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Paperweight

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  1,718 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
A hilarious collection of the many articles written by Stephen Fry for magazines, newspapers and radio. It includes selected wireless essays of Donald Trefusis, the ageing professor of philology brought to life in Fry's novel The Liar, and the best of Fry's weekly column for the Daily Telegraph.

Perfect to dip into but just as enjoyable to read cover to cover, this book, pe
...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published August 5th 2004 by Arrow (first published 1992)
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270th out of 898 books — 543 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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meeners
Oct 01, 2013 meeners rated it liked it
Shelves: funny
so, quite a few years ago, a friend of mine gave me a bunch of episodes of the young ones because he knew i liked british comedies. i watched the first episode - and was baffled. this show was weird, crass, loud, foul. none of the sketches made sense. everyone shouted, all the time, for what seemed like no discernable reason. was this supposed to be punk? alternative comedy? or what??

but i stuck with it, out of sheer stubbornness, and finally made it to the episode where the gang somehow ends u
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Tim Poston
Feb 11, 2015 Tim Poston rated it it was amazing
Fry is so witty that sometimes his serious points are dismissed as a joke: for instance, when he turns the 'animal rights' movement on its head, by questioning whether humans have the right to do kill animals, put them in zoos, etc.
This is a wonderful reframing of the question, but too many people will dismiss it as just a clever paradox.

Everything he says deserves not just laughter, but thought.
Nick Davies
Jan 20, 2016 Nick Davies rated it liked it
Though I got a lot of pleasure from this book - essentially a collection of Stephen Fry's newspaper columns from the late 1980s - I was also left a bit underwhelmed. Fry writes on a range of subjects, there is an interesting element of interest and prescience about some of the predictions made, how things turned out. I also got a hell of a lot of enjoyment from the author's playful use of words - very nice indeed

But it just felt a bit old in places. Repetitive in places (due to the nature of the
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Evelyn
May 20, 2016 Evelyn rated it liked it
I've long admired the work of Stephen Fry and I can relate to quite a lot of his viewpoints on the world. Paperweight is a collection of his non-fiction writings in all sorts of formats from around the late 80s; there are numerous newspaper columns he's written, radioscripts, plays and his general musings on life which cover everything from the ordinary, absurd, and the downright banal.

It's a real mixed bag and is definitely a book that needs to be dipped in and out of as Fry himself suggests. I
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Sharon
Jun 27, 2013 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of Fry's radio scripts and newspaper columns. As always he is witty, funny and observant and as always quite flamboyant in his use of vocabulary. Not as light reading as the subject matter could be (I needed a dictionary at hand!) - but as the author himself recommends digest it slowly and you'll find plenty to enjoy.
Saoirse Sterling
[Quick review from memory until I re-read and re-review at a later date:

A collection of stuff he's written i.e columns etc? Not particularly exiting and I don't recall what his writing style is like, but c'mon it's Frymo]
Lara Ramos
Dec 02, 2016 Lara Ramos rated it really liked it
Somente o segundo audiobook que ouvi na vida, sinto como se tivesse tirado a sorte grande, porque agora é impossível imaginar como diabos poderia consumir esse livro sem ser pela voz de Stephen me embalando pelas orações gigantescas e sotaques e onomatopéias descrições de Londres nos final dos anos 80 e tantas outras coisas triviais (algumas até bizarras) que ele faz ficar charmosas.
Sam Denney
Mar 21, 2012 Sam Denney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Stephen Fry, toilet readers
A lovely collection of Stephen Fry's various writings; piece after piece, mostly monologues, reviews and old newspaper columns, with a short story and a play thrown in for good measure. Most of the selections are 3 or 4 pages long, perfect little morsels usually tied around a particular idea or event. With such a wide selection of material, it's reasonable to expect a few duds to slip through. In fact, I was surprised by how little of the book felt like filler. Great writing or simple good ...more
Karen
Feb 19, 2012 Karen rated it liked it
"We live in dangerous, uncertain times. Dame War, her mean, pinched features cracking into a ghastly smile, threatens to enGulf us in a molten river of desolation and ruin ... That surly footpad, Recession, rubs his brutal blue beard-line threateningly between finger and thumb and leers down with grim delight at the prospect of poverty, squalor and homelessness. At such a time it's good to know that people are coming up with television advertisements for Carefree Panty-Shields and Intimate ...more
Dave Fellows
Jan 18, 2016 Dave Fellows rated it it was amazing
5/5 stars. Dog-eared as this book became by the end of the ten months or more that it took me to read, it was no less enjoyable for that. It's nice to have something not too long (but not too short!) to read in the bathroom, or when you fancy a quick read before going to sleep but realise that the next section of the novel that you're currently reading is more than fifty pages long. "Read the toothpaste box, then," you might say, "if all you want is something short to read." Good point, but the ...more
N.J.
Apr 13, 2011 N.J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of Fry's writing in various forms, from radio scripts to columns in The Spectator and Telegraph.
Whilst some of it seems dated nowadays, it is still a superb account of the period before Fry became the 'Prince of Twitter', and contains some wonderful, intelligent pieces on anything from Wimbledon to masturbation. For me though, it is when Fry's gaze turns to the art of word-craft that this book becomes most enjoyable.
Unseemly as it may be, this has been the only permanent feature of
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Thomas Strömquist
"In the foreword, the author himself advices us that this is not a book to be read cover to cover, but rather to dip into from time to time. This is very good advice, and I do not think I would have liked it as much if I had tried to go about it in the first mentioned fashion. A collection of radio transcripts, articles and various other writings, it is a dense and wast collection. The earliest stuff breathes of Monty Python/early Woody Allen writing, but all has the Fry taste that we love. I ...more
M. Chandler
Aug 07, 2010 M. Chandler rated it liked it
While I truly enjoyed reading this book, I closed it knowing that I would never feel the urge to read it again. (Unlike most of Mr. Fry's other books, which I keep around like a circle of old friends.) It is indeed a dense and somewhat-dated read, and as an American of a certain age, I found it difficult to engage with, in spots.

If I were a Briton of a different certain age, it might be an entirely different story. Of course, if I were a Briton of a different certain age, most things would be an
...more
Robert
Dec 04, 2009 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
A handsome volume of Stephen Fry's journalism from the eighties (and nineties? I forget.) My only beef is that a lot of the columns concern topics that, as an American living in 2009, aren't at all relevant. I found myself reading this book for the sake of Stephen's prose, not because the content particularly engaged me. I skipped the Trefusis columns entirely. Overall, though, it's a book I'm not sorry to have read. Stephen delivers every time.
Ben
Dec 13, 2010 Ben rated it liked it
A book compiled from various sources of Stephen Fry's articles or radio appearences.
read in a pick and choose style not start to finsh.
the short Sherlock Holmes story he has written and is included, is very much in the spirit of the origional A C D stories and tho brief is quiet good! more of this please!
Marilyn
Mar 07, 2009 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tamara Marshall, Holly Sears
I have really loved some of the insights from this book. Some things are a little too far to the left, as far as I am concerned. He has a problem with organized religion, but otherwise it has been hilarious at times, and extremely thought provoking at others. He admits that most of the chapters are short enough to be read in the bathroom, depending on the "health of one's bowels" (!)
Celia Powell
Jan 20, 2008 Celia Powell rated it it was ok
Ah, I'm not sure if I'm ever going to finish this - it's a bit of a mish-mash of columns and random audio stuff. I think some of the humour is a bit linked to the time and society, and therefore lost on me.

***

Nope, didn't end up finishing it - racked up some late fines at the library, and ending up returning it while about halfway through.
Mark Nenadov
Jun 08, 2015 Mark Nenadov rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
This book was underwhelming. I expected so much more. There were great moments, especially in the first half. The second half was limp, only propped up by the excellent Donald Trufusis postcard pieces. They were what kept me going through the last half and most of this three star rating is due to them.
Alex Parsons
Aug 06, 2011 Alex Parsons rated it really liked it
A highly amusing collection of Stephen Fry's whimsical musings for newspapers during the 1980's. I read it in fits and starts around other things over the course of several months much as the introductory note advises. I feel this negated over-familiarity with the material and kept it interesting given that there is no overarching narrative driving the 450+ pages.
Tim
Feb 24, 2008 Tim rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes some intelligent reading
Recommended to Tim by: Me!
Brilliant writing style in his pieces for the Listener and other publications, witty, well informed and startlingly thought-provoking.
The radio transcripts are a little less accessible, but still absolutely excellent. He even includes a play he wrote aged about 22, which is superb and really quite original - best seen live I'm sure though, of course.

A quite fantastic book.
Wendy
Geez, Stephen Fry. Bein' all smart, leaving me nothing to say.

I guess I can say that I don't always agree with everything he says. But that's okay. Diversity makes the world go 'round, and stuff.

I enjoyed most of it. Some of it I didn't, but mostly yes.
Becca
Feb 10, 2009 Becca rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008, brit-tv, non-fiction
It took me a long time to get through this book, partially because I was only reading it while at lunch at work, but mostly because Stephen Fry is a very verbose writer. All the articles were good, though, and the play a bit odd.
Caroline
This is a "pick it up, put it down" kind of book... a collection of essays, articles and transcripts on a wide variety of topics. I enjoyed it - Stephen is always impressive in his command of english, and his eloquence when passionate. But I like "Moab" a lot more, to be honest.
Karky
Dec 28, 2010 Karky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He touches upon a few subjects that are very important to me. Namely the injustices of society when labeling something 'unpatriotic' or the hypocrisy of 'family values', but at the same time he somehow manages to restore my faith in the general good in people.
Gunter
Apr 02, 2009 Gunter rated it really liked it
Hilarisch. Afijn: voor de liefhebbers natuurlijk... Stephen Fry op zijn erudiete best - om mee te lachen dus.
Victoria Walton
Sep 15, 2009 Victoria Walton rated it it was amazing
Very, very, VERY funny. Especially the line, "I must now go and visit my chiropractor, my back and buttocks have been giving me problems and he leaves no stern untoned". Extremely witty.
Sarah
Jan 20, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, memoir, essays
A wonderful collection from a person who in my estimation is one of the most brilliant contemporaries today.
Jake
Sep 11, 2011 Jake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing collection of his articles and short essays. The play 'Latin!' at the end was very good too.
Mohammed Al-bulushi
Apr 28, 2014 Mohammed Al-bulushi rated it really liked it
This is a collection of essays by Fry with his usual wordplay and puns. The bits with Donald Trefusis are amusing :)
Torben
Habe ich aufgegeben. Ich liebe Stephen Fry, aber hier fehlt mir etwas der Background und die Relevanz der Stories. In ein paar Jahren versuche ich es mal wieder... Mit mehr Lebenserfahrung. ;)
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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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“If I had a large amount of money I should certainly found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases and yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears.” 266 likes
“Parent power is not a sign of democracy, it is a sign of barbarism. We are to regard education as a service industry, like a laundry, parents are the customers, teachers the washers, children the dirty linen. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. And what in the name of boiling hell do parents know about education? How many educated people are there in the world? I could name seventeen or eighteen.” 15 likes
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