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The Fry Chronicles [Hardcover]

Stephen Fry
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (267 customer reviews)

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Book Description

13 Sep 2010
Thirteen years ago, Moab is my Washpot, Stephen Fry’s autobiography of his early years, was published to rave reviews and was a huge bestseller. In those thirteen 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.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph; 1st Edition edition (13 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718154835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718154837
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (267 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,276 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

About the Author

Stephen Fry is an award-winning comedian, actor, presenter and director. He rose to fame alongside Hugh Laurie in A Bit of Fry and Laurie (which he co-wrote with Laurie) and Jeeves and Wooster, and was unforgettable as Captain Melchett in Blackadder. More recently he presented Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, his groundbreaking documentary on bipolar disorder, to huge critical acclaim. His legions of fans tune in to watch him host the popular quiz show QI each week.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does not disappoint 8 Nov 2010
By Darthy
Having read "Moab is my Washpot" several years ago, I had been awaiting the next volume of Fry's autobiography with huge anticipation and high expectations. I certainly wasn't disappointed.
This book does not bring Fry's story up to the present day - another volume is seemingly promised. Instead it shows us the formative years of Fry's career - actor, writer, comedian - beginning at Cambridge an continuing into his early stage and screen productions, leaving the story around the time of "Blackadder II".
Fry is typically honest and self-deprecating - often harshly so, but without ever falling into the trap of self-pity. His affection for his years at Cambridge is very apparent, as is his love and respect for many of those he has worked with - particularly Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Ben Elton and Rowan Atkinson. Fry's feelings of inadequacy when compared to these other talents are particularly fasincating, though I don't doubt that they each felt something similar. There are also wonderful and hilarious anecdotes of the likes of Robbie Coltrane and Miriam Margolyes.
Fry wilfully admits that he will use ten words when one will do, but his prose are so elegant and his love of language so infectious, I doubt many readers will mind. This is certainly a more straight-forward narrative than I remember "Moab" being - "Moab" would often veer off into tangents and Stephen would give us his views on life, the universe and everything, and it is a shame that there isn't a bit more of that in this book. But this is a very minor quibble.
All in all, anyone who read "Moab" should certainly read this, and everyone else should probably read it too. A genuine and honest insight into the life and the mind of an always interesting, entertaining, and thoroughly likeable man.
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139 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book by a wonderful man 23 Sep 2010
By LadyD
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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Advanced polymaths 19 Feb 2012
I never quite know what the think of Stephen Fry. I do find him funny, and he clearly has extraordinary talents - encyclopaedic knowledge; the ability to turn his hand to acting, comedy, script-writing, quiz show hosting, providing voice-overs, credit card defrauding, book writing.

But there's something that stops me quite 'buying' him. It might just be pure jealousy, that one man can be just so talented. It might be the feeling that he is a little too good at working his audience, a bit faux-naive self-deprecating. The other possible reason of course is that you can't get away from him. He's everywhere, and I guess this book is the story of how he came to be everywhere.

I did enjoy this book a lot. I'm the same age as Fry and the people and TV programmes he describes in this book are the ones I watched in my early adulthood - Comic Strip, Fry and Laurie, Ben Elton etc. etc. The book is refreshingly honest about these (he likes Ben Elton, a lot; he seems to dislike Robbie Coltrane, a lot), and he does a reasonable job of (a) telling us just how incredibly successful he has been, and (b) being extremely modest about his acheivements. It is genuinely funny - a photo of Fry and his posh pals looking cheerfully smug in black ties ("I know we look like w@nkers, but we weren't, honestly"). It is also a fascinating tale of Fry's struggle with the excesses of his own personality. He's a good writer (he bloody would be, wouldnt he!) and there are some great stories here. And I didn't realise that the young Emma Thompson was SUCH a cutie.

But something is missing for me, which means only three stars. I think it's the fact that, despite Fry's tortured self-awareness, he just doesn't quite understand that life is harder than this for less talented people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen Fry – The Fry Chronicles | Review 4 Jun 2014
The Fry Chronicles is the second autobiography from the pen of Stephen Fry, the British icon who’s more well-known as a television personality than as an author, despite the fact that he’s released half a dozen books of both fiction and non-fiction. He first cut his teeth writing sketches for A Bit of Fry and Laurie, which is (in my opinion) one of the cleverest and most well-written comedy sketch shows of all time.

In fact, he covers off the formative years of his relationship with comedy partner Hugh Laurie in the Fry Chronicles, as well as his meetings with dozens of other luminaries including Rowan Atkinson and Emma Thompson. It was published nearly twenty years after Fry’s first book, a novel called ‘The Liar‘ which was also autobiographical in places, and his writing style has developed and matured over the years. Now, he’s a truly talented writer with a unique voice and a wit and wisdom of his own.

Fry’s writing is complimented perfectly by a series of photographs from the author’s own archives, that detail everything from the young Fry and his parents (who look exactly like him) to “the backlit ears of Hugh Laurie” and posters and pictures of some of Fry’s earliest productions. In fact, in sharp contrast to Moab is my Washpot, Fry’s first autobiography which covered the first twenty years of his life, there’s a lot to learn here about Fry’s actual career.

As it goes, The Fry Chronicles is one of the more interesting celebrity autobiographies on the market, even if it is occasionally patchy in places; Fry also has a tendency to name-drop wherever possible, although it’s not really necessary as he’s a bigger star than most of the people that he mentions.
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