Thursday, March 18, 2010

Big Book Read #8

Moab Is My Washpot by Stephen Fry

436 Pages

To me Stephen Fry (Jeeves & Wooster, Wilde, A Bit of Fry and Laurie) has always seemed like an astoundingly intelligent, witty man, the product no doubt of a well-to-do family and a very expensive Oxbridge education, nothing that I could relate to. What I did not know about Fry is that his childhood, though decades before my own, seemed awfully familiar; full of the ups and downs of navigating a school’s social hierarchy, making trouble (in his case A LOT of trouble), angsty arguments with parents and first loves.

In this memoir, Fry chronicles his first twenty years in a very honest way. Most of the memoir discusses his years in boarding school and the hilarity and heartbreak that made him the person he is today. Knowing from an early age that he was gay made for some rather poignant and emotional stories as he struggled to fit in. He was not a model child as the tales of the strap, other punishments and a stint in prison at the age of eighteen will attest.

Fry writes just as he speaks, which means that this book is absolutely charming. If you don’t mind the odd naughty word or some frank discussions of sex you will really enjoy this book. I was quite disappointed at the end when I realized I had run out of pages. If only he’d write another about the next twenty years!

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