Friday, September 16, 2011
He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.
Art is all around us. Home, Geilston Bay. September 2011.
Just the one book completed this week – Stalin Ate My Homework – 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 the most colourful.
The book is really an account of how comedian Alexi came to be. His childhood was one of ideological rigour coupled with a little bit of fun. This usually meant an outing to see Alexander Nevsky rather than the ideologically suspect Bambi, and regular visits across the iron curtain (often involving tours of factories or sites of Nazi atrocities).
As you might expect, every tale is accompanied by a joke and touch of surrealism. This is a good read. Recommended.