EPS Review #56 - The Stars' Tennis Balls

by Stephen Fry

You can pretty much finish this book off if you buy it at Paddington station and read it until Truro in Cornwall. And it will make it a fun ride, even if there is nothing to eat but crisps. At first I was not sure if I had read this one already, since it had a lot of the (annoying) class angst that was also present in The Liar. Neither story is as good as the excellent, autobiographical Moab Is My Washpot. I think this is because in fiction it is easier to indulge Fry's Evelyn Waugh-ish sense of the nasty.

STB begins as a school-friend novel, but then surprisingly turns into a spy story, followed by some big-time revenge with dot-com trappings thrown in. The main point of enjoyment is the over-the-top orotundity. It's very much the voice of the man you loved in Jeeves and Wooster and Black Adder. I'd quote some, if only I hadn't given the book away... I see Fry writes "Wodehouse's three great achievements are Plot, Character and Language, and the greatest of these by far is Language."

Gavin wrote: I just read The Book of Illusions, the new Paul Auster. Awesome. Parts just leave you breathless. I guess you have to like Auster, though (don't remember you being too keen on The New York Trilogy). Never read Stephen Fry, although Moab was supposed to be pretty good. Too low-brow for a complete snob such as I...

Ed wrote: the title for his autobiography is from Psalm 108, (which I sang in the choir at school): "Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe, upon Philistia will I triumph" this is an early example of trash-talking. "shoe" is apparently an archaic word for "turd" so what the Psalmist is saying is "I will piss on Moab, and shit on Edom" how does Stephen Fry tie this into his autobiography??

John wrote: I'll take you up on your recommendation but I doubt if one journey to Truro will finish it.