The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography
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Stephen Fry, star of Wilde and host of QI , is firmly established as a celebrated cultural figure.
But when he arrived at Cambridge he was a convicted thief, an addict, and a failed suicide, convinced that he would be expelled. Instead, university life offered him love and the chance to entertain. He befriended bright young things like Hugh Laurie, now the star of House, and Emma Thompson. This is the hilarious and utterly compelling story of how the Stephen the world knows (or thinks it knows) took his first steps in the worlds of theater, radio, television, and film. Tales of scandal and champagne jostle with insights into hard-earned stardom. The Fry Chronicles is not afraid to confront the chasm that separates public image from private feeling, and it is marvelously rich in trademark wit and verbal brilliance.
Having run away as a child from what I could now see was a blissful country home, I wanted to make one of my own. The country meant only one thing to me, Norfolk. There was one small problem, however. I knew that my parents, particularly my father, hated display and swagger and swank. I was too embarrassed to let them know quite how much I was earning. It seemed obscene and unjustified. My father I associated with a crippling work ethic and a contempt for money, or at least a complete lack of
mouth, bitter tar in the spittle and the slow degradation of pulmonary capacity compared to that spinning, pulsing burst of love, that shuddering explosion of joy? That first dose is really what the experience is all about. From then on the trick is to keep the pipe alight with gentle, infrequent tuts and puffs on the stem; smaller cigarette-sized inhalations of smoke will follow until the remaining plug, which has acted as a filter for the tobacco above it, is so fouled and contaminated with
shoe connected with his bottom would not have bruised a mosquito. If, instead of striking down, I had dropped the shoe on to him it would have hurt more. It might as well have been a tissue as a plimsoll. It had been not a whack but a feeble tap. I drop into the armchair, shaking all over. Never again. Never again would I threaten corporal punishment. And never again did I. * The tall, mostly humorous pipe-smoking oddity who taught all manner of subjects, refereed junior matches and made
Perrier Award, 199, 202, 210; see also Nightcap revue Ford, Anna, 307 Forster, E.M., 69, 71, 307 Forsyth, Bruce, 209 Fortune, John, 336, 344 Fosse, Bob, 420 Fowler, (Sir) Norman, 101 Fraser, Lady Antonia, 46-7 Frayn, Michael, 268 Freestone, Sue, 371 French, Dawn, 209, 214, 296, 332 Freud, Emma, 332-3 Friedrich, Gotz, 165 Frost, (Sir) David, 52, 121, 258, 262, 329 Frost, Steve, 365 Fry, Jo (SF's sister) see Crocker, Jo Fry, Roger (SF's brother), 287-8 Fry, Stephen: writing style,
Hare, Harold Pinter and, sitting quietly in a corner, Simon Gray. Playwrights and cricket have always gone together. Samuel Beckett remains, I believe I am right in saying, the only Nobel Laureate to have had an entry in the cricketer's almanac, Wisden. At tea, the nubiferously chain-smoking pair of Tom Stoppard and Ronnie Harwood visit our rather showbizzy box. David Frost is the host and he wonders aloud if there might be a collective noun for a group of playwrights. Stoppard suggests the word