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Moab Is My Washpot Paperback – 5 Aug 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 262 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; Reissue edition (5 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099457040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099457046
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (262 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"One of the most poignant, funny, intelligent, frank and horribly addictive books you're likely to read all year" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Stephen Fry is one of the great originals... This autobiography of his first twenty years is a pleasure to read, mixing outrageous acts with sensible opinions in bewildering confusion... That so much outward charm, self-awareness and intellect should exist alongside behaviour that threatened to ruin the lives of innocent victims, noble parents and Fry himself, gives the book a tragic grandeur and lifts it to classic status." (Financial Times)

"A remarkable, perhaps even unique, exercise in autobiography... that aroma of authenticity that is the point of all great autobiographies; of which this, I rather think, is one." (Evening Standard)

"He writes superbly about his family, about his homosexuality, about the agonies of childhood... some of his bursts of simile take the breath away... his most satisfying and appealing book so far." (Observer)

"This is one of the most extraordinary and affecting biographies I have read... Stephen is... painfully honest when trying to grapple with his ever-present demons, and often, as you might expect, very funny... I hope to goodness there'll be a sequel. I can't wait for more." (Daily Mail)

Book Description

The original bestselling autobiography by the comedian, novelist and national treasure, Stephen Fry.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 6 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
A wonderfully endearing book by a very likeable man. I was hooked from the beginning and although it does get a little mawkish on occasion, Fry's honesty is therapeutic and his admissions fascinating.
Be warned however, that this is not a whimsical account of his comedy career. It is an emotional confession of the struggle Fry had in the first twenty years of his life. Although the man's intelligence and charm are evident throughout, he vents spleen aplenty and his language is rather colourful at times. His love of music, film and words are my loves and so I devoured his writing. His digressions (he calls then diversions) often lead to even greater digressions and this is wonderful. The style is not stilted or excessively crafted but heartfelt and accessible. Fry does not set out to portray himself as misunderstood but to tell things as they are. I found the book inspirational and somehow felt better about myself afterwards. It will make you think about your family and your honesty. Yes, you will laugh but do not read this expecting a saccharine happy childhood story.
Treat yourself and indulge in some pot-washing yourself.
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Format: Paperback
This autobiography is of the first twenty years of Stephen's life. I started to read it vaguely knowing that this was the bloke off 'Blackadder' but once I'd finished, I rushed out and bought 'The Liar' and 'The Hippopotamus'. This book is brilliant. It is completely candid about Stephen's depression, homosexuality and school life, among others. It is, however, hilarious all the way through. The reader never feels inferior to Stephen's undoubted intelligence because of the way he mocks himself so easily. By the end of the book, all I wanted to do was go and find him and give him a big hug and tell him everything will be fine! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone, and also his other books which are all excellent as well.
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Format: Paperback
I read The Liar and The Hippopotamus and found them a little too flowery for my liking, but then I'm not a great novel reader anyway. The pages of this book, on the other hand, turned so quickly, I thought they might catch fire.
As another reviewer stated, his frequent ramblings off the main thread of the story are sheer joy and make you feel he is in the room talking to you. And he can't resist teaching us a new word by including it then demonstrating its meaning e.g. rhotacism, or explicitly correcting a widely used grammatical or spelling error! All very familiar Fry stuff.
Stephen says himself that his life is at once as unremarkable as they come and stranger than fiction, when you put it down at the end, you feel he is spot on. Only once towards the very end did I see a quality in him that you could be unashamedly proud of.
Don't worry if you don't like his novels, this is one of the most absorbing and satisfying autobiographies ever written.
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Format: Paperback
As the song says, Thou Shalt Not Question Stephen Fry - but I'm going to do it anyway. I love Stephen Fry. If I too were (to use his phrase from this book) "not like other boys" then I wouldn't be writing reviews of his books. I'd be out there stalking him. Fortunately for both of us, I'm not.

Fry at 51 is a beautiful man, and deserves credit for being so honest as to show what a smug, selfish, preening, dishonest and downright callous little b-----d he was at 10, 14 and 18. If that sounds harsh, it's nothing compared with how harshly Fry judges himself.

Even as he wrote this book (aged 40) he couldn't help showing off at times, which shows us that part of that insufferable little fellow is still there. Not that we need to be told that one of the best-loved men in Britain is insecure; it's part of his charm.

And although he is harrowingly honest, he occasionally stops short. He half-heartedly tries to put some of the blame for his stealing on his love for "Matthew", even though he has been a shameless thief since before he can remember. And he never seriously tackles what made him so amoral from such an early age.

Nonetheless, it is a beautifully written tale of redemption. One is left feeling that it was a minor miracle that he could save himself after throwing away every opportunity given to him.

It's not perfect. There are errors of English that should never appear in any book, let alone one by Stephen Fry (the worst examples are "baited breath" and "Rolls Royce's").
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Format: Paperback
OK, this book is therapy. Reading it is, and I suspect writing it was too. I started it at 18:00h in the Dublin rush-hour (it's always advisable to have some good reading material at hand in that predicament) and finished it at 05:00h in the morning not even feeling tired, bladder bursting, dehydrated for lack of tea and grinning like a big, happy loon. I then read it all over again, straightaway. It has left me overwhelmed, chastised, wanting to shout out its virtues in Tesco and giddily, exuberantly happy; happy that such excellent language is still being written, that its creator should walk the earth as my contemporary and share his gifts so generously with all of us and, most of all, that he found redemption.

For, make no mistake, this is a redemption story; redemption not in the religious sense but in the sense of a soul coming to terms with itself. Stephen Fry's love for Oscar Wilde is well publicised, so maybe it's no coincidence that this account of his first twenty years reminded me of Wilde's fairy tales, these delicate, heartbreaking, deeply moralistic stories about love, betrayal, redemption and futility. Sometimes he finds himself cast as the Selfish Giant, sometimes as the Nightingale, sometimes as the ugly dwarf from The Birthday of the Infanta, and - might as well make full use of the Wilde connection here - the story about "Matteo" has taught me more about the true meaning of The Love that Dare not Speak its Name than over twenty years of worship at Oscar's throne.

Redemption is ultimately the result of learning to love yourself, and only once you learn to love yourself you can love others (if you don't believe me, look it up in the Bible).
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