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Moab Is My Washpot [Paperback]

Stephen Fry
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.04
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Book Description

5 Aug 2004

Moab is My Washpot is in turns funny, shocking, tender, delicious, sad, lyrical, bruisingly frank and addictively readable.

Stephen Fry's bestselling memoir tells how, sent to a boarding school 200 miles from home at the age of seven, he survived beatings, misery, love, ecstasy, carnal violation, expulsion, imprisonment, criminal conviction, probation and catastrophe to emerge, at eighteen, ready to try and face the world in which he had always felt a stranger.

Fry writes with the wit to which we have become accustomed, but with shocking candour too. In an age of glossy celebrity autobiographies, Moab is My Washpot sets the high standard to which others should aspire.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (5 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099457040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099457046
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Fry is a leading light in film, theatre, radio and television the world over, receiving accolades in spades and plaudits by the shovel. As a writer, producer, director, actor and presenter he has featured in works as varied and adored as the movie 'Wilde', the TV series 'Blackadder' and 'Jeeves and Wooster', the sketch show 'A Bit of Fry and Laurie', the panel game 'QI', the radio series 'Fry's English Delight', Shakespeare's Globe's celebrated 2012 production of 'Twelfth Night' (as Malvolio) and documentaries on countless subjects very close to his heart.

He is also the bestselling author of four novels - 'The Stars' Tennis Balls', 'Making History', 'The Hippopotamus' and 'The Liar' - as well as two volumes of autobiography - 'Moab is My Washpot' and 'The Fry Chronicles', which published in six unique editions that combined to sell over a million copies. His third volume of autobiography, 'More Fool Me', is published in September 2014.

Product Description


"One of the most poignant, funny, intelligent, frank and horribly addictive books you're likely to read all year" (Sunday Telegraph)

"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)

"A remarkable, perhaps even unique, exercise in autobiography... that aroma of authenticity that is the point of all great autobiographies; of which this, I rather think, is one." (Evening Standard)

"He writes superbly about his family, about his homosexuality, about the agonies of childhood... some of his bursts of simile take the breath away... his most satisfying and appealing book so far." (Observer)

"This is one of the most extraordinary and affecting biographies I have read... Stephen is... painfully honest when trying to grapple with his ever-present demons, and often, as you might expect, very funny... I hope to goodness there'll be a sequel. I can't wait for more." (Daily Mail)

Book Description

The original bestselling autobiography by the comedian, novelist and national treasure, Stephen Fry.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
150 of 150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pot Washing Therapy 6 Jun 2003
A wonderfully endearing book by a very likeable man. I was hooked from the beginning and although it does get a little mawkish on occasion, Fry's honesty is therapeutic and his admissions fascinating.
Be warned however, that this is not a whimsical account of his comedy career. It is an emotional confession of the struggle Fry had in the first twenty years of his life. Although the man's intelligence and charm are evident throughout, he vents spleen aplenty and his language is rather colourful at times. His love of music, film and words are my loves and so I devoured his writing. His digressions (he calls then diversions) often lead to even greater digressions and this is wonderful. The style is not stilted or excessively crafted but heartfelt and accessible. Fry does not set out to portray himself as misunderstood but to tell things as they are. I found the book inspirational and somehow felt better about myself afterwards. It will make you think about your family and your honesty. Yes, you will laugh but do not read this expecting a saccharine happy childhood story.
Treat yourself and indulge in some pot-washing yourself.
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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great autobiography 1 Jun 2004
I read The Liar and The Hippopotamus and found them a little too flowery for my liking, but then I'm not a great novel reader anyway. The pages of this book, on the other hand, turned so quickly, I thought they might catch fire.
As another reviewer stated, his frequent ramblings off the main thread of the story are sheer joy and make you feel he is in the room talking to you. And he can't resist teaching us a new word by including it then demonstrating its meaning e.g. rhotacism, or explicitly correcting a widely used grammatical or spelling error! All very familiar Fry stuff.
Stephen says himself that his life is at once as unremarkable as they come and stranger than fiction, when you put it down at the end, you feel he is spot on. Only once towards the very end did I see a quality in him that you could be unashamedly proud of.
Don't worry if you don't like his novels, this is one of the most absorbing and satisfying autobiographies ever written.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry 28 Jan 2009
By Patrick Neylan VINE VOICE
As the song says, Thou Shalt Not Question Stephen Fry - but I'm going to do it anyway. I love Stephen Fry. If I too were (to use his phrase from this book) "not like other boys" then I wouldn't be writing reviews of his books. I'd be out there stalking him. Fortunately for both of us, I'm not.

Fry at 51 is a beautiful man, and deserves credit for being so honest as to show what a smug, selfish, preening, dishonest and downright callous little b-----d he was at 10, 14 and 18. If that sounds harsh, it's nothing compared with how harshly Fry judges himself.

Even as he wrote this book (aged 40) he couldn't help showing off at times, which shows us that part of that insufferable little fellow is still there. Not that we need to be told that one of the best-loved men in Britain is insecure; it's part of his charm.

And although he is harrowingly honest, he occasionally stops short. He half-heartedly tries to put some of the blame for his stealing on his love for "Matthew", even though he has been a shameless thief since before he can remember. And he never seriously tackles what made him so amoral from such an early age.

Nonetheless, it is a beautifully written tale of redemption. One is left feeling that it was a minor miracle that he could save himself after throwing away every opportunity given to him.

It's not perfect. There are errors of English that should never appear in any book, let alone one by Stephen Fry (the worst examples are "baited breath" and "Rolls Royce's"). Regrettably, the present edition comes in a cover seemingly designed by the same people who do
... Read more ›
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132 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stephen fry is great! 3 Jan 2001
This autobiography is of the first twenty years of Stephen's life. I started to read it vaguely knowing that this was the bloke off 'Blackadder' but once I'd finished, I rushed out and bought 'The Liar' and 'The Hippopotamus'. This book is brilliant. It is completely candid about Stephen's depression, homosexuality and school life, among others. It is, however, hilarious all the way through. The reader never feels inferior to Stephen's undoubted intelligence because of the way he mocks himself so easily. By the end of the book, all I wanted to do was go and find him and give him a big hug and tell him everything will be fine! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone, and also his other books which are all excellent as well.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It changed the way I view Fry 8 Feb 2011
By Apollo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am at odds with this book! Fry has laid bare his early life and holds nothing back. One gets the feeling that he is, in some way, looking for absolution in doing so. I am left with a picture of a self obsessed, solipsist who is full of self loathing and hell bent on destruction at that point in his life.

I found some of the text wince inducing and uncomfortable to read but that is a personal thing, I'm sure. This outing (literally - forgive the pun) urges me to buy his more recent offering simply because we all know that the, "lad turned out alright".

I do view him differently now though. It's like when a friend says or does something that is out of character and there is just that small shift in your relationship. Read it, you might see what I mean.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Most enjoyable ready about a well liked character. Now need to read his others.
Published 3 days ago by Barbara King
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much the narrative I expected from Stephen Fry
Pretty much the narrative I expected from Stephen Fry. I enjoyed this book but the author does tend to go off at a tangent on a regular basis which takes him ages to get back to... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Louise Hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent product,very pleased
Published 9 days ago by P. J. Dallaway
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 26 days ago by teatime
5.0 out of 5 stars candour and words
As amusing, touching and candid an autobiography as you must already know by now. I read this after the Fry Chronicles but before the next instalment .
Published 1 month ago by G. Forde
5.0 out of 5 stars From bad 18 years to Better
Stephen Fry's autobiography covers the first 18 years of his life and how badly those 18 years went. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ms Beyant Bath
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too personal, even for an autobiography
I have come to this book rather late having already read its sequel, The Fry Chronicles, two years ago. Read more
Published 1 month ago by E. A. Banks
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great, Thanks!
Published 2 months ago by JB
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting to read, but at times a bit of a chore to get through
Interesting to read, but at times a bit of a chore to get through to be honest, if you're interested in Steven Fry then read this but if you want to be entertained, read The Liar... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nick Singleton
5.0 out of 5 stars Who am I...
..that I should review Stephen Fry?
Published 2 months ago by JZ
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