Moab is My Washpot is in turns funny, shocking, tender, delicious, sad, lyrical, bruisingly frank and addictively readable.
Stephen Fry's bestselling memoir tells how, sent to a boarding school 200 miles from home at the age of seven, he survived beatings, misery, love, ecstasy, carnal violation, expulsion, imprisonment, criminal conviction, probation and catastrophe to emerge, at eighteen, ready to try and face the world in which he had always felt a stranger.
When he was fifteen, he wrote this in a letter to himself, not to be read until he was twenty-five:
'Well I tell you now that everything I feel now, everything I am now is truer and better than anything I shall ever be. Ever. This is me now, the real me. Every day that I grow away from the me that is writing this now is a betrayal and a defeat.'
Whether the real Stephen Fry is the man now living, or the extraordinary adolescent now dead, only you will be able to decide.