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Mister Roberts Paperback – 3 Sep 2009

3.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (3 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340961562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340961568
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 546,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'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.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback
...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 expectations. I did find Sayle's descriptions of various people's customs rather condescending, but then he did give much the same treatment to everybody. The story itself really finds its feet in the second half, and I'd definitely recommend it as worth a read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've loved pretty well everything Alexei Sayle has written since he stopped doing stand-up and turned author. His short stories are brilliant ... but then again his novels are too.

Sayle's somewhat warped world isn't somewhere you'd want to live, but it makes for wonderful entertainment. Thought provoking too.

This is very short (a novella rather than a full novel), very funny and highly recommended.
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By Jaksenpollock TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 awful.

Sorry Alexei, otherwise I think your great.
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