Moab Is My Washpot (Memoir #1)

By Stephen Fry

Rating: 2 stars

I wondered for a lot of this book why it seemed so familiar before it dawned on me: it looks like Fry plundered large parts of his own life for his novel The Liar. In fact, he did it so well, you almost wonder why he bothered with this autobiography. Although it’s as well written and full of the wonder of language as you would expect from Fry, much of it comes across as pretentious and somewhat self-pitying, or rather, pitying his younger self, since this book covers the first 20 or so years of his life. And he certainly did go off the rails a bit, culminating with a spell in prison.

One thing that I liked about this book was its wonderful conversational (or possibly monologue) tone. He would start a point and then get distracted and spend two pages off on a tangent before remembering that he had a point and getting back to it. This is something that could have easily been “fixed” at the editing stage, but I’m glad they left it in, since it does add colour to the book.

Worth reading for the new light it shines on the author but be prepared for lots of public school twaddle.

Book details

ISBN: 9781569472026
Publisher: Soho Press
Year of publication: 1997

Hellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction

By Mike Mignola

Rating: 4 stars

This is the first volume of the Hellboy series, introducing us to the huge red demon with the big heart and his chums. The story is fairly straightforward, with some origin stuff, a froggy demon and a Russian mad wizard. I enjoyed the story, but I’m not yet convinced by the art, which is rather dark with lots of angles and lines. Still, it was a good book and I’m looking forward to reading more.

Book details

ISBN: 9781593070946
Publisher: Dark Horse
Year of publication: 1994

The Glory That Was

By L. Sprague de Camp

Rating: 2 stars

It’s the 27th century, and the world emperor has put a force wall around Greece and kidnapped people of Greek descent and taken them there, including Wiyem Flin’s wife. When he and his friend Knut Bulnes get through, they find themselves not in the 27th century, but in ancient Greece. Or do they?

Meh, this was an okay book to read over lunch but nothing particularly exciting. The characters weren’t hugely interesting, nor were they developed much, and it’s very much of its time (early 1960s) in its treatment of women. It’s a reasonably fun action adventure though.

Book details

ISBN: 9780671721169
Publisher: Baen Books
Year of publication: 1960

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