a) A fatuous, wasted, degenerate and wholly useless existence captured in delicate, lyrical and exquisitely realised prose.
b) Lightly amusing anecdotes and tender reminiscences of the great men and women encountered during a rich, varied and rewarding lifetime, fondly remembered in the tranquil evening of a career of public service.
c) The autobiography of a dizzying life fuelled by the lust for power and the search for ever more degrading downward paths of repulsive sexual adventuring and self-destructive debaucheries: the unrepentant libertine author seeks revenge on his many enemies and tears the lid off the private life of blameless churchmen and librarians.
Fry`s autobiography is all and none of these. Too old to rock and roll, too young to die, the author looks back with bruising frankness at his life so far.
©1997 Stephen Fry (P)1997 Random House Audio
"Stephen Fry is one of the great originals. This autobiography of his first twenty years is a pleasure to read, mixing outrageous acts with sensible opinions in bewildering confusion. That so much outward charm, self-awareness and intellect should exist alongside behaviour that threatened to ruin the lives of innocent victims, noble parents and Fry himself, gives the book a tragic grandeur and lifts it to classic status." (Financial Times)
"He writes superbly about his family, about his homosexuality, about the agonies of childhood - some of his bursts of smile take the breath away - his most satisfying and appealing book so far." (Observer)
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Great listen, kept me hooked to the story all the way through and such 'openness' about his life growing up.
Fry of course !!
Believability and honesty in delivery, it was like I was the only person he was telling.
The sheer brilliance of the writer. Quite exuberant, as he puts it himself.
Fry's second autobiographical book, for it is just as good as this one.
His sensitivity to language, both written and spoken, as well as fully understanding the meanings and intention behind the book, make the whole thing come to full life.
Too long for that.
One must listen to this one if no other.
"An excellent read"
I am unashamedly a fan of Stephen Fry and in this book he opens up about his early life I came to this book through the second volume but if you have the chance listen to this one first. If a writer is also a trained actor then it adds so much to the experience
well of course the young Mr Fry!
Often when an author reads their own story it doesn't work so well but when the writer is also a trained actor then it adds so much to the experience
There is always something intimate about an author reading his own autobiography, and this one is certainly so. The book itself is fascinating enough, but Stephen's voice and narration take it to another level. Thoroughly enjoyed it and bought his second autobiography even before finishing this one just to prolong the listening experience.
I bought this after Listening to Stephen Fry read the Harry Potter stories. He has a great and engaging voice which tells a story soooo well.
I found this autobiography very engaging, he was very honest and what an interesting life. Can be a little wordy/over indigent.
But a good audiobook - a well read engaging story.
"Ahhh Stephen Fry and his early days"
I highly recommend any Stephen Fry item to people as I think that he is an extraordinary man. This book just goes to prove it doesn't really matter how you are brought up, things in life will happen that are not under your control. Who would have thought that some of these things would have happened when you see Stephen on TV but he is such an interesting and intelligent man and to find out about the earlier part of his life before fame and fortune is extremely interesting showing that whatever happens in life you can over come and decide to live. I definitely recommend this book to fans of Stephen Fry and fans on biographies in general. With his high intelligence and wit he regularly brings a smile to your face while listening to the man himself talk about childhood and early adolescence and what triumphs and tragedies occurred.
This audiobook is another Fry stunner! Not only does Fry write with a lay it on the line honesty, his use of accents and his own luxurious voice make for a wholly immersive listening experience.
I wish this book was triple the length, I want more!
"A Laugh, Cry and Cringe a minute book"
This is a triumph of a book, as most of Master Fry's are to be fair. As he says himself, his life is only as interesting or not as the next persons, but what brings this book to life is the wonderful language skills and honest self analysis which is exquisitely put into prose by a man who clearly has a love of words.
You will discover a man who has had his shares of up and downs, who has had, in the opinion of many including himself, no viable reason to do some of the less favourable things he did in childhood, and I suspect beyond, and a man who is, even now, analysing and punishing himself, and trying to balance the books of the lower ebbs of his adolescent years. You will also discover, although you already knew it, even if you may have forgotten, how low down mean children can be to one another, not deliberately, but carelessly and without giving a thought to it.
You and I could write our autobiographies and the books would probably be shorter and not a very good read, even though we may have had even higher peaks and lower troughs. What makes the difference here is his excellent memory, and his wish to be as analytical and honest as possible. I laughed, cried and cringed in equal proportions and I hope you do too.
"A National Treasure"
This is a frank, even graphic account of the formative years of a national treasure. Covering the first twenty years of his life; Fry records his experiences of childhood, school, dishonesty, criminality and confectionery. As other reviewers have said, this novel is candid to the extreme. It is remarkable that the man we know today emerged from the child protagonist in this book.
Absolutely loved this book. A riveting story about the growing up of a great man. It is interesting to hear about whilst knowing about Stephens bi polar.
Brilliant title - look up what it means halfway through listening to the book - it will make the perfect sense why it is called it
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