Title: The Fry Chronicles
Author: Stephen Fry
Page Count/Review Word Count: 446
The Fry Chronicles is the second autobiography from the pen of Stephen Fry, the British icon who’s more well-known as a television personality than as an author, despite the fact that he’s released half a dozen books of both fiction and non-fiction. He first cut his teeth writing sketches for A Bit of Fry and Laurie, which is (in my opinion) one of the cleverest and most well-written comedy sketch shows of all time.
In fact, he covers off the formative years of his relationship with comedy partner Hugh Laurie in the Fry Chronicles, as well as his meetings with dozens of other luminaries including Rowan Atkinson and Emma Thompson. It was published nearly twenty years after Fry’s first book, a novel called ‘The Liar‘ which was also autobiographical in places, and his writing style has developed and matured over the years. Now, he’s a truly talented writer with a unique voice and a wit and wisdom of his own.
Fry’s writing is complimented perfectly by a series of photographs from the author’s own archives, that detail everything from the young Fry and his parents (who look exactly like him) to “the backlit ears of Hugh Laurie” and posters and pictures of some of Fry’s earliest productions. In fact, in sharp contrast to Moab is my Washpot, Fry’s first autobiography which covered the first twenty years of his life, there’s a lot to learn here about Fry’s actual career.
As it goes, The Fry Chronicles is one of the more interesting celebrity autobiographies on the market, even if it is occasionally patchy in places; Fry also has a tendency to name-drop wherever possible, although it’s not really necessary as he’s a bigger star than most of the people that he mentions. In many ways, though, that’s forgivable – he’s just the sort of person who mingles with celebrities and minor royalty alike, and it’s probably due to his background at Cambridge.
The Fry Chronicles is interesting because the author used the letter ‘C‘ as a narrative device – all of his chapters begin with the letter ‘C”, ending on ‘cocaine‘ at his 30th birthday. I understand that this is a topic that he plans to deal with later in further detail, in a third volume of autobiography to be released at a later date. I look forward to reading it with some gusto, because if The Fry Chronicles and Moab is my Washpot are anything to go by, it’s going to be good. You should catch up with the series, before he writes and releases another one.