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The Fry Chronicles

(Memoir #2)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  17,772 ratings  ·  1,094 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 best seller. In the 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 presenter.
Hardcover, 438 pages
Published 2010 by Michael Joseph
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Addie Lansdown
Jan 02, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Ms. Smartarse
If there is ever someone who can make me "swoon" by reading the phone book, it's Stephen Fry. Because when he does, you are damn well getting a show. And that's about the main reason for the high rating of this book.

Had I tried to read this book, as opposed to listening to it, there's a high possibility I would've dropped it half-way through. As terrible as it may sound, I was dreadfully bored throughout most of the experience.


Luckily for the author, his reading/acting voice makes everything
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir-bio
"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."
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
‘The Fry Chronicles’ (2010) is the second of Stephen Fry’s autobiographies – being preceded by ‘Moab is my Washpot’ (1997) and succeeded by ‘More Fool Me: A Memoir’ (2014) – neither of which I have read; similarly I have not yet embarked on any of Fry’s novels. Starting this autobiography, I was aware of the commercial success and critical acclaim heaped upon both Fry’s autobiographies as well as his works of fiction.

‘Fry Chronicles’ charts Fry’s progress over a seven year period leading up to
Nov 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, humour
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 ...more
Paul E. Morph
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another volume of entertaining and illuminating autobiography from Mr. Fry. The only reason I haven't given this five stars is because it goes over some of the same ground as the first volume; the repetition of one anecdote in particular seeming very odd.
Jinny Chung
Sep 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 22, 2011 rated it liked it
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.

Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, non-fiction
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 ...more
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
Dec 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Joey Woolfardis
Ah, Stephen. A 5 star man, 1-5 star anecdotes with 5 star humour. 5 stars for the veneration of Alan Bennett (55 stars?) and another 5 stars for including stories about him. 1 star for being a relentless twat, but 5 stars for being someone whom I love enough to forgive such a thing. 3 stars overall because there wasn't enough Alan Bennett. No, I jest. It just seemed an awful lot of pages just for 10 or so years. Even if there were chocka full to the brim of, well, EVERYTHING.

Full review to
Emily Crowe
Sep 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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.
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rate this book 666 stars!

This book saved my life. It brought me out of a state of deep despair and anger.

I won't quote anything because there are too many choice titbits to share and you deserve the pleasure of discovering them for yourself.

The Gideons should reprint this and place copies in all hotel rooms and twice-a-year disctribute free copies on campuses throughout the world.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Thomas Edmund
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:
This is the intriguing, hilarious and utterly compelling story of how Stephen Fry arrived at Cambridge on probation: 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.

Instead, university life offered him love, romance and the chance to stand on stage and entertain. He began his iconic relationship with Hugh Laurie, befriended Emma Thompson among a host of household
John Braine
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Fefyy Antela
The Fry - Laurie friendship is the bromance I didn't know I needed...

I'm embracing Stephen Fry as a way of life from now on.


Please, knight him already.
Apr 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  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
Huw Rhys
Feb 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: auto-biography
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 ...more
Rodrigo Acuna
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
"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
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-books-read
This is a fascinating peak behind the curtains type of tale that really sucks you in and tale you along for the ride. Absolutely excellent book.
Matt John
If Stephen Fry were to sell copy he had written for toilet paper, then I would probably buy it.
Patrick DiJusto
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
"I know you all think I'm a brilliant rotter, so English I appear to be made of tweed, but really, I'm a 6'5" Jewish boy afraid of his own shadow, so when I won a scholarship to Cambridge no one wa more amazed than I, and when I got there, fully intending to be a Professor of English Literature, there was a film crew in the quad, filming a movie to be called 'Chariots of Fire', and one of the delicious young things in the film crew (who I later learned are called production assistants) took a ...more
I found this one sitting on my shelves, forgotten. Although I could have sworn I'd finished reading it, the bookmark placed *very* near the end said otherwise. I must admit that I didn’t pick this one up for the story, albeit fascinating Fry’s years in college were, or how comically his adventures in theatre, television and radio spilt onto the page. I was more interested in his writing style, his interesting turn of phrase, his humorous, witty play on words, and I would often find myself ...more
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The Fry Chronicles 4 92 Sep 15, 2014 03:32PM  

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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Memoir (3 books)
  • Moab Is My Washpot
  • More Fool Me (Memoir #3)
“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.” 470 likes
“There are young men and women up and down the land who happily (or unhappily) tell anyone who will listen that they don’t have an academic turn of mind, or that they aren’t lucky enough to have been blessed with a good memory, and yet can recite hundreds of pop lyrics and reel off any amount of information about footballers. Why? Because they are interested in those things. They are curious. If you are hungry for food, you are prepared to hunt high and low for it. If you are hungry for information it is the same. 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.” 222 likes
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