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Ealous 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. 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 wantOn 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

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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 ju. 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

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St 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 j. 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


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 gra

  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 absolut

  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 se

  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 littl

  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 m

  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 characte

  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 clev

  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 coincedence

  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 thea

  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 writ

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