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Moab is My Washpot - Stephen Fry's First Autobiography.
Moab Is My Washpot - Stephen Fry
Member Name: Karonher
Moab Is My Washpot - Stephen Fry
Date: 03/07/13, updated on 03/07/13 (44 review reads)
Advantages: Honest and open
Disadvantages: Sometimes a bit too honest and open
I have always liked Stephen Fry and was interested in reading his autobiography. I started it a number of years ago, but with one thing and another did not finish it. Last month I picked it up again and finished it this time.
As expected it was very honest and he makes no excuses for the mistakes he made when he was younger and seems to fully accept the prison sentence he served for misuse of a couple of credit cards. Some of the things he experienced would be considered unusual today but not so very out of place for someone from his background and for the time. His seems to have always felt an outsider or at least that is what comes across. He talks of his suicide attempt - hope that is not a spoiler for anyone but it is something that is talked about quite a bit when he is interviewed.
It covers a large period of his early life, as there is not a great deal of his earliest years but really begins when he starts prep school. From the beginning I knew I was going to finish it this time as it was so easy to get involved in his few early memories even if they were a little drawn out.
Having read about his early days at school it is easy to understand how he ended up where he did - both in terms of the problems he had and his eventual success. I was a little worried that it would be written in the sort of language he uses in QI and to some extent this is the case. It seems open and honest and if anything I liked him even more by the end.
There are no punches pulled and at times I felt he may have been writing as a form of therapy as he puts so much detail into certain sections and as well as the honesty there is a lot of humour but that was something I expected.
He clearly has always been an intelligent and able person, and the book gives an insight into his past that I am sure few other celebrities would allow us to have. Examples of his confidence is his place on the Norfolk Board of Censors at the age of 17 making decisions as to what people much older and more experienced than him can or cannot watch.
I never understood the title in the context of the book as Moab was a one-time challenger to Israel in Biblical times but fell so far that they were described as a washpot. At the time this would be something used to wash peoples feet so there must be something in his logic - maybe washing away things from the past.
There are times when I found the words he used a little hard to follow and very flowery but that did not stop me reading it. I just thought of many interviews I have seen and it is in keeping with them.
I paid £8.99 when I bought it but that was about 17 years ago so it is much cheaper now.
Summary: I am not sure whether I would read it again but I am glad I finished it this time.
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