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99 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fry will engage, shock and enthrall
If you are going to buy this wonderful book, I urge you to buy it in cassette form. It is a pleasure just to listen to Fry's voice and he is perfect at portraying such upper-middle class characters with feeling and humour. Star's Tennis Balls is a captivating tale of Ned, caught in an entangled web of misery as the result of a practical joke by the Machiavellian Ashley, a...
Published on 11 Nov. 2000

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I like my revenge sweet, not sour, thanks
The beginning of this book grabs the reader's attention; Fry is a witty and a talented writer and the opening to this novel drew me in. I enjoyed the book immensely until Ned left the asylum, and was rooting for him all the way - then suddenly, the tone of the book changed, and became much darker. Not necessarily a bad thing; but here, it doesn't work.
Somehow,...
Published on 6 Mar. 2002


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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A rather nasty book - J Archer meets A-level philosophy, 6 Jan. 2002
The book starts promisingly enough - but in cribbing the Monte Cristo plot, Stephen Fry doesn't inherit the quality of Dumas' writing. The characters are inconsistent and like jelly. You can clearly see when the author was having an "off day" and dialogue fequently falls to sub-J Archer standards. At other times a character will speak in perfect mimicry of Jeeves a la Fry.
The last third of the book was either written against a fast-approaching deadline or the author simply got bored.
If you're looking for something to fill the time on a long flight, don't pick this. Read the inflight magazine instead.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 3 July 2009
By 
K. J. Dean "Karen Dean" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Stars' Tennis Balls (Paperback)
I have read this several times and may well read it again in the future. The only reason I haven't given this book five stars is because I have given Catch 22 and Lonesome Dove five stars.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pointless, overwritten and boring., 12 Nov. 2001
When starting a Stephen Fry book you can never pre empt in contents but this one was so disapointing it would put me off buying another, different, one. It was poorly constructed and seemed to strive for sensationism. I found it difficult to finish because it was a pointless story. At the end you had the feeling that Fry had become bored with the narrative and wanted to bring the whole sorry saga to a conclusion.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful stuff, 1 July 2009
I dont read many novels these days, I have migrated towards exploration type books and biographies. I picked up this book because I love Stephen Fry in his QI role and respect him as an actor, an intellectual and a comedian. However, he loses my vote with this book, and I think he should stick to what he is good at. The plot here has been done 100 times before, and much much better. I like my novels to be either out of this world, or in it, but this gets lost in the middle. It tells a story about people painted initially as real people, but then destroys it with too many co-incedents at critical points, and the main character goes from a real good guy to a manevolent character from a batman comic. The only reason I finished it is that I always finish a book I start, (ditto with movies).
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6 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Distressing, 5 Feb. 2002
By A Customer
I thought that this was going to be an amusing tale of insecurity and the class system in the UK. In actual fact this was a story about jealousy, torture, revenge & murder. The torture passages were gratuitous. Not one of the characters was remotely likeable and the book left me with a very jaded impression of human nature.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars shame, 25 May 2012
I love Fry. I will love it despite everything, even THIS book. The language enjoyable - as ever - but the plot... Sorry, who is supposed to be a reader? One who's never heard of The Count of Monte Cristo I think. It would not have been a problem had the author sincerely admitted that he borrowed the idea and each drama effect, but I can't accept it as an original book.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not very original!, 4 Dec. 2010
When I was reading this book, all I kept getting flash backs to Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas. You can call it a modern day retelling of the famous classic, but I would rather re-read the original again! In my opinion, this book insults the reader, by assuming that a modern day reader cannot appreciate a classic, thus trying to retell the old story in the modern time with the names that would be more comfortable to an English speaking reader. However, the novel lacks the depth and the entertainment factor of the original. I'm deeply dissappointed with the novel, especially that I respect Stephen Fry's intelligence and wit. Only the respect for the author stops me from calling his book a plagiarism or a way to enrich himself without much thought or effort.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The first book I have read by Fry and probably the last, 15 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
Stephen Fry starts the book off with a wonderfully intellectual style of writing that had me hooked. However, as the book progresses he seems to have become impatient or bored and the years fly by with nothing to show but waffle. What's more, to jump on the shortlived and over-hyped dot-com boom bandwagon is unfortunate, as it immediately dates the book and shows up a naivety in Fry's writing that could otherwise have passed unnoticed. Finally, the end result left me ultimately dissatisfied as it is as boring as it is predictable.
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2 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive repetitive repetitive, 6 Jan. 2005
By 
G. Baker "GB" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Stars' Tennis Balls (Paperback)
Sorry, only managed the first 40 pages. Am a great fan, loved Moab is my washpot but this was dull dull dull. The joke of 'actually' being mistaken for 'Ashley' seemed to go on for ever. Three pages at least.
I really looked forward to reading this but it should be labelled 'Fry Lite' - maybe if I'd kept reading. But I didn't.
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The Stars' Tennis Balls
The Stars' Tennis Balls by Stephen Fry (Paperback - 5 Aug. 2004)
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