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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining with a fair dollop of self criticism

He ticks all the boxes: Vivid memory, healthy disregard for convention paired with acute attention to detail, not to forget having a good laugh at oneself. In this instance, having the author read it himself is a great advantage. Recommended.

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Steve
  • Metung, Australia
  • 03-17-12

unusual, interesting and funny

His story mainly deals with his very young and early life growing up with his communist parents and his holidays in eastern europe. I was hoping that he would talk about his later life on tv etc but perhaps that will come in a later book. Notwithstanding that I enjoyed the book, his narration and his very very unusual young lfe.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rob
  • Markopoulo, Greece
  • 06-10-11

RobMck

This is really funny. I was born about the same time as Alexei, and know what was going on at the time. So it really is an extraordinary story, full of humour. I highly recommend this book

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 09-24-10

Punchy, Delightful

Alexei Sayle delivers a very accessible autobiography of his early life up to the age of 17. Using a very punchy writing style that doesn't dawdle or drag out stories, but rather packs in a series of coherent anecdotes that sometimes leave you wanting to know more, but certainly not getting lost in unnecessary detail and self indulgence. He is dry, honest, and self-effacing in his observations about himself. As such, I felt the book was packed full of pathos, and was often sad and touching. That said, I have rarely laughed out loud so much on the two long train journeys over which I listened to his captivating naration. Although he is at times quite ascorbic in his observations of his nearest and dearest, he is never cruel or bitter, except perhaps in the admissions of his own failings.
Full of the stuff that an ordinary flawed life is full of, and giving some account of how he would become such a unique anti-hero of the modern entertainment world. A wry and guilty pleasure. Not something I would normally listen to. So glad I did.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • P.Lean
  • 01-18-15

Had to be audio.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes because it is in turn, funny, touching and informative.

What did you like best about this story?

I expected to be amused but I was thrilled to find the book to be much more than that. It is an excellent picture of a very specific time in a very specific circle. I was rapt.

What does Alexei Sayle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Having the book narrated by the author in his deadpan scouse tones was the perfect way to consume it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Most of the depictions of mum and the isolation experienced by Sayle at various points.

Any additional comments?

This kind of book is almost made for audio because the narration adds so much to the experience.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Arnold Layne
  • 06-17-14

Brilliantly funny memoir

What did you like most about Stalin Ate My Homework?

Alexei Sayle has always been a funny man and his presentation of this book is no exception. I suspect I would find the written version just as funny, but having the book read by the man who lived it seems to add something in this case. A very interesting life he has led.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Alexei obviously because it would be pointless to buy an autobiographical book about someone you are not interested in.

Any additional comments?

Brilliantly funny if you like Alexei Sayle...if not then go away and stop wasting your life looking up stuff you don't like online.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • mr
  • 05-14-11

Top stuff

Great stories from an unconventional childhood. Lovely writing, amazing characters, great narration. Had me in stitches on several occasions, looking forward to the next instalment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • stephen
  • 05-18-13

A Real Treat.

If you are familiar with Alexei Sayles work as a ground-breaking comedian, being both original and exceptionally honed in his craft, and thought to yourself, how did he get like that? Well, this book explains it all (ish).
The book is touching and endearingly well written and with Alexei reading it, it is probably the best way of experiencing the story. Did I mention that it is also extremely funny too. Alexei Sayle comes across as a really nice man from a wonderfully loving and interesting family.
Enjoy, I certainly did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Smuggler
  • 09-01-12

OK, but gets a bit dull and only goes to age 18

Alexi Sayle has had an unconventional life, which makes for an interesting story in part. His narrative style is a bit dull though.
Overall I enjoyed this, but was disappointed that it only covered the early part of his life

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John Waring
  • 05-22-11

Recommended!

Always entertaining and occassionally laugh out loud funny - which got me a few curious stares down at the gym.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 04-16-11

Stalin ate my homework

As expected full of humour and Communism! I passed it onto my 17 year old daughter who is studying politics, it helps her put a 3rd dimension and a human face in to late 20th century communism as I experienced it in a very similar way at home and as a serviceman watching Soviet AGI trawlers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rowan
  • 11-19-10

Funny easy listen

Great little book. I cover two or three books a week and i hear a lot of guff but this is certainly a funny listen. Easygoing and funny. Cant imagine him with long hair mind

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 11-14-10

FANTASTICALLY HONEST AND WELL WRITTEN

Sayle's is the most self-insightful and honest autobiography I have ever read. It is funny, poignant and tells you a lot about Liverpool, communism, being a delusional, semi-outsider. It is funny but in a wry self-deflating way. The style never palls and he is a thoroughly engaging narrator. A great achievement for someone who only got 4 O levels! I am an automatic buyer for the next volume. Will he be able to be that frank is the second installment?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • peter brasier
  • 11-06-17

you old lefty you

Very engaging. Well done. A very human account of a loving family. A kind reflection.