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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A 'celebrity' writer who can actually WRITE!...
...Monsiuer Sayle being the only example thereof apart from Stephen Fry I can think of. He's especially valuable when you consider the likes of Ben (shudder) Elton and David (ugh!) Baddiel clogging up the genre...
I've read and enjoyed all his stuff but I think this one might be bestest. It's worth it for "The Mau Mau Hat" alone; a beautifully observed character...
Published on 6 Feb 2005 by Mr. J. P. Young

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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Filth
This wasn't a witty funny collection. It's just filth. I stopped reading the first story after the different sordid sexual acts the woman was taking on.
Not what I want to read at all in a 'fuuny' book.
Published on 5 Nov 2009 by Chris Morse


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A 'celebrity' writer who can actually WRITE!..., 6 Feb 2005
By 
Mr. J. P. Young (Newcastle upon Tyne) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dog Catcher (Paperback)
...Monsiuer Sayle being the only example thereof apart from Stephen Fry I can think of. He's especially valuable when you consider the likes of Ben (shudder) Elton and David (ugh!) Baddiel clogging up the genre...
I've read and enjoyed all his stuff but I think this one might be bestest. It's worth it for "The Mau Mau Hat" alone; a beautifully observed character study with a terrible, lonely undertow. It's about ageing, and inevitably, death, yet crams in a motherlode of salty one-liners as well. The other highlight is "The Only Man Stalin Was Afraid Of", which uses a jaunty, almost simplistic style (something Sayle happens to be very good at - light but knowing, and never patronising) to rip apart the absolutely disgusting individual Uncle Joe really was, with none of the slightly histrionic moralising of Martin Amis' otherwise excellent "Koba The Dread".
My only beef is that the construction - the grammar and so forth - is often shoddy. Believe me, I'm the last person to give a s**t about split infinitives and the like normally, but it's noticeable in Sayle's stuff more often than not, and this is a shame when you consider how otherwise talented he is. The impression given is of someone who thinks for months, maybe years, about the content of his stories, but when it comes to writing them, takes a couple of afternoons at most.
Suggested targets for your next collection/novel, Alexei: Ben Elton, Ricky Gervais, Ariel Sharon, and a story about the BNP might be good as well. Cheers!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Comic, Fascinating Story Telling, 27 May 2002
By 
bigcalm@hotmail.com (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dog Catcher (Paperback)
I know it's a cliché, but as soon as I picked up this book, I just could not put it down. In some ways the story telling is reminiscent of Dahl's Tales of the unexpected, in that the stories are dark, comic, and frequently surprising. They're also extremely well written - certain phrases leap off the page at you making (at least me anyway) you wonder why you haven't read any of his stuff before. All of the short stories in this volume are inventive and funny, though the last one (Hillary Wheat) meanders a bit without the characteristic surprise at the end. "Descending" and "Cicely" are simply masterpieces. Two thumbs up!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark mix of the bizzare and the hilarious, 19 April 2002
This review is from: The Dog Catcher (Paperback)
After 'Barcelona Plates' I was left feeling that Sayle was in serious danger of being a very credible writer of short stories. In the 'Dog Catcher' he, in my view, cements his reputation.
It is often the case that celebrities who turn to writing trade too much on their fame and not enough on their writing talent. Alexei Sayle, however, has produced a work of such quality that it stands alone from his talents as a comedian and script writer. He still teases his readers; he still launches into scything polemics against despots and people in 'the media'. Yet every story in this collection is carefully crafted & thoroughly researched. None of these stories is dashed off in an afternoon, yet each has a freshness which is more than tinged with danger. Some are downright sinister (the title story, for example) and others are wicked parodies (Clive Hole).
My advice. Read Barcelona Plates first - the stories here, while still dark, are more 'jaunty'. Then brace yourself for 'The Dog Catcher'. Not only will you be shocked and gripped by the characters and the plots, you will be impressed by the way Alexei Sayle has developed into a short story writer of considerable standing. Bring on the next volume!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real twist in the tale...., 4 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dog Catcher (Hardcover)
Alexei Sayle's latest book 'The Dog Catcher' shows Alexei's great skills with a wide variety of character of both subject and setting -balanced with an often lively, but sometimes a 'more subtle than you might expect' humour.
Every reader will have their own favourite from the nine stories published.
One of the most intruiging - and perhaps most powerful - is a story of a wealthy man named rupert (We are reminded that it is rupert, and not Rupert - there is no capital!).
rupert is a man who may be instantly recognisable not only in character but also in lifestyle! Alexei skillfully takes you on a journey of discovery described through the eyes of rupert, but with a guileful insight into the long suffering lives of his wife and children.
rupert assumes his life is oh so perfect, only to be brought to his knees by his attempts to control those around him. You can positively feel rupert's anguish when those he manipulates the most - those whose power he craves - fail to support him during his time of need.
Following on from his much acclaimed 'Barcelona Plates' book - 'The Dog Catcher' is Alexei Sayle's second story collection. It is a book that promises and delivers a wonderfully satisfying and at times side splitting read - commenting on the many absurdities that dominate modern life.
It is fascinating to discover how many of the stories are based upon real people and events Alexei has encountered. Once picked up, you won't put it down, except to wipe the tears of laughter from your eyes!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 3 Mar 2003
This review is from: The Dog Catcher (Hardcover)
Being Dutch and living in Amsterdam, I had no idea Alexei Sayle had two volumes of short stories out. I came upon Barcelona Plates by chance and as I started reading it, I had the same experience as when I first heard his stand-up tapes, many years ago. It's like a slap in the face: where did this come from, how could anyone write like this? After Barcelona Plates I didn't expect The Dog Catcher to be better but it is. Mr Sayle is a genius in being completely unpredictable but he is also able to make you laugh, feel uncomfortable by observations that are almost too real and think about his characters and stories over and over again. His stories are exciting, often fast moving but he is also capable creating of a beautiful stillness. In a few pages or in a few words, he can paint a complete world. He is very brave: he seems to use every good idea that comes to mind and is not held back by any convention. His writing is highly original and very fluent.
I hope he will continue to write: more short stories, a full-length novel or an autobiography. But if he has a volume out of collected shopping lists, I will buy it too. You can't go wrong with this writer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Story buffet, 15 Aug 2002
By 
Simon Rockman - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dog Catcher (Paperback)
It's brilliantly written, better than Dahl, and with a way of sidling up on unexpected phrases that fit perfectly that previously only Douglas Adams had mastered.
This is a lot like Tales of the Unexpected, each story has a twist and each of the twists are more evil than you would expect.
I left this at home when I went on a long 'plane journey because this is not a book where you should read the whole thing in one sitting. So once you've read one story you want to read the next, but each is so dark you'd become numb to the effect. Far better to read one and let it fester for a day before reading the next.
If you've a half hour commute to work then reading this on the way is ideal. Not if you drive of course.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent humorous observation of modern life - a must!, 3 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Dog Catcher (Audio CD)
Not much can beat Alexei Sayle reading his own short stories. This CD is packed with humorous observations of life today from the angle that only Alexei Sayle can provide.
If you have a sense of humour then this is an absolute must, it deserves many awards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic read!, 1 Feb 2010
By 
E. Fewster - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dog Catcher (Paperback)
i'm not someone who reads alot, infact it takes alot to make me read a book from start to finish. i had this book on my shelf for i think 3yrs and never read it, then one day i finally picked it up and finally started it and gave myself be biggest mental kicking for not reading this fantastically funny, intelligent book before! not only that but when i finished it bought 'barcelona plates' and read it in 2wks! never have i ever read a book in 2wks before!

i never though i would find anything that would alight my interest in reading but alexei sayle has managed it, i'm now reading (and lovely) 'the weeping women hotel' have 'bus journey' on the way and looking at what else is out their. if, like me, the idea of reading endless trivial fictional nonesence fills you with nausia READ THIS!

as i was reading 'the dog catcher' or any of alexei sayles books, i got the distict feeling that i would ever read anything like it again, i've talked about it with loads of my friends and will be forcing it upon my big brother when i see him next wether he likes it or not! its a fantastic read! insane and fantastic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 9 May 2007
This review is from: The Dog Catcher (Paperback)
Most of these short stories were fab. A couple were abit less enjoyable. Love the way Alexi writes, as soon as I'd finshed this book I wanted to read it again as there is so much in it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best short story collection I have read in a long while!, 4 Mar 2009
By 
Laura Ginn (Crete, Greece) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dog Catcher (Paperback)
Wow what a fantastic collection of short stories! My boyfriend lent me this book to read and I'm so glad that I did! Every story in this collection is original and refreshing, so much so that I have finished this book in under two days! Alexei Sayle has produced a work of quality here - a work which defines him as a writer and stands alone from his talents as a comedian.

The Dog Catcher is the main story that stands out from this collection. It is a simple tale yet was still disturbing me the morning after I had read it. It has a dark humour to it, which is something not every writer manages to do well but which Sayle manages to do brilliantly!

Other stories from the collection I would recommend people definitely read are 'Barcelona Chairs' and 'Clive Hole'. Every story in this collection is bloody good though and if you get the chance to read them... DO!
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The Dog Catcher
The Dog Catcher by Alexei Sayle (Hardcover - 19 July 2001)
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