I do enjoy reading ‘proper’ biographies of people I respect and admire and so far the Stephen Fry ones have not disappointed. I read his part one of life “Moab is my Washpot”, which took us through the toddling, school boy, adolescent years and the adventures or possibly dangers of public school and of course his dalliance with a criminal career. This second part takes us through his roaring twenties.
As you would imagine it reads rather like he speaks, which is endearing because in my head I could hear his soft deep friendly tones which added to the genuineness of the writing. Sometimes an amusing tangent is travelled but the reason is sound and holds worth with what is to follow. I did not realise how much Stephen had been involved with and it proves that no-one truly bursts from nowhere to become an over night known name in the shark-like world of ‘entertainment’. In fact as I read I realised we had crossed paths numerous times, not actually I am no Cambridge grad or entertaining debutante, but we were both settled for Norfolk by our parents, have NFN plastered upon our medical records, live rurally, are often misunderstood and have a mild fear that we shall be found out that our work is not good enough or that we are not as clever as others think. My very first attendance of a proper theatre production was Me & My Girl at the Adelphi in London, never realised he was connected with that endearing, comedic, enthralling musical, you neither? I suggest you grab a copy of the book and have a read.
You also realise that Stephen, much like the saying about books, should never be judged by its cover. If he were to be tagged blog-like it would be that undefinable shuddering phrase “Quintessential English Gentleman”, when he even says of himself he is something of a mixed breed [or maybe that is the definition of a quintessential gent in these modern ethnic diverse times]. He oozes confidence and intelligence and more knowledge than google, whoever he is talking with he never talks down to or at but ‘with’ but yet he has nerves, failings, addictions and those things of every day mortals that somehow his brilliance masks.
Perhaps his life path has been to do with the luck of good timing, if he had attended University elsewhere [can’t bring myself to suggest Oxford] or gone to Cambridge years previous, he would never have met up and worked with the entertainment alumni of so many loved names; the book index reads like an illustrious who’s who.
I do have one complaint, and apologies Mr Fry it is rather a large one. The ending. One of those types that leave you exclaiming “Nooooooo! No no no no no no oh my my no”. How dare the throw away line be used to entangle the reader and tie them up in excruciating mental twisting. Sadly some reviews and Wikipedia have given that nugget away but I shall not. I shall hint that is was something along the lines of “I then did this, but that is for another time. Thanks for reading. Good night”. Mr Fry I would seek you out, put you over my knee and spank your botty [if I dared] for suddenly cold-turkey-ing me from this delightful read. So how long must I suffer the DT’s before part three comes out?
And dare I tweet a link to him .. oww-err-mrs!!!