[zambia Books] Ebook The Stars' Tennis Balls By Stephen Fry

REVIEW The Stars' Tennis Balls

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. 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 man was cruelly implicated in treason by three friends who envied Dantes pending ship captaincy and marriage to the beautiful Mercedes Dantes is sent to the notorious Chateau d If by Villefort when the prosecutor discovers that a letter Dantes was carrying was to be delivered to Villefort s father a secret Bonapartist My own predicament was only slightly less dire than that of Dantes I was being cruelly imprisoned for the summer in the home of my aunt great aunt and grandmother deep in the hinterlands and five hundred miles from my friends who were experiencing the joy of the beach and girls in bikinis every single day I empathized with Dantes even if I secretly knew that I would be freed at the end of August in time for the new school yearDecades later I had passed the phase of devouring 19th Century classics My tastes ran to things like say the BBC s Jeeves and Wooster The writing was inspired the humor classic Alexandre Dumas Old school Very old school Then last year while browsing my local library s book sale I picked up a copy of Stephen Fry s 2000 novel Revenge I was vaguely aware that Fry best known in America for films such as Peter s Friends and Gosford Park was also a writer but I had never read any of his works When I picked up Revenge last week and started reading the book it took me about sixty pages to realize that I was immersed in The Count of Monte Cristo The story line has been updated the action begins in 1980 rather than 1813 Ned Maddstone is seventeen Oxford bound head boy at his private school and head over heels in love with Portia whom he met at a Hard Rock Caf in London But his very success makes other around him envious and they set out to put an obstacle in his charmed life by planting drugs on him and alerting the police When Maddstone is arrested though something else is found a letter containing a list of names of prominent Britons together with a code phrase used by the IRA to authenticate its actions prior to acts of terror Just as the letter being carried by Dantes was entrusted to him by his dying captain together with the letter s whispered addressee so Maddstone has no idea of the contents of the letter he has been given by the dying Irish captain of a boat on which he had been crewing When Maddstone divulges the name and address of the intended recipient of the letter to the detective uestioning him wheels are set in motion to get rid of Maddstone in such a way that he will never be heard from again Yep same bookThe rest of the story of meticulously plotted revenge updates Dumas with late twentieth century trappings The role of Abbe Faria the Italian priest and intellectual imprisoned for his political views is played by Babe a one time British intelligence agent who secreted away a fortune in MI 5 funds before being found out Instead of a treasure cache on the island of Monte Cristo the loot is in a Swiss Bank There are some very clever bits that underscore Maddstone s fifteen years in captivity he arrives in the world of 1995 never having seen a cell phone or a personal computer and the internet is beyond his comprehension But none of this detracts from the awful reality that Ned Maddstone was deprived of his life He is now fabulously wealthy and knows who set him up for the horror he has endured He sets out to exact that retributionFry departs from Dumas s story only at the end I m still pondering if it is better ending or simply one with a modern sensibility Perhaps it is something in Fry s character that he chose the denoument that he did All this is my way of saying that this is a good book Yes it is than a decade old probably sold poorly in America and is likely out of print But I note it is available in a Kindle edition I read it in two days and thoroughly enjoyed it


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. 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 Dant s first mate of the ship Pharaon who has recently been granted the succession of his captain Lecl re is trapped in a false intrigue by a group of people jealous of him for various reasons The deputy crown prosecutor of Marseille finding that his own father is really implicated in the treason sacrifices Dant s to imprisonment without trial in the island prison of Ch teau d If He learns of a fortune on the isle of Monte Cristo from another prisoner there and claims it after making good his escape Returning as a rich man he extracts revenge on all his enemies in exemplary fashionWhat Stephen Fry has done is transport this story to the end of the last century Here the protagonist is Ned Maddstone the handsome and talented son of conservative MP Sir Charles Maddstone He is madly in love with Portia Fendeman who is the daughter of leftist Jews Peter and Hillary who don t approve of the union Portia s cousin Gordon madly in love with her himself also disapproves of it The other people who hate Ned are his classmates Ashley Barson Garland employed as Sir Charles s secretary and the junkie Rufus Cade because they are jealous of his privilegesThey decide to get him busted for drug pushing by planting weed in his overcoat pocket But the prank misfires as Ned is also carrying a missive from the captain of the sailboat he was sailing on during his vacation an instruction to the IRA for planting bombs The secret service man who interrogates him Oliver Delft rightly identifies him as an innocent victim but finds out to his horror that his mother is the intended recipient To protect himself Delft has Ned committed to a lunatic asylum on a Nordic Island which the secret service uses to bury troublesome prisonersOn the island Ned lives a life of uiet despair and is on the verge of losing his sanity when he meets Babe another political prisoner This proves to be turning point in his life With Babe s help Ned becomes a changed person Like the original Count of Monte Cristo he manages to escape and amass a fortune What remains is the triumphant return and revengeStephen Fry has managed the astonishing feat of staying as close to the original as possible while transporting the whole story to the current era When Ned goes to the asylum in 1980 there are still no mobile phones or internet lovers still write letters on paper and post them in envelops USA and USSR are engaged in a cold war which it seems will never end When he comes out in 1999 we are in the midst of the dotcom revolution and communism is a distant memory The changes of the tumultuous two decades are woven seamlessly into the tale The only thing which has not changed it seems is the duplicity of politicians and human greed The author manages to shower trenchant criticism on British society politics and the fruits of the neoliberalist philosophies which ruled the roost in the late nineties and the early twenty first century while not losing the central thread of this gripping revenge taleAn enjoyable read though not a great work of literature Fry s language is a treat though

Stephen Fry Ò 1 READ

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. 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 theater almost 8 years ago and the book is very different from the movie a lot of which I know of and was excited to see which Fry chose to follow Now that I have ruined the experience of not knowing for everyone else I urge you not to discount it and read Dumas instead perhaps read book although Dumas stole his plot from Jacues Peuchet so I suppose if you really insist on going back to basics at least do it correctly I thoroughly enjoyed this book I thought the plot was surprising and inventive at least until I realized it was stolen perhaps explaining why such intelligent people have stolen it A long stay in a mental institution is far interesting then figuring things out uickly and living happily ever after also comes off as through The plot also makes a strange comment on sociopathy being that the Cristo character always becomes a one after having been such a nice unobtrusive stupid boy I infact enjoy Fry thoroughly and suggest the book weather or not you have read Dumas The book has even made me a bit interested in reading Dumas which historically I never have been

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

  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

  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 thi

  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 little too close t

  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 tha

  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

  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 set

  8. says:

    A modern update of the Count of Monte Cristo revenge tale set in England between 1980 and the present day A well

  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

  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 impres

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