I'm an absolute sucker for Stephen Fry. I think he is witty, intelligent and probably one of the wisest men on earth. Thus, I am willing to admit, I w...moreI'm an absolute sucker for Stephen Fry. I think he is witty, intelligent and probably one of the wisest men on earth. Thus, I am willing to admit, I was biased towards this book from the outset. Like it's predecessor, Stephen Fry's second autobiography is a rambling account of his views as much as his life. Fry himself admits, that when he could use 10 words, he uses a thousand, but I enjoy that. I love his exquisite use of vocabulary. Detailing his Cambridge years and early comedy career, this book is far less tantalising and scandalous than Moab is My Washpot, but remains interesting all the same. Somewhere between the end of Moab, and the early stages of the Fry Chronicles, Fry has gone a remarkable translation from basically "a little shit" (let's make no bones about it), to an incredibly hardworking, almost poncey Cambridge scholar. I'm not entirely convinced that either book adequately explains what caused such a radical transformation, but I guess these things are often inexplicable, even to the person themselves.
As an avid Fry fan I thoroughly enjoyed his latest Chronicles. He possesses incredible insight and an uncanny ability to express so eloquently what we are all thinking. He is humble and, despite his fame, fortune and genius like intelligence seems remarkably endearing. His writing seems indicative of a man who is appreciative of his own luck, but also ruefully aware of his own shortcomings. However, if wordy ramblings, and action packed plots are your thing, this book may not necessarily be for you. The text ends with one agonisingly aggravating line, which leaves me to think that The Fry Chronicles is the proverbial "eye of the storm" in Fry's hurricane life.
I'm staying tuned for the next installment. (less)
In this book Stephen Fry is at his absolute best. Witty, insightful, incredibly intelligent, personable, and, as other reviewers have mentioned, disar...moreIn this book Stephen Fry is at his absolute best. Witty, insightful, incredibly intelligent, personable, and, as other reviewers have mentioned, disarmingly honest. The book meanders, yes, but this never detracts from the quality of the book- rather, serves to provide incredible insight into so many important issues. Fry has an amazing sense of self-understanding and while, at some stages of the book I found his actions shocking, and quite disconcerting, I found that I could relate exactly to many of his thoughts and experiences. This book revealed the depth and complex character of a man who remains surprisingly humble and highly rational despite all his achievements. This book is like one of the those wonderful and rare conversations which are extremely thought-provoking, and valuable. Conversations where people either manage to express exactly what you were thinking, or cause you to challenge your preconceptions- Fry does both.(less)