Sunday, 25 October 2015

Stephen Fry: Don't Buy his Books Ever

Young writers are often encouraged to 'find their own voice.' However, if you are Stephen Fry, time would be better spent finding someone else's voice. In his Incomplete and Utter History of Classical Music, Fry manages to perfect his persona. He captures the experience of being caught at a dinner party with a bore.

Fry's refusal to give any information without adding an anecdote that is designed to prove his superior wit. In the early chapters, he flirts with racism (Chinese names, eh? Hilarious), before proving that old myth about Wagner enthusiasts being boring (Wagner gets pages and pages, reflecting the maestro's long, tedious passages). JS Bach gets less of a mention than Julie Andrews, and while it is unfair to expect a light entertainment read to be comprehensive, Fry - or possible his co-author Tim Lihoreau - could have made an effort to include some information.

When authors moan about the death of print, they usually blame the internet. I blame Stephen Fry: publishing something this bad, lazy and conceited is an argument against cutting down trees for paper. In short, Fry's prose style is a perfect match for the expression on his fucking smug face. Ask him the time, and he'll meander around a pun on clock until you miss your train.

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