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The Liar
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on 12 August 2016
Excellent. Like all good stories the ending is not what you might have imagined as you read the book.

All good and enjoyable stories should have a twist in the tail (tale) where all your pre- and mis- conceptions fall in tatters at your feet. The Liar, as is to be expected, has not just one twist in the tail, it has several! I did feel that I was being rushed towards the end and I think, on reflection, that I would have liked there to have been just one twist and it to have come upon me more rapidly, rather than all the theories I had devised, unravelling little by little.

Like all good books I shall re-read this several times before putting it aside for a year or two to be re-enjoyed when I have mostly forgotten the sub-plots and can read it as if it were the first time. I always find Stephen's writing refreshing since I know it will be correctly punctuated and grammatically correct, unlike some books, especially by authors of a particular nationality, where I have constantly to re-read a sentence, a phrase, a paragraph, even several pages because poor writing or poor punctuation has confused me.
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on 26 July 2012
The good parts are very good. But the bad parts are really rather horrid. The reader should persevere. Most of the disagreeable bits are early in the book. As I read it on Kindle I can tell you that by 35% I was tempted to give up, but by about 45% I was beginning to enjoy it, and it got better and better from then on.

Mr Fry's sense of humour (at least in the early stages of this novel) is that of a particularly disgusting adolescent schoolboy. The revolting descriptions of mutual masturbation etc will no doubt appeal to some, but most will find them a big turn off. One also fears, until about half way through, that we are expected to admire the grossly superficial "intelligence" of the hero. But it really is worth ploughing on. Even the humour improves (rather dramatically).

My guess is that Mr Fry wrote the first third of the book when he was about sixteen (and probably a rather nasty youth). He then put it aside for ten or so years. I think it was a mistake, when he resumed, that he didn't re-write what he had already written. If he had done so, this could have been a minor classic. As it is, the novel will be read for a few years (because its author is a "celebrity") but will then be forgotten.

Charles
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on 19 October 2016
Oh dear. An unlikable central character, a parade of middle class English cliches (as the minor characters) and a plot that blunders about like a drunk man looking for his flies. It takes until about halfway in before anything vaguely coherent appears, and unlike great writers, the lead up to the central plot's emergence is not, despite other reviews, worth the wait. If you want a genuinely funny Oxbridge novel, try Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe.
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on 7 July 2016
Great, unbelievably rich, beautifully constructed. Why have I never read it before? Stephen Fry has all the ability to draw from his past, utilize his enormous intellect and produce a fiction that is both ultra-sophisticated and ultra-readable - a great page turner. Only someone like Stephen Fry could produce such an interwoven plot and timeline and not confuse his audience. Just couldn't put it down.
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on 3 December 2017
Great book really good
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on 22 November 2016
First read this more than 20 years ago. Loved its pace, it's characters, and its originality then, and love them just as much now. S. Fry makes me sick he's so good at everything!
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on 24 April 2014
imam a great fan of Stephen Fry, I already have some of hisbooks in paperback, this means I can read him when I am traveling using by using the kindle
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on 6 February 2015
Fantastic read, I've read a few of Mr Fry's books now and they always have me laughing out loud. Thought-provoking, gripping at times and beautifully written.
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on 17 August 2017
Stephen Fry is an absolutely brilliant writer
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on 2 June 2014
On of the best authors ever so really enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading more in the future
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