22 March 2010

The Life of Akmal

by Akmal Saleh

Random House. Australian, Biographical, Adult Non-Fiction. Paperback rrp $34.95

Some comedians are funny live or on television but when they put pen to paper it just doesn’t work. Akmal Saleh is not one of those comedians. The Life of Akmal is a belly-laugh autobiography of twists and turns that brought Akmal to the stage.

Akmal was born in Cairo in the early 60’s. When he turned 10 he immigrated with his brother and parents and grandmother to Sydney. His family became members of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Australia and Akmal’s life appeared to head towards religion. But questioning his beliefs and those of the church, he loses religion.

At the same time, Akmal tries to please his hard working parents who want to give him the best. They work numerous jobs so that he can attend a Sydney private boy’s school. But Akmal is a human magnet for all sorts of odd people and strange happenings … and he ends up flunking school and wasting his life doing odd jobs. Drifting along with no sense of purpose.

Finally he discovers stand-up comedy. Finally he stops failing.

Akmal Saleh has titled his book in homage to Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, which was the reason he decided on a career in comedy and not religion or drug smuggling.

The Life of Akmal will have you laughing from the first page to the last. The teenage children in my house are fighting over who will read it next. Great idea for a gift for someone who likes a laugh. A little bit or a whole lot.


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