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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By John on 24-09-10
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
By P.Lean on 18-01-15
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
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Viviane on 11-08-12
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.
By Steve on 17-03-12
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.