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Stephen Fry In His Own Words Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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A unique audio portrait of the much-admired, multi-talented Stephen Fry.
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However I would have expected that much from Fry. What gets little if any proper treatment is his polymath knowledge, which is sometimes little short of astounding. The official blurb tells us that he is frank about his sexuality, but don't get your hopes up - he doesn't like sex and doesn't do it, or at least he used not to. Almost everything he says here about his time at Cambridge relates to his acquaintance with Emma Thompson and Hugh Lawrie, leading thespians in their time and maybe still to this day, but an odd subject to be given so much prominence as it is here. I mean, is it not worth the trouble of telling us what Stephen so much as studied at Cambridge?
I don't feel like prolonging such a catalogue of complaints, except to say that I'm not sure whether the short playing time (45 minutes or so) of the disc is a bad thing or a good thing under the circumstances. I could not bring myself to give less than three stars to anything featuring Stephen Fry, but, honestly, pants to the BBC for this effort.
Overall, the disc is salvaged from being relegated to the very bottom drawer solely by virtue of the fact that Stephen Fry is always a pleasure to listen to, with something fascinating or humorous to say, even when indulging in the most swingeing of self-defamation. All in all, though, there is little about this release to recommend it for purchase. Come on, AudioGo; you can do better than this!
What is here is perfectly decent and interesting. It's just that there isn't a lot of it. It's only 44 minutes long and by its nature it doesn't go into any detail, instead it just skims the surface. If you want to know about him you are much better buying his memoir Moab Is My Washpot.
Three stars for the content, but I'm docking a point as I don't think there's enough here to justify spending any money on it. I do struggle to imagine who would buy this.
He loves music and knows loads of tunes in his head -but if asked to hum the theme to the TV series "The Champions" he would sing some mindless drivel.
He said at school he was very bright(!) and could pass exams with ease. He had no respect of teachers. If he passed a teacher who said, "late Fry?" he would reply, "yes so am I sir". To wit the teacher would say, "don't be clever Fry" -so "just how stupid do you want me to be sir?"
He was expelled from school for a term and realised how helpful his dad was teaching him maths -something he had not respected in his dad beforehand.
Fry was also a kleptomaniac and stole spanners and screw drivers for no good reason. He hit a high (low!) when he stole a wallet and then went on a credit card binge which was left unchecked for a period. Until a lady in Swindon wondered why this young lad had so many cards. The result was time at her majesty's pleasure. He said prison was a breeze when you are used to being at public school. Most of the inmates were Welsh or from the West Country -not his stereotypical bad guys -unlike people from London!
He had time to take stock whilst in the slammer and got his act together culminating in a scholarship to Cambridge. He thought there was a mistake and they would ask -"so you are not the Mr S Bry we were expecting?" -Methinks his modesty does not become him
He mentions the same thing himself -but neither does he want to be ignored when he is out and about.
Sometimes he wishes he was just a brain without the impediments of a body like a Futurama film. He mentions being celibate and that sometimes he did not want to risk friendships by sullying them with a physical relationship.
He would like a family -but with the convenience of a Victorian marriage -where he as the father sees the kids etc. at his convenience.
He talks about his time at Cambridge with Hugh Laurie where they won an acting prize -with little difficulty, and meeting Emma Thompson
He talks about his need to get a buzz from cigarettes and latterly, with cocaine.
He admits to being competitive for the public to like him -even if he was never competitive in the sphere of sport.
Just when you are enjoying all of these insights -bam - the CD is over! It probably needs a double CD offering to give you more insights!
It is a very enjoyable listen and well worth checking out. The jail spell and the kleptomaniac stuff were news to me.
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