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A Beginner's Guide To Acting English by…

A Beginner's Guide To Acting English

by Shappi Khorsandi

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1496123,059 (3.77)7



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I liked this alot. The comparison to Mitford and Durrell is apt - eccentric family, unusual situation, told from a child's point of view, really well written. This last bit was a surprise as everyone and their mother is writing a memoir no matter what their literary skills are. Khorsandi has a story to tell and tells it very well - lots of charm and humor. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
This is one of the best memoirs I've ever read - and I hadn't even heard of the author before I started reading!

Shappi's father was (and is) a famous satirical Irani writer who fell foul of the Ayatollah's new regime in Iran and had to flee to the UK. He, his wife, Shappi and her big brother settled in London. This memoir tells of Shappi and her family's life in the UK from when the family arrived and it's warm and funny.

It also contains passages about life in Iran before and after the family fled. I loved it! The bits about Iran are very well written and totally accessible.

I’m a little bit older than Shappi, but the English bit of the memoir bought back loads of memories for me - some of the games she played, the feeling of starting a new school (albeit that I could speak the lingo whereas Shappi had to learn it from scratch) where all things I could relate to.

I was vaguely aware that there was a ‘situation’ in Iran At the time of the revolution there I was 13 and whilst the word Ayatollah was being bandied about all over the place (and a British comedy TV show called Not the Nine O'clock News even did a sketch/song with the chorus "Ayatollah Khomeini closer and I will fall for your charms Ayatollah don't come any closer or I will send out an alarm and rush into your arms") I really didn't know a great deal about the situation so it was great to learn a bit more. And this is one of those books that makes one want to go off and find more, so I spent most of yesterday afternoon on Wikipedia!

Nowadays, Shappi is famous herself as a comedian and has made appearances on TV shows such as Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You, but whilst I watch those programmes I hadn’t come across her before - meaning that for me this memoir stands up as just a fantastic book in it’s own right rather than a ‘celeb memoir’. Great stuff! ( )
  Bagpuss | Jan 17, 2016 |
(charity shop, 26 November 2011)

The comedian's early years, from the time she moved with her family from Iran to England, with refugee status and a father who was wanted by the Ayatollah's regime and was at serious risk, yet kept publishing satirical articles and sheltering his fellow-countrypeople. The politics are all seen from a very well portrayed child's perspective, and the fact that for every struggle to explain fishfingers to her mum there's a racist incident at school or a menacing phone call give this book an edge and emotional depth that I wasn't entirely expecting. A good read. ( )
  LyzzyBee | Apr 18, 2012 |
Shappi Khorsandi moved from Tehran to London in 1976. She was 3 years old. Her father, Hadi Khorsandi, was transferred to London by the newspaper for which he worked. Hadi Khorsandi was a poet and cartoonist with a comedic political leaning. The Khorsandi family become political exiles in the UK during the Iranian revolution. This is Khorsandi's memoir of moving to a new country with a different language and very different culture. She tells of going to school, speaking no English, trying to make friends and figure out the new rules.
I heard about this book when the author, who is a stand up comic in the UK, was on The Graham Norton show. She told a number of humorous stories about her family. While there is a good portion of the book that is very funny, this is often overshadowed by the family's political situation. Hadi Khorsandi was on the Ayatollah Khomeini's hit list. The family actually went into hiding at one point (one of the funniest stories in the book). Recommended. ( )
  VioletBramble | Jul 31, 2011 |
I enjoyed this one, told from the point of view of an innocent child aged Shappi Khorsandi with some darker bits as well as she's describes what's going on in homeland Iran.
  welshy72 | Dec 31, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0091924774, Paperback)

Hilarious and heartwarming, this memoir is the story of growing up in a strange land where you don't speak the language, everyone smells like milk, and to top it off, the Ayatollah wants you and your family dead
In the tradition of Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love and Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals, comes a story of a young narrator in the midst of her eccentric family. But rather than landed gentry or bohemian travelers, it's a mad extended Iran clan who flee Tehran to 1980s Britain after the fall the Shah. Five year old Shappi and her beloved brother Peyvand arrive with their parents in London—all cold weather and strange food—without a word of English. If adapting to a new culture isn't troubling enough, it soon becomes clear that the Ayatollah's henchmen are in pursuit. With the help of MI5, Shappi's family go into hiding. So apart from checking under the family car for bombs every morning, Shappi's childhood is like any other kids—swings in the park, school plays, kiss-chase, and terrorists.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:35 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Born in Tehran, Shappi is the young, precocious darling of the Khorsandi family - a warm-hearted, eccentric Iranian clan. But when her father takes a job in London, Shappi, her mother and her brother Peyvand follow him there. Then the Islamic revolution erupts and her father becomes a wanted man. So this is the story of growing up a stranger in a strange land where everyone smells of milk. It's about learning kiss chase and how to eat fish fingers. But it is also the story of a close-knit family tested by the threat of everything they cherish being taken away.

» see all 4 descriptions

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