Moab Is My Washpot

Moab Is My Washpot

by Stephen Fry


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Moab Is My Washpot 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Christine Rosica More than 1 year ago
I'm lucky enough to have an autographed first edition of this book and while I love it, no one I know has read it. If you like Stephen Fry, if you've read his other books, read this to get a glimpse into the brilliance that is Stephen Fry.
AnglophileDS More than 1 year ago
I recently read THE FRY CHRONICLES and decided I should start at the very beginning. And as with the first book, Fry is so open and confiding I felt when I finished this one I could have coffee and a chat with him. He doesn't hold back. The book is very personal and you know exactly how he feels about certain topics. He's funny and witty and serious and direct. It left me wanting more which is good. I can't recommend this book enough.
juliapequlia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I enjoyed this book, it was nothing like what I expected it to be. I had hoped to find out more about Stephen's career as a comedian, but this book only covers his first 18 years. But what years! A very troubled boy who (I hope) has a much happier life now.
anotherjennifer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stephen Fry recounts his childhood and teenage years with honesty and candor. Whenever I read an autobiography I'm prepared for some bias and self-absorption, but Fry's book seems to be a sincere attempt to be candid and reflect upon his past. The autobiography feels relatively uncensored as he writes about mischief at boarding school, unrequited love, making use of a stolen credit card, and a suicide attempt during his teenage years. It's all presented with humor and little, if any, self-aggrandizement. I finished the book feeling as though I had read his carefully thought-out musings and insights on life and certain topics in general, rather than simply a retelling of the events that had occurred his own life.
bluenettle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Moab is My Washpot is a grippingly honest account of the first eighteen years of Stephen Fry's life. Fry guides us through the joys and torments of his youth in sometimes shockingly intimate detail. The narrative moves effortlessly from a timid boy in knee high shorts to accounts of lost virginity and credit card fraud, with a few sweet shop incidents in between. Sometimes the flow of the story is sidetracked by Fry's intellectual explorations, but to its benefit, not detraction. I was particulary taken by the proposed similarities between Fry's bent nose and the British monarchy - if you can't think what those might be, you'll have to read it and see. Not forgetting, of course, the poor dead hedgehog.The wonder of this book and what keeps it so compelling all the way through is that is is so open, full of emotion and guts. It not just a collection of events but the story the a growth of a personality from the perspective of its person. I have good friends who have never revealed as much of themselves to me as Fry has in the pages of Moab.The account is engagingly written and, despite the dark nature of some of the content, full of wry humorous observations. Highly recommended.
TraceyChick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book.His description of falling in love for the first time brought tears to me eyes.
cayzers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great read. Perhaps a little self indulgent in places. Also although the tone is one of complete openness, some things are clearly hidden in hindsight (no mention, for example, of his manic depression, though this is perhaps understandable since he'd only just found this out when he was writing the book). But these are minor niggles. Generally, an entertaining and fascinating insight.
jennyo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the autobiography of one of my favorite actors. Fry's a wonderful comic actor and an even better writer. It stops at about age 20 or so; I hope he writes another about what's happened since.
zina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
brilliant and witty description of the early years of a gay English Jew - a delight
SmartTed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fry is a funny guy -- here he tells the story of his life right up until the point that most people would want him to start. But even if he refuses to tell about meeting Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Tony Slattery, his early life is fascinating. And, of course, told in witty and erudite Fry fashion
kettle666 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read a disgustingly filthy, sometimes proud, often conceited, over-privileged, occasionally arrogant and slightly posh-prat tell me how he eventually amended his behaviour and became an unofficial but undoubted National Treasure. It is Stephen Fry, and I heartily commend the book to anyone who admires the man and enjoys good writing. At the end I wanted to hug the guy, and urge him to hurry up and write another four or five volumes. It is his best book so far. (And I have read the others, which are all worth reading.) The title, Moab Is My Washpot, is a quotation from the Bible. As I write my own diary stuff I am aware that this wonderful book, an account of his first twenty years, can help my own attempt at honest. But the book makes me also aware that writing your own story can never be wholly honest.
Letter4No1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stephen Fry's Moab is My Washpot is a brilliant example of a well written memoir. Although it is disappointing that Fry left out (for good reason) his years at Cambridge, Moab does cover his early years until he is in his twenties. A great read for a fan of Fry.I was most impressed with Fry's ability to tell the story of his childhood and adolescence while all the while interjecting pieces of his forty year old life. It was refreshing to see the childish Stephen paired up against the Stephen we all know and love today.His stories of his first (unrequited) love were heart warming and his tales of boarding school interesting for anyone, like myself, who would have no way of knowing the ins and outs of boarding school life. Especially in a country different from my own
Lucybird on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this. It was so honest (sometimes brutally so) and unflinching. There were so many things it would have been easier for Fry to have left out, but that he included them shows a real bravery. I have always respected Stephen Fry for his intelligence, and his humour, and his way of managing to make so much sound interesting but somehow knowing he hasn¿t always had it easy, and hasn¿t always been the greatest person makes me respect him more. That he has gone through certain things, and has turned his whole life around. It would have been so easy to say he was young and stupid but he doesn¿t try to excuse himself of anything, he knows he should have done better. I loved how he was so honest about his emotions throughout. He could have just written it as a this is what happened and made a book out of it but then I don¿t think it would have been particularly special, emotion is something only an autobiography can fully do when writing about fact. At some points he went of on tangents, or even rants which lasted several pages. I suppose for some this could have been annoying but it made the book seem less manufactured to me and more like he was speaking to you. The only other of Fry¿s books I have read is The Liar. I found that plot wise (if we can say an autobiography has a plot) The Liar carried along more nicely, but nobodies life is all action after all and considering that you didn¿t really get bored with Moab is my Washpot. I did find this one easier to read in some ways though, they both had the same style of writing which was almost poetic, and they both had words or ideas that I found hard to grasp but I think part of what made The Liar was that it was meant to confuse whereas Moab is my Washpot was quite simple.
KateLowry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A much needed little injection of 'englishness' while at univ. in Paris. This was a thoroughly enjoyable, quick and easy read; 1 'moab is my wash pot' = about a week's leisurely on the metro addiction. love Fry's writing style; most of the time quite chatty. Might or might not be an insight behind the QI face we all know and love, do get the distinct impression at times that may only be allowing the reader behind one layer of a carefully contructed facade. Are Stephen Frys like onions?? This is, of course, his prerogative, and one wouldn't want a memoir/autobigraphy to be ALL-revealing, it would ruin the fun of it. The odd title; this is never explicitely explained, but I think I got it (?).
shiunji on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perhaps you picked up this book not knowing Stephen. Well, you're about to get very closely acquainted. There is something about the way Stephen strings together words in lists that rolls off your tongue in some sort of symbiotic symmetry & the things he goes on about (passion, obfuscations, insults, literature,...) delights, captivates &... obfuscate. How can he even wonder why people treat him like a living encyclopaedia? The matter of life, growing up & falling in love is all dealt with in the manner I would expect a long lost twin would to his other. To me, his story is a reminder of that old adage about not everything meeting the eye, & the truth in all fables of redemption.
Tess22 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Stephen Fry I 'recognise' is intimidatingly clever, undoubtedly smug, but very loveable and above all exceptionally witty. The narrator of this book - Stephen the autobiographer - is all these things. The Young Schoolboy Stephen he writes about is all these things too. Young Schoolboy Stephen is also a horrible little git. A troubled horrible little git admittedly, but a horrible little git nonetheless.What is unusual is that Stephen-the-autobiographer fully accepts that he was horrible, and makes no excuses for it. "Yes" he says, "I was gay and Jewish and borderline genius and suffering from unrequited love". Many autobiographers would add "Therefore I lied and stole and was cruel and generally did my selfish best to self-destruct". Instead, Stephen stresses that these were arguably factors in his remarkable messed-up-edness, but that they definitely weren't responsible for his actions and that he ultimately has nothing but his own character to blame. Does this mean he is refreshingly honest and unafraid of being disliked? Or does it mean he is unafraid of Young Stephen being retrospectively disliked - while strongly emphasising "This isn't me NOW. I'm ashamed of it NOW"? Then again, his unflinching description of Horrible Git Stephen is still mixed with a healthy dose of familiar Fry charm and endearing insecurities. Is he saying, in smug Stephen fashion, "I was detestable, but you love me anyway, don't you?" Which I do actually. It's all very confusing.So I've decided, I won't care. At the end of the day, this book is moving and intelligent and bloody funny, with amazing language. I love the random tangents as well. Now I'm off to watch QI.
Eruntane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is so honest and so personal that it feels like an intrusion to read it. Having said that, once I started I couldn't stop!
Mithril on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Utterly delightful language.
camillahoel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stephen Fry is delightful. In part because Stephen Fry's writing is delightful. An autobiography on Stephen Fry should therefore be ... precisely. And it is. In a weird, sometimes slightly disturbing way. This book deals with his experiences at school, his criminal tendencies, his sexual awakening and his first love. It starts on the train to boarding school and culminates in prison (which is apparently oddly like boarding school in a number of ways) and then the entrance to Cambridge.Autobiographies have a habit of becoming either self-glorifying grand narratives inexorably driving the author towards his major achievements, or staid sequences of events of the "and then I did this", however sprinkled with juicy anecdotes and opinions about how everyone else went wrong. Stephen Fry, being delightful, manages to avoid both clichés.He laughs at linearity and digresses to his heart's content, skipping backwards and forwards with glee. The first time he did it he did not signal it, and it left me confused for a moment; but as the confusion passed I realised how much I love this way of doing autobiography: he holds in his mind at the same time the memory of himself as a boy and the world around him as it was then, and the knowledge of how it all develops. He does not force the one to submit to the other, in a sort of bleak determinism or an equally problematic nostalgia. Instead he is constantly commenting on the construction of the image of the past that he is creating. The opening words provide a good example:For some reason I recall it as just being me and Bunce. No one else in the compartment at all. Just me, eight years old, and this inexpressibly small dab of misery who told me in one hot, husky breath that his name was Samuelanthonyfarlowebunce. I remember why we were alone now. My mother had dropped us off early at Paddington Station. The impression it gives is not one of fact recounted but of the progress of remembering. Interspersed with the memories are philosophical observations, literary discussions (there is some very good stuff about a gay, dandyfied counter-culture in opposition to the ideal of muscular christianity and its heteronormativity. And P.G. Wodehouse, of course.) and some delicious common sense. The strangest part of reading the book was the oscillation in my mind between absorbing this book as a piece of literature, empathising with the protagonist and thoroughly enjoying myself, and the knowledge that this is Stephen Fry recounting (or at least producing an image of) his childhood. The story of how he was made to see a speech therapist, for example, is very different when you know how wonderfully distinctly he speaks now. The idea that his speech might be incomprehensible is so wildly unbelievable that it somehow becomes wildly interesting. That, and I love trying the tongue twisters. I think I startled my boyfriend by suddenly saying thatBetty had a bit of bitter butter and put it in her batter and made her batter bitter. Then Betty put a bit of better butter in her bitter batter and made her bitter batter better. (103)I also laughed out loud several times (cue more startled looks), despite the fact that so much of the book is taken up with recounting humiliations and difficulties in fitting in among other children. The theme should make it sad and difficult to read, but it is told in such a way that it is delightful (that word again),even hilarious. There is a story about a dead mole and an evil girl with a donkey which cannot be summarised. And Fry's rants about the horror of not being able to sing had me giggling.The book also left me feeling that I now know all I ever needed to know about a young gay man's sexual awakening. Not to mention all the stuff that apparently goes (went?) on at public schools. But while I am usually very prudish about this sort of thing, it did not put me off here. Perhaps because of the way it is written. And perhaps because it was all tied up with ra
SMG-lblake on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the very start of the story of Stephen Fry. With this novell, Fry delves deep into the compelling issues that make the Fry we know today. Everything from homesexuality, to the ttime he spent in jail. This book is informative, interesting, sad, happy endearing and absolutley hilarious!!!!!! a great read for age range 15+.
edwardsgt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An at times painfully honest autobiography of a much-loved British institution.
Coreena More than 1 year ago
I've always loved Stephen Fry's writing and acting and thoroughly enjoyed reading this account of his early life. It gives a real glimpse into the whole British school boy boarding school experience. Fry uses words so well and knows how to tell a story. This autobiography is linear in that it goes through the events of his school life, but then he also goes off on tangents that reveal more about who Stephen Fry is and the kind of world that he grew up in. I love this kind of meandery story telling. This is a well written memoir that I raced through because I could hardly put it down. I can hardly wait to read the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is written so well. Fry does an amazing job. It was like poetry. The words just flowed right after one another. It was a beautiful book to read after going an unusually long time without reading. I would recommend it to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book, well written and much funnier than the more popular Fry Chronicles. Interesting to hear about his early life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago