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The Hippopotamus [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Stephen Fry
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.35
Price: 13.02 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Sep 2010
Ted Wallace is an old, sour, womanising, cantankerous, whisky-sodden beast of a failed poet and drama critic, but he has his faults too. Fired from his newspaper, months behind on his alimony payments and disgusted with a world that undervalues him, Ted seeks a few months repose and free drink at Swafford Hall, the country mansion of his old friend Lord Logan. But strange things have been going on at Swafford. Miracles. Healings. Phenomena beyond the comprehension of a mud-caked hippopotamus like Ted.

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The Hippopotamus + The Stars' Tennis Balls + The Liar
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (2 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846572762
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846572760
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 14.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 419,100 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


"My goodness what fruity language Fry uses! You can feel his enjoyment, and also the huge force of hi desire to please you, as you read this." -- "William Leith, Mail on Sunday""One of the funniest people writing on either side of the a combination of Evelyn Waugh and Kingsley Amis but funnier than either." -- "Publishers Weekly""From the Hardcover edition."

Book Description

'Fresh, filthy, funny and fizzing with ideas' Ned Sherrin, Evening Standard

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fry's usual surrealism in a country setting 13 Mar 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can only describe the twists and turns that this book takes as shocking. Not hit you in the face shocking, but enough to make me hitch my breath as I travelled out of London on the train.

Fry is simply delicious in his writing style - clever, sharp and descriptive only to the point of necessity.

Not as outlandish and fiesty as the Star's Tennis Balls, but certainly a pleasant (if bizarre) surprise.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
discovering all his books at once, i had a marathon few days digesting them all as thoroughly as possible, not wanting any to finish, but barely able to wait to start the next. this is characteristic of fry with his superb intelligence and wit and brilliant ability to hold us all to constant attention with such wonderful story telling skills, and bizarre imagination. just braw. loved it.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 7 May 2005
I usually don't write reviews, but was compelled to after reading this book. As good as Fry has been on the screen, he is even better in his writing. I have never laughed out loud when reading a book, but this one had me on the floor at times. A book you must read if you like Fry's sitcoms. I can't recommend it strongly enough. Looking forward to read his other books now.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoosh! A book to blow your mind 12 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Like all of Fry's novels this one will leave you feeling as if you've just had 5 Harrier jets fly inches over your head, which is something that leaves you understandably breathless at the time and is an experience that you are unlikely to forget for a while. His attention to detail (both linguistically and in terms of content) is unbelievable and the story itself ranges from the bizzare to the downright naughty. The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry is an absolute must for anybody with a sense of humour and a couple of afternoons to spare.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling 18 Aug 2006
I Have read all of Fry's fictional offerings and this is the sharpest, wittiest and most original. It tells the tale of a grubby old former journalist who goes for a weekend retreat in a country house with friends. Fry has a wicked imagination - the descriptions of how the youngster can cure all ills makes you laugh out loud. I felt some sorrow as I neared the end of the tome. Highly recommended.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Ted Dexter is a Scotch-soaked has-been of a poet and hack, who is called in to investigate a young boy with healing hands. Sound daft to you ? Yes, and deliciously so. This is Stephen Fry's second novel and believe me it doesn't dissappoint. If you annoyed crowded airport lounges with your incessant laughter when reading "The Liar", get ready for the same askance looks. "The Hippopotamus" is out of the same mould, which doesn't for one minute mean it's a re-hash of the first novel, but that it is characterised by the same brilliant intelligence and wit. The story is again convoluted with many a change of direction (where does the man get his ideas from ?) and wincingly sharp and witty characterisations. Amongst the smooth and crafted prose there is many a hidden philosophical gem too - in particular the best two-page summary I've ever read on why women don't like sex. Like "The Liar" there is a twist in the tail which keeps you guessing up until the end. Much is made of the unputdownability of a book these days but I am delighted to say that I put this one down on many an occasion just to make it last longer - before picking it straight up again because I couldn't wait for the next bit. - Matthew Salter
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hippopotamus 21 Aug 2002
Format:Audio Cassette
A book of great variety, wit, crudity and thought provoking ideas, that kept me entertained and amused. Not for the puritanical however.
A clever book in an interesting format with good plotting and well read by the author.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid darling! 3 Jan 2008
By David
Really, really enjoyed this book! It's the first Stephen Fry book I've read and I found it (not surprisingly) to be a lot like a Wodehouse novel: upper class characters, estate house with many guests, first person narrative, fantastic use of language etc. However the comedy comes from the language alone - in contrast with the situation for most of the characters which is in fact quite serious, providing an interesting plot that keeps you turning the pages.

It's definitely the language and comments from Ted throughout that are the real highlight though. From simple laughs like the description of his cough as "something between a vomiting donkey and an explosion at a custard factory" and his concern for the "poor female rabbit-flea", to his 6 page sermon on the "fact that women do not enjoy sex" and his spirited defence of a poet's use of "rare words", it's an absolute joy to read.

I can't wait to read some more of Stephen Fry's books - I'm only concerned I may have started on a bit of a high that the others may struggle to match up to.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars this was a disappointment. Having read the reviews I was expecting...
Frankly, this was a disappointment. Having read the reviews I was expecting something more amusing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lizzie
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and insightful
Very clever. The plot reveals humanity's wilful ignorance, and that one should always be open minded in order not to fall into the trap of blind faith that is created by... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars what?
For the most part, I felt confused throughout this book with little to no idea what was going on. From a character point of view, the cast were well thought out and convincing, but... Read more
Published 1 month ago by BubbleBee
4.0 out of 5 stars Stephen Fry – The Hippopotamus | Review
The Hippopotamus is an interesting insight in to the way in which Stephen Fry sees the world, the second novel of the comedian and television personality who’s earned a rightful... Read more
Published 2 months ago by
2.0 out of 5 stars The hippopotamus S Fry
Enlightening and articulate, plus a lovely snuggley read. Thank you Mr Fry and here are the final eight words needed
Published 10 months ago by Tilley
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty Entertainment
My wife thrust this book into my hands a few days ago and told me 'I would enjoy it'!!! My standard test for any novel is whether it grabs my attention within the first few pages . Read more
Published 10 months ago by A.J. Reynolds
4.0 out of 5 stars exceptionally good fun
Witty as hell, decently twisty and a delight to anyone who adores language play and pithily-dialogued, perfectly-paced, often-filthy prose (and a little poetry).
Published 11 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Fry book
Fry has a wonderful writing style - I can't recall the last time I was so engrossed in a book. This is a must read, and I will now embark on reading the next
Published 12 months ago by Jim Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hippopotamus
A funny yet sad book about a rather dysfunctional but solid group of people. Very easy to read with interesting insights into upper middle class life.
Published 12 months ago by Miss E J Harrison
3.0 out of 5 stars A light holliday read
An entertaining 'holiday' read with plenty of twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. This was my first Stephen Fry novel and it won't be the last.
Published 18 months ago by Pegleg
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