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The Liar by Stephen Fry
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The Liar (1991)

by Stephen Fry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (29)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Stephen Fry is one of my favorite writers/actors/presenters/people. There isn't much he's done professionally that I don't enjoy, and with regards to his books, I'm saving them so I can read a new one now and then. So, with my new resolve to read more books from my shelf (and stop buying so many new ones), it was time to read 'The Liar'.
The Liar is and follows Adrian, from his days in a public boarding school to his days at Cambridge and after. He has always seen himself as very different from everyone else, and while he portrays himself to others as being very confident and independent, inside he is extremely insecure and alone. He gets caught up in an espionage plot by his professor at Cambridge which leads to an exciting time during the summer holidays in Europe.
The story is told in chronological disorder, with chapters bouncing from Adrian's time at Cambridge back to public school and vice versa. The book is of course filled with Stephen Fry's wonderful language, and I can hear him reading it to me. He makes me love the English language. Like another reviewer, I can see the similarities between his biography 'Moab is my Washpot' and this story, which makes me wonder if this story is his wishful thinking about his own life's history. It made the book a bit less enjoyable to me, because that was always nagging me. The espionage part of the story didn't do much for me. All in all, it was nice to read something by Fry, but it wasn't as brilliant as I had hoped, so I give it three out of five stars. ( )
  divinenanny | Aug 12, 2013 |
Gave up after 40 pages, just not for me I'm afraid! ( )
  abbybarker | Apr 9, 2013 |
I didn't like this book. In fact I didn't finish it. I couldn't find the story. I never cared for a single character. I couldn't be bothered with the spy-laden interludes to the main story. However, because I adore Stephen Fry, I'm willing to accept this my failure as a reader rather than Fry's as an author. ( )
  bsquaredinoz | Mar 31, 2013 |
If I hadn't read "Moab is my Washpot" before reading "The Liar", I would probably have enjoyed it more. As it is, this book now seemed to be an odd mix of two separate books: an addition to Fry's school years autobiography, and a camp espionage caper. Not unlike Oscar Wilde, the author sprinkles bon mots throughout the text. The recondite vocabulary is sometimes exhilarating, sometimes tiring, typical for the "Look mama, no hands.." mentality of a new author keen to prove his virtuosity. On the whole, a bit unbalanced (the espionage story is pretty weak), but with beautiful descriptions of the sufferings of young Stephen. ( )
  fist | Feb 22, 2012 |
Enjoyed the wit, language, and colourful windows into public school and Cambridge. Heard Fry's voice throughout. ( )
  LARA335 | Nov 1, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Fryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Becker, RoyceCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 156947012X, Paperback)

An irresistible novel by multi-talented Stephen Fry, author, film and television star, playwright and newspaper columnist.

"The spirits of Oscar Wilde and Evelyn Waugh glower benignly over this very funny first novel . . . An ingenious plot filled with surprises and glittering with hilarious, often indecent inventions."—The New York Times Book Review

"Transforms the sophomoric into the sophisticated."—Los Angeles Times

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:55 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Adrian Healy loves to lie, and already in his public school career, marked by privilege and pederasty, he had lost the ability to differentiate between simple truth and his elaborate fictions.

» see all 3 descriptions

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