BooksOfTheMoon

Making History

By Stephen Fry

Rating: 2 stars

I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t seem to “get” Stephen Fry’s books. I think the man himself is great and love his TV/film work, but his books just don’t do it for me, and this, unfortunately, is no different. A time travel/alternative history piece set in Cambridge, it’s enjoyable enough, but never quite gelled for me. There were some plot holes which, although small (and not related to the time travel), jarred and I didn’t care enough about the protagonist to worry about him.

Book details

ISBN: 9780099457060
Publisher: Arrow
Year of publication: 1996

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

The Stars’ Tennis Balls

By Stephen Fry

Rating: 2 stars

I didn’t really enjoy this book an awful lot. It started off in that awfully upper-class public schoolboy way that The Liar did, then turned into The Prisoner and ended up as a revenge tale. The revenge tale was the most interesting, but I didn’t think that it gelled hugely well and the protagonist never quite worked as he shifted between the three parts of the story. I wouldn’t really recommend this as an introduction to the novels of Stephen Fry.

Book details

ISBN: 9780099471554
Publisher: Arrow Books
Year of publication: 2000

The Liar

By Stephen Fry

Rating: 3 stars

This was a slow starter. I nearly gave up after the first few chapters, not quite being able to bear the incredible upper-class, public school feel of it — it feeling like a joke that I wasn’t quite getting. But I’m glad that I persevered, since there was a very good story in there once it got going. I’ve been told that it’s perhaps not the best Fry book to start with, so I’ll keep a look out for more of his work.

Book details

ISBN: 9780099457053
Publisher: Arrow
Year of publication: 1991

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