Thirteen years ago, Moab Is My Washpot, Stephen Fry’s autobiography of his early years, was published to rave reviews and was a huge best seller. In the years since, Stephen Fry has moved into a completely new stratosphere, both as a public figure, and a private man. Now he is not just a multi-award-winning comedian and actor, but also an author, director, and presenter.
In January 2010 he was awarded the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards. Much 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.
©2010 Stephen Fry (P)2010 Penguin Books Ltd
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"vivid and engaging, delightfully candid"
I found this book to be vivid, amusing and engaging. Fry's no holds barred review of his life is interspersed with digressions into his views on the human condition. His prose is clear; his narrative style entertains.
Fry;s description of the pleasures of smoking is pure genius. I never thought I would appreciate the delight a smoker gets from tobacco or understand the high that it gives. This book is worth it just for this section.
This book builds on Moab is my Washpot, but being about his university days and early career is less indulgent about his "innocent" youth. It is more relevant to his public face.
His performace is similar to the one he gave on the Harry Potter series. It was interesting how many resonances there are between the Potter books and Fry's auto biography. Which books came first? Compare however Fry's description of the school tuck shop experience with Rowling's description of Potter's first visit to the magcial sweet shop.
This books by turns made me chuckle and gasp with delight and horror and Fry's past life. His candid expose of his life can be squirmingly embarassing and deligtfully candid by turns.
very interesting and read as only Stephen Fry could. The hours flew by listening to his exploits.
Its funny and very candid.
I don't think I've read anything quite like it.
His own! But impersonation of his agent was very funny, as was his amazingly authentic Hungarian accent (when describing being cured of his fear of singing).
The Flaws of Fry
Fry has the most extraordinary facility with words and the English language. It can be somewhat florid occasionally & over-wrought but you have to marvel at this man's fine intellect and his courageousness in admitting to multiple weaknesses, character flaws, and other human frailties than most of us prefer not to reveal to others.
"Very tedious man"
Getting to the end.
Did,think it was quite finished.
The story did not have much pace to match. I found it pretty long and tedious.
I wouldn't,t make one.
"Great narration,funny, witty and interesting"
Brilliant narration by Stephen Fry of his brilliant account of his university days and his ascent to TV comedy greatness. He is so hard on himself when he sounds to me like a funny, humorous and generous man. Listen to this, its brilliant.
"Ha Ha Ouch"
Bittersweet, Self-Deprecating and Indulgent
The honesty with which Fry writes, the style of writing which spares no indulgence in building prose, and the performance - like almost every other person of a certain age, I grew up listening to Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter. It got me to sleep most nights, and got me through revision for exams throughout my teens and twenties. I'm probably a bit biased, therefore - a glimpse into the clownishly tragic world of one of my childhood heros seems like a real blessing. I wasn't disappointed in either the way the story was written, delivered, or in the way Fry came across as his own protagonist.
For an autobiography I think it really adds something to hear the story read by its writer and subject. There can be no blurring of interpretation or intent - you know you're getting a pure retelling.
Yes - it was a bit of a wrench when my train journey came to an end.
Even if you're not into Fry as an individual, it's worth a listen for the way it describes university life and getting going in the theatre industry. Anyone who has recently graduated, is entering a similar field, or who can look back on similar experiences of their own will find is fascinating.
"Entertaining, honest and absorbing"
The narrative switches between life events, amusing anecdotes and interesting insights into a variety of subjects, all read in Stephen's familiar precise, public school elocution or a funny impression of his well known contemporaries.
The book picks up where Moab Is My Washpot left off and charts the late 70's and the decadence of the 80's where Stephen moves from school teacher to Cambridge University and the Footlights, through to playwright, comedian and author.
It is strange to me that I liked the book so much when i had to keep stopping to look up a rarely used English word, but one of the beauties of this book is the language used with such skill without any pomposity, self-importance or aloofness.
One of the most touching aspects of this book is the honesty and sincerity with which we learn about Stephen as a person, which is at times bleak and troubled while at others hilariously funny and always sincere and self deprecating.
An excellent listen. buy it.
"Stephen Fry is a great listen"
I love listening to a book while being able to do the housework, or in the car driving.
Holiday time is nice reclining on a sunbed eyes closed, how relaxing.
I didnt realise that fry had such an interest in appearing on a stage in uni.
And how far back he goes with other great actors, such an insight.
His rich voice makes you feel as if he's just telling you personaly his personal history.
If I had the time it would be but as I work lots if odd hours is something I listen to an hour at a time.
Please make all books audio books, and maybe some books price could be lowered.
"Good first audio book"
Yes, I don't usually read autobiographies. In fact this is the only one I've ever read (well, listened to), but as a Stephen Fry fan it was excellent and I think it would be a good listen even for someone who wasn't a fan.
I enjoyed the beginning most of all. The schooldays/early years at Cambridge stuff. No one paragraph particularly jumps out.
I haven't listened to any of his other performances but as you would expect from an experienced performer reading his own biography it was very well performed.
There were a few very sad moments,particularly in the early part of the book. But nothing I would call particularly moving.
Overall, an excellent first audiobook. An interesting subject performed very well.
"laugh a minute"
have not always liked stephen fry or maybe just the bbc2 programs and his guests were to blame. but could not stop laughing at maybe some parts that should not be laughed at. he has a great gift of words, some i don't even know what was meant. a gentle giant of a man and national treasure, sooner than later
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