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Stephen Fry Books In Order

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Publication Order of A Bit of Fry and Laurie Books

with Hugh Laurie
A Bit of Fry & Laurie (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Bit More Fry & Laurie (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Three Bits Of Fry And Laurie (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fry & Laurie Bit No (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Mythos Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Liar (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hippopotamus (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Making History (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Stars' Tennis Balls (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Paperweight (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Moab Is My Washpot (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rescuing the Spectacled Bear (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stephen Fry's Incomplete and Utter History of Classical Music (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ode Less Travelled (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
QI: Advanced Banter (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stephen Fry in America (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saturday Night Fry (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fry's English Delight (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fry Chronicles (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs Fry's Diary (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stephen Fry Does the 'Knowledge' (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Walking & Talking / Stephen Fry on the Phone (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
How To Have An Almost Perfect Marriage (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
More Fool Me: A Memoir (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Political Correctness Gone Mad? (With: Jordan B. Peterson,Michael Eric Dyson,Michelle Goldberg) (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Library Book(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
First Light: A Celebration of Alan Garner(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Letters to Change the World: From Pankhurst to Orwell(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Stephen Fry is a British comedian, actor, director, screenwriter, and author. He made his name as one of the best at comical manipulation of writing and speech. He used these skills to desanctify the most taboo or serious of topics. Fry spent most of his childhood studying in boarding schools where he had an extensive list of violations from thief, liar, cheater and master prankster. The last straw was resetting the stops in the chapel that resulted in bizarre sounds during a church service. The school had no choice but to expel him. Despite his predilection for trouble, he loved reading and the fact that he had bipolar, rebellious and gay tendencies made him somewhat of an outsider throughout his youth. In spite of all the odds against him, he got a scholarship to Queens College Cambridge where he studied English. In college, he was involved in several drama clubs and wrote a satirical tale he named “Latin! or, Tobacco and Boys” about a pederastic school teacher. The controversial play was one of the headliners of the Edinburgh Fringe festival where Fry would showcase a lot of his later works. He was recruited into the century-old Cambridge Footlights comedy revue by fellow student Hugh Laurie with whom he began to write a series of successful sketches.

Fry graduated in 1982 and then worked several roles in television until he was contracted to rewrite “Me and My Girl” the musical from 1937. The show turned to be a hit and Fry made a lot of money from it. From the 1980s and the 1990s he worked on TV as an actor in a wide range of comedy shows and also collaborated with Laurie to produce “A Bit of Fry and Laurie” the hit TV series that aired between 1987 and 1995. The two also produced several comical sketches and starred in “Jeeves and Wooster” the television series. He did some serious TV as host of the “Quite Interesting” (QI) show starting in 2003. Apart from working on TV, he also got several roles in film, where he acted in more than two dozen films. An adaptation of “Vile Bodies” by Evelyn Waugh that was renamed “Bright Young Things” marked his directorial debut in 2003. He made his acting debut in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in 2013.

Apart from working on screen and on stage Steve Fry also made a name for himself as a literary fiction author. His debut novel was “The Liar” which he published in 1991 to much critical acclaim. It is a semi-autobiographical novel that follows the life of the lead who attends public school and later Cambridge just like Fry. He followed it up with the 1994 published “The Hippopotamus” that had as its lead a slovenly alcoholic, theatre critic and poet that was fired from his journalist job only to get a more lucrative job of investigating the miracle healing at an ancient country mansion. His 1996 published title “Making History: A Novel” was an alternate history novel that hypothesized what the world would look like if Hitler never existed. His first three novels which were humorous fiction all went on to become bestsellers. He would later go on to publish several nonfiction works including an autobiography that detailed the tribulations and trials of the first two decades of his life until he joined Cambridge. “The Fry Chronicles” that he published in 2010 was about his life in Cambridge while his early success in the entertainment industry is chronicled in “More Fool Me.”

Stephen Fry’s “The Liar” is a story that follows the life and times of Adrian Healey an upper-class Englishman as he navigates public school and ultimately ends up at Cambridge University. The novel is told in chronological order and tells of how good of a liar the lead is. This is evidence by the fact that later on entire chapters of the book are revealed as fiction. The novel opens to Healey in Salzburg alongside his mentor before it shifts to his time at a public school where he has carefully crafted an image of himself as a highly extroverted gay youth. He is soon expelled from the institution for writing about behaviors that were considered gay and would be cause for one to be thrown out of public schools. After graduating from a state school, he becomes a schoolmaster. Adrian decides to pursue higher education at St. Matthew’s College, where challenged by his professor, he produces an original manuscript and claims that he discovered another about child sex trade by Dickens. But then his mentor and professor is arrested on a charge of espionage. He soon learns is part of a game to alleviate boredom in a time when the Cold War was coming to an end and the British empire was on the decline.

“The Hippopotamus” is part epistolary and part comic novel that tells the story of a washed-up theatre critic and alcoholic named Edward Wallace. At the start of the novel he had just been fired from his job as a theatre critic and has to take a job investigating rumors of miracle healings at the ancient home of Lord Logan his old friend. He had been recommended for the job by his granddaughter and hence gives her regular updates on happenings at the mansion through long rambling letters. The letters also include his perspectives on themes of modern life, women, morality, art, sex and poetry. During his stay with his friend Logan, he learns that the other houseguests believe that David the younger child of the lord has healing powers. It turns out that most of them came to the house believing that he could somehow transfer his ability to them. The friends are a bizarre mix of Jane’s mother, a defrocked minister, a gawky teenager, a businessman and his wife and a woman that Ted had met years earlier to disastrous consequences. Fry writes a story that combines the stories of Edward Wallace and the Logan family to make for a compelling back story even as Ted works to uncover the mystery of David’s healing powers.

Fry’s third novel “Making History” is the story of history student Michael Young who is attending college at Cambridge. His doctoral thesis about Adolf Hitler is nearly complete and thus he could not be happier to meet Professor Zuckerman who has come up with an interesting machine. The son of a Nazi doctor has developed a time machine and they intend to use it to send a birth control pill back in time to ensure that Hitler is not be born. Their plan is successful and Michael wakes up to find that even though he is in Princeton, everyone has a British accent. It takes him a while to realize that his parents must have immigrated to the US. No one has ever heard of Adolf Hitler in this world though the Nazi Party is well known. The party had as its leader Rudolf Gloder that had been more patient charming and effective in seeking the final solution. The Nazis have managed to develop nuclear weapons and destroyed Russia and Stalin before invading most of Europe including France and the UK. The Cold War is between the US and the Nazi Empire which in this alternative history is not allied to Japan and hence there is no Pearl Harbor. Since there is no sixties upsurge in social liberalism, the US is very conservative and racial segregation is still a thing. But then something happens and turns back time to put Michael right back in more familiar reality and realization that changing history may not be that great after all.

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One Response to “Stephen Fry”

  1. Chris Peach: 2 years ago

    Good to have the complete list, and a wonderful précis of the books. Extremely useful, Thankyou.

    Reply

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