Top critical review
A bit too personal, even for an autobiography
5 September 2014
I have come to this book rather late having already read its sequel, The Fry Chronicles, two years ago. The Fry Chronicles, in my opinion, is a much better book and Moab Is My Washpot, a book that I had been meaning to read for years, was never going to live up to my expectations. If you have read any of Stephen Fry's other books, both fictional and autobiographical, you will know that his writing tends to drift off topic and that is especially true of this book and I found it irritating. Also irritating are the endless protestations that all was sweetness and light throughout his childhood, written alongside detailed accounts of loneliness, beatings at school and his difficult relationship with his father. The later stages of the book, from his time at Uppingham School onward, are much more interesting, which I suppose is inevitable as the recollections are bound to be clearer, and let us be honest, very few people can claim to have had an interesting childhood. Whatever you think of the frankly dreadful behaviour of the adolescent version of Stephen Fry, one cannot help but admire his honesty in recounting it in every detail. Personally, I could have done with a bit less detail in certain areas. He really holds nothing back. I hope he felt better for writing it.