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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Moab is my Washpot

Just finished reading (yesterday, but whatever) the first twenty years in the life of Stephen Fry, titled, incomprehensibly, Moab is my Washpot. I still have yet to find out what that's supposed to mean. *Looks it up on Wikipedia* Oh, it's a biblical reference. But it is never referred to in the text of the book, so I guess one would have to be slightly biblically aware in order to understand it. Well anyway. I'm a big fan of all things Stephen Fry, so it's no wonder I enjoyed the read. There's a lot of autobiographicalness to his book The Liar, which I had read previously, so I occasionally felt like I was re-reading. Generally, there was a lot touching on the British public and prep school system (where public = private, I know, it's very British of them, isn't it?), which I found quite interesting - it being a completely different world than anything I have or probably ever will experience. It's neat to read about such things. Plus, of course, I really enjoy Fry's way with words, and unapologetic use of his extensive vocabulary.

Must say, some bits of the text were occasionally hard to follow. Fry has a tendency to hop around on tangents in the middle of a particular bit of story, which makes for a bit of a brain-mushing read, if you're not paying close enough attention. Which, sad to say, I have an occasional tendency to do. This was one of the first books I've read in a while where I felt like I had to carefully read each word of a paragraph in order to get the whole meaning of it. In many books I have the ability to skim things quite quickly and still get the message into my brain.

Anyway, verdict is that you should read it only if you're interested in a look at the British public school system in general, and Stephen Fry in specific. I found it fascinating, but generally autobiographies of funny people are quite to my taste (read Bill Bryson's stuff, too!).

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