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He's a bit full-on
on 29 June 2011
The only real problem with Stephen Fry's writing in this memoir is that he's so prone to hyperbole. Everything is overblown, overstated, overemphasised and generally over the top... the out-of-control swearing, the showy wordplay, the exaggerated humour, the explosive rants. He likes to make mountains out of molehills and while this can often be amusing for its own sake, after 200 or 300 pages it all starts to feel a little bit fake... like he's desperate to entertain and impress you at all costs.
Most of his memories are a series of comedic vignettes... and they're a little too polished... a little too convenient to ring true. You start to suspect if his past really did unfold in this way or if it's all been augmented to give the fans what they want.
But having said all of this, I still enjoyed the ride. It's good light reading for the train journey home, even if you're not entirely convinced by the truth of it all. And whichever way you look at it, the man can definitely write... his style might be OTT (in this case) but his command of the English language is exceptional.