- Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0718157915
- ISBN-13: 978-0718157913
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
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The Fry Chronicles Hardcover
The Amazon Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
The written or the spoken word? When it comes to Stephen Fry one of the greatest and learned polymaths of our time it is a difficult choice not least of all following from his brilliant readings with that wonderful voice narrating the Harry Potter series and the added attractions of this book on all sorts of I Apps and gadgets. But written word it is and thank you for the prompt delivery from Amazon pre order system for this book takes up where "Moab is my washpot" left off as Fry troops off to University and takes us on a journey up to his initial appearances on television.
I would love to claim credit for the title of this review but it is happily stolen with immense pride from the Daily Telegraph as it speaks volumes about Fry's contribution to our culture (and in any case everything that I thought of seemed to involve a rather obvious Lord Melchett quote -but see below). Fry has built up a reputation since the publication of "Moab" which formally puts him in the category of "national treasure" with a Knighthood so obviously coming down the line that all bets are off, This status has been achieved despite the odd hiccup on the way not least the debacle of Simon Gray's play "The Cell Mates" where Fry essentially did a runner after suffering a nervous breakdown leaving a deeply puzzled and annoyed Rik Mayall and much explaining to do. Yet we can forgive him this not least for his verbal dexterity, his wit, his intellectual depth and breadth, his entering the term "baaaaaaaaaaaaaah" into the English lexicon and his ability to honestly face up to some very personal demons not least his battle with bi polar disorder and his love for Wagner despite being Jewish.Read more ›
Curiously it felt like wading through treacle to me, ....I was quite prepared for his verbosity, which can indeed be fun, but after a while I wanted to shout "Oh just get to the point Stephen!"
The MOST annoying feature is his constant repetition of personal apologies for almost everything. It seems he's terrified we'll perceive him as some sort of privileged prat who has enjoyed the good things of life without having to do all that much. Or heaven forbid, ...talented in some way!
Point is, we KNOW he's "made it" as an author, actor and raconteur and that's probably why we are reading the book in the first place! WE WANT to hear about his life, ...you may feel differently but the apology preceding almost every new revelation really started to drive me crazy!
Then there's the constant hugely flattering assessments of all his many well-known friends' most exceptional talents. Pages and pages of it! Yes we all know that Emma, Rowan, Hugh, etc. etc. ad damn infinitum are "great", .....but this book is supposed to be about you, Stephen Fry! I think its once again his over-apologetic nature saying "Oh I'm NOT talented at all, ...but all my friends are just SO good...! Aren't they so wonderful for including a little old nobody like me?"
Anyway, all of this added excess baggage padded around the story made reading this book a VERY drawn out experience for me. It felt like I would NEVER get to the end.
If ever the services of a good editor were called for, this is a case in point. Almost got out the blue pen myself!
As it is you'll need a large pair of figurative wellies to wade through all those constant assurances he's NOT vain or self-congratulatory. (Is there such a word?)
Stephen Fry writes this book from a position of relative fame: many of us who have followed British comedy will know at least some of his work from the 1980s, while others may only know his more recent work. But who is the man behind the public figure?
Stephen Fry arrived at Cambridge while still on probation from credit card fraud. He quickly discovers that he can sail through examinations without too much effort, befriends other bright young people such as Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson, and finds that extra-curricular activities are even more interesting than Shakespearean texts. It seems clear that mostly this was happy period in Stephen Fry's life and the way in which he writes of it is a delight to read. It's almost like listening to him speak.
But, if publicly all seems to be going well, privately: ` I had lived twenty years convinced that my body was the enemy and that all I had going for me was my brain, my quickness of tongue and my blithe facility with language, attributes that can cause people to be as much disliked as admired.'
This questioning of self, combined with a dislike of his appearance and body made it difficult for Stephen Fry to be comfortable. There was a gap between the confident public persona he projected and how he felt:
`The sense of failure, the fear of eternal unhappiness, the insecurity, misery, self-disgust and the awful awareness of underachievement... Are you not prey to all of those things also? I do hope so.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Moab is my washpot was Great!!
More Fool me Was Pretty good.
The Fry Chronicles seemed to lack a viewpoint the first two had.
I assume that Stephen is short for his next mortgage payment or perhaps wants a new car. How else to explain this poorly edited jumble. Read morePublished 26 days ago by sblevine
I love his writing and style as much as I love time period he covers. I just wish he'd stop being too critical of himself--or drop the false modesty, if that's what it really is. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
The book throws light on Fry's early life, education, and early career. He admits performers of his generation were trying to live up to the bar set by the Pythons, for example. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kevin Harrity
Incredible clarity. Been a fan ever since Fry and Laurie/ Jeeves & Wooster on TV in the 80s, and even more so after reading (much later) The Liar when searching for an English book... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Nick Young
I enjoyed reading this book very much, but it was more "scattered" than the first autobiography. Nevertheless I enjoyed reading the book and the flow was good.Published 5 months ago by Mikael Sonninen
A life worth all the trouble to live. We all have a friend in Steven. Brilliant! - HPublished 11 months ago by rapelle-toi