[[ Free kindle ]] The Hippopotamus: A Novel (English Edition)Author Stephen Fry – Albawater.co

FOREWORDYou cant expect a moron like me to tell a story competently Its all I can bloody do to work this foul machine Ive counted up the words processed, a thing I do every hour, and, if technology can be trusted, it looks as if youre in for , of them Good luck to you You asked for it, you paid me for it, youve got to sit through it As the man said, Ive suffered for my art, now its your turn I dont claim that it has been a wholly grotesque experience The Project, as you insist on calling it, has kept me from drinking at lunch time, from drooling after unattainable women and from quarrelling with the unspeakables next door At your suggestion, I have been leading aor less regular life these seven months and I am told the benefits can be read clearly in complexion, waistline and eye whites The routine has been fixed and perversely pleasurable Every morning I have risen at round about the hour most decent people are thinking of oneshot before bed, I have showered, descended the stairs with a light tread, champed through a bowl of Bran Buds and guided my unwilling slippers studywards I switch on the computera procedure my son Roman calls jacking into the matrixgoggle with disgusted eyes at whatever guff Ive set down the night before, listen to someof those bloody interview tapes with Logan, light up a Rothman and just bloody well get down to it If the day has gone well Ill disappear upstairs for a round of light celebratory masturbationwhat Roman would no doubt call jacking into the mattressand I wont so much as think of a bottle till seven ish All in all a proud and pure life The problem with renting a house in the country is that suddenly everyone wants to know you I am endlessly having to fend off Oliver, Patricia and Rebecca and others who seem to think my time is limitless and my cellar bottomless Every once in a whilethe Bitch will unload a son or daughter for the weekend, but they are both big enough and ugly enough to look after themselves and dont need me to help them roll their joints or fit their coils Next week Leonora will be moving into the house Ive given her and be permanently off my hands Shes far too old to be clinging to me No, on balance I would say the things been a huge success As a process, that is, as a process Whether the product has anything to recommend it is, naturally, for you to say I am fully aware that theres a deal of tarting up to be done I assume youll make some decision about whether or not to create a unified point of viewa consistent third person narrative, an omniscient author, an innocent eye or an innocent I, all that Eng Lit balls Since half of its in letter form you could always titivate here, dandify there and call it an Epistolary Novel, couldnt you My favourite candidate for a title is Other Peoples Poetry, I have a feeling however that your filthy marketing people will regard this as a notch too poncey It seems to me to be the best title, the only title So whatever cheap alternative you dream up instead, to me this book will always be Other Peoples Poetry and nothing else Your suggestion, What Next or Now Whator whatever it was, strikes me as a touch too Joseph Heller and a whole smashing uppercut too market led, as I believe the phrase is Otherwise Im rather fond of The Thaumaturge that would go down as my tip for place No doubt youll come up with your own clever arse idea Roman thinks Whisky and Soda would be rather neat The details here below areor less accurate If you develop a publishers yellow streak, you can always change the names and datesbuggered if I care Meanwhile, on delivery of this, the second quarter of my advance is due Im off back to the smoke to find myself a tart and a bar, so sling the cheque over to the Harpo, in which place too a message can be left, delivering itself of your professional opinion, for what little its worthELWAPTER The fact is I had just been sacked from my paper, some frantic piffle about shouting insults from the stalls at a first night Theatre criticism should be judgement recollected in tranquillity, my wet turd of an editor had shrilled, still trembling from the waves of squeal and whinge that actors, directors, producers and wouldnt you just believe it pompous, cowardly prigs of fellowreviewers had unleashed upon him by fax and phone throughout the morning You know I support my staff, Ted You know I venerate your work I know no such bloody thing I know that you have been told by people cleverer than you that I am a feather in your greasy cap I also knew that he was the kind of anile little runt who, in foyers and theatre bars the West End over, can be heard bleating into their gin and tonics, I go to the theatre to be entertained I told him so and a full gillA months salary, deep regret, the telephone number of some foul rehab clinic and my lance was free If youre a halfway decent human being youve probably been sacked from something in your timeschool, seat on the board, sports team, honorary committee membership, club, satanic abuse group, political partysomething Youll know that feeling of elation that surges up inside you as you flounce from the headmasters study, clear your locker or sweep the pen tidies from your desk No use denying the fact, we all feel undervalued to be told officially that we are off the case confirms our sense of not being fully appreciated by an insensitive world This, in a curious fashion, increaseswhat psychotherapists and assorted tripe hounds of the media call our self esteem, because it proves that we were right all along Its a rare experience in this world to be proved right on anything and it does wonders for the amour propre, even when, paradoxically, what we are proved right about is our suspicion that everyone considers us a waste of skin in the first place I boarded the boat that plies its fatuous course between newspaperland and real London and watched the Sunday Shite building grow upwards in space as slow knots were put between self and dismal docklands and, far from feeling mopey or put upon, I was aware of a great swelling relief and a pumping end of term larkiness At such times, and such times only, a daughter can be a blessing Leonora would by now have high heeled her way, it being half past twelve, to the Harpo Club You probably know the place I meancant use the real name, lawyers being lawyers revolving doors, big bar, comfy chairs, restaurants,or less acceptable art on the walls By day, smart publishers and what used to be called the Mediahedin by night, the last gasp of yesterdays Soho bohemians and washed up drunks taking comfort from the privilege of being sucked up to by the first gasp of tomorrows ration In the back brasserie Leonora hardly my idea, a name that tells you all you need to know about the childs footling mother hugged, snogged and squealed Daddee What brings you here in the daytime If you take that slithery tongue out of my ear, Ill tell you She probably imagined that a slightly famous daughter and her evenslightly famous father displaying easy affection for one another in such a manner would provoke envy and admiration in those of her tight arsedly bourgeois generation who only ever saw their parents for tea in hotels and wouldnt think of swearing, smoking and drinking with them in public Typical bloody Leonora there are pubs all over the country where three generations of ordinary families drink and swear and smoke at each other every bloody night, without it ever crossing their minds that they are simply sensationallylucky to have such a just brilliantly fabulous relationship with their wonderful daddies I dropped the Rothmans and lighter on the table and let the banquette blow off like a Roman emperor as it took my weight The usual dirt averted their eyes while I took in the room Couple of actors, nameless knot of advertisers, that queen who presents architecture programmes on Channel Four, two raddled old messes I took to be rock stars, and four women at a table, one of whom was a publisher and all of whom I wanted to take upstairs and spearor less fiercely with my cock Leonora, whom I had never wanted to spear, the gods be thanked in these unforgiving times, was looking thinner andlustrouseyed than ever If I didnt know it was unfashionable I would have supposed her to be on drugs of some kind Whats all this I asked, picking up a portable tape recorder on the table in front of her Im profiling Michael Lake at one, she said For Town Around That fraud His dribble of three act loose stooled effluent isthe reason Im here What can you mean I explained Oh Daddy, she moaned, you are the limit I saw a preview on Monday I think its a perfectly brilliant play Of course you do And thats why you are a worthless keybasher who fills in time sicking out drivel for snob glossies until a rich, semiaristocratic queer comes to claim you for a brood mare, while I, for all my faults, remain a writer Well, youre not a writer now, are you A jessed eagle is still an eagle, I declared, with massive dignity So what are you going to do Wait for offers I dont know, my old love, but I do know this I need your mother off my back until Im sorted out Im two months behind as it is Leonora promised to do what she could and I skedaddled from the brasserie in case the Lake fake was early Playwrightsthan most are not above throwing good wine or bad fists when the valueless offal they have vomited up before a credulous public has been exposed for what it is I sat at the bar and kept an eye on the mirror dead ahead, which gave a full view of the influx from the entrance door behind me The lunch crowd twittered around the bar area awaiting their meal tickets or their spongers the daytime scent of the women and the sunlight pouring through the window created an interior atmosphere so distinct from the dark, flitting nimbus that hangs over the place at night that we might have been lapping in a different room in a different decade In America, where boozers are often under the street, like the cutesy bar in that ghastly television series they repeat every day on Channel Four, a daytime atmosphere is positively banished The punter, I suppose, is not to be reminded that there is a working world going on outside, lest he start to feel guilty about pissing it away Like an increasing number of niminy piminy Europeans, Americans bracket drinking with gambling and whoring, as deeds to be done in the dark For myself, I have no shame and dont have to steal off to Tuscany or the Caribbean to be able to drink guiltlessly in the sunlight This casts me as a freak in a lunch time world where the fires of anything vinous are extinguished by spritzing sprays of mineral water and the blaze of anything hearty is drizzled in balsamic vinegar or damped down with blanketing weeds of radiccio, lollo rosso and rocket Christ, we live in arse paralysingly drear times Once, since were on the subject of designer lettuce, at a luncheon for literary hacks, the novelist Weston Payne prepared a salad of dock, syca and other assorted foliage collected from the residents garden in Gordon Square He dressed these leaves in a vinaigrette and to universal applause served them up as cimabue, putana vera and lampedusa One grotty little pill from the Sunday Times went so far as to claim that putana vera could be bought in his local Chelsea Waitrose A bottle of London tap water chilled and passed through a soda stream was slurped with every evidence of delight under the name of Aqua Robinetto Very fitting really After all, for twenty years Westons novels had been palmed off as literature to these same worthless husks without their ever noticing a thing I sometimes think that London is the worlds largest catwalk for emperors Perhaps it always was, but in the old days we werent afraid to shout out, Youre naked, you silly arse Youre stark bollock naked Today you only have to fart in the presence of a dark haired girl from the Sunday Times, whose father is either a sacked politician or a minor poet like myself, and youll be puffed and profiled as the new Thackeray You cant imagine, if youre younger than me, which statistically speaking you are bound to be, what it is like to have been born into the booze and smokes generation Its one thing for a man to find, as he ages, that the generations below him are trashier,promiscuous, less disciplined and a whole continentpigignorant and shit stupid than his ownevery generation makes that discovery but to sense all around you a creeping puritanism, to see noses wrinkle as you stumble by, to absorb the sympathetic disgust of the pink lunged, clean livered, clear eyed young, to be made to feel as if you have missed a bus no one ever told you about thats going to a place youve never heard of, that can come a bit hard All those pi, priggish Malvolios going about the place with do you mind, some of us have got exams tomorrow, actually expressions on their pale prefectorial little faces Vomworthy It seems the popsy up on a stool next to mine read some of the off pissedness in my face, for she gave me a long sideways stare, unaware that I was inspecting her inspection by way of the mirror She slipped her bony but appetising buns off the stool and made for a chair in the corner, leaving me the sole occupant of the bar pasture, to graze the gherkins and crop the cashews alone Knew her from somewhere Five got you two that she was a diarist for the Standard Leonora would knowPraise for The Hippopotamus The Hippopotamusisanimated by an antic sense of comedy and features a willfully feckless heroDescribed in uproarious terms that suggest Wodehouse crossed with Waugh, Swafford emerges as a parody of every upper class country house ever depicted in an English novel The New York TimesThe literary godchild of British comic novelist Kingsley AmisPerfectly funny USA Today The Hippopotamus s virtues are cynicism and ill will, directed energetically at all that is trendy and modern, and embodied in the blubbery, whiskified carcass of an out of date poet named Ted WallaceHe rages entertainingly at a glorious array of targets TIME MagazineThis near perfect book happens to be the most entertaining, worthwhile antidote to drear youll ever find Entertainment WeeklyTootingly and tremendously funnyChristopher Buckley, author of Thank You for SmokingThis novel is clevery, as we have come to expect from Stephen Fry, and witty, as we have come to expect from Stephen Fry What is not so expected is that it looks like Fry s Brideshead There seems to be a pattern in the carpet, there seems to be a theme of spiritual redemption and the operation of grace But the carpet, being Fry s, has a twist in it and the pattern is not what it seems Sunday TimesImagine PG Wodehouse consumed with lust and suffering from a bad hangover, and you have a pretty good idea of the tone of Stephen Fry s very funny and wickedly irreverent second novel The Miami HeraldMy goodness, what fruity language Fry uses You can feel his enjoyment, and also the huge force of high desire to please you, as you read thisDaily MailMarvelous dialog enlivens a tale that is fraught with incest, bestiality, and English humor Library JournalOne of the funniest people writing on either side of the Atlanticlike a combination of Evelyn Waugh and Kingsley Amis, but funnier than either Publishers Weekly


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