Daniel Cann's Reviews > The Fry Chronicles

The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry
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Sep 12, 11

Read in April, 2011

‘Moab is My Washpot’ covered the first twenty years of Stephen Fry’s life, following on from that is ‘The Fry Chronicles’ which explores the next ten. We find him at ‘Cambridge (University) on probation and a convicted fraudster and thief, an addict, liar, fantasist and failed suicide, convinced that at any moment he would be found out and flung away.’

As Fry enthusiasts know Cambridge became a huge turning point for the celebrity we better know from ‘Blackadder’, ‘Jeeves & Wooster’, ‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’, ‘QI’, ‘Last Chance to See’ and countless other documentaries and programmes for television and radio as well as his film work. This intriguing second volume covers his formative years where he pursues acting with the Cambridge Footlights, trying his hand as a playwright, appearing at the Edinburgh Festival and taking his first tentative steps into television, radio, journalism, theatre and film.

Fry manages to keep this a compelling and humorous account of a young man finally finding his true calling. Yes he does mention fellow entertainers and actors: Step forward and take a bow Hugh Laurie (Fry’s comedy partner) and Emma Thompson, but it would be impossible to write about his early days without them.

What I really enjoyed and what should please other fans of our ‘National Treasure’ was learning about Fry’s other interests and passions: Cars, credit cards and computers (he confesses his love of computer technology since they first became available). There are also plenty of witty observations and in true Fry style searing modesty and self-deprecation. He has to be the first auto-biographer to debunk himself!

It is clear reading this that he has packed an awful lot into the decade which ‘The Fry Chronicles’ documents and fans will love stories such as the one where he and Ben Elton visited the exclusive ‘Carlton Club’ at the height of Thatcherism or the time he discovered that two of the decorators working on his house were none other than Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson before they hit the big time.

Once again Fry manages to amuse, inform and entertain and I am certain that we can expect a third volume of his life in the future.

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