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NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
Stephen Fry's charmingly misanthropic send-up of the English mystery features an unlikely but necessary hero: Ted Wallace, AKA the Hippopotamus, a failed and disolute poet, recently fired theater critic, and muckraker of modern irrationality, whose war against the unreasonable finds sudden purpose investigating a series of supposed miracles at a mansion in the country.
"I’ve suffered for my art, now it’s your turn.” So begins the tale of Ted Wallace, unaffectionately known as the Hippopotamus. Failed poet, failed theater critic, failed father and husband, Ted is a shameless womanizer, drinks too much, and is at odds in his cranky but maddeningly logical way with most of modern life. Fired from his newspaper, Ted seeks a few months’ repose and free liquor at Swafford Hall, the country mansion of his old friend Michael Logan. This world of boozy dinners, hunting parties, and furtive liaisons has recently been turned on its head by miracles, healings, and phenomena beyond Ted’s comprehension. As the mysteries deepen, The Hippopotamus builds into “a deliciously wicked and amusing little fable” (The New York Times).
About the Author
Stephen Fry is an actor, producer, director, and writer who has appeared in numerous TV series and movies, including Jeeves and Wooster, Wilde, Gosford Park, V for Vendetta and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He is the bestselling author of four novels, as well as several works of nonfiction, and divides his time between New York and the UK.
Praise for The Hippopotamus
"The Hippopotamus is animated by an antic sense of comedy and features a willfully feckless hero . . . Described 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 Times
"The literary godchild of British comic novelist Kingsley Amis . . . Perfectly funny."
"[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will, directed energetically at all that is trendy and modern, and embodied in the blubbery, whiskified carcass of an out-of-date poet named Ted Wallace . . . He rages entertainingly at a glorious array of targets."
“This near-perfect book happens to be the most entertaining, worthwhile antidote to drear you’ll ever find.”
"Tootingly and tremendously funny."
—Christopher Buckley, author of Thank You for Smoking
"This 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."
"Imagine P.G. 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 Herald
"My 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 this."
"Marvelous dialog enlivens a tale that is fraught with incest, bestiality, and English humor."
"One of the funniest people writing on either side of the Atlantic . . . like a combination of Evelyn Waugh and Kingsley Amis, but funnier than either."