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Moab Is My Washpot Paperback – 5 Aug 2004
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"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)
The original bestselling autobiography by the comedian, novelist and national treasure, Stephen Fry.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The author is a brilliant comic stylist and his stories had me rolling around laughing. As reported by other reviewers, life went on hold until the book was finished, leaving me wanting more. The humanity, culture and deep sense of the man means the writing never trades in self-indulgence, apart from the verbal sort which are tours de force of scabrous high comedy. Fry shares his story with the reader as though he or she were present and laughing along as an equal. The book shows what it's like to be human, deeply fallible, outrageous and original, both proud about all this and embarrassed at how it can hurt others and confuse ourselves.
The book is great on the mysteries of English middle-class socialisation and school life and full of love for his remarkably forbearing family. Fry's account of his education is sociological treasure, and leaves one wondering where the young get such lavish exposure to culture and opportunity today. What I took from it is: our first twenty years of mental and hormonal tumult are sure to inflict us with some sort of wooden leg to carry, but also the resources to dance triumphantly through later life while wearing it.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this, but then I love Stephen Fry. He is a magician with words and when I read his book I can almost hear him reading it to me. Excellent addition to his autobiography.Published 7 months ago by Carol Diez
I am an admirer of Mr Fry, and was looking forward to reading this. However, I found the constant jumping around from past to present, interspersed with lengthy pages of what I can... Read morePublished 10 months ago by M. Gordon
Wonderfully written, gripped me from start to finish and quickly moved onto his subsequent 2 autobiography's. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Connor Anderson - Price
Rubbish, Rude, Vulgar. Mr Fry is usually a very funny man but not with his written word. Don't bother with this one. Read morePublished 11 months ago by J. Hellens
A bit wandering but I enjoyed most of it. The adolescent doubts and situations certainly resonated with me.Published 12 months ago by blends1985
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