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Der Lügner

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  9,640 Ratings  ·  569 Reviews
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 mu
Published October 30th 2007 by Hörbuch-Editionen (first published September 16th 1991)
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Mar 01, 2008 Martine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anglophiles and lovers of British humour
Stephen Fry ranks among my favourite persons on earth. There's something about his terribly English combination of wit, erudition and a dirty mind that never fails to delight me, and it shines brightly in The Liar, the first of the four novels he has published so far. An irreverent and intelligent take on such British institutions as the public-school novel, the Cambridge novel and the spy novel, it is best appreciated by people who have an affinity for such things, but really, anyone with a tas ...more
Dec 10, 2011 Ensiform rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Fry is a very funny comic actor, in Blackadder and the TV version of Bertie & Jeeves, among others. This debut novel concerns a young lad at a prep school, who later (or is he lying?) becomes a street prostitute and then, under the tutelage of his supremely arch and worldly mentor at Cambridge, becomes involved in an international espionage drama, which turns out to be not at all what it seems – more than once.

Although Fry writes some sharp and funny dialogue, this book never really decides
Dec 25, 2008 Rae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who says you can't read smut and improve your vocabulary at the same time? Although I'm not sure how well "bottomite" will serve at Scrabble...
Nov 05, 2015 Gearóid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took a while to get into but very funny!
Jan 26, 2010 E rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, favorites
Loved, loved, loved it! And I can see where others wouldn't.

The dialogue reads like white-water rafting. The story-telling tantalizes and satisfies like the tongue-in-cheek sex scenes (no pun intended?) that work themselves onto every third page. And the hero, Adrian, should be the sort of character I detest, the kind that ruins the whole book for me. But the near perfect collage that are his lies and truths, his desires and apathies, yanks at every sense until "smitten" sounds too gentle a desc
Oct 10, 2013 Zorena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, thriller, glbt
I find it fitting that I started my reading challenge with Mr. Fry and am closing it out with one of his books. For a debut novel this is remarkable but then again so is the man that wrote it. It is every bit as witty and charming as the man himself. Which to me reinforces the veiled autobiographical nature of it.

If you want a fun romp with a thriller basis this book is for you at least until it switches genres. Unfortunately it tries to be too many other genres at the same time but one thing it
Jr Bacdayan
Jan 23, 2013 Jr Bacdayan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Not one word of the following is true." Stephen Fry started out his book with this proclamation. I've always loved British Humor and quite frankly, I've always liked Stephen Fry so I had great expectations for this book. I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was rather quite surprised. I didn't expect it to be this good. Adrian Healey the protagonist, a modern Oscar Wilde type (who is also a compulsive liar, hence the title) is so witty, so charmingly smart (well, most of the characters are indeed ...more
Hörbuch gehört. Sehr unterhaltsam, bis ich bei der 4. CD irgendwann dachte, ich hätte eine wichtige Passage übersprungen, so wenig schien mir das plötzlich zum Rest zu passen. (Bei einem Buch hätte man die Chronologie der Kapitel anhand der Jahresangaben nochmal nachschlagen können.) Aber anbetrachts des Titels und des ersten Satzes (sinngemäß "Nichts, was hier steht, ist wahr") könnte auch das einfach eine weitere Geschichte sein. Ich ziehe ein nochmaliges Hören in Betracht, was mich nochmal in ...more
Feb 20, 2012 Filip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I hadn't read "Moab is my Washpot" before reading "The Liar", I would probably have enjoyed it more. As it is, this book now seemed to be an odd mix of two separate books: an addition to Fry's school years autobiography, and a camp espionage caper. Not unlike Oscar Wilde, the author sprinkles bon mots throughout the text. The recondite (!) vocabulary is sometimes exhilarating, sometimes tiring, typical for the "Look mama, no hands.." mentality of a new author keen to prove his virtuosity. On ...more
Love love love Stephen Fry but this one was a little hard to follow. I think I got 90% of the story but there were some very confusing bits. Even so, his writing is wonderful.
Timothy Hinkle
Part of the fun of realizing that a novel's narrator is unreliable is that the whole structure of the book becomes a puzzle—which are the bits that we ought to believe? Fry (or, I suppose, whoever the book's narrator is meant to be) insists from the beginning, however, that this is not the game that he's playing, claiming that "Not one word of the following is true."

So, what actually is the game? Is Fry aiming for a certain effect, or is this just a lazily tossed-off first novel which fails to h
Feb 02, 2011 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who aren't afraid of naughty language
After reading the unabridged version, I've decided this is one of my favorite books.
Fry stylistically jumps around in his narrative in order to add the feel of disunion with reality. Adrian, Fry's out-of-touch, flamboyant, attention-seeking miscreant of a protagonist, is one of the most wonderfully amiable and relate-able characters in modern literature, because we don't like to think he is. In one way or another, we're all like Adrian. Estranged, lonely people who just want to be /liked/. Who j
Aug 14, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This novel is so many things at once - a British public school pastiche, a coming-of-age novel, an espionage thriller, a saddening commentary on life, yet at once a manifesto for everyone who's ever felt out of the ordinary, a heart-breakingly true account of the madness of being young and in love, and so on. I adored Adrian from the first, laughed out loud about 50 % of the total time I spent reading this book (which amounts to little over five or six hours, as I ripped through it). I do think ...more
Sep 01, 2008 Trevor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, humour
I need to start by saying that I think this man is a God, which does seem to be the standard opening play in any discussion of Stephen Fry by at least one person in the room. If, in this case, that person needs to be me, well, so be it. This is his first novel and although there were parts of it that had me making the kind of snorting sounds that could all too easily have had people thinking I was suffering from a terribly debilitating illness – mostly I don’t think it worked. It pains me to say ...more
Miss Bookiverse
Sep 26, 2008 Miss Bookiverse rated it it was ok
Shelves: form-audiobook
The first half of the book deals with the protagonist's teenage years which are quite bizarre but rather interesting. After that the story turns into some weird crime-murder-something I didn't quite grasp. Also the change happened so quickly that I wondered whether I had skipped some tracks but I hadn't. So first part good, second part bleh.
Apart from that the use of words is wonderful and original, I had to marvel at quite a few sentences.
Gillian Brownlee
So, I didn't actually finish this. I love Stephen Fry, but this book was a chore. And life is too short to force yourself to finish a book when there's so many other things to read.

There were really funny moments in the half that I read, but they were all witty one liners that didn't have much to do with the plot.
Jan 07, 2017 Ann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ik hou van Stephen Fry's humor en taal. Maar dit boek vond ik geforceerd en ongeloofwaardig. Al maakt het einde veel goed. Bleek dat de stukken die ik zo ergerlijk vond ook zo bedoeld zijn. Ik had de grap niet door. Dus toch niet zo slecht.
Jan 28, 2008 Guy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fry bezit een benijdenswaardige combinatie van humor en eruditie die ik onweerstaanbaar vind. Het is een combinatie die voor mij het meest tot uiting komt buiten zijn rol als acteur/komiek en auteur. Begin jaren negentig was ik fan van A Bit Of Fry And Laurie en ik pikte graag een aflevering van Blackadder mee, maar ik vind hem nog boeiender in zijn recentere uitstappen, zoals de documentaires The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive en HIV and Me (toevallig deze week op tv). Het leukste en ontsp ...more
Sep 15, 2016 Maud rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars.

This book was just too confusing. We go from schoolboys to spies to schoolboys to prostitutes to professors to spies to little boys that won't grow up?

I don't feel as if there is a point with this book. During the beginning it reminded me a bit of The Catcher in the Rye. This made me apprehensive since I did not like that book at all. We had Adrian, who is this nasty main character who is having some trouble with his sexuality. In between there are these weird chapters written with pe
Steve Mitchell
Jul 25, 2011 Steve Mitchell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adrian Healy is a chronic liar. You can always tell when he is lying by the simple fact that his lips are moving. We follow Healy’s exploits through private school where toast and buggery are the order of the day culminating in an underground magazine and expulsion. Following this disgrace he finds himself in Piccadilly turning tricks as a rent boy and being caught by the police with enough Bolivian Marching Powder to see him safely incarcerated at Her Majesty’s pleasure for a couple of years. F ...more
Dimitrije Vojnov
Pročitao sam debitantski roman Stivena Fraja LAŽLJIVAC. Iako sam znao da je Fraj višestruko talentovan umetnik, iskreno me je iznenadila njegova prozna veština koja je imala dosta koristi od njegovih širokih interesovanja i prepoznatljivog smisla za humor. Ovaj roman iz 1991. godine sigurno je shvaćen kao najava velikog literarnog dara. Reč je o pikarskom romanu sa jakim postmodernim slojevima u pogledu izraza, iako se na kraju, kada se sklope svi elementi ovog strukturalno složenog dela ipak ra ...more
Jun 30, 2013 BrokenTune rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
(Review first posted on Booklikes - .)

This is such a first novel. It has all the aspiration of a first novel, complete with an author who can write - and we KNOW he can write.

Unfortunately, the main character of this one - Adrian - is a bit of a bore, who lives up to every imaginable cliche associated with a public school boy, and the plot of The Liar only serves to confirm Adrian's lack of ingenuity. But that of course is the point. Adrian has to be a f
Okay, I am not sure who to rate this one.

I really LIKE Stephen Fry as a person and actor and I find his writing very amusing and pleasant to read. But this story? I do not know. It seemed like in the middle of the book he just switched the plot - from the story of the main character, Adrien, his childhood and adolescence and what he had been up to, his sexuality and adventures with other guys.. to some criminal espionage story. That was weird, and as I am not a big fan of espionage plots, I did
Sep 16, 2011 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-other
I wish I could give 3.5 stars on this thing. I suppose it's closer to 4 than 3, but I'd like the option. Honestly, I don't think I could tell you what this book was about. It certainly has a plot, but much of the time I wasn't sure exactly where I was chronologically, geographically, or truth-versus-lie-ally.

I kind of feel like it's not the plot you're supposed to be into here. What I loved were the chuckle out-loud one liners and the loveable characters. I enjoyed Adrian's waffling between trut
Jenn Thorson
Technically, I did not finish this book; I waved the white flag and surrendered. I'm not certain if my problem was the book or me. My sense is that it was a little of both. While Fry is intelligent and witty, I felt like the book was based so thoroughly on scenes from perhaps Fry's own life that it made it almost impossible to give the plot any kind of real progress or momentum. Picking the book up and putting it down again for even a short time made it hard to remember what had been accomplishe ...more
Apr 19, 2010 Bournemouth_book_club rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Bournemouth_book_club by: book club member
Shelves: blue
I read this for my book club. I have yet to hear what the rest of the group feel. This was just my personal experience.

I was expecting more. The plot never seemed to develop in a way I would find pleasing or satisfying. It chopped and turned quite a lot - jumping between time periods, between characters and there was so much dialogue it was often hard to understand who was talking and when.

I was expecting the plot to develop and thicken, and then create a more crashing climax. Instead I felt th
Jasmine Woods
Aug 18, 2013 Jasmine Woods rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would really love to describe this book as a sort of mad cross between Kurt Vonnegut and Enid Blyton but that would be doing it a dreadful mis-service, partly because those sort of descriptions are incredibly lazy but also because it doesn't quite do it justice. But it does somehow manage to combine Vonnegut's over-blown, almost genre plotlines and his non-linear approach to story-telling within Blyton's public school setting. There were two serious mis-steps for me, one was that parts of the ...more
Dec 03, 2014 Davy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love Stephen Fry as an actor, whether it's in Blackadder, QI, Fry&Laurie or Kingdom ... but as an author, I'm far less fond of him so it seems. Or maybe it's just this book that I don't really like.

The entire book was simply too confusing for me. Hard to keep track of with all the jumping around in the timeline of the main protagonist's life. Plus, every so often there's an intermezzo between chapters where the characters are named after the clothes they are wearing. And as far
Jun 01, 2015 Eliza rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This is a weird book. Stephen Fry is a genius. His autobiographies are great and he is a wizard with words. His humour is also great. But I do not think his novels are for me. I have to admit that I knew this book was partly based on his own life, so that might have coloured my reading of it.

I think the book could have been so much more. It could have been a great coming of age story. Instead it seems to lack coherence. I have to admit the ending was original, but it seems a plot filler instead
THE LIAR. (1991). Stephen Fry. ***.
This was Fry’s first novel, and one which became a best-seller in England. How well it sold in this country I’m not sure. It is set within a university, and focuses on one of its students – one whom was described as too smart to teach. The novel comes off as sophomoric, with lots of “nod, nod…wink, wink” scenes. Fry was, after all, a comedian of radio and film fame. After about a hundred pages, I stopped. It became boring. The jokes were stale and the character
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The Backlot Gay B...: Stephen Fry's "The Liar" 1 11 Jan 12, 2015 03:40PM  
the use of bad language.. is it acceptable 5 36 Nov 04, 2013 04:28PM  
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Stephen John Fry is an English comedian, writer, actor, humourist, novelist, poet, columnist, filmmaker, television personality and technophile. As one half of the Fry and Laurie double act with his comedy partner, Hugh Laurie, he has appeared in A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. He is also famous for his roles in Blackadder and Wilde, and as the host of QI. In addition to writing fo ...more
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“My first meeting with you only confirmed what I first suspected. You are a fraud, a charlatan and a shyster. My favourite kind of person, in fact.” 32 likes
“I think Eros should be dirty. In Greek legend, as I'm sure you are aware, he fell in love with the minor deity Psyche. It was the Greek way of saying that, in spite of what it may believe, Love pursues the Soul, not the body; the Erotic desires the Psychic. If Love was clean and wholesome he wouldn't lust after Psyche.” 30 likes
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