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Moab Is My Washpot par [Fry, Stephen]
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Moab Is My Washpot Format Kindle

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Longueur : 460 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
Page Flip: Activé Langue : Anglais

Description du produit

Stephen Fry is not making this up! Fry started out as a dishonorable schoolboy inclined to lies, pranks, bringing decaying moles to school as a science exhibit, theft, suicide attempts, the illicit pursuit of candy and lads, a genius for mischief, and a neurotic life of crime that sent him straight to Pucklechurch Prison and Cambridge University, where he vaulted to fame along with actress Emma Thompson. He wound up starring as Oscar Wilde in the film Wilde, costarring in A Civil Action, and writing funny, distinguished novels.

This irresistible book, the best-written celebrity memoir of 1999, concentrates on Fry's first two tumultuous decades, but beware! A Fry sentence can lead anywhere, from a ringing defense of beating schoolchildren to a thoughtful comparison of male and female naughty parts. Fry's deepest regrets seem to be the elusiveness of a particular boy's love and the fact that, despite his keen ear for music, Fry's singing voice can make listeners "claw out their inner ears, electrocute their genitals, put on a Jim Reeves record, throw themselves cackling hysterically onto the path of moving buses... anything, anything to take away the pain." A chance mention of Fry's time-travel book about thwarting Hitler, Making History (a finalist for the 1998 Sidewise Award for Best Alternative History), leads to the startling real-life revelation that Fry's own Jewish uncle may have loaned a young, shivering Hitler the coat off his back.

Fry's life is full of school and jailhouse blues overcome by jaunty wit, à la Wilde. The title, from Psalm 108:9, refers to King David's triumph over the Philistines. Fry triumphs similarly, and with more style. --Tim Appelo


Chapter 1
Joining In

“Look, Marguerite . . . England!”
Closing lines of The Scarlet Pimpernel, 1934

For some reason I recall it as just me and Bunce. No one else in the compartment at all. Just me, eight years and a month old, and this inexpressibly small dab of misery who told me in one hot, husky breath that his name was Samuelanthonyfarlowebunce.
        I remember why we were alone now. My mother had dropped us off early at Paddington Station. My second term. The train to Stroud had a whole carriage reserved for us. Usually by the time my mother, brother and I had arrived on the platform there would have been a great bobbing of boaters dipping careless farewells into a sea of entirely unacceptable maternal hats.
       Amongst the first to arrive this time, my brother had found a compartment where an older boy already sat amongst his opened tuck-box, ready to show off his pencil cases and conker skewers while I had moved respectfully forward to leave them to it. I was still only a term old after all. Besides, I wasn’t entirely sure what a conker skewer might be.
       The next compartment contained what appeared to be a tiny trembling woodland creature.
       My brother and I had leaned from our respective windows to send the mother cheerfully on her way. We tended to be cruelly kind at these moments, taking as careless and casual a leave of her as possible and making a great show of how little it mattered that we were leaving home for such great stretches of time. Some part of us must have known inside that it was harder for her than it was for us. She would be returning to a baby and a husband who worked so hard that she hardly saw him and to all the nightmares of uncertainty, doubt and guilt which plague a parent, while we would be amongst our own. I think it was a tacitly agreed strategy to arrive early so that all this could be got over with without too many others milling around. The loudness and hattedness of Other Parents were not conducive to the particular Fry tokens of love: tiny exertions of pressure on the hands and tight little nods of the head that stood for affection and deep, unspoken understanding. A slightly forced smile and bitten underlip aside, Mummy always left the platform outwardly resolute, which was all that mattered.
       All that taken care of, I slid down in my seat and examined the damp shivering thing opposite. He had chosen a window seat with its back to the engine as if perhaps he wanted to be facing homewards and not towards the ghastly unknown destination.
       “You must be a new boy,” I said.
       A brave nod and a great spreading of scarlet in downy, hamstery cheeks.
       “My name’s Fry,” I added. “That’s my bro talking next door.”
       A sudden starburst of panic in the fluffy little chick’s brown eyes, as if terrified that I was going to invite my bro in. He probably had no idea what a bro was.
       The previous term I hadn’t known either.
       “Roger, Roger!” I had cried, running up to my brother in morning break. “Have you had a letter from—”
       “You call me bro here. Bro. Understood?”
       I explained everything to the broken little creature in front of me. “A bro is a brother, that’s all. He’s Fry, R. M. And I’m Fry, S.J. See?”
       The hamster-chick-squirrel-downy-woodland thing nodded to show that it saw. It swallowed a couple of times as if trying to find the right amount of air to allow it to speak without sobbing.
       “I was a new boy last term,” I said, a huge and perfectly inexplicable surge of satisfaction filling me all the way from gartered woollen socks to blue-banded boater. “It really isn’t so bad, you know. Though I expect you feel a bit scared and a bit homesick.”
       It didn’t quite dare look at me but nodded again and gazed miserably down at shiny black Cambridge shoes which seemed to me to be as small as a baby’s booties.
       “Everybody cries. You mustn’t feel bad about it.”
       It was at this point that it announced itself to be Samuelanthonyfarlowebunce, and to its friends Sam, but never Sammy.
       “I shall have to call you Bunce,” I told him. “And you will call me Fry. You’ll call me Fry S.J. if my bro is about, so there won’t be any mix up. Not Fry Minor or Fry the Younger, I don’t like that. Here, I’ve got a spare hankie. Why don’t you blow your nose? There’ll be others along in a minute.”
       “Others?” He looked up from emptying himself into my hankie like a baby deer hearing a twig snap by a water pool and cast his eyes about him in panic.
       “Just other train boys. There are usually about twenty of us. You see that piece of paper stuck to the window? ‘Reserved for Stouts Hill School’ it says. We’ve got this whole carriage to ourselves. Four compartments.”
       “What happens when we get. . . when we get there?”
       “What do you mean?”
       “When we get to the station.”
       “Oh, there’ll be a bus to meet us. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you aren’t lost. How old are you?”
       “I’m seven and a half.”
       He looked much younger. Nappy age, he looked.
       “Don’t worry,” I said again. “I’ll look after you. Everything will be fine.”
       I’ll look after you.
       The pleasure of saying those words, the warm wet sea of pleasure. Quite extraordinary. A little pet all to myself.
       “We’ll be friends,” I said. “It won’t be nearly as bad as you expect. You’ll see.”
       Kindly paternal thoughts hummed in my mind as I tried to imagine every worry that might be churning him up. All I had to do was remember my own dreads of the term before.
       “Everyone’s very nice really. Matron unpacks for you, but you’ve got to take your games clothes down to the bag room yourself, so you’ll have to know your school number so as you can find the right peg. My number’s one-o-four, which is the highest number in the school’s history, but twelve boys left last term and there are only eight or nine new boys, so there probably won’t ever be a one-o-five. I’m an Otter, someone’ll probably tell you what House you’re in. You should watch out for Hampton, he gives Chinese burns and dead legs. If Mr. Kemp is on duty he gives bacon slicers. It’s soccer this term, my bro says. I hate soccer but it’s conkers as well which is supposed to be really good fun. My bro says everyone goes crazy at conker time. Conkers bonkers, my bro says.”
       Bunce closed up the snotty mess in the middle of my hankie and tried to smile.
       “In two weeks’ time,” I said, remembering something my mother had told me, “you’ll be bouncing about like a terrier and you won’t even be able to remember being a bit nervous on the train.”
       I looked out of the window and saw some boaters and female hats approaching.
       “Though in your case,” I added, “you’ll be bunting about. . .”
       A real smile and the sound of a small giggle.
       “Here we go,” I said. “I can hear some boys coming. Tell you what, here’s my Ranger. Why don’t you be reading it when they come in, so you’ll look nice and busy.”
       He took it gratefully.
       “You’re so kind,” he said. “I’ve never met anyone as kind as you”.
       “Nonsense,” I replied, glowing like a hot coal.
       I heard the grand sounds of approaching seniors.
       “Okay then, Mum,” someone said.
       “Don’t say ‘okay,’ darling. And you will write this time, won’t you?”
       “Okay, Mum.”
       My bro and I never called our parents Mum and Dad. It was always Mummy and Daddy until years later when Mother and Father were officially sanctioned. Towards adulthood we allowed ourselves to use, with self-conscious mock-Pooterism, Ma and Pa.
       Last term, I had put my hand up in an art lesson and said, “Mummy, can I have another piece of charcoal?” The form had howled with laughter.
       There again, during the first weeks of summer holidays I often called my mother “Sir” or “Matron.”
       Bunce buried himself in the Trigan Empire, but I knew that he was listening to the sounds too and I could tell that the confidence and loudness of the other boys’ voices terrified him. He clutched the sides of the comic so hard that little rips appeared on the outer pages.
       On the way to Paddington after lunch I had felt more dread, infinitely more terror and despair at the prospect of school than I had the term before. During the long summer holiday Roger had told me to expect this. Homesickness was much worse the second and third terms than it was the first. Bunce had come as a godsend therefore, something to take my mind off my own fears.
       The door to our carriage slid open with a loud bang.
       “Oh God, it’s Fry’s Turkish Delight. And what the hell are you doing by the window?”
       “Hello, Mason,” I said.
       “Come on, shove over.”
       Bunce started to rise like a courteous old commuter offering his seat to a heavily-packaged woman. “Would you like . . . ?” he began huskily.
       “No, I want Fry’s seat, if he hasn’t stunk it out yet.”
       Well there it was. I felt my face flush scarlet as I got up mumbling something inaudible, and removed myself to the corner seat farthest from the window.
       For five minutes I had enjoyed the sensation of someone looking up to and admiring me. Bunce had respected me. Believed in me. Trusted me. Now the little puppy would see that the rest of the school treated me as if I was no one. Just another tiresome squit. I sat in my new seat, trying to look unconcerned and stared down at my bare knees and the grazes and indentations of gravel still there from a bicycle fall. Only yesterday afternoon I had been riding along the lanes listening to skylarks high in the huge Norfolk skies and watching partridges tread stubble in the fields. Three weeks ago I had had my eighth birthday party and been taken to see The Great Race at the Gaumont in Norwich.
       Mason settled himself into his conquered seat and looked across at Bunce with great curiosity and an air of faint repugnance, as if Bunce might be of a breed he had never run into before and hoped never to encounter again.
       “You,” said Mason, kicking across at him. “Have you got a name then?”
       The reply came as something of a shock.
       “I have got a name,” said Bunce, rising, “but it’s none of your bloody business.”
       Mason looked stupefied. There was nothing in the least bad about him. In taking my seat and remarking on my smell he had meant no particular insult, he was merely exercising the natural privilege of seniority. Seniority is pay-back time. He had been treated like a worm when he was small, now it was his turn to treat those under him like worms. He was ten, for heaven’s sake. He was allowed to wear long trousers. At prep school, ten is to eight what forty is to twenty in adult life.
       “I’m going over there,” said Bunce, pointing to the seat next to mine. “It smells better over there.” He threw himself down beside me with a determined bounce on the springs and then ruined everything by bursting into tears.
       Mason was denied the chance of any response to this astonishing eruption by the entrance into the compartment of Kalout- sis and his parents. It was not at all done for Family to board the train, but Kaloutsis was Greek and his parents serenely above the finer points of English protocol.
       “Ah, and here’s a little one,” cried Mrs. Kaloutsis, swooping down on Bunce. “And no one looking after you?”
       “Thank you,” Bunce snivelled, “but Fry S. J. is looking after me very well indeed. Very well. Very well indeed. I had a smut in my eye and he lent me his handkerchief.”
       Train boys were generally the sons of military or colonial parents, and had flown in to London Airport to be picked up by uncles, aunts or godparents who would take them on to Paddington. Most other boys at Stouts Hill were driven to school by their parents.
       The reserved compartments filled up over the next quarter-hour with deeply tanned boys returning from hot weeks in places like Northern Rhodesia, Nigeria, India, Aden, the West Indies and Ceylon. One boy, Robert Dale, whom I liked, sat opposite me and Bunce and told us about India. Dale’s father edited an English-language newspaper in Bombay and Dale always shouted “Aiee!” when he was in pain. It had amazed me greatly when I first heard him stubbing his toe against the foot of the bed in the dormitory, since I had never imagined that expressions of pain could vary. I had thought “Ouch!” and “Ow!” were the same all over the world. I had suffered a hot and bothered exchange in my first French lesson, for example, when I was told that the French for “Oh!” was “Ah!”
       “Then how do they say ‘Oh,’ sir?”
       “They say ‘Ah.’“
       “Well then, how do they say ‘Ah’?”
       “Don’t be stupid, Fry.”
       I had sulked for the rest of the lesson.
       Dale took off his shoes and socks and leaned back. He had the most splendidly fine feet, with a perfect, even spread of toes. At the beginning of every autumn term boys like him who spent their school holidays in Africa, Asia or the West Indies would show off by running across gravel barefoot without any pain. By the end of the term, with winter set in, their feet would have lost their natural tough layers of callused skin and they would be just the same as the rest of us.
       A guard looked in and performed a brief headcount. He gazed into the middle distance and told us that the last boy who had rested his foot on a seat had been arrested by the police at Didcot and put in prison, where he still languished on a diet of bread and water.
       “Sounds better than school food,” said Dale.
       The guard grunted at our giggles and left. Boaters were thrown on to luggage-racks, feet put up on seats and talk turned to soccer, what had been done in the hols, who was going to be made prefect and the whole Edwardian schoolboy novel nonsense. Mason seemed to have forgotten all about Bunce’s strange outburst and was delighting the boy opposite with underarm farts.
       After one of those squealing, juddering, stomach-dropping false starts with which trains so tactlessly articulate human emotion, we pulled ourselves out of the great shed of Paddington and steamed west.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1699 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 460 pages
  • Editeur : Cornerstone Digital (22 février 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0045JKEPI
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5 2 commentaires client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°142.143 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Par Phil-Don TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS le 22 août 2011
Format: Broché
Dans "Moab is my Washpot", Stephen Fry raconte son enfance et sa jeunesse tumultueuse - jusqu'à l'âge d'environ 20 ans (avant qu'il ne soit célèbre.) C'est un récit sincère, tour à tour amusant et nostalgique, voire poignant, où l'auteur se met à nu (trop peut-être), exposant ses faiblesses, ses blessures, ses défauts. Stephen Fry est un homme intelligent, cultivé et plein d'humour et l'on prend plaisir à la lecture de son autobiographie. Certes, il force sans doute le trait à l'occasion et donne parfois l'impression de jouer au 'poseur', à la fois vilain petit canard et génial, mais cela fait partie du personnage. Outre la vie de Stephen Fry, j'ai beaucoup apprécié la description de la vie dans les 'public schools' ou de la vie britannique en général.
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looks good...still have to read it..but the name Stephen Fry is already a hint for the quality...
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.2 étoiles sur 5 120 commentaires
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A little disappointing 22 décembre 2012
Par Jan - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Being a big fan of Stephen Fry and having read The Fry Chronicles, I was looking forward to reading about his life from birth to 20. Unfortunately, the book was a little disappointing. Although he talks about a range of his experiences, there is an over-emphasis on his sexuality. This may be because his sexuality had the most influence on his life, at least he certainly seems to think so. For the reader though, the talk of sexual experiences, described in rather unnecessarily explicit detail (and no, I'm not a prude), becomes rather tedious and seems to be an attempt to shock rather than inform. Added to that, the language used is unnecessary, both in terms of vulgarity and understandability. Most people I know would have great difficulty understanding what on earth he was talking about half the time because his choice of words are at too high a level for the average reader. I have a fairly broad grasp of the English language but I occasionally had to reach for the dictionary myself. Vulgar language doesn't make me blush, however, Fry's coarse language gives an overall impression that he is trying to pretend he isn't the posh snob that many people might think he is.

I read Moab Is My Washpot with the expectation that I would gain an understanding of how Fry's past has shaped him but instead I felt that I had been bombarded with excuses and justifications for his obnoxious behaviour in his early years. My overall impression of the book is that Fry would have us believe that he is not a posh snob but just an everyday guy, with an emotionally traumatic background, but don't think him too everyday and ordinary. He wants to make sure we all know how brilliantly clever he is while attempting to appear humble. If that is the case, it didn't work for me. I don't doubt his sincerity when voicing his regrets about most of his appalling behaviours but this book seems too much like an ego-trip and not enough like a sincerely written autobiography of his early years.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An interesting insight, a little too intellectual! 2 juillet 2013
Par JudyG - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This book was a great read, however it was great because I read it on my kindle. I am glad I did not have a hard copy of this book because on the kindle I had immediate access to dictionaries. If I had read it in hard copy, I would have needed a dictionary whilst reading the book.

Stephen Fry wrote about his childhood and teenage years for the first twenty years of his life. I found his life to be rather sad and it was so nice to read that he did not blame his parents for his life's experiences, both good and bad. My impression of him is that he is a genius however, he must assume that much of the population has a similar intellect to him because there were many words in the book I had never heard of before, had no idea what they meant nor have I read of them since. Nevertheless this book kept the reader interested. I only gave it 4 stars because I needed the dictionary so often and constantly looking in the dictionary often slowed the momentum or I needed to reread a page to have a better understanding of the story.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Entertaining early years autobiography of a very interesting man. 12 juillet 2014
Par Solutionist - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I believe I have a reasonably well-developed English vocabulary, so when someone fits 3 words onto a single page that I've never heard before they've got my attention - at least for awhile.
This book is an earthy romp through Fry's early years and, no doubt, it was highly cathartic for the author. Powerfully evocative descriptions of selected elements of England in the mid-late twentieth century will delight Anglophiles, while quite possibly bemusing everyone else!
In the end analysis, if you enjoy reading about other people's lives you'll enjoy this book. If you're looking for something adventurous or spectacular in the life of a noted celebrity you may emerge a little disappointed.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Not everyone's Washpot 28 juillet 2012
Par Stephen Paul - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
A very moving account of an internationally famous actor and public intellectual's childhood and adolescence in English 'public' (i.e.private) boarding schools. The territory is largely familiar, but what marks this book off from most others is the explicit and courageous way in which Fry writes about "growing up gay". He also uses some very explicit language, but very little that is gratuitous. It will be of great comfort to every adolescent who ever felt "odd" or not a member of the "in-crowd". The comfort lies in Fry's honesty about his sexuality, and that he never allowed this to cripple his growth to what D H Lawrence once called "spontaneous creative fullness of being". Though parents may raise eyebrows or objections to some of the content, this is a profoundly warm, human and healing book.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Fry is a great summer read! 22 juin 2017
Par Craig Brandon - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I read the English paperback of this book and I found it a riot! I really love Fry as Jeeves so I was very interested in who this guy was! Well he is a wonderful writer as well as a fine actor. This is a good summer read! However, I read it during my winter vacation. I loved every minute of it. Enjoy!
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