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The Dog Catcher Paperback – 18 Apr 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; New Ed edition (18 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340819448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340819449
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 417,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Every piece in Sayle's marvellous second collection combines strangeness and familiarity to moving and hilarious effect (Independent)

The stories in his new collection, THE DOG CATCHER, won't disappoint fans of Sayle's comedy. (Metro)

I read these short stories with real pleasure. A few of them are superb; none is without something to enjoy. (Daily Telegraph)

A finely-crafted blend of perceptive storytelling and acerbic witticism, darkly humorous. Sayle's compassion shines through everything, as the characters seem to head steadily downhill, each as recognisable as they are unforgettable. He lays bare the intirgues of contemporary life with a style and clarity that's impossible to ignore and his penetratingly accurate descriptions prove hima thoughtful commentator on modern life. (The Good Book Guide)

The Dog Catcher is filled with the black comedy, biting satire and quixotic characters which are his stock-in-trade. (Alexei Sayle, ThE Sunday Business Post)

More twisted but incisive humour from Alexei Sayle in this, his second book of short stories. Savagely and hilariously attacking many of today's 'types', each of these tales are bazaar yet completely believable. (The Sticks)

Dark and unsettling, but leavened with a dry sense of humour (Evening Standard)

Book Description

Alexei Sayle is back, with a new collection of dark, timely, and comic tales. These dazzlingly written stories cut right to the heart of the modern world

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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