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I was a child, I was taken to Florence and Venice for holdidays. Instead of spending time on beaches like all my friends did, I spent my holidays in churches and museums. Alexei Sayle, author of "Stalin Ate My Homework", was in a similar position. When his friends were watching Disney films, he had to watch Eisenstein. His holidays were mostly spent behind the 'Iron Curtain'. Both he and I now appreciate the unusual natures of our upbringings.

Sayle's childhood was particularly interesting because he was brought up by earnest British Communist Party members, who indoctrinated him in their beliefs. He accepts these to a large extent but realises that this set him apart from his fellow school pupils.

This book, an account of Sayle's childhood, has many funny moments but it is paced too slowly to get me 'rolling in the aisles'. It does, however, open an idiosyncratic window into the history of British communism in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s.

Only read this book if you are a quick reader!

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5.0 out of 5 stars LIVERPOOL CHILDHOOD IN THE 60'S &70'S. 21 April 2013
I really enjoyed this book,it did not really matter or was important that this book was written by Alexei Sayle.It was not really about him as such,it was about a boy growing up in Liverpool in an unconventional and politically different environment in the middle of the tewntieth century , and how this person developed. This was certainly not a stand up comedian insight into how he became a star,but a witty and laugh out loud expose of his life with Molly and Joe,and his and their view of the world as they perceived it in the 1960's and 70's. Alexei Sayle does not come across as someone who goes into comedy because he makes his school friends laugh,it did not appear to have many,people seem to be laughing about him rather than with him.
A thoroughly recommended book for an insight into Alexei Sayle and his childhood, but also an insight into the social and architectual planning that was taking place after the end of the second world war, and how it was going to create a utopia for all to live in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Manic Memoirs 16 Jun. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alexei Sayle's first volume of memoirs, starting with his birth on Merseyside to Jewish Socialists Mollie and Joe, is like no other `celebrity' autobiography you will ever encounter. Sayle's trademark bolshy in-your-face stand-up comedy is better understood when you've read about his bizarre upbringing and melancholic teenage persona; at the same time he writes with an honesty and a passion that demands respect for the man, and never seeks to paint himself as anything other than an `odd looking and very scary individual', spiky and awkward and consequently not the best at making friends or maintaining any kind of constructive relationship.
At the same time, the book is a fascinating insight into a period of massive upheaval and change in Liverpool and its surrounding townships, and Sayle's own development is mirrored in the rise and fall of the shipyards and football teams that have always lain at the beating heart of this proud city.
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By Milhist
Format:Kindle Edition
Having parents who took me to 1980s Poland (just before martial law was declared in 1981!) and Czechoslovakia in 1982 this brought back many memories. Particularly the tour of the Heydrich assasination sites in Prague, although I found it more interesting than young Alexei...

My parents were not hard-core British Communist Party members, and this aspect of Alexei's upbringing I found particularly interesting, especially their responses to Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

The book is slow in a number of places and I found the last 40 or so pages less interesting than the earlier ones, however this account of 1960s and 70s Britain reflects accurately some of the conflict and dogma that dominated the politics of the period.

Some non UK readers will find aspects less easy to follow, but UK readers should find some resonances with their lives in the 60s and 70
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars lovely stuff..
Entertaining. Always been a fan, like him even more..
Published 1 month ago by ElCappitano
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Alexei Sayle is more than an over weight comedian in a tight suit - a thoughtful reflection'
Published 3 months ago by greglessley
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
What an intelligent man..great reading, would have loved to have been at school with him!
Published 3 months ago by Colette Doughty
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a really funny book in parts it had me laughing out loud which no book has.
Published 7 months ago by Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars funny and fascinating
I had liked Alexei Sayle's humour and found this picture of his family life fascinating and very funny. The holiday trips by rail to soviet destinations were amazing. Read more
Published 10 months ago by acm
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
At several points reading this I had to choke in a giggle or an out aloud laugh. Sayles book is as funny as his performance. Read more
Published 10 months ago by seanjm
4.0 out of 5 stars A madcap memoir.
Enjoyed the book,Sayles off kilter, funny childhood through to starting sixth form college was entertaining and informative in equal measure.
Published 11 months ago by assfromelbow.
5.0 out of 5 stars great book easy read
As long time fan of Alexei Sayle it was not difficult for me to really enjoy this book, I could hear is style in every word, fascinating history all those strongly held left wing... Read more
Published 11 months ago by john hodgshon
5.0 out of 5 stars A rollicking read with a wealth of positive nostalgia
chose it because I am an Ex pat. from Liverpool UK ( living in Australia) and have been an admirer of many years.
I have a great affinity with his childhood. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kevin Thornton
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sense of humour laced with insight
Being a scouser myself and an Alexi Sayle fan, I was not disappointed with this memoir. It's not your average obligatory autobiography that's churned out by celebs these days. Read more
Published 13 months ago by M. J. Penny
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