This is the bittersweet first autobiography of English comedian Stephen Fry. The man has led quite the life that this is only part one!!! It covers only his first 20 years but how full these years were!
I am fully aware that my grievances are minor. The story of a sensitive young weed struggling to grow up in the robust thicket of an English public school is not likely to arouse sympathy in the breasts of every reader. It was a subject done to death in the early part of this century in novels, memoirs and autobiographies. I am a cliché and I know it. I was not kidnapped by slave traders, forced to shine shoes at the age of three in Rio or sent up chimneys by a sadistic sweep. I grew up neither in circumstances of abject poverty, nor in surroundings of fantastic wealth. I was not abused, neglected or exploited. Middle class at a middle-class school in middle England, well nourished, well taught and well cared for, I have nothing of which to complain and my story, such that it is, is as much one of good fortune as of anything else. But, it IS my story and worth no more or no less than yours or anyone else’s. It is, in my reading at least, a kind of pathetic love story.
There are LOTS of rich and rambling passages such as this as he so eloquently tells the story of his life growing up in a manor house in the English countryside before being shipped off to boarding school at the ripe old age of 7.
Advanced in his studies at a young age, Stephen finds himself spending more time playing the social game, attempting to get out of playing sports and “thieving” than he does concentrating on his schoolwork that by the age of 18 he finds himself in a heap load of trouble with no education to fall back on. His humbling climb from the humiliation of getting kicked out of more than one school, going to jail for credit card fraud and a suicide attempt to successfully completing the entrance exam at Cambridge makes you want to stand up and cheer for the hilarious anti-hero that he is! 3 stars.
Looking forward to reading The Fry Chronicles someday soon– part 2 of his life as he becomes famous for both his writing and comedy. I think I will doing audio for this one tho– his writing is brilliant but his diction is flawless!