Author: Stephen Fry
Publisher: Michael Joseph
My Rating: 3/5
In The Fry Chronicles, Stephen Fry talks about part of his childhood, but mostly about his University years and those that followed when he was first starting as an actor and writer.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Fry Chronicles, as I have never been a huge fan of Stephen Fry, but he has the kind of personality I felt would make a good autobiography. As it turns out The Fry Chronicles comprise only a small part of his autobiography, the first memoir he published is Moab Is My Washpot. Honestly, after reading The Fry Chronicles I am not sure whether I like Stephen Fry less or more.
What I did like is his total and frank honesty when it came to things like the way his depression makes him see the world. For me, this was very relatable to, though his experience is nothing like mine (as every experience is different). Fry openly discusses his discontent, and the causes of such, as well as making a point that I have felt often myself – that we feel worse about ourselves for the very fact that we are feeling depressed when there is no real reason to be.
I also found it very interesting to read of how his career started. I am always interested in success stories, and the nuances of how they happen in such a random way as it did with Fry. I enjoyed reading about his escapades with Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson; I wished I was at University with them as the way he describes it is almost idealistic and I almost felt as though I could have been a part of it.
In general I felt the book was well written, though at times Fry seemed to go round and round the same point, which made it a little tedious. It isn’t completely in chronological order, but this didn’t affect the storytelling for the most part. As I said at the beginning, I’m not sure if I like Stephen Fry better or worse after having read it, but I am certainly a little more interested in his life and career so will likely read more about him at some point.
Overall, this autobiography is interesting to read, at times funny, and quite enjoyable. I think anyone who enjoys the genre will find merit in reading The Fry Chronicles, though I’m not sure I would recommend it for people who aren’t keen on it, unless they are Stephen Fry fans.