Advantages: Fry keeps the pace up throughout
Disadvantages: A rather flat ending, but I still enjoyed the book
I once never, ever thought I could like Stephen Fry and his work. His very essence reeks of everything I am not and never will be, and essentially his works give off an essence de Fry as well.
But I do like Fry and most things that he does, but only recently.
Now what has turned me onto Fry?
A bad habit of mine is to have the telly on while I am reading - my concentration is in the book, but a little part of my mind is keeping an ear on the telly. So, it was due to this part concentration that I never really got QI - whilst my eyes were taking in "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen" or whatever I was reading, Stephen Fry would be chastising Alan Davies for getting the right answer wrong! I just didn't get it (yes I thought I knew the answers as well), then this klaxon would come up and big white letters would flash behind Alan Davies. You see I enjoy quiz programmes, but QI seemed to be absurd. Then one day a friend of mine was raving about QI and to cut a long story short I gave an episode a go, sans book. I was totally taken by the format of the show, but most of all Fry's wit and intelligence. So a few books down the line, I find myself 'reviewing' a Stephen fry book.
I won't give any plot away, except to say the interaction of the characters involve class identity, religion, politics, ethics, moral issues, jealousy, envy, minor revenge, false imprisonment, mental health issues, intrigue, government, corporate wheeling and dealing, major revenge, the security services, terrorist organisations and in my mind a rather disappointing end. However, it is still an intriguing book and should keep you turning the pages.
So thanks to actually taking the time to concentrate on a programme of QI, and then reading some of Fry's books, I think I am nearly a fan.
What I like most about Fry though, is that despite him having a "brain the size of (insert English County here)", his work is not written to pander to the intelligentia. There are no big words or overly clever plot devices. His books are a joy to read.
Summary: Typically Fry
Image by Flickr user nickpix2009 under the Creative Commons scheme