The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography

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Overview


Stephen Fry, star of Wilde and host of QI , is firmly established as a celebrated cultural figure. But when he arrived at Cambridge he was a convicted thief, an addict, and a failed suicide, convinced that he would be expelled. Instead, university life offered him love and the chance to entertain. He befriended bright young things like Hugh Laurie, now the star of House, and Emma Thompson. This is the hilarious and utterly compelling story of how the Stephen the world knows (or thinks it knows) took his first ...
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The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography

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Overview


Stephen Fry, star of Wilde and host of QI , is firmly established as a celebrated cultural figure. But when he arrived at Cambridge he was a convicted thief, an addict, and a failed suicide, convinced that he would be expelled. Instead, university life offered him love and the chance to entertain. He befriended bright young things like Hugh Laurie, now the star of House, and Emma Thompson. This is the hilarious and utterly compelling story of how the Stephen the world knows (or thinks it knows) took his first steps in the worlds of theater, radio, television, and film. Tales of scandal and champagne jostle with insights into hard-earned stardom. The Fry Chronicles is not afraid to confront the chasm that separates public image from private feeling, and it is marvelously rich in trademark wit and verbal brilliance.
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Editorial Reviews

-The Washington Post

"Funny, poignant… His prose feels like an ideal form of conversation."
-The Wall Street Journal

"Charming … His compilation of crotchets can be both compelling and cockamamie."
-The Times (London)

"Heartbreaking, a delight, a lovely, comfy book."
The Washington Post
"Funny, poignant… His prose feels like an ideal form of conversation."
The Wall Street Journal
"Charming … His compilation of crotchets can be both compelling and cockamamie."
The Times (London)
"Heartbreaking, a delight, a lovely, comfy book."
Publishers Weekly
With his trademark dry wit, Fry recounts his Cambridge years and those leading up to his 30th birthday in this genuinely touching and often hilarious second autobiographical installment after 1999’s Moab Is My Washpot. Officially a “criminal” when he arrived at the prestigious university in 1979—he got caught stealing at age 17 and spent a month in a young offender’s institution—Fry worried he wouldn’t fit in. But he adjusted quickly to Cambridge life, where he read English and excelled at written exams without having attended many lectures. Unlike at American universities, where drama is an official subject, the myriad Cambridge theater groups—such as Footlights—are completely student-run and separate from academic life. Soon Fry was appearing in numerous plays, often in kingly or other wise older roles. Though academia was his first choice, the more immersed Fry became in theater, both acting and writing, the more serious consideration he gave to it as a career. The descriptions of sketches and plays themselves, while important, pale in comparison to Fry’s intimate descriptions of the lifelong friendships he formed at school, particularly with Emma Thompson and writing partner Hugh Laurie, whom he describes as the “best and wisest man I have ever known, as Watson writes of Holmes.” Moving also are his ruminations on the nature of fame and his struggles with addiction and body issues. Honesty can be painful to read, but Fry is cheeky and thoughtful in equal measures, making this a must for his legion of fans. (Jan.)
The Guardian

"This is, above all else, a thoughtful book. And namedroppy too, and funny . . . Its camaraderie of tone lets it wear its learning lightly yet leaves you with . . . new insights, new ways of looking at things."

WSJ.com

"Mr. Fry is pitiless on the subject of his young self, but he's also wry and tender and hilarious."

Library Journal
From his love affair with sugar to his star-studded years at Cambridge and beyond, writer and actor Fry found his place in British television (e.g., A Bit of Fry & Laurie), film (e.g., Wilde), radio, and theater. Picking up where his first book, Moab Is My Washpot, left off, he lets us see his playful, vulnerable side as he relates college life at Cambridge. Working with Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, and Emma Thompson, he soon found himself among the best of the best of British performers. His appreciation for the craft, love for the written word, and an almost unhealthy need to please people add to the humanity of his autobiography. Willing to do the work to reap the fame, Fry illustrates what it takes with hilarity, wit, and linguistic flair. VERDICT Fry weaves a no-holds-barred account and reveals sometimes difficult truths about himself and the nature of celebrity. Readers of Graham Norton's So Me and Fry's other books will enjoy his journey of self-discovery. Highly recommended for fans of his comedic work and those interested in drama.—Rochelle LeMaster, Medina Cty. Dist. Lib., Lodi, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Actor and bestselling author Fry's (Stephen Fry in America, 2009, etc.) at times meandering but always charming memoir of "a late adolescence and early manhood crowded with incident." In this second installment of the author's ongoing autobiographical project, the British comedian tells the story of his student years at Cambridge and early professional life at BBC radio and television. After a youth filled with "suicide attempts, tantrums and madness" and a stint in prison for petty theft and fraud, Fry buckled down and demonstrated his ample intellect by winning a scholarship to read English at Queens' College. He immersed himself in the Cambridge arts scene and joined the prestigious Footlights Club, which had also nurtured the comic talents of Eric Idle and John Cleese. Fry also developed close and enduring friendships with such future luminaries of the stage and screen as Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson. His voice and unrepentantly Wildean wit became signature trademarks, and although he "loved every single thing about acting," he found even greater success as a writer. While he was still an undergraduate, his comic play Latin! played to sold-out audiences at the 1980 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Five years later, his revised version of the musical Me and My Gal became an award-winning smash hit on Broadway and London's West End and the vehicle that propelled him from BBC respectability and into stardom. Punctuating the detailed accounts of Fry's professional triumphs are the funny, at times heartbreaking revelations that truly define him. With humility, he describes his tooth-destroying sugar addiction, financial excesses and the "vulnerability, fear, insecurity, doubt, inadequacy, puzzlement and inability to cope" he hid from others and that would eventually lead him down even more destructive paths than those he had already traveled as a youth. Confessional humor at its warm and wicked best.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781468301489
  • Publisher: Overlook TP
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 224,795
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry is an actor, producer, director, and writer who has starred in numerous TV series including Blackadder, Jeeves & Wooster, and the sketch show A Bit of Fry & Laurie. He is the bestselling author of four novels as well as several works of nonfiction.
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Table of Contents

Illustrations ix

Introduction 1

C is for C12H22O11 for Cereal, for Candy, for Caries, for Cavities, for Carbohydrates, for Calories 5

C is for Cigarettes for Convict, for Cundall, for Corporal Punishment, for Common Pursuit, for Cessation 24

1 College to Colleague 65

Cambridge 65

College and Class 73

Chess, Classics, Classical Composers, Curiosity and Cheating 80

Caledonia 1 123

Cherubs, Coming Out, Continent 130

Challenge 1 137

Corpus Christening 141

Chariots 1 144

Caledonia 2 152

Conveniences 157

Committees 161

Cycle 165

Comedy Colleague, Collaborator and Comrade 165

Continuity and Clubroom 172

Comedy Credits 179

Cooke 182

Chariots 2 186

Corpsing Chorus 188

Cellar Tapes and Celebration 190

Cheerio, Cambridge 195

Caledonia 3 197

2 Comedy 201

Carry on Capering 202

Clash of Cultures 204

Chelsea, Coleherne Clones and Conscience 220

Colonel and Coltrane 227

Computer 1 232

Commercial 234

Create! 238

Car 243

Challenge 2 245

Cinema 249

Church and Chekhov 254

Cockney Capers 258

Chichester 1 270

Crises of Confidence 275

Celebrity 280

Commercials, Covent Garden, Compact Discs, Cappuccinos and Croissants 291

Crystal Cube 295

Columnist 299

Cryptic in Connecticut 300

Contortionist 305

Critics and Couriers 310

Confirmed Celibate 318

Characters and the Corporation 325

Colonel and Mrs Chichester 335

Computer 2 341

Conspicuous Consumption 350

Country Cottages, Cheques, Credit Cards and Classic Cars 350

Carlton Club Crustiness 372

Courtly Comedy 382

Cora Christmas, Cassidy, C4, Clapless Clapham, Cheeky Chappies and Coltrane's Cock 390

Clipper Class, Côte Basque and Choreography 409

C 425

Acknowledgements 427

Index 429

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    Not so much an autobiography as a shallow and grossly extended t

    Not so much an autobiography as a shallow and grossly extended talk show act. Fry meets no one who isn't famous, goes no where that isn't glamorous, does nothing that isn't important to the Nation's cultural heritage, and manages to end up as shallow as when he started.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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