Review of 'More Fool Me: A Memoir'

More Fool Me: A Memoir by Stephen Fry

more_fool_me.jpg Picking up from where The Fry Chronicles left off “More Fool Me” summarises, and digresses, on what Fry has said before in pretty much the first half of the book before moving on to talk about his life in the 1990s. If you have not read Fry's previous autobiographies you could pick this up with no problems and follow along quite nicely with the lengthy recap of what he has said previously.

The best part of the later half of the book consists of diary entries from 1993 showing just how busy he was and how large was his dependency on regular doses of cocaine and alcohol despite his attempt at detoxing in a health spa. Flitting from party to party, event to event, hobnobbing with the great and the good, it is exhausting just to read about it so I can't imagine what it must have been like to experience first hand. Fry takes pains to make it clear he is not apologising for his behaviour but just trying his best to explain it. The diary entries are somewhat briefer and more to the point than the rest of the book which, as is his want, tends to wander quite a bit. In this way I found them quite a bit easier to read as the pages simply flew by as his life is laid bare on the page. At this time he was busy with his television series with Hugh Laurie, doing a large number of voice overs, writing various bits and pieces…to be honest it was all quite difficult to keep track of! He would often at a drop of a hat offer to go somewhere or do something for someone as his mood took him. It must have been an exhilarating time for him though he admits in his comments after the diary entries that he can hardly remember the time. So much for being so busy and “experiencing life” if one cannot recall it.

I can't say I followed a lot of what he describes doing or that I was able to keep track of the many people he talks about, never mind being somewhat unfamiliar with British society at the time (living as I was in Canada at the time). It did seem to me to be quite samey most of the time: Another party, another visit to Groucho, another dinner with so-and-so, another premiere, another voice over, etc, etc, etc. For the most part I could probably have just skipped multiple pages without noticing too much though, to be fair, there are occasions when I was brought to attention as he said something interesting or talked about someone or something I knew about from the time.

I have to admit I was waiting for the crash of his ebullient life of the time, which he continuously aludes to, but it never arrives…perhaps in his next instalment?

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2016-09-12

Genre: Autobiography

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 2014

ISBN: 9780718179786

Other reviewed books by Stephen Fry: