Author: Stephen Fry
Published: Penguin, 2010
Blurb: 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 names, and emerged as one of the most promising comic talents in the country.
This is the intriguing, hilarious and utterly compelling story of how the Stephen the nation knows (or thinks it knows) began to make his presence felt as he took his first tentative steps in the worlds of television, journalism, radio, theatre and film. Shameful tales of sugar, shag and champagne jostle with insights into credit cards, classic cars and conspicuous consumption, Blackadder, Broadway and the BBC.
For all its trademark wit and verbal brilliance, this is a book that is not afraid to confront the aching chasm that separates public image from private feeling. Welcome to The Fry Chronicles, one of the boldest, bravest, most revealing and heartfelt accounts of a man’s formative years that you will ever have the exquisite pleasure of reading.
How I came to own it: Birthday/Christmas present.
What I thought: This is not a book I can review objectively (we are all subjective but I am extra super subjective in this case): Stephen Fry was the hero of my adolescence and I still have a soft spot for him, so I was bound to enjoy this. As always, I enjoyed his humour and his wordiness, his playful use of language. It was a very courageous book, painfully self-aware and self-conscious in its raw honesty about his less worthy emotions and his insecurities. These are all things that excite either irritation or admiration: rather obviously, in my case, the latter.
How I’m doing: 43 to go.