Review of 'The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography'

The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography by Stephen Fry

the_fry_chronicles-_an_autobiography.jpg This is the second chapter of Stephen Fry's autobiography picking up where “Moab is my Washpot” (which I have not read) left off as Fry left for life at Cambridge University. At Cambridge Fry was not as interested in studying as he was in the various extracurricular activities on the stage and in entertainment as he joined various groups that included Emma Thompson and his life-long friend Hugh Laurie. He tells of daily life at university including finding love with his room-mate and the joy he had at finding himself. His success in entertainment continued after university as he moved into the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where the Footlights Revue of which he was a part, The Cellar Tapes won the prestigious Perrier Comedy Award in 1981 presented by Rowan Atkinson, with whom he would go on to work with including on Blackadder series 2 (and later). Here he also tells of his successful adaptation of the 1930s musical Me and My Girl which initially played in London's West End then later on Broadway, where he also ends up trying cocaine and it is here where the book leaves off…a bit of a cliff-hanger for the following book “More Fool Me”.

The reader must have patience as Fry tells his story in his inimitable style: Rambling and massively self-effacing as he seems to perpetually be apologising for his behaviour and personality. It is an easy read as we follow Fry's rise to fame and fortune, a fame that has continued to this day. I find Fry very interesting and hugely entertaining so this was quite a treat for me though I have to say it did often try even my patience as he rambles off on tangents for pages at a time but this is Fry - Amusing and very erudite but managing not to offend at the same time (perhaps it is all the apologising).

The Fry Chronicles adds to our understanding Fry and is all the better for it. We learn that he is not the perfect gentleman that we often see on the television but rather a real person who struggled with his personal issues including finding direction for his life.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2016-09-03

Genre: Autobiography

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 2010

ISBN: 9780718154837

Other reviewed books by Stephen Fry: