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The Fry Chronicles [Hardcover]

Stephen Fry
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 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.

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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 (274 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,584 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
140 of 151 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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19 of 21 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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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough 21 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having enjoyed his first autobiography quite a lot, I was looking forward to this continuation. But I really have been disappointed. Firstly, it doesn't cover enough time. The whole thing feels like an exercise in fulfilling a book contract, with passages that seem to ramble about things just for the sake of space. And Fry goes completely overboard this time with all the 'Oh deary me, I'm so successful yet besieged by anxiety and self-hatred. Don't hate me for my success and misery, but I won't blame you if you do' stuff. There will always be this element in any of Fry's autobiographical works - I get that it's part of his charm, but I can't stress enough how OTT it is in this instalment. You do just want him to shut the hell up with all the apologising and get on with it.

What's worse, is that frankly, it's boring. Whereas his first one had moment of real reflection upon his own nature, there really aren't any here. He sidesteps his neurosis entirely. There is no emotional honesty. That's dull - and add the fact that he also doesn't really give us much 'gossip' tidbits about his famous goings-on just adds to the boredom.

Finally, I must also admit to feeling greatly disappointed that he seems to hold Ben Elton in such esteem. He holds enough cache in my mind to make me slightly reconsider my opinion of the man, but not enough to alleviate all of my disappointment.

Summary: All surface, no depth and shockingly dull for such an intrinsically interesting man.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
When I saw this book in the bookshop I was delighted, looking forward to a treat of 400-pages of entertaining anecdotes. I was disappointed. It was so verbose I ended up skim-reading most of it. And still feeling a bit short changed. Perhaps his fear of offending anyone is what keeps the text frothy and inconsequential.

It's a shame because with a strong copy editor I think the book could have come out well. He needed someone to help him find a stronger narrative arc - which must be hard to do when writing about your own life. It must be hard to find the emotional distance to see it as a stranger would. And he seriously needs someone to cut-cut-cut and tell him "you're going on a a bit here". Lobbing 100 pages off the book would help the book communicate so much better.

Stephen does like his long lists of inconsequential detail. At first I indulged him wittering about all the types of breakfast cereal there were when he was a boy. He is the loveable Stephen Fry after all.

But a lot of the detail didn't either a) move the story along or b) bring the characters to life. So I was turned off when he was detailing his Cambridge education including exactly what his room contained and what a gyp (scout) is. The long loving details about computers also bored me and felt self-indulgent. Also the use of very long sentences and obscure words. Egregrious is one he relishes rolling around his mouth.

He kept saying that he had to explain things to US readers. Which got me thinking that the book was not written for me as a Brit. Surely there was a way to organise the book so you have background texts at the back, in little codas. Or publish a UK and a US version?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great narrator of a very well written autobiography.
Published 3 days ago by Great boy Benson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 days ago by IAN P MIDDLETON
4.0 out of 5 stars His use of language is brilliant but the book is not as exciting as...
Stephen Fry developing a life after teenage dramas. His use of language is brilliant but the book is not as exciting as his first autobiography. Read more
Published 12 days ago by joan keen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My wife loves this book from Stephen Fry.
Published 19 days ago by Basil Timmermans
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair but just too much of a tendency to the smug
It's certainly readable and has a number of laugh out loud anecdotes. It does come across as a bit smug though (in fairness Fry recognises this in suitably self-deprecating way). Read more
Published 25 days ago by tpryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought as gift
Published 1 month ago by michelle stepney
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A very interesting read again from Stephen Fry.
Published 1 month ago by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant.... obviously!
Smashing, interesting stuff as you'd expect.. Lots of new back stage info on the life of a modern day genius
Published 1 month ago by Timbof
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Unknown
5.0 out of 5 stars Spin me a tale, Fry!
Stephen Fry knows how to spin a tale. Half of the time you won't know how you got from A to D, where B went, how on Earth he got away from describing C the way he did, and why V's... Read more
Published 1 month ago by electricitywoman
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