Leave it to Stephen Fry to write a three-volume novel of his life. For those, like me, who started with the third volume, the British comedy star does an entertaining job of recapping his early years before he gets into the juicy parts. All told, More Fool Me covers 20 years of his life, into the 1990s, picking up steam as he rises to fame on the London comedy sketch scene with best friend Hugh Laurie.
Fans of Fry will enjoy this book. It’s as if you’re having a conversation with Fry in a London gentleman’s club as you sit sipping a cocktail, listening to stories about how he survived his cocaine years. He has tales about being jailed for credit card fraud, trying to bribe police with Blackadder tickets, drinking with Helen Mirren, and having Prince Charles and Princess Diana invite themselves to tea at his house. An active humanitarian, Fry also describes events for Britain’s first AIDS charity, marching with the Stonewall Group, and addressing Parliament alongside Sir Ian McKellen in support of LGBT rights legislation.
I especially loved the story of 12-year-old Fry falling in love with Oscar Wilde’s writing to the point of stalking his neighborhood mobile library. Twenty-eight years later, he would turn in his most brilliant performance as the man himself in Wilde. Looking back, he says, “I have felt rather like someone groping forwards barefoot in an unlit attic, forever treading on unexpected Lego bricks.” Find More Fool Me at Books on the Square, home of the Providence’s Queer Book Club, and find Fry himself on Twitter at @stephenfry.