Tag Archives: stephen Fry

Deals of the Moment- April 2019


Every month amazon has a set of kindle monthly deals. Whenever there are deals of interest I post on here. Links are associate links but money goes back into the blog.

So I’m going to briefly talk about the books I’ve read which are on offer, and those that I have bought myself. Why I liked them/bought them, and what they are about. End links are to the amazon page, any other links are to my reviews.

Please note prices are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.

The 8th gen. kindle is also currently on offer for £49.99

and the Paperwhite for £99.99


Grief is the Thing With Feathers- Max Porter

Is a strange, sad, and beautiful book about a family comforted by a crow after the death of their mother/wife.

Buy it for just £2.59



The House at Riverton- Kate Morton

The Story surrounding the suicide of a poet and family secrets. An engaging mystery which I really enjoyed

You can buy it…here (only £0.99)



Moab is my Washpot- Stephen Fry

The first of Stephen Fry’s autobiographies detailing his childhood years. I love Fry’s wit and comedy so this was a really enjoyable one for me, although I possibly prefer his second.

Buy here (only £0.99) 



Oddjobs- Heide Goody and Iain Grant

The government knows the apocalypse is coming, but they want it to go smoothly. That’s why they set up an agency for it.

This is a funny book with its share of excitement. Plus it’s set in Birmingham, which is always a plus!

You can buy it…here (only £0.99)


Like Water for Chocolate- Laura Esquivel

I remember very little about ‘Like Water for Chocolate’ except that it was strange, about love, and had recipes in it. I must have enjoyed it though because I still have it even after my move

Buy it…here (only £1.99)


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More Fool Me- Stephen Fry


Synopsis (from amazon)

In his early thirties, Stephen Fry – writer, comedian, star of stage and screen – had, as they say, ‘made it’. Much loved in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster, author of a critically acclaimed and bestselling first novel, The Liar, with a glamorous and glittering cast of friends, he had more work than was perhaps good for him.
What could possibly go wrong?
Then, as the 80s drew to a close, he discovered a most enjoyable way to burn the candle at both ends, and took to excess like a duck to breadcrumbs. Writing and recording by day, and haunting a never ending series of celebrity parties, drinking dens, and poker games by night, in a ludicrous and impressive act of bravado, he fooled all those except the very closest to him, some of whom were most enjoyably engaged in the same dance.
He was – to all intents and purposes – a high functioning addict. Blazing brightly and partying wildly as the 80s turned to the 90s, AIDS became an epidemic and politics turned really nasty, he was so busy, so distracted by the high life, that he could hardly see the inevitable, headlong tumble that must surely follow . . .

Review

Having enjoyed Moab is my Washpot and The Fry Chronicles I was rather looking forward to reading the latest instalment of Stephen Fry’s memoirs. Plus The Fry Chronicles had ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger with Stephen taking his first snort of cocaine, which suggested we could expect some excitement.

Unfortunately More Fool Me really didn’t capitalise on those promises, and I found myself rather disappointed.

The first 60 or so pages were a re-cap of Moab is my Washpot and The Fry Chronicles. Fine if you haven’t read either, or if you have the memory of a sieve. I started off reading them thinking that it had been a long time since I read Moab is my Washpot. Turned out I didn’t need such a detailed recap. I got bored around about 20 pages in and spent the rest of the time flicking through just reading a sentence or a paragraph here and there to see if I had forgotten anything, I hadn’t.

The next few pages were probably the best bit of the book. They showed the sort of wit that I would have expected from Stephen Fry, and a certain amount of self-criticism. He told a little of his early drug taking days and explained what attraction cocaine held for him. He promised that by the end of the book we would understand why taking cocaine was such a mistake.

I was really getting into the book when I find the section ended and a new section began, ‘The Diary’.

What followed was basically a copy of his diary for a few months during this time, with the occasional footnote to explain. There are no other words for it, it was dull. There was next to no introspection. It was written as you would write a diary to yourself, semi-note form, no great prose or witty remarks. A lot of the time it seemed to be lists of names and places, and ‘got drunk’ ‘took coke’ type references. There were a few more detailed and interesting entries, which were mainly when he was writing The Hippopotamus, and not doing drugs- maybe that was what he meant by we would know why it was bad- there wasn’t anything else which suggested anything really negative.

Half the time I couldn’t follow who all the people were, they were often refereed to by just first name, which might be fine in terms of Stephen reading his diary ut how was a reader expected to remember after just one explanation who everyone was?

All I really got out of it was an addition of The Hippopotamus on my wishlist.

Skip this one, Moab and The Fry Chronicles are worth reading, this one, not so much.

2/5

Buy it:

Hardback (£11.00)

Kindle (£12.89)

Paperback- pre-order (£7.19)

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Filed under Biography, Memoir, non-fiction review

The Fry Chronicles- Stephen Fry


Image from Amazon

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Thirteen years ago, Moab is my Washpot, Stephen Fry’s autobiography of his early years, was published to rave reviews and was a huge bestseller. In those thirteen years since, Stephen Fry has moved into a completely new stratosphere, both as a public figure, and a private man. Now he is not just a multi-award-winning comedian and actor, but also an author, director and presenter. In January 2010, he was awarded the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards. Much loved by the public and his peers, Stephen Fry is one of the most influential cultural forces in the country. This dazzling memoir promises to be a courageously frank, honest and poignant read. It will detail some of the most turbulent and least well known years of his life with writing that will excite you, make you laugh uproariously, move you, inform you and, above all, surprise you.

Review

As far as an autobiography of Stephen Fry is concerned Moab is My Washpot (which is about his life before he became famous) had really quite surprised me, I don’t pretend to know a lot about Stephen Fry. Just that I love watching him on television and think he is generally pretty awesome. Having read the first autobiography I had less expectations of this one in a way, I didn’t expect it to be at all predictable because in the first book his life seemed to differ so much from what was suggested by his television persona.

In terms of what I would expect from Fry this was a little more what I had expected than the first book. You could certainly see parts of who he seems to be now coming out. In some ways it seemed a little self-obsessed (but can one really write an autobiography without it being a little self-obsessed?). I never really got the idea that he was elevating himself, if anything he was quite humble and even at times would tell himself off for being a little self-obsessed (which never seemed like he was pretending, more like he couldn’t understand why people would be interested). All the way through there was a certain level of disbelief that he had become famous. It was obvious he didn’t feel he deserved it, and from what he said in his more present voice he seemed still not to quite believe how lucky he has been. In a way this was the element of the book which most surprised me.

On adding this book to goodreads I had a quick flick through the (spoiler free) reviews (it’s something I often do, just reading the first few lines of each review to get a general picture of how people found the book). I happened to catch sight of a review which suggested that the book was a bit to name-droppy (and no that isn’t a real word, I don’t care). This did cause me a bit of worry. I’m not one of those people who is really into celebrity culture (I think I am right in saying that this is the one celebrity biography I have read). However I don’t think I needed to be worried. There were maybe a few name-drops that were unnecessary but most of the time he mentioned people who were friends or who he had worked with, I don’t think you can really write a whole autobiography without mentioning any friends or colleges.

The descriptions of Fry’s time at Cambridge were more interesting than I had expected too although not as interesting as wen the ‘fame thing’ started.

At time it had me laughing out loud but in general I wouldn’t describe it as a comic book- still it was almost worth reading just for Hugh Laurie’s reaction to Fry buying his first Apple Mac.

Only real problem I had with it is that the way it ended made it very obvious that Fry intended to write another autobiography. Which almost forces you to read it. I mean his life isn’t over so I suppose another biography would be expected but I would like to feel I have more choice.

Oh and one more thing, there were a few points where I thought the Kindle edition might be different to the paperback. Just things which seemed to suggest you were on an e-reader. Does anyone know if there are any differences?

4/5

Buy it:

Paperback (£3.86)

Hardback (£18.99)

Kindle (£6.99)

3 Comments

Filed under Biography, non-fiction review

The Liar- Stephen Fry


This review was written 26/3/09

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Stephen Fry’s breathtakingly outrageous debut novel, by turns eccentric, shocking, brilliantly comic and achingly romantic. Adrian Healey is magnificently unprepared for the long littleness of life; unprepared too for the afternoon in Salzburg when he will witness the savage murder of a Hungarian violinist; unprepared to learn about the Mendax device; unprepared for more murders and wholly unprepared for the truth.

Review

Firstly I’ll say The Liar was not really what I expected. The way it was written was really the only thing I had expected, it was the tone you recognise from Fry, and very cleverly written. I put the book on my list based on the synopsis on Amazon, which, while not untrue doesn’t really tell you what most of the book is about. Most of the book is about Adrian’s story of his life. From an all boy’s boarding school to an undergraduate at Cambridge. It’s interesting to read about these places and Fry writes with humour, I actually laughed out loud a few times. (highlight to view spoiler) Ultimately though it is a story about lies. About the lies Adrian tells about his life, about the whole situation he gets into being a lie, and the lies he tells along the way. How much is true, none of it? You find out towards the end that some bits have been a lie, but is that itself a lie? Something has to be a lie for something else to be true surely? Or maybe it is all a lie.

It was a great book and it still has me thinking (I think I have said before that that is a good sign). Just a quick warning that there are ome sex scences and mentions of sexual activity (both gay and straight) which I think may put some people off, although the descriptions aren’t graphic they do discuss a…seedier side of sex.
4/5

Added note (added 2/11/10): There is a lot of similarity between this book and Stephen Fry’s autobiography- Moab is my Washpot. Moab is my waspot is probably a bit of an easier read but The Liar is more exciting. If you’re after an introduction to Stephen Fry’s writing I’d probably go for Moab is my Washpot over The Liar but it’s still well worth reading both.

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Filed under Contempory, Fiction review

Moab is my Washpot- Stephen Fry


Synopsis (written by me)

This is the autobiography of Stephen Fry’s first 20 years.

Review.

I really enjoyed this. It was so honest (sometimes brutally so) and unflinching. There were so many things it would have been easier for Fry to have left out, but that he included them shows a real bravery. I have always respected Stephen Fry for his intelligence, and his humour, and his way of managing to make so much sound interesting but somehow knowing he hasn’t always had it easy, and hasn’t always been the greatest person makes me respect him more. That he has gone through certain things, and has turned his whole life around. It would have been so easy to say he was young and stupid but he doesn’t try to excuse himself of anything, he knows he should have done better. I loved how he was so honest about his emotions throughout. He could have just written it as a this is what happened and made a book out of it but then I don’t think it would have been particularly special, emotion is something only an autobiography can fully do when writing about fact. At some points he went of on tangents, or even rants which lasted several pages. I suppose for some this could have been annoying but it made the book seem less manufactured to me and more like he was speaking to you. The only other of Fry’s books I have read is The Liar. I found that plot wise (if we can say an autobiography has a plot) The Liar carried along more nicely, but nobodies life is all action after all and considering that you didn’t really get bored with Moab is my Washpot. I did find this one easier to read in some ways though, they both had the same style of writing which was almost poetic, and they both had words or ideas that I found hard to grasp but I think part of what made The Liar was that it was meant to confuse whereas Moab is my Washpot was quite simple.

4.5/5

If anyone is interested I have written up a review for The Liar but wrote it before this blog started so t’s not on here. If people want to see it though I will post

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