The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography

The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography

3.6 3
by Stephen Fry
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Stephen Fry arrived at Cambridge University as a convicted fraudster and thief, an addict, liar, fantasist, and failed suicide, convinced that any moment he would be sent away. Instead, he befriended bright young things like Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie, and he emerged as one of the most promising comic talents in the world.
This is the engrossing, hilarious,

See more details below

Overview

Stephen Fry arrived at Cambridge University as a convicted fraudster and thief, an addict, liar, fantasist, and failed suicide, convinced that any moment he would be sent away. Instead, he befriended bright young things like Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie, and he emerged as one of the most promising comic talents in the world.
This is the engrossing, hilarious, and utterly compelling story of how the Stephen the world knows (or thinks it knows) found his way. Tales of champagne, love, and conspicuous consumption jostle with insights into Broadway and TV stardom. A feat of trademark wit and verbal brilliance, this is a book unafraid of confronting the chasm that separates celebrity from a young man's personal reality.

Editorial Reviews

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.
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."
From the Publisher
"Funny, poignant… His prose feels like an ideal form of conversation." — –The Washington Post

"Charming … His compilation of crotchets can be both compelling and cockamamie." — The Wall Street Journal

"Heartbreaking, a delight, a lovely, comfy book." — –The Times (London)

"You'd have to be not just very smart but witty, humorous and inventive to have had the career he has, but still more to encapsulate so much of it, playfully yet seriously, in this book."

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590207147
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
01/19/2012
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
916,029
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"You'd have to be not just very smart but witty, humorous and inventive to have had the career he has, but still more to encapsulate so much of it, playfully yet seriously, in this book."

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >