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The Liar by Stephen Fry

The Liar (1991)

by Stephen Fry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,785422,990 (3.61)85
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» See also 85 mentions

English (41)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
A light parlour-game of a book: inconsequential and the extent to which you will enjoy it depends on your tolerance for that kind of thing. For my part, a large chunk of the book revolves around things which I have no interest in – public school, cricket and homosexuality – even if it is redeemed to some extent by two things I am interested in – brevity and wordplay. Fry can write, but the book is a strange one, with weird, meandering plots and characters who don't transcend their function. And a lot of it is misdirection (hence the 'Liar' of the title), meaning the reader's endeavour is often pointless. The whole thing makes sense at the end, but the end is a long time to wait when you don't like what's going on, or even know what is going on. ( )
  MikeFutcher | May 29, 2018 |
Very strange storyline. Enjoyed parts of it, but the last third seemed really disconnected from the rest of the book.

Oh, and for some reason I really wanted to see Hugo&Adrien together. ( )
  newcastlee | Dec 30, 2017 |
I agree with most reviews: Love Fry and that's the only reason this book is worth reading.

I gave it 3 then switched it 2 because

1. Fry is showing off too much - the multiple languages, the obscure academic references, and so on were more than a bit too much. I mean this is QI on steroids
2. If you never went to British public school huge parts of the story are boring & incomprehensible - sorry don't have a clue about cricket
3. The unbelievable personal life story is more believable than the spy bits - only because I read Fry's autobiography first. But even so, it's like he took his own life story and jacked it up to 11 on the scale of 10.
3a. The spy bits were just hilariously awful
4. None of the characters are all that interesting
5. No real emotion or insight

When it comes down to it, of all his many talents, writing is not Fry's best. His autobiographies suffer some of the same failings as this novel. Still love him though. ( )
  aront | Jul 25, 2017 |

That was the first thought in my head (actually it was a little more colorful than that) when the story started to wind down.

Slater third book, Liar, is an intriguing tale of family, single parenting, dating when you have kids, dating when your mother is heavily involved in your life and suspicion. Is there a theme Slater didn’t hit? Maybe, but what she does use is written wisely and at a great pace you’d want in a novel with this level of suspense and paranoia.

At first my own biases were playing against me because I have a Mother-In-Law who throughout our decade of marriage still doesn’t believe I have any authority in my marriage or as a parent so reading about a mother this involved in her son’s life I immediately wanted to believe she was completely crazy and needed to back off.

Thankfully I was able to push through my own crappy experiences because Slater’s novel definitely deserved to be judged on its own merits. The novel starts off explosively with someone bloody and dying and someone else holding the knife.

Then you get to meet the characters. Suddenly the over bearing mother doesn’t seem so bad especially when the new girlfriend is straight out of Fatal Attraction. Slater just can’t help with throwing us off balance so nothing ever seems to be completely black and white.

Having the chapters seesaw between Judi the grandmother and Amber the girlfriend really provided an interesting experience especially when you get to see how they view each other and how they each experience the same situation differently. I felt as the reader it was almost as if each character was trying to sway us to their side; it was a mind trip.

It was definitely an interesting view of the mother-in-law versus daughter-in-law dynamic particularly when ‘mom’ only has one child to focus all her energy on; trust me – I live that dynamic and it’s NOT fun. After reading this I’m glad we already have legal papers drawn up assuring the continuity of care for our kids because this book has me FREAKED OUT!! ( )
  ttsheehan | Jul 5, 2017 |
Entertaining language. Alternates between being a pedantic sort of clever, and brown humor obscene. Did not bother keeping up with the codenames in the italicized interludes but turns out it did not matter in the end because it was all an elaborate game. The chronology jumps around a bit, had to get used to that. Skipped the cricket sections without guilt. Basically it's not something you should trouble yourself about understanding completely, just let it wash over you. Flowerbuck the best joke in the book. ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:31 -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 6 descriptions

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