- Title: Stalin Ate My Homework
- Author: Alexei Sayle
- ISBN: 9780340919590
- Page: 219
- Format: Paperback
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Entertaining, poignant surprising, this is a brilliantly written memoir of an unusual childhood by one of Britain s most loved comedians, Alexei Sayle.
Recent Comments "Stalin Ate My Homework"
Alexei Sayle certainly had a very odd upbringing and has turned into a comedian I like but a person whose opinions I have little respect for. Like Russel Brand, he seems to think that his ability as a comedian to amuse gives him the stature to pronounce on political and current events with the authority that seeks to persuade us - the ignorant masses. Wankers both. Whether it was his upbringing, personality or appearance (which Sayle seems to think it was at least partly), he never fitted in and [...]
3 1/2 stars. Fabulous title, great narrator, mixed reading experience. I listened to this one on audio and very much listened to it like I listen to the radio -- paying attention to some parts, thoughts drifting elsewhere, and focusing back to some interesting tidbit. Alexei Sayle grew up as an only child in Liverpool in the late 1950s and 1960s. His parents were communists, and remained loyal to the party well after Stalin's atrocities began to become known. Stalin Ate my Homework is Sayle's me [...]
There’s a lot in this book that makes me feel that my life has moved in parallel with Alexei Sayle’s, at least for the first 20 years. He was born a mere 9 months after me and raised in the Anfield area of Liverpool. At the same time I was sampling life as it is lived in Netherton, a 7 miles due north.I expect the first decade of our lives were quite different. The young Sayle’s character was formed by the profound experience of growing up in a Communist Party household, governed by the do [...]
Nobody my age grew up without Alexei Sayle appearing somewhere in their memories, whether it be as the landlord (and various family members) in The Young Ones, or in The Comic Strip, his own sketch shows, or even just for the “Ullo John got a new motor?!” song that spawned the “Ullo Tosh Got A Toshiba” advert (sung by the fab Ian Dury if my memory serves me right).We all loved him for his big bald head, big shouty rants, too-short trouser suits and far left-wingism in the Thatcher years. [...]
When I was a child, I was taken to Florence and Venice for holdidays. Instead of spending time on beaches like all my friends did, I spent my holidays in churches and museums. Alexei Sayle, author of Stalin Ate My Homework, was in a similar position. When his friends were watching Disney films, he had to watch Eisenstein. His holidays were mostly spent behind the 'Iron Curtain'. Both he and I now appreciate the unusual natures of our upbringings.Sayle's childhood was particularly interesting bec [...]
Sayle's memoir of growing up in Liverpool during the Fifties and Sixties as the son of ardent Communists is funny until he reaches his teenage years. Then his surly and crude behavior can only be described as loutish and the book loses its charm. It is worthy of a weak Three Stars.
nwhytevejournal/1809011I don't think I'd read anything by Sayle before; I remember him from the 1980s as the landlord in The Young Ones and also memorably playing a radio disc-jockey in a funeral home which turns out to be run by Daleks, but I'm not sure I was even all that familiar with his standup routines. In this book he recounts the story of his childhood and adolescence as the sole offspring of two Communist Party activists in Liverpool, the standard stories of growing up as a smart kid in [...]
Alexei Sayle's bittersweet memoir of a Communist Liverpudlian upbringing. Essentially a collection of vignettes comprising of events and memories loosely catalogued in chronological order.In many respects, Stalin Ate My Homework is a tale of a boy and his parents. Joe – who worked on the railways and was a solid union man – and Molly – a foul mouthed red-haired firebrand who also spoke Yiddish. Although they were not the only Jewish atheist communist family in Liverpool, they were probably [...]
Having parents who took me to 1980s Poland (just before martial law was declared in 1981!) and Czechoslovakia in 1982 this brought back many memories. Particularly the tour of the Heydrich assasination sites in Prague, although I found it more interesting than young AlexeiMy parents were not hard-core British Communist Party members, and this aspect of Alexei's upbringing I found particularly interesting, especially their responses to Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.The book is slow i [...]
I first saw Alexi Sayle when I was at primary school and he popped up in the Young Ones as the ranting landlord, and then various other ranting roles in which he would invariably spew out a tirade of communist doublespeak, and having now read his autobiography I can understand why. Raised by his communist parents in Liverpool (ranting jewish mother and trade unionist father) and holidaying in Czechoslovakia with trade union officials when most of his peers were at Butlins, his was an unorthodox [...]
I've always admired Alexei, and so reading his autobiography was a must. Since I also grew up in Liverpool, I probably found a layer of nostalgia that non-scousers would overlook. Alexei paints himself as a humble, flawed, thoughtful child whose naivity was occasionally punctuated with moments of crystal clear insight and stunning maturity. Often confused, melancholic yet sanguine, alexei's childhood seems refreshingly bizarre yet familiar. I look forward to subsequent volumes.
I have been a fan of this man since I first saw him on TV.Loved all his comedy shows in the 90s. He was great.I have missed him! Really enjoyed the book. He certainly had an interesting and exciting and unusual childhood which has probably shaped him more than he admits or realises. Very funny in bits, this is a real autobiography and not a joke one. There are laughs to be had.
I knew it wasn't going to be a showbiz biog when I went in and Sayle had an incredibly unique upbringing as the son of communists in Liverpool but I did find my attention waning occasionally at the endless train journeys and excursions. Much more interesting is his teenage Trot years and it'll be nice if that parlays into his standup work and the Comic Strip in a second volume.
Now, its only half or a third of the "whole" story. This takes from birth us up to the threshold of college years of a Communist Jewish Atheist Eccentric. It is cut to the bone at certain sections and glosses over others. Overall it was an Autobiography which is one of the better of the comedians and one of the best I've read even if it weren't of a famous persons. I would enjoy the read nonetheless. If you want to know what it was like growing up a Communist in 60's Liverpool, this paints a pic [...]
As much as I love all the autobiographies of my favourite British and Irish comedians, this one was the most extaordinary so far. Alexei Sayle is not your ordinary Oxbridge educated comedian, he has a totally different background which I, as a non-Brit haven't really heard of properly. You usually think of England as of a country with aristocrats, upper and middle class and workers, but I would never think of adding hardcore Marxism to the mix. Not only is this book written very well, but it is [...]
An interesting, witty, light read that doesn't underestimate the intelligence of its reader. Sayle's reflects on his childhood and the strong political influences of his parents in a way that tells much of the social history of Liverpool. Sayle's appreciation of his flawed nature during adolescence is something that I'm sure most can relate to.
better as a writer than as a comicAfter reading this I now get Alexei Sayle. what a weird upbringing. Only child of rabid communists, growing up in 60s Liverpool but unusually well travelled for that era because of their Soviet bloc holidays. Lots of madly comic moments and a great deal of very poignant analytical insights.
Despite being a fan of Alexei Sayle's comedy (part Pythonesque absurdity and part social comment), I probably wouldn't have picked up his first memoir if it hadn't borne the title 'Stalin Ate My Homework'. However, even if Sayle had not gone on to play a major role in British alternative comedy, his childhood as a three-quarters-Jewish atheist communist in Liverpool makes for interesting reading in itself. Sayle evidently realises this and so his memoir stops short of his rise to fame, ending at [...]
Witty, self-deprecating, memoir of his childhood and teenage years, told with much Liverpool humour, clarity, and affection. Such a fascinating background - dedicated Communist parents, who took him (courtesy of father's access to free rail travel) out of their modest surroundings to holidays all over Europe.
Sayle was always one of my favourite angry, alternative comedian and when he appeared live at the Everyman back in the 80's he was impressive live, too. I have always been very wary of comedians turned 'writers' after foolishly been lured to reading Ben Elton, Stephen Fry and I think David Baddiel and having to hurl the books at the nearest wall. But a colleague recommended Sayle's short stories to me some years back and surpisingly I enjoyed them very much. They were funny but also thoughful an [...]
In which Alexei Sayle finally answers the question from the opening credits of ‘Alexei Sayle’s Stuff’: Who is that fat bastard?The answer, as it turns out, is that he’s a child of two Scouse Communists; hardly a surprise if you’re remotely familiar with him. His childhood’s within living memory but seems absolutely bizarre; all the clichéd pleasures you’d expect of growing up in the 1950s and 60s are eschewed mainly due to being ideologically tainted. Instead Bambi and The Beatles [...]
This is a memoir by Young Ones comedian, Alexei Sayle, about growing up in blue collar Liverpool in a family heavily active in Britain's Communist Party. It's laugh-out-loud funny on rare occasions, but mostly it's full of joy and pathos, but often bittersweet in the later chapters. Despite the subversive politics of his parents, Sayle does not portray his family as victims of any real persecution. Mostly, reading this just made me feel happy, although my own family doesn't resemble the Sayles i [...]
Not being British I read this book (given to me by a friend) with no prior knowledge of Sayle as a British comic or writer. This is a very amusing but also thought-provoking book (how little parents often understand how their children are experiencing the life they share.) Especially amusing was his account of not being allowed to see Bambi but being taken to see a much more violent Eisenstein movie instead. Interesting to contrast his life from those of his contemporaries in the US - where memb [...]
There are a few laughs within this biography, but also a mammoth amount of repetition. Alexei Sayle is a counter-cultural, alternative comic of the 80's - known primarily for 'The Young Ones'. He was raised in the 50's in Liverpool to Communist parents and their strange and unique behaviour, i.e. holidays behind the Iron Wall, is explored to the point of near teduim. He does have some interestinginsights on their double-standards, but I would say this is a poor man's Reasons To Be Cheerful.
What was it like to be a Jewish atheist Communist schoolboy in 1950's Liverpool? Read this book and find out! The Sayles owned their own home and holidayed in Europe every year - strictly on Communist business, of course. It all seems unreal and pretty comfortable, with their intellectual pretentions, travelling at a discount and being honoured guests of Czech and Hungarian governments. Unknowingly, the family was exactly what they most despised: middle class.This book is not especially funny, b [...]
The story of Alexei's early years, in Liverpool in the 50s and 60s, the child of committed communist parents. I loved this book - it was warm, self-deprecating without being cruel, vivid, far too familiar in many ways. The audio version was particularly entertaining since Sayle reads it himself, and he's a spirited, energetic reader who suits his own material very well. I cringed in recognition too many times, but it was a great read.
Growing up as the son of communist parents in the Liverpool of the 1950s and '60s, Alexei Sayle's childhood wasn't exactly conventional.While the beat boom may have passed him by he did go on plenty of trips to eastern Europe, visiting locomotive works and the sites of Nazi atrocities. No wonder he became a comedian.The book is written in a friendly, entertaining style, with plenty of amusing moments along the way. The ending seems rather sudden, but then there is a sequel.
Here, Alexei Sayle has an affectionate trawl through his memories of his parents, especially his fierce and opinionated mum Molly. At one point he regrets his patchy memory, but it seems enviably good to me - his unusual childhood comes through loud and clear. I found it hard to put down. I learnt a lot about post-war British communism. And whilst it wasn't laugh-a-minute funny, I definitely laughed.
Peculiar memoir of 60s working class Liverpool. Sayle was a neurotic child of orthodox communist parents. Sayle is unflinchingly honest about his obsessions. I feel he moans far too much about all the fantastic holiday trips that his parents took him on in Eastern Europe. Molly & Joe come over as exceptional and wonderful parents.
I actually enjoyed this. Covering his early years up until leaving home for college, sayle focuses mainly on life with his parents, their strong communist beliefs and their numerous holidays to the eastern block. I learned a lot about 50's-60's communist and trade union movements in the uk, as well as having a good laugh. Worth the read.
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