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The Fry Chronicles Hardcover – 13 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph; 1st Edition edition (13 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718154835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718154837
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (309 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,597 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

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

143 of 155 people found the following review helpful By LadyD on 23 Sept. 2010
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Simon Bendle on 4 May 2012
Format: Audio CD
"If a thing can be said in ten words, I may be relied on to take a hundred," Fry tells us at the start of The Fry Chronicles. And boy does he live up to his word.

This is the actor-writer-comedian's second excursion into autobiography, dealing with the events of his roaring twenties. We are introduced to Cambridge University, Emma Thompson, Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie; we go backstage on the set of Blackadder, stroll down Broadway, visit the BBC; we learn about the author's obsession with computers, his thing for credit cards, his love of classic cars. It's all done, as you would expect, with Fry's usual wit, charm, intelligence and honesty.

But for me, about six hours into this 12-hour audio-book, it all became a bit much. Moab is my Washpot, Fry's earlier memoir, covered his difficult childhood and adolescence; his thieving, his expulsions from schools, his attempted suicide, his time spent in prison - compelling stuff. Much as I admire Stephen Fry and am glad he eventually found happiness, the more straightforward story told here - of a gifted young man finding his way in the world, working hard, making friends, enjoying himself - is somewhat less gripping.

It's been interesting to hear about Fry's amazing good fortune and meet his gorgeous showbiz friends. But not that interesting. If a thing can be said in ten words, perhaps that's how many it should take.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cleggini on 6 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I love Stephen Fry. I've read, watched or heard most of his considerable output over the years, mostly with unalloyed joy. And this book,too. But. Oh but. What is my gripe? Well, I've just finished reading it today, and I feel it's a little, well, slight. We end in 1987, pausing on a deep breath for the tribulations ahead that we know Stephen suffered, and it all feels a little too staged, and that the third tranche of this life story, when it comes, will be little more than another money making exercise, which is odd as Stephen spends an awful lot of time in this book apologising for the wealth he's already accrued. Let me explain it like this: this book is well written, with the expected Fryesque delight in the exuberance of language well used; the man knows how to tell an anecdote - boy does he; and we have some interesting reflections on the rise of the new wave of comedy that engulfed us in the early 1980s. All that is to the book's credit, no doubt. But in well over 400 pages we cover Stephen at university, where his entire world, quite disappointingly to me, centred around amateur drama, and the beginnings of Stephen's career, and I'm not sure that we learn a massive amount that's new about either. Oh sure, the pages fly by, which is always a good sign. There is much for the Fryfanatic (like myself) to smile and reflect on...but I wonder is there enough in here? In short, at this rate we'll need another two biographical submissions from Stephen to bring us up to date, and I wonder if that is really justified? Perhaps it is, and I'm quite wrong. No doubt I'll buy them too, if and when they are published, but I'm left with a sneeking suspicion that we're over-egging the pudding slightly, and I just feel a teeny bit exploited, and taken for granted.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sally Walker on 21 Dec. 2012
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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