- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Flamingo; Television tie-in edition edition (6 Oct. 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0006388574
- ISBN-13: 978-0006388579
- Package Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
He Died With a Felafel in His Hand Paperback – 6 Oct 1997
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‘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.”
Top Customer Reviews
The room mate who lives in a tent in the lounge
The various squats and their living conditions
The titular room mate who literally died with a felafel in his hand
The goths next door and when their stereo got shot
The brown sofa, that ubiquitous item of late 20th century house shares
I loved this book, and so has everyone I lent it to.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 morePublished on 8 Feb. 2014 by helen
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 morePublished on 11 Aug. 2013 by Flora Cake
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
This second hand book arrived complete with crumbs between the pages, which only added to the experience of reading it! Read morePublished on 29 May 2009 by Hansierydercles
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. Read morePublished on 11 Mar. 2006
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 morePublished on 15 Jan. 2001