Stalin Ate My Homework

Stalin Ate My Homework

Alexei Sayle

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0340919574

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Alexei Sayle was born in Liverpool on the day egg rationing came to an end. His family ate salad. They read the Soviet Weekly. They travelled on transcontinental trains, and in the back of futuristic limousines. They saw Communism in action and ate strange smelling sausages. His mother was very keen on boiled eggs and the Moscow State Circus. Teachers were scared of her. His father was a union leader who made friends wherever he went. He thought he was fluent in Esperanto. Alexei became a member of the CzechoslovakianYoung Pioneers. Sometimes he was bored and other times confused. He thought he might be a great athlete, or maybe a famous artist. He spent a lot of time inventing complex explanations for the bizarre behaviour of grown-ups. Slowly it dawned on him that telling stories was a good way of making sense of his perplexing world.

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was particularly admired in our house because in the five thousand metres at Helsinki he had beaten a great British hero, Christopher Chataway. Chataway, an ex-public schoolboy and a bit of a Young Tory, was second, but after being overtaken by Zátopek he tripped and fell. We especially liked that. Though not universal, it was instinctual amongst a great many British Communists to be noisily unpatriotic. It was not a matter of party policy but a way of thinking that had grown up, a prejudice

in the 1960s was a little like attending a rock festival where the stars up on the stage were balding alcoholics in ill-fitting suits talking gibberish. Trade union men like Vic Feather, Sid Weighell and Len Murray were constantly in the newspapers, on the TV and the radio during that era, in their ponderous, evasive and oxygen-sapping English uttering phrases like ‘at this moment in time’ and ‘in the interests of the working man’ and ‘I’ll have to refer that question back to my executive

finished using it, knocking the furniture about and frightening the dog she would just open the cellar door and throw the vacuum cleaner in so that it inevitably tumbled down the wooden stairs. Quite soon, due to this rough treatment the cleaner would stop working. Then it would be abandoned where it had fallen in the dark cellar and Molly would buy another, which she would throw down the cellar stairs like its predecessor. In time that cleaner would join its fallen comrades until after a few

in the village of Woolton on the edge of Liverpool. Together he and Molly organised an art exhibition in support of Medical Aid for Vietnam. I sold one of my pictures for ten shillings and immediately lost the cheque. Everybody was in a state of high excitement when the United States landed a man on the surface of the moon. The next day I told my class-mates that though they might have stayed up all night to watch the TV coverage I’d gone to bed early I said that everyone I knew agreed with Gil

There seemed no greater taste in the world than somebody else’s sandwich when slightly drunk. In spite of getting a lot of detentions I loved being in the sixth form. We sat not at desks like schoolchildren but in chairs with little swivel tables like students probably had. The subject I was particularly drawn to was English. This was because, like a paranoid schizophrenic who thinks that the TV newsreaders are addressing him directly, the syllabus seemed to have been devised by the Oxford and

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