Stephen Fry - Shastrix Books

Stephen Fry

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Stephen Fry

18th October 2014

The third volume of Stephen Fry's memoir covers the period of his younger adult life, as he progressed into the famous TV actor and comedian that made him famous. It could easily be titled "Stephen Fry: The Cocaine Years".

Fry tells his story in a plain and straightforward manner - almost apologetic in places lest he appear boastful or misremembers. Most of the book is told as a reflective memoir of his life, but a good chunk of the second half is his diary from the period in question, which supplies a nice countertone to the way he writes now for public consumption. Having said that, this makes the end feel abrupt and a bit flat, where both the previous instalments have seemed to end at a solid turning point in Fry's life.

I found it to be an interesting and entertaining read and would definitely recommend the three books to anyone who considers themselves a Fry fan. This volume however I think may be the weakest of the three.

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The Fry Chronicles

The Fry Chronicles

Stephen Fry

30th November 2010

The second volume of Stephen Fry's autobiography covers the next eight years of his life from when he started at Cambridge University through his early years in television comedy. There's a quick recap for those who missed Moab is my Washpot, and so prior reading is not required.

While it is an interesting insight into Fry's personality, it's not as much as the first volume. This one seems to focus much more on events that happened, rather than the formative occurrences of his younger years. As such there are a lot more mentions of his friends, using their real names now as it's too obvious from the context who they are, which on some occasions feels a bit like name dropping.

I enjoyed finding out a lot more about Fry's early work. I've always wondered how he fell into the love-him/loathe-him national treasure status that he occupies today and this book takes the reader through the first steps in reaching that, exploring his experiences in writing and acting, both serious and comedy, on stage and screen.

Despite the relatively short period the book covers, it does not feel as if the material is padding. Where appropriate, he dives into the future to explain a point, but some sections are stories that were told in the first book, which seemed a little out of place repeated. Overall, an insightful must-read for the Fry fan.

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Moab is my Washpot

Moab is my Washpot

Stephen Fry

23rd September 2010

Stephen Fry's autobiography (volume one...) covers the years from his first day of prep school to the day he seeks employment in one at age 20. He writes candidly about his emotions and experiences in an informal and somewhat rambling manner.

The casual writing style makes Fry feel very approachable and his asides make the book far more interesting a read than most in this genre. Although it's loosely chronological he flits around time every so often to fill in blanks and tell stories that would otherwise be missed, and to refer to his research while writing.

Fry's depiction of life at boarding school is much more vivid and detailed than most and he is very open about the sexual activities that occur - something that most literature fails to mention. A sense of realism pervades, and Fry goes out of his way to paint himself as an evil child - a mastermind of theft and lies - and yet in doing so still manages to endear himself to the reader.

I have really enjoyed this read and am looking forward to the new sequel and it's depictions of Fry's adult life and work.

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Unreviewed books

Making History
The Hippopotamus
The Liar
The Stars' Tennis Balls

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