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The Fry Chronicles (Memoir #2)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  12,429 ratings  ·  874 reviews
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 pre ...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published January 19th 2012 by Overlook (Penguin) (first published January 1st 2010)
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Addie Lansdown
This was a quick read as I love Stephen Fry and have been curious about his career. His writing is lyrical, captivating and a linguistic joy to read, he has a seemingly effortless ability to conjure whirling syntax and employ endless alliterations and double rhyme scheme. The downfalls of this work were an inexcusable amount of repetition, self deprecation to the point of farce and mindless name dropping which did tend to disconnect the reader. It also would have served well to be much shorter. ...more
Robin Ganderton
"Hullo. Most awfully sorry to bother you and all that, but I'm Stephen Fry and I thought that just possibly - if you are most unutterably consumed with tedium and are simply the most heinous glutton for punishment - you might like to read my second memoir, the story of a liar, a fraud, and a fake. And a national treasure, apparently. But I'm not too sure about that last one at all."
Caroline
For me there are various Stephen Frys. The Fry of Blackadder, the Fry of Stephen Fry in America and the Fry of QI. This book seemed very much written by the Fry of QI, diffident, knowledgeable, charming - and at times a tad outrageous. This is my favourite Fry, so I was fine with that.

His original thinking and love of language fill the book with finesse and wonderfully unpredictable perspectives. His love of words rather less so. There are a few cascades and pools of words where you just have to
...more
Trevor
I didn’t like this nearly as much as I hoped I would. Look, it isn’t an awful book – it is nicely put together and is mostly interesting. I think my main problem with it is that a lot of it is about very well known people Fry knows and has worked with padded out with descriptions of shows he has been in. Some of this is interesting and even funny. A lot of it becomes a bit the same after a while. I became a bit tired of hearing about how incredibly talented or funny or talentedly funny or funnil ...more
Moira Russell
I was all set to LOVE this book, and then it ends right before he takes his first hit of cocaine -- just stops. I guess he felt the book was long enough, or it would take 2 or 3 times its length to get into his drug abuse (after all the time he devoted to sugar), or he didn't want to go into it all.....but God, it ends so unceremoniously. That's really disappointing.

That said, the book is pretty amazing -- everyone told me it's not as good as Moab is My Washpot, and no, it's not, but there are s
...more
Jinny Chung
I am a Fryophile. The first half of this is perfect! --Until he begins to mercilessly name-drop (moar liek name-bomb). A note to Stephen: we don't care about them. We care about YOU.

“I am sure that I am right in locating my first addiction here. Sugar Puffs were the starting link in a chain that would shackle me for most of my life. To begin with, as you might imagine, they were a breakfast habit. But soon I was snacking on them at any time of day until my mother began to sigh at the number of p
...more
Tania
Didn't finish and had no desire to. I enjoyed Fry's previous volume of autobiography - Moab My Washpot - although I appreciate that this book was more of a delving into his adult years, it just wasn't anywhere near as entertaining. I was gripped during his narration of his time at Cambridge and was incredibly thrilled by the first appearances of Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie and a bunch of other famous names, however I lost interest the minute he became a professional - name dropping is fine and ...more
Lucy
At first I thought I was going to adore this biography. The opening chapter started with a caveat that is extremely close to my heart "in every particular I fail Strunk's Elements of Style or any other manual of 'good writing'. If a thing can be said in ten words, I may be relied upon to take a hundred to say it... I love words and whilst I am fond of the condensed and economical use of them in poetry, in song lyrics, in Twitter, in good journalism and smart advertising, I love the luxuriant pro ...more
James
Sep 30, 2012 James rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Fry
It is a rare individual who warrants multiple volumes of autobiography – Stephen Fry joins the heady society of Russell Brand and Chris Moyles in such a belief. Whereas Moab is My Washpot covers his childhood years – growing up, family life, schools, getting thrown out of schools, and ending up in prison – The Fry Chronicles tells of the later years – teaching, Cambridge, drama clubs, relationships, The Fringe, and so on, through to his success as playwright, columnist, actor and comedian.

Th
...more
Caroline
STEPHEN Fry is that person I manage to always see on TV or making an appearance in a movie. I never quite knew what it was about him that made him so likeable but there was definitely something there. I was on holiday with my family and had 'absolutely nothing' to read. A trip to the bookstore later and ‘The Fry Chronicles’ was mine.
I didn’t realise until well after finishing the book that there was one before it called ‘Moab is my Washpot’. Fortunately for me (and for any reader) this books sta
...more
John Braine
A quote that's been regurgitated again and again this year is the most arrogant and smug thing I've read this year year, that Stephen Fry is "A stupid person’s idea of what an intelligent person looks like". I can't ever recall anyone regarding him with genius status. He's well learned and quite knowledgeable. Someone with a thirst for knowledge and a great memory. Yes, of course that doesn't equate to intelligence, but why be so arrogant about it?

There's a lot of Fry Haters out there. I guess
...more
Emily Crowe
Let's just say that if I weren't happily married, and if Stephen Fry weren't happily gay, I'm pretty sure we'd be soulmates.
Sam
I loved this, the second installment in Fry's quest to document his life, loves and complete mishaps. Stephen is brutally, unashamedly and occasionally ashamedly honest about his time at Cambridge and his initial forays into the world of comedy writing and performing. While this period does not have quite the same instensity as his first book it still has plenty of moments where you can't help but go 'Oh Stephen, really?' He is one of the few writers whose voices I can imagine as I read, which s ...more
David Brown
If you live in the UK it is highly likely that at some point you will have come across one our most treasured sons – Stephen Fry. Where do you start with him? Comedian, writer of fiction and non-fiction, quiz show host, blogger, radio, television, films, audio books, you’re probably starting to get the message that he does a lot. With such notable credits as Blackadder, Kingdom (2007-9), A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1987-95) on television and Wilde (1997), Gosford Park (2001) and V For Vendetta (200 ...more
Alan
Apr 23, 2012 Alan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anglophiles and suchlike folk
Recommended to Alan by: A passing fancy
People who are professionally funny often have very serious histories, and Stephen Fry is no exception. I hope I don't have to rehearse in too much detail here all of the funny business with which Fry has been associated—Blackadder, The Young Ones and A Bit of Fry and Laurie being three well-known titles that show up in these particular pages.

And more, of course—although most of Fry's better-known work actually comes after the mere slice through the 1980s that this volume covers, during his year
...more
Nathan
I enjoyed his first book, "Moab is my Washpot", because it's a surprise. He comes across as urbane and to the manor born, but he had a wild discontented youth and the incongruity (combined with his ruthless self-honesty) makes for a great read. This book, which covers his university years and ends at the end of the 80s, is less incongruous. To be blunt, life was great: he found his niche, he made good friends, he worked everywhere on everything, and he became fairly famous. It's not exactly the ...more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
I enjoyed this autobiography and although it is quite thick, I got through it pretty quickly. I've always liked Fry due to his openness about his past issues - particularly those concerning his adolescence and so 'Moab is My Washpot' would be a better read to learn more about that. However, this book documents his 'adulthood' and I found it very interesting. I wouldn't normally enjoy reading about someone's experiences going through university or reading about an acting career, but thanks to Fry ...more
Rodrigo Acuna
"Monolog disguised as an excellent conversation "
A very entertaining book, with some real insights into british society or educational privilege and the consequences on individuals, in this case mostly positive. Also a lesson why those early networks will help the talented excel in their chosen professions.
This is monolog disguised as conversation intending to be an autobiography ; do not expect chronology, it works most of the time because Stephen Fry is a very charming man that can also write
...more
Sonja Arlow

“Information is all around us, now more than ever before in human history. You barely have to stir or incommode yourself to find things out. The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriosity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.”

Ever since the first time I saw a QI episode I have been in complete awe of this man’s immense vocabulary and general knowledge. The fact that he narrated this audio book made it almost feel as if he
...more
T. Edmund
I understand that this is the second biographical account of Mr Fry. Moab is my Washpot covered the first 20 years of his life and published in 1997. while I can understand the logic of producing a 'developing years' biography, then penning the rest later on I'm not sure why Fry has to go all The Hobbit on us with his life's tale.

Frustrations with the conclusion of this piece aside - what is it actually like?

Well to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure.

The book starts with an apology for being apol
...more
Minna
Mar 15, 2012 Minna rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy reading (auto)biographies, Fry&Laurie-fans
Shelves: biography, owned
I read Moab is My Washpot and found it interesting, so I thought I'd really like this one. I was wrong. I'm not at all sure if I liked or even enjoyed this book. I wanted to because I really like Stephen Fry, but it was at times painful to read.

Firstly, autobiographies are morally tricky for me to read. I always as if I'm opening up another person's secret diary and I can't help but to shudder and feel ashamed for reading it. I really like Fry, but some things I didn't want to know. And it's no
...more
Wendy
A little background before the actual review:

This book was, for quite a while, my personal Holy Grail. I sought in every new bookstore, used bookstore, book-swap (both in-person and online), and even actually ordered it online, only to have the order cancelled when the site sheepishly admitted they couldn't find it. I tried to find it in e-book format, despite some lingering prejudice against the medium I can't seem to excise from myself (even when all good sense would point to it being a positi
...more
Huw Rhys
Oh dear - I looked forward to this book, and if ever I was convinced I'd enjoy a book before starting to read it, this was the book.

Every one of Stephen Fry's previous books - factual and fictional - have been a joy to read. I'm also a massive Stephen Fry fan, so this really was going to be my reading highlight of the year.

As with many things in life, the anticipation was the most exciting and rewarding part of the journey.

For once, Stephen Fry let me down. The whole book started off badly - an
...more
E
Oh, Stephen. I wanted to like it, love it, adore it. I really did. His essays, columns, novels, and arguments are always brilliantly concise, laconic, and profound. But make him sit at the other end of the microscope and all the wit and conviction for which I adore Stephen Fry is displaced by the rambling streams of consciousness I first encountered in MOAB IS MY WASHPOT. The book is part sugary sweet awards-acceptance-speech, buckling under the weight of dropped names, and part therapy session, ...more
Naomi V
so here's the thing. i'm in London. i love London, i really do. and i love bookstores. so i go to a bookstore in London (um, actually several) and this book is everywhere. and i like Stephen Fry. so there ya go. came home with this book. (and, if i have to be honest, a couple -- er, okay, a few more.)

this particular book covers the period from around the time he went to Cambridge and his early career. it ends before the career that i'm familiar with starts -- i.e. Laurie & Fry, Jeeves &
...more
Blysse
I am very surprised and slightly disappointed to be giving this book a 1 star review ( really, it should have been a zero star review).

I had read Moab is my Washpot and loved it. I like Fry's forays into comic writing and acting on British television.

But I found reading this book an extremely aversive experience- so much so that I barely finished it. Fry descends into the sort of verbose narcissism that is hard work to enjoy.

If I were to summarise my review a la Fry it would read as follows:

'H
...more
Matt Pengilley
If Stephen Fry were to sell copy he had written for toilet paper, then I would probably buy it.
B the BookAddict


Bless my sister for giving me this book. I loved it from cover to cover; I could hear Fry telling me his story out loud (even though this was not an audio book).

Stephen Fry had led the most interesting, funny, unexpected and inspiring life that all I can say is read this. Told in Fry's usual witty, droll and self-effacing manner but also with a somewhat painful honesty, it's a great story that kept me hooked because I just couldn't get enough. I am headed off to the bookstore to hunt down the ne
...more
Nicole Field
This book was incredibly Stephen, and by that I mean incredibly witty and funny and truthful and self-deprecating. I gave myself the treat of listening to this book on audio once I found that he would be the one reading it, but I don't know that reading it myself would have lessened the tone of Stephen's words at all. They are all just so like him.

This is a book that documents just Stephen's 20s, from the time he gets out of jail to the point where he can certainly say that he 'has made it' wit
...more
Rhiannon Hart
Loved the Cambridge Footlights parts, the Hugh Laurie parts, the Blackadder parts and the inner-workings-of-my-psyche parts ... the first two times at least. Didn't enjoy the Broadway stuff, but that's just me, or the maudlin repetitiveness of some of the psyche stuff, and I especially didn't like the heart-plummeting way it ended. What a downer. Interesting man, though, and I love his work in general.
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The Fry Chronicles 4 88 Sep 15, 2014 03:32PM  
  • Back Story
  • Diaries: The Python Years, 1969-1979 (Palin Diaries, #1)
  • Anything Goes: The Autobiography
  • Dear Fatty
  • Look Back In Hunger
  • David Attenborough's Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster
  • The Elephant to Hollywood
  • At My Mother's Knee...: and other low joints
  • I Am What I Am
  • Mrs Fry's Diary
  • My Animals and Other Family
  • Life & Laughing: My Story
  • On the Edge
  • Small Man in a Book
  • Mussolini: His Part In My Downfall  (War Memoirs, #4)
  • The Pythons Autobiography by The Pythons
  • Tickling the English
  • Memoirs Of A Fruitcake
10917
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
More about Stephen Fry...

Other Books in the Series

Memoir (3 books)
  • Moab is my Washpot
  • More Fool Me
Moab is my Washpot The Liar Making History The Hippopotamus Stephen Fry in America

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“The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriousity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.” 387 likes
“I will defend the absolute value of Mozart over Miley Cyrus, of course I will, but we should be wary of false dichotomies. You do not have to choose between one or the other. You can have both. The human cultural jungle should be as varied and plural as the Amazonian rainforest. We are all richer for biodiversity. We may decide that a puma is worth more to us than a caterpillar, but surely we can agree that the habitat is all the better for being able to sustain each.” 167 likes
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