Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mrs Fry's Diary (2010)

Author: Mrs Stephen Fry  | Page Count: 346

We told the kids a homicidal clown lives in their wardrobe today.  It wasn't an April Fool, we just thought they should know.’

Mrs Fry’s Diary is a diary by Mrs Fry, the fictional wife of the recipient of the reincarnated wit of Oscar Wilde, Stephen Fry.  Edna, as she’s also known, is oblivious to her husband's career as a television and radio personality.  She believes him to be an occasional window cleaner, taxi driver, avid collector of Razzle magazine and part-time father to her six kids.  (Or is it seven?  She’s not entirely sure.)  Her struggles and flashes of insight are recorded on a daily basis, and when read chronologically they become a kind of story.

I've read a small number of books written in a diary format, and out of curiosity have even used it myself on one occasion, but I'm definitely not a fan of it.  It's difficult to engage with the start / stop nature of the narrative.  It’s like reading twitter.  Apparently Mrs Fry is a popular tweeter.  That was news to me.  Unlike Stephen, I have nothing nice to say about Twitter at all but it doesn't look like it’s going to go away any time soon, more's the pity.

Anyhow, back to the book.  There are dozens of subtle references to Stephen’s career both past and present buried in the wordplay that long-time fans will get extra chuckles from, knowledge of which isn't a prerequisite but will definitely make a reading more enjoyable.  It’ll also help if you’re able to spot references to other famous literary works, and know what tinned Spam tastes like.

3 pitchers of Dorian Gray tea out of 5

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