Book Review: Stephen Fry – The Fry Chronicles

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I promised you yesterday that I would be blogging about music today, but unfortunately I haven’t finished updating and reorganizing my music just yet. I will make sure to do a post on that when I’m finished, which is hopefully tomorrow. Instead this post will feature a book review of the latest book by Stephen Fry: The Fry Chronicles.

This book continues where MOAB is my washpot stops. It is the second part of Fry’s autobiography and chronicles his time as a student at Cambridge university in the late 70s and the start of his career in the early 80s. It pretty much starts when he’s about 20 and stops when he hits the big 3-0. There are a few references to the stories told in MOAB, but this book can still be read as a stand alone book. It tells tales of how he met Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and other household names, but of course Mr. Fry met these people when they were still students and trying to make their way in life or at the beginning of their careers.

And that is exactly what this book is: a recapturing of his early adult life. I could especially relate to some of his stories about university life having been absorbed by student life for a good 5 years myself not too long ago. Also his descriptions of having a bottomless amount of energy and try to do as much as one can do is something that goes for myself as well. And that I think is one of the powers of this book: it has plenty of narrative that anyone could relate to. From insecurities, to handling being gay and from trying to build a career, to meeting new people: Fry covers it all.

I picked up this book in particular because I had only just finished reading MOAB in October and thoroughly enjoyed that book as well as The Liar which I now know to have plenty of autobiographical elements incorporated into the story line. I had hoped this book to be equally enjoyable, but in that sense it was a bit of a let down. It reads like the 6th and 7.1 installments from the Harry Potter series: it leaves you hanging midway and just when things get really interesting the book is finished. It almost seems like Fry is trying to not leave out a single detail and sometimes it just takes ages to get to the point of things. That, in part, is also part of Fry’s style of writing, which I usually enjoy, but this time it just seemed like the story dragged on for ages about less interesting things and skipped over all of the good parts. It lacks a certain amount of spunk if you like.

If you’re like me and enjoyed some of this other books and expect this book to be like the others, then this book may be a bit of a let down. However, if you, like me, like Fry’s wit and humor then this book still makes an enjoyable read about a very interesting and sometimes agonizingly honest (or so it seems) person.

Next book I’ll be reading? Ian McEwan – Saturday. I’ve attempted reading this book at least 2 times before, but never got beyond page 70. I now hope to succeed in finally finishing it up.

2 responses to “Book Review: Stephen Fry – The Fry Chronicles”

  1. Petra Avatar

    Finished this book during our holidays! I agree on the bit of a let-down. But it should be added that Stephen has not felt at liberty to write down every single juicy detail about his friends, since they’re more or less celebrities. That makes this a different book as well. And I guess it makes a huge difference if you’re British and know most of the mentioned people (and he mentions a lot of them!)
    Nevertheless it was an amusing read 🙂

  2. […] het Spui in The Hague. He was in Holland to promote his autobiography: The Fry Chronicles, which I read and reviewed in January. I didn’t really know beforehand what this evening would bring. All I knew was that it was […]

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