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.
©2010 Alexei Sayle (P)2010 Hodder & Stoughton
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Alexei has so much depth and thought about a childhood of living with a left wing family. Very well told story of life up north.
Alexei and his mum.
Life up north in the 60's.
Well worth a listen.
"Brilliant and eye opening"
The first 3/4 of the book was excellent and enjoyable in its pace, description of The Party, his amazing holidays and Liverpool. Alexei reads his book fantastically and I cannot believe his early life, it's so incrediblel. Unfortunately it slows, gets bogged down and gets stuck for an ending.
Nope, first one.
Excitable, multilayered, odd
Yes. I want to know what came next.
"Mad as a box of frogs"
Bonkers, Individual, Honest.
His mother, Molly.
If you are looking to find out why Alexei turned out to be the individual that he is then this book explains his formative years. It is not a consistently funny book but one that will make you laugh regularly at the absurdity of his upbringing. It also provides an insight into the life of a political agitator, through both of his parents and himself. It is excruciatingly honest when dealing with his feelings. I came away feeling that i could finally understand, on some level, a previously baffling person.
My only complaints are:
1. It ends when he leaves school and further education (so around 16-17). I would like to see another book that continues his life story.
2. His narration style means that he often ends a sentence in a lowering tone and volume, which made it difficult to listen to in a noisy environment (I work in a factory).
Other than that i recommend this book as a funny and honest insight into a very complicated and intelligent person.
"Brilliant and not at all what I was expecting"
This was an intelligent and surprising book. Alexei is not who you might think he is. The story of his family and upbringing was fascinating. Not a book about a celebrity career, but a story of how a fascinating character was formed. Highly recommended.
"any chance I could get my money back?"
I always liked Alexei when he was on the TV, but this book really didn't do it for me, it was just dull. I had three goes at listening to it, I got about 3/4 of the way through it and just gave up. NEXT
Not sure yet
The problem wasn't the narrator, it was the content
That's a tough one, I think someone beat me to it and edited out all of the funny stuff
"One of the original "alternative" comics ..."
A fantastic biography for one of our most overlooked, yet influential comics.
It was never going to be easy for the son of communist parents growing up in Liverpool. Alexi tells his story with good humour, wit and gives a fantastic insight in what made him, him ...
Well worth it, a great read / listen, even if you're not already a fan.
Parts are very funny, the book is basically an autobiography of his early years - a very interesting and very unusual childhood, so it not meant to be consistently amusing but he looks back with humour and fondness for his parents and the sometimes bizare circumstances he finds himself in.
This story starts with Alexei as a young boy and right from the off, the influences of his politically minded parents, particularly ,his Mum, who sounds a real character,He tells of the benefits of being a member of the communist party in the 60's and the strange places he and his family visited around Europe, and growing up in Liverpool, with hilarious consequences. really worth a listen
A most entertaining and amusing autobiography. My how I laughed. My children went without food, waiting as I accidentally spat on the table with glee at what should have been tea time and the neighbours stared in the window (thank the lord for noise reduction headphones)
"Alexei the Great"
Wonderful fun with Mr Sayle aka Bobby Chariot etc. His memory for social detail, parental failings and successes and the humour of awkward situations is astounding. Alexei's reading of his book gives it an added dimension of honesty. All the humorous situations are brought to life in a way that must beat simply reading the book oneself. He is sharp and worldly in his observations and I believe them all! Best of all, I laughed out loud walking down the street and wished I could meet him walking around the next corner, so I could tell him to write the next one. I like him because he seems like a mellowed rabble rouser, but with insight and compassion. But it is his keen observational skills and his slightly quirky humour that are his best traits. I hope it has been well received by all political persuasions, even those, who in the past, to my recollection, had no sense of humour. Politics may be a serious pastime but it is a good laugh too. Everyone should listen to this book read by a great man with a great beard
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