Breaking your autobiography into pieces beyond one book is indulgent; Fry will be the first to admit that, and More Fool Me marks the third installment on an ongoing series of sorts, through the late eights and early nineties.
While a large portion at the beginning is dedicated to recapping his previous two volumes in detail (not necessarily a bad thing here, as the third installment is where I jumped into his written story), it moves on to present the mere facts of his cocaine use without real reprimand or glorification; as he said live – this is not for him to use it as a tale to draw morals of, but to present the facts and let the reader judge.
And it does have some fun stories, though those who got the book from his live show will have heard some of the best verbatim already. There is some interest to be found in his encounters with Blur and Oasis (delightfully not having the foggiest clue who they were at first), but there’s definitely a ceiling of enjoyment in reading about celeb lunches and lavish evenings.
It’s told with Fry’s characteristic eloquence and bumbling in equal measure – he can make the most mundane stories a little more interesting with a succinct or odd turn of phrase, he can also raise a smile in his footnotes on diary entries spawning unnecessary exclamation marks (No!!!). The problem is it does little more than make you smile from time to time.
It is interesting, but even without the first two installments to raise the expectation, this was just okay. Stephen’s wit is there, some great stories are nestled in these pages, some darker ones too, but it was a little underwhelming, even though it pains me greatly to admit it.