The Liar

The Liar

Book - 1993
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Baker & Taylor
"Stephen Fry's breathtakingly outrageous debut novel is 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"--

Blackwell North Amer
Adrian Healey loves to lie. He lies all the time. Every minute, every moment. Worse, he does it wonderfully, imaginatively, brilliantly. He lies to buck the System, to express his contempt for convention, but mostly because he just plain likes to. It's fun, and so much more challenging. It is high camp. One creates when one prevaricates. "Doesn't everyone think the way I think?" says Adrian of his various inventions. Like the pornographic novel by Charles Dickens, his career as a Piccadilly "rent-boy" hireable by the hour, his stressful work as a drug "mule" smuggling illegal substances.
He has (as his Cambridge tutor observed) "a fine brain, but a dreadful mind." Already in his public school career, marked by privilege and pederasty, he had lost the ability to differentiate between simple truth and his elaborate fictions.
The Liar is as wicked and witty, as unspeakably (and unquotably) funny as its protagonist narrator - and as irresistible as its multi-talented author, Stephen Fry. Mr. Fry's credits grow daily. He is the star of a film entitled Peter's Friends, and of Masterpiece Theater's television series Jeeves and Wooster. He is half of the Fry and Laurie comedy team, he has written a play called Latin and the book for the musical Me and My Girl, and he is a weekly columnist for the London Daily Telgraph. He is also now the author of the #1 English bestseller, The Liar, which spent several months at the very top position on the British charts. In the literary firmament it has been identified as somewhere between Oscar Wilde and Saki.

Publisher: New York : Soho, [1993], c1991.
ISBN: 9780939149827
0939149826
9781569470121
156947012X
Characteristics: 277 p. ; 25 cm.

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Vivian Unger Feb 23, 2012

The chronology is a confusing mess, but things get more straightforward in the second half, and there are some funny bits.

placebo Apr 24, 2011

Very well written in Fry's usual amusing, conversational form.
I found the plot a bit sketchy but still worth the read.

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