Books

Vanity Fair

William Makepeace Thackeray (and others)

Stephen Fry narrates this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of the famous Victorian comic novel.

Orphan Becky Sharp and wealthy Amelia Sedley are best friends at Miss Pinkerton's Academy for Young Ladies. On leaving school, ambitious, social-climbing Becky looks for a rich man to support her, while the sweet-natured Amelia meets her old friend Dobbin, who is instantly captivated.

Becky takes a job in the service of Sir Pitt Crawley, and uses her charm to hook his dashing son. However, marriage to Captain Rawdon of the Guards does not provide the fortune she seeks. Meanwhile, Amelia rejects the faithful Dobbin and becomes engaged to the handsome George Osborne – but destiny has some shocks in store for her, too.

As time goes by, the girls' fortunes rise and fall. War, financial disaster and the ruin of her reputation leave the resourceful Beckyundaunted, but Amelia finds it harder to bear fate's blows. It will be many years before their story is played out, and their futures finally decided...

William Makepeace Thackeray's classic satire of passion and ambition, first published in 1847 and 1848, is a deliciously ironic portrait of English society and its mores. This engaging 2004 radio production, published for the first time on audio, features a distinguished cast including Emma Fielding as Becky Sharp, Katy Cavanagh as Amelia and Toby Jones as Jos Sedley.

Duration: 5 hours approx

Absolute Power

Mark Tavener (and others)

Stephen Fry and John Bird star in all four series of the BBC Radio 4 satirical comedy, plus the 2006 special episode.

Set in the Machiavellian world of modern PR, Absolute Power introduces us to London-based 'government-media relations consultancy' Prentiss McCabe, whose partners Charles Prentiss and Martin McCabe are frequently embroiled in the machinations of the British political system. Prentiss is ruthless, unscrupulous, and will go to almost any lengths to pull off a big commission, while McCabe does have a moral compass, but is too laid-back and fond of claret to use it very often.

In episodes that could have been written yesterday, the duo’s targets for makeover include the Conservative Party; The Sun; the Mayor of London; the Church of England; Radio 3; English sporting success; the elderly; prisons; the Prime Minister; the Health Service; a Big Brother star; a tennis pro; men; the BBC; ‘the notion of Nation’; healthy eating and the US Presidential Campaign.

This complete collection includes all 21 episodes of the four series, first broadcast between 2000 and 2004, plus the special 2006 episode. Stephen Fry and John Bird star as Charles Prentiss and Martin McCabe, with Tamsin Greig as rival spin doctor Gayle Shand.

Warhorses of Letters: Complete Series 1-3

Robert Hudson (and others)

Stephen Fry, Daniel Rigby and Tamsin Greig star in all three series of the poignant BBC Radio 4 comedy drama.

Warhorses of Letters is the world's finest and best-loved equine, military, epistolary romance, comprising the newly-discovered love letters between two horses united by passion but cruelly divided by conflict.

Set against the sweeping backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, these twelve episodes introduce us to Copenhagen, the Duke of Wellington's frisky young racehorse, and his hero Marengo, the seasoned, famous and just-a-little-bit-short mount of Emperor Napoleon.

From the early days of the Peninsular Campaign to the Battle of Waterloo and its aftermath, we follow our horse heroes as their romance blossoms, their fortunes fluctuate and uncertainty and jealousy put strains on their burgeoning relationship. Can they ever be truly together, or are they doomed to remain sundered by fate?

Written by Robert Hudson and Marie Phillips, this moving, surreal comedy stars Stephen Fry as Marengo and Daniel Rigby as Copenhagen, with Tamsin Greig as the Narrator. Totally unique and utterly entertaining, it will appeal to all lovers of horses, history and humour. Duration: 2 hours 50 mins approx.

I’m Sorry I Haven't a Clue: The Best of Forty Years

Barry Cryer (and others)

Know your Mornington Crescent from your Cheddar Gorge?

Are you partial to a bad-tempered clavier?

Would you like some unhelpful travel advice?

Featuring the very best moments from a forty-year history of broadcasting, Stephen Fry introduces this indispensable companion to I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, the Radio 4 comedy series which attracts millions of listeners each week.

Featuring hilarious excerpts from the show's favourite games including: The Uxbridge English Dictionary, Famous First Words, the Trail of the Lonesome Pun and Late Arrivals as well as much much more, this book is essential for Clue fans young and old.

For those new to Clue, there's a Beginner's Guide on how to play Mornington Crescent and numerous games which are fun and easy to play at home and guaranteed to entertain.

More Fool Me

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry invites readers to take a glimpse at his life story in the unputdownable More Fool Me.

'Oh dear I am an arse. I expect there'll be what I believe is called an "intervention" soon. I keep picturing it. All my friends bearing down on me and me denying everything until my pockets are emptied. Oh the shame'

In his early thirties, Stephen Fry - writer, comedian, star of stage and screen - had, as they say, 'made it'. Much loved in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster, author of a critically acclaimed and bestselling first novel, The Liar, with a glamorous and glittering cast of friends, he had more work than was perhaps good for him.

What could possibly go wrong?

Then, as the 80s drew to a close, he discovered a most enjoyable way to burn the candle at both ends, and took to excess like a duck to breadcrumbs. Writing and recording by day, and haunting a never ending series of celebrity parties, drinking dens, and poker games by night, in a ludicrous and impressive act of bravado, he fooled all those except the very closest to him, some of whom were most enjoyably engaged in the same dance.

He was - to all intents and purposes - a high functioning addict. Blazing brightly and partying wildly as the 80s turned to the 90s, AIDS became an epidemic and politics turned really nasty, he was so busy, so distracted by the high life, that he could hardly see the inevitable, headlong tumble that must surely follow . . .

Containing raw, electric extracts from his diaries of the time, More Fool Me is a brilliant, eloquent account by a man driven to create and to entertain - revealing a side to him he has long kept hidden.

Paperweight: Volume 1

Stephen Fry (and others)

A hilarious collection of the many articles written by Stephen Fry for magazines, newspapers and radio. It includes selected wireless essays of Donald Trefusis, the ageing professor of philology brought to life in Fry's novel The Liar, and the best of Fry's weekly column for the Daily Telegraph.

Paperweight: Volume 2

Stephen Fry (and others)

A hilarious collection of the many articles written by Stephen Fry for magazines, newspapers and radio. It includes selected wireless essays of Donald Trefusis, the ageing professor of philology brought to life in Fry's novel The Liar, and the best of Fry's weekly column for the Daily Telegraph.

Planet Word

J. P. Davidson (and others)

Unravel the mysteries of language with J.P. Davidson's remarkable Planet Word.

'The way you speak is who you are and the tones of your voice and the tricks of your emailing and tweeting and letter-writing, can be recognised unmistakably in the minds of those who know and love you.' Stephen Fry

From feral children to fairy-tale princesses, secrets codes, invented languages - even a language that was eaten! - Planet Word uncovers everything you didn't know you needed to know about how language evolves. Learn the tricks to political propaganda, why we can talk but animals can't, discover 3,000-year-old clay tablets that discussed beer and impotence and test yourself at textese - do you know your RMEs from your LOLs? Meet the 105-year-old man who invented modern-day Chinese and all but eradicated illiteracy, and find out why language caused the go-light in Japan to be blue. From the dusty scrolls of the past to the unknown digital future, and with (heart) the first graphic to enter the OED, are we already well on our way to a language without words?

In a round-the-world trip of a lifetime, discover all this and more as J. P. Davidson travels across our gloriously, endlessly intriguing multilingual Planet Word.


John Paul Davidson is a film and television director and producer. After studying at Bristol University and completing his doctoral field work in The University of Malysia, he joined the BBC's Travel and Exploration Unit as their resident anthropologist.

Stephen Fry's film, stage, radio and television credits are numerous and wide-ranging. He has written, produced, directed, acted in or presented productions as varied as Wilde, Blackadder, Jeeves and Wooster, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Fry's English Delight and QI. After writing many successful books, his recent memoir The Fry Chronicles was a number one bestseller.

The Fry Chronicles

Stephen Fry

Spanning 1979-1987, The Fry Chronicles charts Stephen Fry's arrival at Cambridge up to his thirtieth birthday.

'Heartbreaking, a delight, a lovely, comfy book' The Times

'Perfect prose and excruciating honesty. A grand reminiscence of college and theatre and comedyland in the 1980s, with tone-perfect anecdotes and genuine readerly excitement. What Fry does, essentially, is tell us who he really is. Above all else, a thoughtful book. And namedroppy too, and funny, and marbled with melancholy' Observer

'Arguably the greatest living Englishman' Independent on Sunday

'Extremely enjoyable' Sunday Times

'Fry's linguistic facility remains one of the Wildean wonders of the new media age. The patron saint of British intelligence' Daily Telegraph

Welcome to Stephen Fry's The Fry Chronicles, one of the boldest, bravest, most revealing and heartfelt accounts of a man's formative years that you will ever have the exquisite pleasure of reading.


Stephen Fry's film, stage, radio and television credits are so numerous and wide-ranging that there is not space here to do them justice. It is enough to say that he has written, produced, directed, acted in or presented productions as varied as Wilde, the TV series Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster, the sketch show A Bit of Fry & Laurie, the panel game QI, the radio series Fry's English Delight and documentaries on subjects as varied as manic depression, disappearing animals and the United States of America. He's also the bestselling author of four novels - The Stars' Tennis Balls, Making History, The Hippopotamus and The Liar - as well as a volume of autobiography, Moab is My Washpot, and sundry works of non-fiction.

The Ode Less Travelled

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry believes that if you can speak and read English you can write poetry. But it is no fun if you don't know where to start or have been led to believe that Anything Goes.

Stephen, who has long written poems, and indeed has written long poems, for his own private pleasure, invites you to discover the incomparable delights of metre, rhyme and verse forms.
Whether you want to write a Petrarchan sonnet for your lover's birthday, an epithalamion for your sister's wedding or a villanelle excoriating the government's housing policy, The Ode Less Travelled will give you the tools and the confidence to do so.

Brimful of enjoyable exercises, witty insights and simple step-by-step advice, The Ode Less Travelled guides the reader towards mastery and confidence in the Mother of the Arts.

Fantastic Mr Fox and Other Animal Stories

Roald Dahl (and others)

This special CD pack contains four of Roald Dahl's much-loved stories.

THE GIRAFFE AND PELLY AND ME: In this classic story of the Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company, we accompany Billy, who is lucky enough to join in the many remarkable and entertaining adventures of the Company's animals: the giraffe with an incredible stretching neck, the pelican with a magical beak and the dancing monkey.

ESIO TROT: Here's a very tortoisey one that will become an instant favourite! Mr Hoppy is in love with Mrs Silver, but she only has eyes for her tortoise Alfie. She would so love Alfie to grow bigger, she says. In a bold attempt to outdo his rival, Mr Hoppy devises an ingenious plan to make Alfie grow and grow and grow...

Wonderfully brought to life, here we meet THE ENORMOUS CROCODILE. He boasts that he is going to eat a child for lunch and sets out to trick all the children in his attempts for food. But his plots and disguises are foiled by the animals in the jungle - especially by Trunky, the Elephant.

FANTASTIC MR FOX: Boggis, Bunce and Bean are just about the nastiest and meanest three farmers you could meet. And they hate Mr Fox. They are determined to get him. So they lie in wait outside his hole, ready to shoot, starve or dig him out. But clever Mr Fox has other plans! Find out what those plans are in this hilarious story, fully dramatized by Puffin Audiobooks.

The Stars' Tennis Balls

Stephen Fry

Ned Maddstone has the world at his feet. He is handsome, talented and about to go to Cambridge, after which he is expected to follow his father into politics. But an unfortunate confrontation with a boy in his school results in a prank that goes badly wrong and suddenly he’s incarcerated – without chance of release. So begins a year long process of torment and hopelessness, which will destroy his very identity, until almost nothing remains of him but this unquenchable desire for revenge.

Inspired by the Count of Monte Cristo, Fry’s psychological thriller is written with the pace, wit and shrewd insight that we have come to expect from one of our finest novelists.

Making History

Stephen Fry

Michael Young is a brilliant young history student whose life is changed when he meets Leo Zuckerman, an ageing physicist with a theory that can change worlds. Together they realise that they have the power to alter history and eradicate a great evil. But tinkering with timelines is more dangerous than they can imagine and nothing - past, present or future - will ever be the same again.

Making History is funny, moving, romantic and told with Stephen Fry's characteristic skill and brilliance.

The Liar

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry's breathtakingly outrageous debut novel, by turns eccentric, shocking, brilliantly comic and achingly romantic.

Adrian Healey is magnificently unprepared for the long littleness of life; unprepared too for the afternoon in Salzburg when he will witness the savage murder of a Hungarian violinist; unprepared to learn about the Mendax device; unprepared for more murders and wholly unprepared for the truth.

The Liar is a thrilling, sophisticated and laugh out loud hilarious novel from a brilliantly talented writer.

The Hippopotamus

Stephen Fry

Ted Wallace is an old, sour, womanising, cantankerous, whisky-sodden beast of a failed poet and drama critic, but he has his faults too. Fired from his newspaper, months behind on his alimony payments and disgusted with a world that undervalues him, Ted seeks a few months repose and free drink at Swafford Hall, the country mansion of his old friend Lord Logan. But strange things have been going on at Swafford. Miracles. Healings. Phenomena beyond the comprehension of a mud-caked hippopotamus like Ted.

With this funny and deliciously readable novel, Stephen Fry takes his place as one of the most talented comic novelists of his generation.

Moab Is My Washpot

Stephen Fry

Moab is My Washpot is in turns funny, shocking, tender, delicious, sad, lyrical, bruisingly frank and addictively readable.

Stephen Fry's bestselling memoir tells how, sent to a boarding school 200 miles from home at the age of seven, he survived beatings, misery, love, ecstasy, carnal violation, expulsion, imprisonment, criminal conviction, probation and catastrophe to emerge, at eighteen, ready to try and face the world in which he had always felt a stranger.

Fry writes with the wit to which we have become accustomed, but with shocking candour too. In an age of glossy celebrity autobiographies, Moab is My Washpot sets the high standard to which others should aspire.

Paperweight

Stephen Fry

A hilarious collection of the many articles written by Stephen Fry for magazines, newspapers and radio. It includes selected wireless essays of Donald Trefusis, the ageing professor of philology brought to life in Fry's novel The Liar, and the best of Fry's weekly column for the Daily Telegraph.

Perfect to dip into but just as enjoyable to read cover to cover, this book, perhaps more than any other, shows the breadth of Fry's interests and the depth of his insight. He remains a hilarious writer on whatever topic he puts his mind to.

I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue: Anniversary Special

BBC (and others)

To celebrate thirty years of the extremely popular BBC Radio 4 comedy panel game, this release brings together two special editions - I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue Anniversary Special and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Desert Island - alongside the first ever edition of the programme, originally broadcast on 11 April 1972. Whilst the anniversary special features the regular team of Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden and Humphrey Lyttelton plus guest Stephen Fry, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Desert Island features celebrity selections from the archives, chosen by such famous fans as Dame Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent and Germaine Greer.

2 CDs. 1 hr 53 mins.

Stephen Fry

Biography

Stephen Fry is an award-winning comedian, actor, presenter and director.

He rose to fame alongside Hugh Laurie in A Bit of Fry and Laurie (which he co-wrote with Laurie) and Jeeves and Wooster, and was unforgettable as Captain Melchett in Blackadder.

He also presented Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, his groundbreaking documentary on bipolar disorder, to huge critical acclaim. His legions of fans tune in to watch him host the popular quiz show QI each week.