Undeniably Inspirational; ‘The Fry Chronicles’ by Stephen Fry

The Fry ChroniclesAs an addict for information I am not particularly fussy about what I consume, just what interests me, which generally (dependant on my mood) ranges from Plato’s Theory of Forms to Made in Chelsea. It is a vast, spanning scale and I make no apology for my less tasteful information needs. When my ‘fandom’ expands to cover celebrities with whom I want to emulate so badly I would willingly crawl inside their skin and pretend to be them admire, I greedily purchase their autobiographies and devour them. The books that is, not the celebrities.

So while I found my attention waning during my perusal of Fry’s second Autobiography ‘The Fry Chronicles’, it was still undeniably a fascinating read. I’ll be honest, anything regarding Fry’s pre-University days I wasn’t particularly interested in, such is my capricious nature. Post-University I cared only for the comics, Blackadder and Fry and Laurie – and I was a bit miffed I didn’t get anything in regards to that. Have I been surprised? Oh yes. Latin!, Me and My Girl – I certainly knew nothing of these successes. Yet even with Fry’s charming prose I still wasn’t that fussed- apologies Mr Fry, I am a fickle reader. Should anyone ever read my own autobiography, I am certain 90% of the time they would be wondering what fool agreed to publish such drivel. One of the many reasons I, unlike Mr Fry, remain an unpublished author.

I, in all my splendid laziness, managed to by some miracle scrape through my degree with a respectable 2:1. This I assume owed mainly to my seminar discussion skills and in no way owing to my abysmal exam skills and lack of passion for my ill-conceived dissertation topic.

I’d never really thought about my lack of academic life before, well I probably had, in one of those moments of despair when you realise rather than working in a publishing house you have woken to the nightmare that is your life in Accounts – a career you promised yourself you would never end up in. However, self-loathing aside, I hadn’t given it much thought. Fry’s University career sounded, while enormously exhausting, wondrous. Why didn’t I join half of my university’s societies, become a contributor to my University newspaper? Why, more importantly, did I have such apathy? My own humble University is an undeniably marvellous institution, but with my minuscule campus separated so distantly from its hub I never could never be bothered. My own slothfulness and fear of existing defeated any plans for excellence.

Should I ever attempt BA again, I would fare better. The beauty of hindsight is that, now I know how not to reach my potential, I am armed with the knowledge to accomplish it. I now appreciate the value of learning and thoroughly enjoy any opportunity to do so. I am at a place in existence where I finally know what I enjoy, and as a more rounded individual I know what I would like to focus on academically to suit said enjoyments. If only I had the time and the funds!

Even with my fluctuating ability to pay interest I really did enjoy reading his autobiography. Hat’s off to Mr Fry really, he gave University its all and reaped a multitude of benefits for it. Students should be required to read Fry’s section on his university days as mandatory instruction to encourage studiousness and deter student apathy. Never mind some stuffy Secondary School or A-Level teacher telling you what to learn – double science has never been the benefit I was promised it would be. So read this book please, it is a fantastic example of a rather humble genius and his fantastical existence. Beautifully written; you may want to put it down but you’ll definitely want to pick it back up again.

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[…] enough about me. The Fry Chronicles, Fry’s second memoir, was the first book I ‘reviewed’ back in 2012. It’s […]

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