- Audio CD: 2 pages
- Publisher: BBC Physical Audio (26 Dec. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408427435
- ISBN-13: 978-1408427439
- Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 14 x 1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 509,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Fry's English Delight: Series 2 Audio CD – Audiobook, 26 Dec 2009
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About the Author
Stephen Fry is a celebrated British actor, novelist, journalist, presenter, intellectual and wit. He has produced four novels and two volumes of autobiography, and has written for radio shows and TV. His TV credits include "Jeeves and Wooster" and "Blackadder, " and he hosted the BBC TV series "QI." His readings of the Harry Potter books have won him huge acclaim and several awards.
Top Customer Reviews
...But then there's the competition. There are many fine audio CD's out there, but few so engaging, entertaining and enlightening (in equal measure). And none have the poise & balance of Stephen Fry who seems to be a master of Taoist principles (i.e. never being too much of any one thing).
To give you an idea of what you'll get, here are the sections in order:
1) So Wrong It's Right.
This is an interesting section on the evolution of language and how 'wrong' use of language can often become right as people start using the mistakes (e.g. the split-infinitive on Star Trek: 'To Boldly Go'). Somehow not quite up to the peerless brilliance of the first Series, this section still has a lot of interesting material, such as Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo (a complete, grammatical English sentence for reasons detailed on the CD).
On top of this, this episode also explores how English is different depending on situation (e.g. Courtroom or Boardroom). Curiously, it further includes an interview with an Academie Francaise rebel, who has chosen to put English words and different spelling of French words in a French language dictionary since "A dictionary is an observatory, not a conservatory".
2) Speaking Proper.
I found this one better than the first as it explores a vital subject in English: how to communicate effectively.Read more ›
If you are really fascinated by the development of certain forms of language and the way it changes over time, then you will probably enjoy this and find it educational. However, if talk of split infinitives, Latin traditions, where the `subject' should come in sentances and the suggestions of the Spelling Reform Society don't float your boat then this is not for you.
It's also worth saying that Stephen Fry features in probably at most fifty per cent of these programmes, with the rest of the time being given to various lecturers or experts in grammar. Fry holds it together nicely and of course he is quite easy to listen to, and he does add the odd sprinkling of gently amusing commentary, but the other contributors are all strictly business.
If you fancy concentrating hard, listening closely and learning lots then these CDs should please you, but if you are looking for easy listening and some classic Fry humour then you'd be best to look elsewhere, as like me you will at the most find these O.M.I. - Only Mildly Interesting.
However, as someone who is keen to learn, and has been known to use ten words when one would do, I found the series informative and entertaining. This was entertainment in the sense of being interesting, rather than laugh out load. Fry himself acts as a narrator creating a thread between a series of interviews with experts. At times this narrative felt a little forced, like the time Fry pretends to be conducting an interview, but it feels as if the responses were pre-recorded. This is a slightly awkward part of the CD, and others arise when less confident interviewees are being recorded. They seem to be aware that they are recording for a documentary on language so over pronounce everything so they appear to be intelligent.
Despite my grumblings over some of the techniques used to create a narrative whole, `English Delight' is still a great listen. It is a genuinely interesting series that taught me several new things. Also despite not being a comedy, Fry's relaxed voice and jovial script means that it remains funny at times anyway.
I thought I was going to be a bit like Qi; funny and somewhat educational, in the sense of learning a few odd facts and bits to impress people!
While this is worth a listen I wouldn't imagine putting it on again, Its something that would be more at home playing in an A-Level English classroom rather than in your CD player for a bit of "light entertainment". I actually found myself thinking 'how am I going to remember all this?' like it was some kind of revision CD.
Another letdown was the fact that this is by no means 100% Fry, probably not even 70%, it seems he is there only to introduce the next quote or conversation by some expert in the language, with Fry himself only briefly commenting on some parts.
So i'd say the best chapter is definately 'Gibberish' because it is actually entertaining. If you are after an English lesson buy this, if you want a funny account of the language by Stephen Fry its probably best to avoid this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
fry's English delight is a fantastic view into the english vocabulary, it really makes you think about what your saying! Read morePublished on 22 Oct. 2010 by i.pod
Those who complain that the English Language is dead or that youth is causing irreparable damage to the language should really be listening to Fry's radio series. Read morePublished on 16 Sept. 2010 by Paul B
Fry's English Delight is a fine BBC Audio production by one of England's current great entertainers. Read morePublished on 2 Aug. 2010 by G. Horsham
Stephen Fry is one of this countries true gems and in this series of recordings he proves why this is the case. Read morePublished on 21 Jun. 2010 by Tox
Stephen Fry is something of a brand - "this is not just a radio programme, this is a Stephen Fry radio programme", with extra wit and avuncle. Read morePublished on 18 Jun. 2010 by Many Beans
Stephen Fry has one of those voices I could listen to for ever. Not only did I find this cd fun, interesting I found it educational. Honest. Read morePublished on 10 Jun. 2010 by Dillan
These recordings failed to absorb me into their subject matter, despite being on language and being fronted by Stephen Fry. Read morePublished on 8 Jun. 2010 by I Read, Therefore I Blog
This CD features 4 episodes of half an hour long covering the topics: 'So Wrong It's Right'; 'Speaking Proper'; 'Hello' and 'The Joy of Gibberish'. Read morePublished on 28 May 2010 by J.E.T