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He Died with a Felafel in His Hand - John Birmingham

He Died with a Felafel in His Hand

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John Birmingham has lived with eighty-nine people and kept notes on all of them. This is their story.

'A rat died in the living room at King Street and we didn't know. There was at least six inches of compacted rubbish between our feet and the floor. Old Ratty must have crawled in there and died of pleasure. A visitor uncovered him while groping about for a beer!'

This best-seller led to a successful stage play and major motion picture, starring Noah Taylor and Sophie Lee. It has been published in Britain and Italy.

The sequel to this book is called The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco.

'One of the funniest books ever.' Loaded.



by PowerReviews
He Died with a Felafel in His Hand

(based on 1 review)

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Reviewed by 1 customer

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Hilariously dodgy.


from Brisbane, AU

About Me Everyday Reader


  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Easy To Understand


    Best Uses

    • Younger Readers

    Comments about He Died with a Felafel in His Hand:

    This could be seen as a 'coffee table' book. One you can pick up and put down at will, without worrying about losing the plot. Essentially there is no real plot, except for a very loose background plot going on in the background through the book. The rest of the book is a collection of excerpts on share housing from various people. I do love this book though and have read it multiple times, with it still making me laugh now. If you are looking at share housing as an option for you, read this at your peril.

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    John Birmingham

    John Birmingham is the author of the cult classic He Died With a Felafel in His Hand, the award-winning history Leviathan, Without Warningand the trilogy comprising Weapons of Choice: World War 2.1, Designated Targets: World War 2.2 and Final Impact: World War 2.3. His latest novel is After America.

    Between writing books he contributes to a wide range of newspapers and magazines on topics as diverse as biotechnology and national security. Before becoming a writer he began his working life as research officer with the Defence Department's Office of Special Clearance and Records.

    Follow John Birmingham on Twitter

    If you ask him nicely, he might even answer your questions, but he will probably not read your manuscript. He's very lazy.

    Despite working his way to the top of the freelancing trade, Birmingham says before Felafel was published in 1994 he was trying to live in Sydney on about $12,000 a year, accumulating the life experience that eventually made him a household name Australia-wide.

    "I often wonder what would've happened if either I hadn't written the book or it hadn't been a success," he said.

    "And it wasn't a success for six months. For six months it just died in the arse really. It wasn't that nobody would buy it, the shops wouldn't even stock it. Poor old Michael Duffy looked like he was going to do his dough cold, and then for whatever reason it began to sell, and then it took off and exploded.

    "But I guess I do know what the alternative would have been. I would have ended up like some of my writer friends who are really struggling to get by, selling fudge at the markets on the weekends to pay their electricity bill.

    "You can do that stuff when you're in your 20s and you're single and childless and have no-one to look after or to blame but yourself, but once you enter a serious relationship and start having kids then all of a sudden there are other people depending on you and the equation gets pretty f***ing grim very quickly.

    "So I actually don't care to think about the downside alternatives, what would've happened if Felafel wasn't written or just came out and died, which is the fate of most books."

    Visit John Birmingham's Booktopia Author Page

    ISBN: 9781875989218
    ISBN-10: 1875989218
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 214
    Published: March 1994
    Country of Publication: AU
    Dimensions (cm): 19.68 x 12.7  x 1.27
    Weight (kg): 0.16
    Edition Number: 1