Tag: C++

Stephen Fry – The Fry Chronicles | Review

Title: The Fry Chronicles

Author: Stephen Fry

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 446

Rating: 9/10


Stephen Fry - The Fry Chronicles

Stephen Fry – The Fry Chronicles


The Fry Chronicles is the second autobiography from the pen of Stephen Fry, the British icon who’s more well-known as a television personality than as an author, despite the fact that he’s released half a dozen books of both fiction and non-fiction. He first cut his teeth writing sketches for A Bit of Fry and Laurie, which is (in my opinion) one of the cleverest and most well-written comedy sketch shows of all time.

In fact, he covers off the formative years of his relationship with comedy partner Hugh Laurie in the Fry Chronicles, as well as his meetings with dozens of other luminaries including Rowan Atkinson and Emma Thompson. It was published nearly twenty years after Fry’s first book, a novel called ‘The Liar‘ which was also autobiographical in places, and his writing style has developed and matured over the years. Now, he’s a truly talented writer with a unique voice and a wit and wisdom of his own.

Fry’s writing is complimented perfectly by a series of photographs from the author’s own archives, that detail everything from the young Fry and his parents (who look exactly like him) to “the backlit ears of Hugh Laurie” and posters and pictures of some of Fry’s earliest productions. In fact, in sharp contrast to Moab is my Washpot, Fry’s first autobiography which covered the first twenty years of his life, there’s a lot to learn here about Fry’s actual career.


Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry


As it goes, The Fry Chronicles is one of the more interesting celebrity autobiographies on the market, even if it is occasionally patchy in places; Fry also has a tendency to name-drop wherever possible, although it’s not really necessary as he’s a bigger star than most of the people that he mentions. In many ways, though, that’s forgivable – he’s just the sort of person who mingles with celebrities and minor royalty alike, and it’s probably due to his background at Cambridge.

The Fry Chronicles is interesting because the author used the letter ‘C‘ as a narrative device – all of his chapters begin with the letter ‘C”, ending on ‘cocaine‘ at his 30th birthday. I understand that this is a topic that he plans to deal with later in further detail, in a third volume of autobiography to be released at a later date. I look forward to reading it with some gusto, because if The Fry Chronicles and Moab is my Washpot are anything to go by, it’s going to be good. You should catch up with the series, before he writes and releases another one.


Stephen Fry On Ignorance

Stephen Fry On Ignorance


Click here to buy The Fry Chronicles.


Richard Wagner – Building Facebook Applications for Dummies | Review

Title: Building Facebook Applications for Dummies

Author: Richard Wagner

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 342

Rating: 7/10


Richard Wagner - Building Facebook Applications for Dummies

Richard Wagner – Building Facebook Applications for Dummies


Okay, let me get this straight – I’m not a web developer, although I work with some. Yeah, I run two websites – that makes me an admin, not a developer. I’m comfortable with HTML, and I worked with PHP and MySQL as a teenager earning a bit of cash by modding phpBB forums, but that doesn’t mean I have the technical knowledge that’s required to code an application.

I do, however, work in social media, and so I considered it to be research in to the options available, but I must admit I wasn’t looking forward to reading the book. I was pleasantly surprised, though – it turns out that I basically qualify as a dummy developer.

Wagner uses PHP code, although you can also use Java, ASP.NET, ASP, ColdFusion, C++, C#, Python, Ruby On Rails and more, and many of Facebook’s technologies (FBML, FQL and FBJS) are language neutral. Surprisingly, I found that I could understand the language, and in places I even found mistakes – basic ones, where he’d copied and pasted the code, then changed the opening tag but not the closing one.


Dummies Man

Dummies Man


The author’s sense of humour shows at times, too – better still, you sometimes see it in the code. It keeps you on your toes, and it makes you pay more attention and take the lessons in. I’m not sure how much I’d get on with him as a person, though – it’s interesting, with books about social media, you tend to get a good idea of what the author is like in real life. You notice the films that they like, spy on their example statuses and always, for some reason, scan the names of their friends in case you know them.

It’s a good book, though a little dated as it was first published in 2008. Still, would-be developers can learn a lesson or two, but check the latest documentation first. I’m guessing lots has changed.


A Dumnmy for Dummies Cover

A Dumnmy for Dummies Cover


Click here to buy Building Facebook Applications for Dummies.


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