Richard North on UK writer, actor and travel writer, Stephen Fry:
As he takes us on his taxi-ride around the US, he is not ostensibly defending the place, though in his accompanying notes (in interviews and on his website) that seems to be his mission. It is easier to warm to Mr Fry’s account. He seems a nice old thing. But he has a striking narrowness of mind, best exemplified by the disdain with which he passed by Miami as too horrid to detain him. He sneers too easily. I doubt that he is quite as clever as he thinks, though he clearly has a good memory and has an intense middlebrow love of science.
Brrr, that was venomous! Considering that Mr North dislikes Fry’s sneering, that is quite a snide comment itself. Ouch, as they say. Even so, Mr North has a good review of a number of books written by folk about the US recently. He does not seem very impressed by them.
I still think the greatest book written about the US from an outsider is Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.