The Fry Chronicles
Loved by the public and his peers, Stephen Fry is one of the most influential cultural forces in the country. This dazzling memoir promises to be a courageously frank, honest and poignant read. It will detail some of the most turbulent and least well known years of his life with writing that will excite you, make you laugh uproariously, move you, inform you and, above all, surprise you.
Reviewed on 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.