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The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography Audio Download – Unabridged

3.9 out of 5 stars 360 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 12 hours and 28 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 13 Sept. 2010
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042TKNKC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Fry Chronicles is Fry's autobiographical account of ten years of his life from age twenty. Ten years in which he studied at Queen's College, Cambridge or rather acted in countless plays and then branched off into comedy particularly after his meeting of Hugh Laurie. It gives an account of his early career and how this swiftly developed.

I have read this book shortly after reading Fry's autobiography of his first twenty years:Moab Is My Washpot. That was a 5+ star read, by comparison this I rate as meriting 4 stars. If I had not read Maob I would have given The Chronicles 5 stars.

Why the difference and diminution? Well, Maob, the best autobiography I have read, contains by quick turn side splitting humour and an onion peeling baring of Fry's inner workings, feelings and motivations. I thought it logical to assume that The Chronicles would be more of the same and this was what I was expecting.

Whilst it is true to say that there are many pages that do carry on this vein, there are also many others that simply recount Fry's early career in terms of how it all began, how he obtained work, what he worked on and who he worked with, etc. Of course this is interesting and indeed necessary because the autobiography has to tell us about how he spent these pivotal ten years of his life, but for me, what set Maob apart was Fry's brave, candid lifting off of his mask and assumed persona to reveal his true self. I found this absolutely fascinating and I admire and appreciate Fry's willingness to do this. It is simply that this book contains less of that.

I also found this book to be less funny.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like many other readers, I loved Moab when I first read it about 10 years ago, and I still do re-read it now. Given SF's ability as a writer, both in memoir, articles ('Paperweight') and novels, I was really looking forward to more of the same oblique wit in The Fry Chronicles. Alas! I was disappointed. To put it simply, there are far too many words, and not enough meat. We *know* that SF is friends with all manner of interesting and famous people - and we don't mind; we *know* that he has achieved a great deal, and we don't mind; we know that he must be financially secure - and we don't mind. After all, it is the ambition of many people to have a successful, rewarding, and enjoyable career! We understand that sugar can be addictive, and that it's hard to give up smoking - and we don't mind. What we do mind are the slews of apology and breast-beating. I am quite happy to read about another person's really rather remarkable life, but I don't want to be bashed over the head with self-recrimination about it. Self-indulgent! In short, this book needed a ruthless editor.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I have been eagerly awaiting it ever since I read Moab is my Washpot which was wonderful, but left you wanting more. Well I still want more because this book only takes you up to 1987. Nevertheless it is a fantastic combination of funny stories, brutal honesty about himself, loving descriptions of the people he met along the way, a description of university life that made me nostalgic for my own student days, an interesting account of the rise of alternative comedy, and the wonderful use of language for which is is so rightly admired. It is to his credit, and is a measure of the man, that there is barely a bad word uttered about anyone in this book unlike so many celebrity autobiographies.

In particular his descriptions of his relationship with, and deep love for, the dedicatee of this book - his partner and friend Hugh Laurie - are extremely moving and brought a tear to my eye.
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Format: Hardcover
Being a casual fan of Fry's, I picked up the book hoping for some light enjoyable reading and a greater insight into his enigmatic character. The book certainly delivered in the first regard, but on the second I am not so sure. He too often holds back, out of embarrassment and fear of betraying his friends, or his own moral code of strict humility.

For example, Fry goes into great detail (several pages at least) of his former love of tobacco, and pipes in particular- explaining the sensations of tobacco euphoria, how pipes should be properly lit, how he was inspired by his literary heroes to take to smoking, how it seemed to him a sign of sophistication, masculinity etc

And then he just breezes past his decade-spanning relationship with some guy called Kim, who, after reading the book cover to cover, I have discovered was a blond fellow and jolly good at chess. Oh and I think he had an expensive stereo or something. In a couple of paragraphs this huge section of Fry's life is quickly tidied away with seemingly no emotion. Eventually Kim tires of Stephen's self imposed abstinence (again, hardly explained) and starts seeing other men, while still living with Steven. Fry offers no comment on this. I want to know about this situation please! Tell me more! But no, Stephen performs the literary equivalent of coughing nervously and then goes on to talk about the mac he bought that one time.

I suppose it's all part of his appeal, that he doesn't bitch or tattle, or show any real passion. Stiff upper lip and all that, but still ... it would have been nice to see more of the man and less of the gentleman.

Apologies feature heavily.
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