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Moab Is My Washpot [Paperback]

Stephen Fry
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 2000
A number one bestseller in Britain, Stephen Fry's astonishingly frank, funny, wise memoir is the book that his fans everywhere have been waiting for. Since his PBS television debut in the Blackadder series, the American profile of this multitalented writer, actor and comedian has grown steadily, especially in the wake of his title role in the film Wilde, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, and his supporting role in A Civil Action.
        
Fry has already given readers a taste of his tumultuous adolescence in his autobiographical first novel, The Liar, and now he reveals the equally tumultuous life that inspired it. Sent to boarding school at the age of seven, he survived beatings, misery, love affairs, carnal violation, expulsion, attempted suicide, criminal conviction and imprisonment to emerge, at the age of eighteen, ready to start over in a world in which he had always felt a stranger. One of very few Cambridge University graduates to have been imprisoned prior to his freshman year, Fry is a brilliantly idiosyncratic character who continues to attract controversy, empathy and real devotion.


Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Press; 1 edition (May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569472025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569472026
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,328,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Fry is one of Britain's national treasures and his television appearances include 'A Bit Of Fry and Laurie', 'Jeeves and Wooster', 'Blackadder', 'QI' and 'Kingdom'. His film roles include 'Peter's Friends' and 'Wilde'; and in the realm of television, the Emmy-award-winning 'The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive'. As a writer, he best known for his novel The Liar as well as his acclaimed autobiography Moab Is My Washpot, and his is the famous voice of the Harry Potter audio books.

Product Description

Review

Advance praise for Moab Is My Washpot:
"This book bubbles; it boils and it bubbles with wonderful language, quick wit, and loopy digression that always leads you home again. Fry often seems to speak before he thinks, only to discover what he is thinking so he can go on speaking again. I say 'speaks' instead of 'writes' because you can always hear his wonderfully lyrical (English) voice in this book, and that voice is delightfully irreverent, cozy, smart, funny and insightfully honest. His voice is a great read. It's like a fun visit with a smart (Semitic) Brit. I hear you talking, Mr. Fry!"
--Spalding Gray

"From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The original bestselling autobiography by the comedian, novelist and national treasure, Stephen Fry. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
143 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pot Washing Therapy 6 Jun 2003
Format:Paperback
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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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great autobiography 1 Jun 2004
Format:Paperback
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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130 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stephen fry is great! 3 Jan 2001
Format:Paperback
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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fall in love 18 April 2006
Format:Paperback
Stephen Fry is one of the most fascinating public figures in British life. This first autobiography is relentlously honest and entirely compelling.

Stephen Fry is an adorable human being and the journey of his early years is profoundly thrilling, enlightening and more often than not, hilarious.
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16 of 16 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
Format:Paperback
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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14 of 14 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great, Thanks!
Published 1 day 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 12 days ago by Nick Singleton
5.0 out of 5 stars Who am I...
..that I should review Stephen Fry?
Published 17 days ago by JZ
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good read
Published 1 month ago by smiffy
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!
Enjoyed this book throughout. The last few chapters flew by as I was enjoying it so much. In fact it was that good, I'm going to start The Fry Chronicles before Fry's third volume... Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Mee
3.0 out of 5 stars i really like stephen fry
i really like stephen fry , but i found this hard to get into because of the jumping from past to present ,a bit confusing
Published 1 month ago by dorothy
4.0 out of 5 stars [...]
Moab is my Washpot is Stephen Fry’s first autobiography, a genuinely touching book which covers his early childhood and adolescence with unflinching honesty and a deep sense of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by SocialBookshelves.com
4.0 out of 5 stars An amusing insight
Generally very enjoyable and amusing but most of the references passed me by as I'm too young to know who was hip in the 70s!
Published 3 months ago by Sarah Barrow
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read!
A surprising and very honest account of Stephen's first 20 years, intermittent with rants and passing thoughts. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining
I have had the The Chronicles of Stephen Fry sitting patiently on my book shelf for sometime. I picked it up to read only to realise there was an earlier book Moab is my washpot... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nellie Sheep
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