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He Died with a Felafel in His Hand (1994)

de John Birmingham

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4731152,056 (3.64)15
These hilarious tales of urban terror reveal the dark truth hidden behind three seemingly innocent words - a phrase that you have seen a hundred times before but will never view in the same light again - WANTED TO SHARE John Birmingham's rendering of a life in share houses will leave you laughing, cringing and reminiscing about your own brushes with the mad, bad residents of flate mate hell.… (mais)
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I read "He died with a felafel in his hand" over twenty years ago and found its reminiscing of dodgy shared houses hilarious, partly as I too was a poor student living in a dodgy shared house.

Then, “Felafel” appeared to be the book I should have written (I tried to count all the flatmates I have had in my time but gave up when it got into three figures); “Felafel” had a story about fridge pissing, I could top that with a flatmate going one step further in a way that I probably shouldn't describe on a family-friendly site like LibraryThing.

Looking back at it now, as a reader who no longer has to share a place with a bloke known as "The Phantom Shitter", I don't find it quite as funny or identify with it so much but I'm still glad for its existence. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Jul 27, 2015 |
The classic collection of tales of shared housing - when you are young and haven't properly made the acquaintance of reason and good common sense (or indeed hygiene), and yet still have the resilience to carry on through regardless of the circumstances that would paralyse or kill the older selves we eventually become. It's always amusing to read about the indiscretions of others. It's Birmingham's talent (or seen another way - his personal misfortune) to tell so many stories so colorfully that more than one or two (or several) bring back memories from our own lives. This has - apparently - been made into a film which was a minor hit.

I can certainly recommend the book, if your inclined to revisit those years. But as a gift to a young person about to leave home for the first time? Well perhaps not, not if you are a parent wanting to see them gone, but after reading this you might change your mind about letting them go. ( )
  nandadevi | Dec 1, 2013 |
A humourous account of John Birminghams share house years. I am a little sceptical of the veracity of some of the accounts recorded in the book. Dare I suggest that a little poetic liscence was used to enhance the humourous aspects of the book?
  nickrenkin | Mar 30, 2012 |
A fairly funny, light read. For brain candy, you could do worse. ( )
  urbanchik | Jan 25, 2011 |
Everyone who starts to read it wants to steal it so I have had to put a note in the front that if they do they will die the same death. You can tell when someone is reading it because they snigger and twitch and snort indignantly while exclaiming "What a bunch of degenerates!" and things like that; however, the continue to read. This book made it to the US and into my house, where it now abides. The five is for funny. The book itself is inexcusable. ( )
3 vote sibylline | Jan 26, 2010 |
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These hilarious tales of urban terror reveal the dark truth hidden behind three seemingly innocent words - a phrase that you have seen a hundred times before but will never view in the same light again - WANTED TO SHARE John Birmingham's rendering of a life in share houses will leave you laughing, cringing and reminiscing about your own brushes with the mad, bad residents of flate mate hell.

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