The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry

About the book

Ted Wallace is an old, sour, womanising, cantankerous, whisky-sodden beast of a failed poet and drama critic, but he has his faults too. Fired from his newspaper, months behind on his alimony payments and disgusted with a world that undervalues him, Ted seeks a few months repose and free drink at Swafford Hall, the country mansion of his old friend Lord Logan. But strange things have been going on at Swafford. Miracles. Healings. Phenomena beyond the comprehension of a mud-caked hippopotamus like Ted. With this funny and deliciously readable novel, Stephen Fry takes his place as one of the most talented comic novelists of his generation.

Reviewed by  White Lion Yateley Reading Group:

Well written (apart from the bad language), good storyline, especially the Jewish/Nazi element. ‘One of the best books we’ve read’. We were put off by the scene with the horse. Kept picturing Stephen Fry!

Star rating: ***

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9 thoughts on “The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry”

  1. Review by The Page Turners Reading Group:
    We felt the writing style and sentence construction were excellent and well crafted – Fry has a way with words, BUT did scenes of a sexual nature have to be so graphic? Was the book meant to shock or was it a reflection of the authors view of life?
    Star rating: **

  2. Review by Shipton Bellinger WI Reading Group:
    A very funny story but what a shame it is spoilt by a school boy indulgence in bad language.
    Star rating: **

  3. Review by Bridewell Beauties Reading Group:
    Weak women characters. Sex – obsessed plot. Perhaps written for the money?
    Star rating: *

  4. Review by Bookends Reading Group:
    A modern day PG Wodehouse!? Very enjoyable. Some members didn’t enjoy.
    Star rating: ***

  5. Review by New Forest – Waterside U3A Theatre and Literature Reading Group:
    For anyone getting beyond the first chapter this book has much to offer a reading group, raising, as it does several social topics not usually dealt with so openly. Three of our members did not finish the book, finding Ted Wallace too much to stomach, not accepting that such a character with so much anger and such a fluent vocabulary could exist. If he can they don’t want to know and they missed his emergence from his cover. A clever plot well structured with some very fine English writing. Shades of GB Shaw, Oscar Wilde and PG Wodehouse
    haunt this book as Stephen Fry moves beyond his own adolescent brashness to a civilised and fully believable conclusion.
    Star rating: ***

  6. Review by Denmead Reading Circle:
    Our book circle disliked this book. They could see no redeeming features at all – language, obscenities and very weak story line. So we discussed the book carefully, looking for any redeeming features and found very little.
    Star rating: no stars

  7. Review by Lovedean WI
    Took a while to get into it. Then really enjoyed it!
    Star rating *** to ****

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