Monday, April 30, 2007

Yesterday I finished Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry. Fry is best known for his work on TV and film, particularly his work with Hugh Laurie, but he is also an author of a few novels. Ths is the first of his novels that I've read and I quite enjoyed it. As I've commented before, the British seem to have a handle on semi-comic slice of life writing that eludes most American authors.

Hippopotamus tells the story of Ted Wallace, a famous, very bitter and vitriolic poet who has just lost his job as a poetry critic and is asked by his god-daughter to check out the situation at her uncle's estate. There he finds a growing collection of miracle seekers and, possibly, some redemption for some of his wasted life.

The book is written partially in epistolary form, as letters between Ted and his god-daughter and others, and partially in standard form. Some good moments come when letters from others reveal what Ted has tried to hide or overlooked from his viewpoint in his own letters.

A short but enjoyable book, particularly if you enjoy the dry, English sense of humour.


No comments: