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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The narration by Mr Fry himself really added to the experience - at times it did seem that he was speaking directly to me. He mentioned lots of different people and how he knew them and some of their shared stories and it would be good to listen again to hear them.. I must confess that I didn't know everyone referred to and maybe I should google some of them next time so see who they are.
I hadn't listened to the first part of Mr Fry's autobiography but it was easy to pick up here as he did sort of do a recap of previous events.
I really enjoyed the way I felt he narrated the story just for me.
It had a few moments where I smiled to myself at some of the things he said.
There was a few moments of swearing in this so it's not something I would recommend to just anyone. If the language doesn't bother you - enjoy this small insight into what makes Stephen Fry the person he is.
"A compelling insight into Mr. Fry’s colourful life"
The story starts with a bang and captures listener’s attention straight away. I loved his witty comments and was in stitches most of the time (perhaps not a good idea whilst driving a car...). Especially the first and last quarters of the book were highly amusing, fast-paced and flowed smoothly.
About how, even after being a recognised public figure, well educated and highly respected, he sometimes felt a fraud – it made me think about my own shortcomings I desperately try to hide from the world!
Deep, soft voice and impeccable accent. Mrrr....
I didn’t like name-dropping – I don’t know many of these people, I have no interest in getting to know them and that part was bit tiresome
"An Autobiography with something to say"
One of the better audiobooks which was undoubtedly aided by Stephen reading the story himself.
Favorite character ? Tricky one that.
Not yet but I shall now
No it wasn't but was all the better for it because I kept coming back to it over three or four days.
Pretty much what it it says on Stephen's tin. His wit, intellect and fabulous use of the english language is heard in every aural page.
"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.
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