Tag Archive for Stephen Fry

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (George Newnes, 1892); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (ABC, 2017) The first and arguably most accomplished batch of Sherlock Holmes short stories. The cases are consistently ingenious and Holmes is full of a vitality that Conan Doyle would not always muster. Stephen Fry reads with the obvious relish of a lifelong…

Jeeves and the King of Clubs

Jeeves and the King of Clubs by Ben Schott (Hutchinson, 2018); audiobook read by James Lance (Bolinda, 2018) Schott faithfully dovetails his plot threads and recaptures much of Wodehouse’s loquacity, albeit without quite the same vim of expression or uproarious knack for aperçus. The world is right but the reading seems off. It really needed Hugh Laurie and/or Stephen Fry.…

Paddington Here and Now

Paddington Here and Now by Michael Bond (HarperCollins, 2010); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (Oakhill, 2012) Fifty-plus years from his first appearance, Paddington Bear remains a chaotic force of nature, his innocence, ignorance and polite, good-natured optimism giving rise to all manner of comic misunderstandings. Stephen Fry voices the characters beautifully. Paddington, it seems, will never grow old.    

Saturday Live, Volume One

Saturday Live, Volume One by Stephen Fry & Hugh Laurie (Redbush, 2015) A patchy collection of highlights (so-called) from the 1986 TV variety show. Fry and Laurie are first-billed but don’t actually feature that much. Instead, there’s Ben Elton’s high-octane social and political stand-up, protest poems by Craig Charles, and several remarkably unfunny also-rans.    

The Stars’ Tennis Balls

The Stars’ Tennis Balls by Stephen Fry (Hutchinson, 2000); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (Random House, 2010) Beginning as a typically loquacious exploration of class and envy, Fry’s fourth novel (‘Revenge’ in reissue) is forged over three acts into a harrowing, tender, bitter Shakespearean tragedy – best performed by Fry himself. Two-facedness reaps what it sows; the cycle starts over.…

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (George Newnes, 1902); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (Audible, 2017) Despite lacking its protagonist for extended periods and being little more complex a mystery than those of Conan Doyle’s short stories, The Hound of the Baskervilles sustains itself quite charmingly at novel length. The unhurried telling affords added solemnity to the…

The Enormous Crocodile

The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl (Jonathan Cape, 1978); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (Puffin, 2013) A classic safe scare for young middle grade readers, the audiobook stripped of Quentin Blake’s illustrations but enhanced in compensation by Stephen Fry’s delivery (albeit that the background soundscape becomes tiresome, especially when signifying the crocodile’s trademark ‘secret plans and clever tricks’).    

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (George Newnes, 1893); audiobook ready by Stephen Fry (ABC, 2017) Despite coming across as increasingly distant from modern times, these tales of Sherlock Holmes retain their appeal. Simply put, Holmes and Watson are great characters, and the mysteries themselves have a charm that rests enduringly in Conan Doyle’s (and Stephen…

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling (Bloomsbury, 1997); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (ABC Audio, 1999) Enid Blyton for the new millennium. After a slow start—and notwithstanding some exaggerated stock characters—Rowling unleashes her fearsome imagination to bring us Hogwarts and Hagrid, Quidditch and quiddities. Stephen Fry’s narration brings welcome verve whenever the text loses its magic.…

Mythos

Mythos by Stephen Fry (Michael Joseph, 2017) Stephen Fry not only retells the myths of Ancient Greece with deftness and a modern appreciation, but manages also to unravel the tangled dramatis personae from creation onwards and make it comprehensible to the uninitiated (which to varying extents we all are).