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Frys English Delight: The Complete First Series (BBC Radio Programs)
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About the Author
Stephen Fry is an actor, producer, director, and writer who has appeared in numerous TV series and movies, including Jeeves and Wooster, Wilde, Gosford Park, V for Vendetta and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He is the bestselling author of four novels and several works of nonfiction. He divides his time between New York and the UK.
Stephen Fry is an actor, producer, director, and writer who has appeared in numerous TV series and movies, including Jeeves and Wooster, Wilde, Gosford Park, V for Vendetta and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He is the bestselling author of four novels and several works of nonfiction. He divides his time between New York and the UK.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Starting off with a section called 'Current Puns', the English language is dissected in depth by a mixture of academics and amateurs. The comedian who holds the world record for the most jokes told in an hour (Tim Vine, at 499) is asked about how he makes puns and there is also a section on the Pun computer. Fry also analyses different types of puns and ends with one of his favourites (which I'm sorely tempted to tell you, if it weren't for the fact that it would ruin your enjoyment of the CD!)
Section 2 is 'Metaphor'. Many other reviewers have said that Section 1 is the only section worth listening to, but I disagree. This section is arguably the best one, with lots of QI-style insightful gambits. The large quantity of Naval metaphors (e.g. taken aback) are explored in this section, along with 'skeletons of metaphors'. Personally I had no idea that English was so laden with buried metaphors within individual words (e.g. 'sarcastic' meaning 'flesh tearing'). The phrase 'Deep Metaphor' takes on a whole new meaning...
Moving onto CD 2, Section 3 is 'Quotation'. Unlike QI: Advanced Banter, this is not just a long list of quotes but more an exploration of their nature (although it does include some good ones - e.g. 'Pretentious? Moi??' by Miss Piggy). Fry explores the meme-like nature of quotes and their nature, before looking into some users of quotes (such as Politicians and Celebrities). There is also a section on the institution that is Colemanballs - tawdry, cliched and incongruent quotations made by Football commentators.
Section 4 is 'Cliche', which sounds like a dreadful idea for an ending, but is actually interesting. Cliches aren't just cringe-worthy, but are actually a way of using language efficiently. There are interviews with printers (where the term 'cliche' comes from) and also compilers of Dictionaries of Cliche (e.g. Dictionary of Cliches). This section also explores Tottenham's history with Parrot cliches as well as many other animal-related cliches that seem to plague but also enrich the English language.
Overall I found this CD lived up to expectations and moves me one stage closer to wanting to explore his books again (which initially put me off his work). As yet, I'm still to find anything from Fry's second-wind that hasn't appealed and educated in equal measure. Here's hoping the sequel is as good...
* - Sadly only available from Amazon.co.uk, but worth it!
Comes in two CDs. If you enjoy this one also check out the sequel Series Two. I'm looking forward to enjoying Series Three and hoping they release Season 4 on CD soon.