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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fry's usual surrealism in a country setting
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...
Published on 13 Mar 2007 by Geraldine Powell

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yeah! - Just OK!
Reads a bit like a Micky Spillane novel - thought it might have been a bit "deeper" from someone with the brain power of Stephen Fry!
Published 23 months ago by R. H. Clements


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fry's usual surrealism in a country setting, 13 Mar 2007
By 
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This review is from: The Hippopotamus (Paperback)
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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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars as fabulous and witty as everything fry has ever written, 17 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hippopotamus (Paperback)
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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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 7 May 2005
This review is from: The Hippopotamus (Paperback)
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid darling!, 3 Jan 2008
By 
David (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Hippopotamus (Paperback)
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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31 of 33 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
This review is from: The Hippopotamus (Paperback)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delicious light read., 19 May 2009
By 
Nathan Fisher (The UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hippopotamus (Paperback)
During a holiday in eastern Austria I borrowed this novel and read it very nearly cover-to-cover. Having hardly read a book written post-1950 for months, I was utterly delighted.

Fry has that pure love of language that all the best authors possess. The texture of a phrase, the imagery from a sentence - his adoration of the possibilities, humour and wash of words is tangible on every page.

In The Hippopotamus Fry has created a great anti-hero, a rum, self-concerned miser who one can not fail to like completely. The plot moves fairly quickly and amusingly, but the (actually rather good) story is not the attraction of this book. As I have said, Fry's love of language is what makes this compelling reading. That Fry is fond of Oscar Wilde is rather blatant. Small, unimportant witticisms are thrown in at any convenient time and plot-twists abound. It's a ferrero rocher book: there's not an awful lot of point in it, but it is sublimely delicious when you treat yourself to it.

Having not read any of his other books other than his utterly excellent autobiography, Moab Is My Washpot, The Hippopotamus has that complimentary but not entirely welcome quality of making me not want to read anything else he has done, lest it not be of as good a quality. When I finished the book (I think I read it within twenty-four hours) I spent the next hour fondly remembering it. It's one of those books.

You can pick up a copy on here for a penny plus postage. You really might as well.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling, 18 Aug 2006
By 
D. J. MELHUISH "djamesmel" (OBIYAMA, KUMAMOTO-SHI Japan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hippopotamus (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Old hacks never die, they get immortalised by Fry, 23 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hippopotamus (Paperback)
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
By 
This review is from: The Hippopotamus (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hilarious novel that will keep you guessing, 5 Mar 2010
By 
N. Durand - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hippopotamus (Paperback)
When I began reading this novel, I was sceptical, as it had been written by a celebrity, who is clearly a genius, but a celebrity nonetheless. However, my prejudices were thankfully proved wrong, and I found that "The Hippopotamus" proved a fantastic, amusing read.

Primarily, the characters in this novel are brilliant. The fantastically flawed Ted Wallace, who is bitter, despairs for society as well as himself, and has very little to live for, finds his pathetic life revitalised in this uplifting and hilarious novel.

Fry's humour is intelligent, witty, and often verges upon being filthy! The humour you expect in the novel is there, and it will not disappoint. Having finished this, I have bought his autobiography "Moab is my washpot" and will be beggining that shortly!

If you enjoy Fry's humour on screen, you will no doubt enjoy this novel. Don't write off Fry as another celebrity writer - he is an incredibly talented novelist as well as a good actor, presenter etc.

Thanks for reading!
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The Hippopotamus
The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry (Paperback - 5 Aug 2004)
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