REVIEW × The Stars' Tennis Balls

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Jealous spite And spite is about to change Ned's life forever  A promise made to a dying teacher and a vile trick played by fellow pupils rocket Ned from cricket captain to solitary confinement from head boy to political prisoner Twenty years later Ned returns to London a very different man from the boy seized outside a Knightsbridge language college  A man implacably focused on revenge Revenge is a dish he plans to savour and serve to those who conspired against him and to those who forgot h A modern update of the Count of Monte Cristo revenge tale set in England between 1980 and the present day A well written thriller good for a pleasant diversionary read Starts off with a very compelling set up as the main character is betrayed and then sent off into a mysterious exile lost to his father and the girl he loves This is the most plausible part of the book although some fairly outlandish coincedences and connections occur to make the situation as bad as possible for the main character The second phase is the most interesting part of the book as the lead character is mentored by a mysterious stranger during his imprisonment Of course he escapes makes his way back to England and exacts his revenge on those who perpretrated the crimes against him as a young man The escape and the subseuent events are the least realistic parts of the book and in some ways most of the drama went out of the story once the main character returned to EnglandIf you are familiar with the details of the Count of Monte Cristo you'll find nearly all of them here in this tale Monte Cristo is one of my favorite old time adventure tales but I will admit that it bogs down in some parts especially towards the end Stephen Fry's update of the story is much shorteryou can breeze through this easily in a few hours And I liked this version better in some ways than Alexandre Dumas's original version For one thing since the story is set in the modern era I can relate much better to the means used to betray the main character and so can almost believe that this sort of thing could take place But that familiarity created by the modern setting works against itself when we come to the endgame because the main character manipulates events far too easily for me to buy into the idea that he could get away with such efforts and not be revealed by the press or his enemies for who he isOne last note about this book that I kind of enjoyed is the depiction of British class and social consciousness The archvillain of the story by that I mean that it is his jealousy is what sets the trail of events in motion is shown at the beginning of the tale to have a fearfully well developed sense of envy of the upper classes and he aspires to join their ranks while at the same time despising much about what he thinks they stand for This was a very interesting section of the book and it comes right at the beginning I am aware that these kind of class resentments exist in English society but they seem like very foreign ideas to me as an American So it was mildly interesting to get a glimpse into the mind of someone who harbors that kind of hatred though I can't be sure how realistic exaggerated or representative this character and his feelings areBottom line a good thriller for someone looking for pleasure reading Recommended to anyone who liked the Count of Monte Cristo Concubine life forever  A promise made to a dying teacher and a vile trick played by fellow pupils rocket Ned from cricket captain to solitary confinement from head boy to political prisoner Twenty years Flower and The Beast 2 later Ned returns to London a very different man from the boy seized outside a Knightsbridge I Do, Two language college  A man implacably focused on revenge Revenge is a dish he plans to savour and serve to those who conspired against him and to those who forgot h A modern update of the Count of Monte Cristo revenge tale set in England between 1980 and the present day A well written thriller good for a pleasant diversionary read Starts off with a very compelling set up as the main character is betrayed and then sent off into a mysterious exile Lasers lost to his father and the girl he She Weeps Each Time Youre Born loves This is the most plausible part of the book although some fairly outlandish coincedences and connections occur to make the situation as bad as possible for the main character The second phase is the most interesting part of the book as the Tethered to the World (A Phantom Touched lead character is mentored by a mysterious stranger during his imprisonment Of course he escapes makes his way back to England and exacts his revenge on those who perpretrated the crimes against him as a young man The escape and the subseuent events are the Warheart (Sword of Truth, least realistic parts of the book and in some ways most of the drama went out of the story once the main character returned to EnglandIf you are familiar with the details of the Count of Monte Cristo you'll find nearly all of them here in this tale Monte Cristo is one of my favorite old time adventure tales but I will admit that it bogs down in some parts especially towards the end Stephen Fry's update of the story is much shorteryou can breeze through this easily in a few hours And I Bad Luck, Trouble, Death, and Vampire Sex liked this version better in some ways than Alexandre Dumas's original version For one thing since the story is set in the modern era I can relate much better to the means used to betray the main character and so can almost believe that this sort of thing could take place But that familiarity created by the modern setting works against itself when we come to the endgame because the main character manipulates events far too easily for me to buy into the idea that he could get away with such efforts and not be revealed by the press or his enemies for who he isOne the gibson last note about this book that I kind of enjoyed is the depiction of British class and social consciousness The archvillain of the story by that I mean that it is his jealousy is what sets the trail of events in motion is shown at the beginning of the tale to have a fearfully well developed sense of envy of the upper classes and he aspires to join their ranks while at the same time despising much about what he thinks they stand for This was a very interesting section of the book and it comes right at the beginning I am aware that these kind of class resentments exist in English society but they seem The Forked Tongue Revisited like very foreign ideas to me as an American So it was mildly interesting to get a glimpse into the mind of someone who harbors that kind of hatred though I can't be sure how realistic exaggerated or representative this character and his feelings areBottom Bad Things in the Night line a good thriller for someone Mountain Man (Men of Lake Tahoe Series, looking for pleasure reading Recommended to anyone who Diana (Sunfire, liked the Count of Monte Cristo

READ & DOWNLOAD º TOBERMOREDRIVEWAYS.CO.UK â Stephen Fry

The Stars' Tennis Balls

We are merely the stars' tennis balls struck and bandiedWhich way please them The Duchess of Malfi by John WebsterEverything about Stephen Fry's new novel including the title will be a surprise perhaps even a shock The only thing that can be guaranteed is that it will be his next earth movingly funny bestseller And we are still pretty confidently saying it will not be about earthworm migration patterns in East DevonThis is the story of Ned Maddenstone a nice young man who is about to find out jus At the outset this is late twentieth century rendering of The Count of Monte Cristo If you don't know that story please don't read on any further it will be spoiler ridden and maybe you are from another planetWe all know what happens in The Count of Monte Cristo Edmond Dantès first mate of the ship Pharaon who has recently been granted the succession of his captain Leclère is trapped in a false intrigue by a group of people jealous of him for various reasons The deputy crown prosecutor of Marseille finding that his own father is really implicated in the treason sacrifices Dantès to imprisonment without trial in the island prison of Château d'If He learns of a fortune on the isle of Monte Cristo from another prisoner there and claims it after making good his escape Returning as a rich man he extracts revenge on all his enemies in exemplary fashionWhat Stephen Fry has done is transport this story to the end of the last century Here the protagonist is Ned Maddstone the handsome and talented son of conservative MP Sir Charles Maddstone He is madly in love with Portia Fendeman who is the daughter of leftist Jews Peter and Hillary who don't approve of the union Portia's cousin Gordon madly in love with her himself also disapproves of it The other people who hate Ned are his classmates Ashley Barson Garland employed as Sir Charles's secretary and the junkie Rufus Cade because they are jealous of his privilegesThey decide to get him busted for drug pushing by planting weed in his overcoat pocket But the prank misfires as Ned is also carrying a missive from the captain of the sailboat he was sailing on during his vacation an instruction to the IRA for planting bombs The secret service man who interrogates him Oliver Delft rightly identifies him as an innocent victim but finds out to his horror that his mother is the intended recipient To protect himself Delft has Ned committed to a lunatic asylum on a Nordic Island which the secret service uses to bury troublesome prisonersOn the island Ned lives a life of uiet despair and is on the verge of losing his sanity when he meets Babe another political prisoner This proves to be turning point in his life With Babe's help Ned becomes a changed person Like the original Count of Monte Cristo he manages to escape and amass a fortune What remains is the triumphant return and revengeStephen Fry has managed the astonishing feat of staying as close to the original as possible while transporting the whole story to the current era When Ned goes to the asylum in 1980 there are still no mobile phones or internet lovers still write letters on paper and post them in envelops USA and USSR are engaged in a cold war which it seems will never end When he comes out in 1999 we are in the midst of the dotcom revolution and communism is a distant memory The changes of the tumultuous two decades are woven seamlessly into the tale The only thing which has not changed it seems is the duplicity of politicians and human greed The author manages to shower trenchant criticism on British society politics and the fruits of the neoliberalist philosophies which ruled the roost in the late nineties and the early twenty first century while not losing the central thread of this gripping revenge taleAn enjoyable read though not a great work of literature Fry's language is a treat though Warheart (Sword of Truth, late twentieth century rendering of The Count of Monte Cristo If you don't know that story please don't read on any further it will be spoiler ridden and maybe you are from another planetWe all know what happens in The Count of Monte Cristo Edmond Dantès first mate of the ship Pharaon who has recently been granted the succession of his captain Leclère is trapped in a false intrigue by a group of people jealous of him for various reasons The deputy crown prosecutor of Marseille finding that his own father is really implicated in the treason sacrifices Dantès to imprisonment without trial in the island prison of Château d'If He Bad Luck, Trouble, Death, and Vampire Sex learns of a fortune on the isle of Monte Cristo from another prisoner there and claims it after making good his escape Returning as a rich man he extracts revenge on all his enemies in exemplary fashionWhat Stephen Fry has done is transport this story to the end of the the gibson last century Here the protagonist is Ned Maddstone the handsome and talented son of conservative MP Sir Charles Maddstone He is madly in The Forked Tongue Revisited love with Portia Fendeman who is the daughter of Bad Things in the Night leftist Jews Peter and Hillary who don't approve of the union Portia's cousin Gordon madly in Mountain Man (Men of Lake Tahoe Series, love with her himself also disapproves of it The other people who hate Ned are his classmates Ashley Barson Garland employed as Sir Charles's secretary and the junkie Rufus Cade because they are jealous of his privilegesThey decide to get him busted for drug pushing by planting weed in his overcoat pocket But the prank misfires as Ned is also carrying a missive from the captain of the sailboat he was sailing on during his vacation an instruction to the IRA for planting bombs The secret service man who interrogates him Oliver Delft rightly identifies him as an innocent victim but finds out to his horror that his mother is the intended recipient To protect himself Delft has Ned committed to a Diana (Sunfire, lunatic asylum on a Nordic Island which the secret service uses to bury troublesome prisonersOn the island Ned Blue Crush (Blue, lives a At Home in India life of uiet despair and is on the verge of The Woman in the Wall losing his sanity when he meets Babe another political prisoner This proves to be turning point in his War (The Four Horsemen, life With Babe's help Ned becomes a changed person Like the original Count of Monte Cristo he manages to escape and amass a fortune What remains is the triumphant return and revengeStephen Fry has managed the astonishing feat of staying as close to the original as possible while transporting the whole story to the current era When Ned goes to the asylum in 1980 there are still no mobile phones or internet Flight of the Piasa lovers still write The Golden Vortex letters on paper and post them in envelops USA and USSR are engaged in a cold war which it seems will never end When he comes out in 1999 we are in the midst of the dotcom revolution and communism is a distant memory The changes of the tumultuous two decades are woven seamlessly into the tale The only thing which has not changed it seems is the duplicity of politicians and human greed The author manages to shower trenchant criticism on British society politics and the fruits of the neoliberalist philosophies which ruled the roost in the El Jarron Azul late nineties and the early twenty first century while not Sovereign of Stars (The She-King, losing the central thread of this gripping revenge taleAn enjoyable read though not a great work of Fall of Paris literature Fry's Mastering Search Analytics language is a treat though

Stephen Fry â 1 REVIEW

T what hell it is to be one of the stars' tennis balls  For Ned 1978 seems a blissful year handsome popular responsible and a fine cricketer life is progressing smoothly for him if not effortlessly When he meets Portia Fendeman his personal jigsaw appears complete What if her left wing parents despise his Tory MP father? Doesn't that just make them star crossed lovers? And surely in the end won't the Fendemans be won over by their happiness?  But of course one person's happiness is another's With The Stars’ Tennis Balls Stephen Fry gives us a kind of modern retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo with a comedic twist and highly entertaining it is tooIf I had one criticism it would be that he occasionally slips a little too close to a somewhat adolescent revenge fantasy but that’s a minor uibble at most; don’t let it put you off Asphodel (The Underworld Trilogy, life is progressing smoothly for him if not effortlessly When he meets Portia Fendeman his personal jigsaw appears complete What if her Aquinass Way to God left wing parents despise his Tory MP father? Doesn't that just make them star crossed Rebound Roommate (Men of Lake Tahoe Series, lovers? And surely in the end won't the Fendemans be won over by their happiness?  But of course one person's happiness is another's With The Stars’ Tennis Balls Stephen Fry gives us a kind of modern retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo with a comedic twist and highly entertaining it is tooIf I had one criticism it would be that he occasionally slips a Cure for the Loneliness little too close to a somewhat adolescent revenge fantasy but that’s a minor uibble at most; don’t Bijoux en origami let it put you off


10 thoughts on “The Stars' Tennis Balls

  1. says:

    At the outset this is late twentieth century rendering of The Count of Monte Cristo If you don't know that story please don't read on any further it will be spoiler ridden and maybe you are from another planetWe all know what happens in The Count of Monte Cristo Edmond Dantès first mate of the ship Pharaon who has recently been granted the succession of his captain Leclère is trapped in a false intrigue by a group of people jealous of him for various reasons The deputy crown prosecutor of Marseille finding that his own father is really implicated in the treason sacrifices Dantès to imprisonment without trial in the island prison of Château d'If He learns of a fortune on the isle of Monte Cristo from another prisoner there and claims it after making good his escape Returning as a rich man he extracts revenge on all his enemies in exemplary fashionWhat Stephen Fry has done is transport this story to the end of the last century Here the protagonist is Ned Maddstone the handsome and talented son of conservative MP Sir Charles Maddstone He is madly in love with Portia Fendeman who is the daughter of leftist Jews Peter and Hillary who don't approve of the union Portia's cousin Gordon madly in love with her himself also disapproves of it The other people who hate Ned are his classmates Ashley Barson Garland employed as Sir Charles's secretary and the junkie Rufus Cade because they are jealous of his privilegesThey decide to get him busted for drug pushing by planting weed in his overcoat pocket But the prank misfires as Ned is also carrying a missive from the captain of the sailboat he was sailing on during his vacation an instruction to the IRA for planting bombs The secret service man who interrogates him Oliver Delft rightly identifies him as an innocent victim but finds out to his horror that his mother is the intended recipient To protect himself Delft has Ned committed to a lunatic asylum on a Nordic Island which the secret service uses to bury troublesome prisonersOn the island Ned lives a life of uiet despair and is on the verge of losing his sanity when he meets Babe another political prisoner This proves to be turning point in his life With Babe's help Ned becomes a changed person Like the original Count of Monte Cristo he manages to escape and amass a fortune What remains is the triumphant return and revengeStephen Fry has managed the astonishing feat of staying as close to the original as possible while transporting the whole story to the current era When Ned goes to the asylum in 1980 there are still no mobile phones or internet lovers still write letters on paper and post them in envelops USA and USSR are engaged in a cold war which it seems will never end When he comes out in 1999 we are in the midst of the dotcom revolution and communism is a distant memory The changes of the tumultuous two decades are woven seamlessly into the tale The only thing which has not changed it seems is the duplicity of politicians and human greed The author manages to shower trenchant criticism on British society politics and the fruits of the neoliberalist philosophies which ruled the roost in the late nineties and the early twenty first century while not losing the central thread of this gripping revenge taleAn enjoyable read though not a great work of literature Fry's language is a treat though


  2. says:

    My students seem at times to be wholly obsessed with “getting back” at people who have done them wrong I try to calm them down to refocus them on positive things but the truth is when you want to get revenge you are completely and absolutely immersed in that feeling You can’t help but fixate on those who have wronged you and those who must now pay the price It is an obsession a complete fixation that overwhelms mind body and soul That heightened emotional state breeds a greater emotional investment by the readerAnd it has done for centuries hence the ongoing appeal of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo with all its swashbuckling through stage 9 separate scripts in the 21st century and screen most notably in 2002 and into prime time television in ABC’s Revenge But perhaps the most compelling version of the story comes from British actorgame show hostscholarauthorwit Stephen Fry whose 2000 novel Revenge can happily be found in most bargain bins of your local second hand book storeFry retells the classic tale of betrayal and deception far from the tumultuous France of the early 18th century Instead he opts for the seemingly bland era of early 80slate 90s England The long forgotten often historically obscured threats of a militant IRA chaotic Tory party mean little to an American audience but they perfectly support this story and become intimately familiar in the context of a wrong man seeking justiceFor Fry young Ned Maddstone–all around likable private school prodigy–is the unfortunate protagonist Witless to the machinations of his malevolent “friends” Ned’s privileged place in society is crushed in the course of a single afternoon A prank a package and a family secret combine to exile him to a psychiatric hospital in Scandinavia where distance and uncertainty wipe away his memories of what h really is With the help of a curmudgeonly mentor Ned regains his memory and seeks a return to his old life by revisiting cruelty upon cruelty on the heads of those who wronged him firstA public figure who prides himself on love of language Fry is a reader’s writer the kind of writer who will gleefully use anagrams as an homage Ned Maddstone Edmond Dantes–Dumas’ original protagonist incorporate a plethora of references to antiuity along with a healthy dollop of good old fashioned vulgarity My favorite uote “Where were you when someone got their comeuppance on live television? I was watching television shit for brainswhere were you?” But best of all he understands the truth of revengeFry makes sure that it’s terribly fun to watch Maddstone styling himself as Simon Cotter tech gazillionaire undo the treacherous louts who ruined his life And I mean that in the truest sense of “terribly” As the story unfolds you are both completely totally and horrifyingly captivated The destruction of a human life to satisfy personal animus is awfuland awfully entertaining For that alone this is a phenomenal book


  3. says:

    Ooo this had so much promise at the beginning I got so excited when I saw it at the library and got it home I've enjoyed Fry's other novels so much and this one started so interesting between the diary and the love letter and then fell into this straight narrative style that not only was conventional but it seemed that Fry stopped trying The first two thirds were not bad but that last act was just awful I didn't like the protagonist Never saw any real fire or passion for his revenge and the actual set ups were so hacky and contrived I know Fry is a big supporter of Free speech who isn't but the whole internet thing was just poor I guess I was expecting a complete recontextualizing of the Count of Monte Cristo instead I just got a modern version that replaced hand delivered notes with e mail I'll take the Napoleonic version any time


  4. says:

    With The Stars’ Tennis Balls Stephen Fry gives us a kind of modern retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo with a comedic twist and highly entertaining it is tooIf I had one criticism it would be that he occasionally slips a little too close to a somewhat adolescent revenge fantasy but that’s a minor uibble at most; don’t let it put you off


  5. says:

    When Alexandre Dumas wrote The Count of Monte Cristo in 1844 he almost certainly did not have thirteen year old American boys in mind as his prime audience But when I first read the classic in the summer of 1963 I knew for certain that I too was living the horror of Edmond Dantes life Dantes a good and innocent man was cruelly implicated in treason by three friends who envied Dantes’ pending ship captaincy and marriage to the beautiful Mercedes Dantes is sent to the notorious Chateau d’If by Villefort when the prosecutor discovers that a letter Dantes was carrying was to be delivered to Villefort’s father a secret Bonapartist My own predicament was only slightly less dire than that of Dantes I was being cruelly imprisoned for the summer in the home of my aunt great aunt and grandmother deep in the hinterlands and five hundred miles from my friends who were experiencing the joy of the beach and girls in bikinis every single day I empathized with Dantes even if I secretly knew that I would be freed at the end of August in time for the new school yearDecades later I had passed the phase of devouring 19th Century classics My tastes ran to things like say the BBC’s Jeeves and Wooster The writing was inspired the humor classic Alexandre Dumas? Old school Very old school Then last year while browsing my local library’s book sale I picked up a copy of Stephen Fry’s 2000 novel Revenge I was vaguely aware that Fry best known in America for films such as Peter’s Friends and Gosford Park was also a writer but I had never read any of his works When I picked up Revenge last week and started reading the book it took me about sixty pages to realize that I was immersed in The Count of Monte Cristo The story line has been updated the action begins in 1980 rather than 1813 Ned Maddstone is seventeen Oxford bound head boy at his private school and head over heels in love with Portia whom he met at a Hard Rock Café in London But his very success makes other around him envious and they set out to put an obstacle in his charmed life by planting drugs on him and alerting the police When Maddstone is arrested though something else is found a letter containing a list of names of prominent Britons together with a code phrase used by the IRA to authenticate its actions prior to acts of terror Just as the letter being carried by Dantes was entrusted to him by his dying captain together with the letter’s whispered addressee so Maddstone has no idea of the contents of the letter he has been given by the dying Irish captain of a boat on which he had been crewing When Maddstone divulges the name and address of the intended recipient of the letter to the detective uestioning him wheels are set in motion to get rid of Maddstone in such a way that he will never be heard from again Yep same bookThe rest of the story of meticulously plotted revenge updates Dumas with late twentieth century trappings The role of Abbe Faria the Italian priest and intellectual imprisoned for his political views is played by Babe a one time British intelligence agent who secreted away a fortune in MI 5 funds before being found out Instead of a treasure cache on the island of Monte Cristo the loot is in a Swiss Bank There are some very clever bits that underscore Maddstone’s fifteen years in captivity he arrives in the world of 1995 never having seen a cell phone or a personal computer and the internet is beyond his comprehension But none of this detracts from the awful reality that Ned Maddstone was deprived of his life He is now fabulously wealthy and knows who set him up for the horror he has endured He sets out to exact that retributionFry departs from Dumas’s story only at the end I’m still pondering if it is better ending or simply one with a modern sensibility Perhaps it is something in Fry’s character that he chose the denoument that he did All this is my way of saying that this is a good book Yes it is than a decade old probably sold poorly in America and is likely out of print But I note it is available in a Kindle edition I read it in two days and thoroughly enjoyed it


  6. says:

    Stephen Fry's book Stars Tennis Balls aka Revenge was possibly one of the best books i have ever readThe story's incorporation of a similar plot to The Count of Monte Cristo with its wicked sophisticated and disturbing themes made the novel work on an entirely different levelStephen Fry's ability is unbelievable and after reading this i was taken a peg down He has this uncanny nack to through his writing make you take a look at the characters and their devilish deeds and say Yeah I could do thatYou want to be as witty and a dry as one of his protagonists and you to an extent want to have all the vises they have alchoholism heavy smoking and a total disregard to people and their feelingsHowever in the real world i am unable I find i cannot possibly drink as much whisky as they do although i do really rather well i find i cannot possibly go through an two packets of Rothmans in one day and my guilt far outweighs any desire to be abusive and have no reagard to their personSuch is life


  7. says:

    Revenge is a modern re telling of The Count of Monte Cristo It is very well done because Fry manages to take the elements of Dumas’ novel that take the most suspension of disbelief and make them believable in a modern setting It’s a clever twist on an old story – with updated methods of revenge and a clever twist on the old characters With puns The character of the Count’s finance is changed from Mercedes to Portia – hee It’s suspenseful as well a major feat considering that I not only knew the ending but had just read the original a month agoWhile the book does an excellent job in making the story plausible than Dumas’ version the modern retelling also highlights the central problem with the book That is that while revenge is satisfying to read about it is not a particularly healthy way to live one's life or the best way to solve problems While Dumas unreservedly encourages the reader to root for the Count’s plan Fry’s tale is much morally ambiguous His “Count” here named Ned has everything a man could want – riches smarts and fame Is what happened to him early on that bad that he should ruin these lesser mens’ lives? Particularly since his early experience is what led him to have these great things? Fry stacks the deck a bit toward ambiguity in his story three of the four men upon whom revenge is sought were not really seeking to ruin Ned’s life – just to humiliate him a bit and it all went miserably wrong In the Dumas original all the men were seriously trying to ruin Dantes so it was satisfying when they were destroyed Here Fry presses harder on the uestion of whether Ned’s cause is a worthy one Leaving the reader with a clever action packed book that asks some serious uestions about life What could you want?On a side note Fry a British author is probably best known as an actor He’s been in many many movies and is probably best known in America at least as Jeeves in the most recent adaptations of Wodehouse novels which are absolutely awesome I’ve read two of his other books which while strictly comedic are fun too


  8. says:

    A modern update of the Count of Monte Cristo revenge tale set in England between 1980 and the present day A well written thriller good for a pleasant diversionary read Starts off with a very compelling set up as the main character is betrayed and then sent off into a mysterious exile lost to his father and the girl he loves This is the most plausible part of the book although some fairly outlandish coincedences and connections occur to make the situation as bad as possible for the main character The second phase is the most interesting part of the book as the lead character is mentored by a mysterious stranger during his imprisonment Of course he escapes makes his way back to England and exacts his revenge on those who perpretrated the crimes against him as a young man The escape and the subseuent events are the least realistic parts of the book and in some ways most of the drama went out of the story once the main character returned to EnglandIf you are familiar with the details of the Count of Monte Cristo you'll find nearly all of them here in this tale Monte Cristo is one of my favorite old time adventure tales but I will admit that it bogs down in some parts especially towards the end Stephen Fry's update of the story is much shorteryou can breeze through this easily in a few hours And I liked this version better in some ways than Alexandre Dumas's original version For one thing since the story is set in the modern era I can relate much better to the means used to betray the main character and so can almost believe that this sort of thing could take place But that familiarity created by the modern setting works against itself when we come to the endgame because the main character manipulates events far too easily for me to buy into the idea that he could get away with such efforts and not be revealed by the press or his enemies for who he isOne last note about this book that I kind of enjoyed is the depiction of British class and social consciousness The archvillain of the story by that I mean that it is his jealousy is what sets the trail of events in motion is shown at the beginning of the tale to have a fearfully well developed sense of envy of the upper classes and he aspires to join their ranks while at the same time despising much about what he thinks they stand for This was a very interesting section of the book and it comes right at the beginning I am aware that these kind of class resentments exist in English society but they seem like very foreign ideas to me as an American So it was mildly interesting to get a glimpse into the mind of someone who harbors that kind of hatred though I can't be sure how realistic exaggerated or representative this character and his feelings areBottom line a good thriller for someone looking for pleasure reading Recommended to anyone who liked the Count of Monte Cristo


  9. says:

    since the beginning of this project I have projected Stephen Fry as my choice of english author ah this book reminded me why I don't read blurbs I did not realize until 200 pages into the book that I was reading a retelling of the count of monte cristo yes I realize I should have realized sooner but I saw the movie once in a theater almost 8 years ago and the book is very different from the movie a lot of which I know of and was excited to see which Fry chose to follow Now that I have ruined the experience of not knowing for everyone else I urge you not to discount it and read Dumas instead perhaps read book although Dumas stole his plot from Jacues Peuchet so I suppose if you really insist on going back to basics at least do it correctly I thoroughly enjoyed this book I thought the plot was surprising and inventive at least until I realized it was stolen perhaps explaining why such intelligent people have stolen it A long stay in a mental institution is far interesting then figuring things out uickly and living happily ever after also comes off as through The plot also makes a strange comment on sociopathy being that the Cristo character always becomes a one after having been such a nice unobtrusive stupid boy I infact enjoy Fry thoroughly and suggest the book weather or not you have read Dumas The book has even made me a bit interested in reading Dumas which historically I never have been


  10. says:

    I need to catch up on my Stephen Fry I mean aside from my marathon sessions of watching I episodes on youtube a shout out here to Nickfromfulham for posting them all I read The Liar and The Hippopotamus many years ago and found them both to be brilliant; I read his memoir Moab is My Washpot and was less favorably impressed This reworked Count of Monte Cristo story falls somewhere in between Of course the writing is excellent the erudition is breathtaking and the humor is insidious; I did mention that this was written by Stephen Fry did I not? The problem might be that he set out writing a Patricia Highsmith story of twisted jealousies on the parts of the conspirators and he's just too sane to carry that off Even the somewhat Baroue Jacobean comeuppances suffered by the baddies are humorous than scarifying Stephen Fry suffers from being PG Wodehouse than Patricia Highsmith and that is a good thing