The Stars' Tennis Balls, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (4 ratings)


Ned Maddstone has the world at his feet. He is handsome, talented and about to go to Cambridge, after which he is expected to follow his father into politics.

But an unfortunate confrontation with a boy in his school results in a prank that goes badly wrong and suddenly he's incarcerated - without chance of release.

So begins a year long process of torment and hopelessness, which will destroy his very identity, until almost nothing remains of him but this unquenchable desire for revenge.

Inspired by the Count of Monte Cristo, Fry's psychological thriller is written with the pace, wit and shrewd insight that we have come to expect from one of our finest novelists.


Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

This chap can write - I whizzed through the book partly because of the fast moving and well balanced plot and partly because of the writing style which is clear and quick but full of detail and insight.Having read the first part of his autobiography [[moab is my washpot]] I can see how he uses his own experiences in his work and this adds something to the enjoyment for me.Violence and revenge, love and hatred its all here.I can't help thinking that we are not yet seeing the author's full potential and so I have got him on my "buy everything he does" list.

Review by

Good and fast read. I did not read the text on the back very carefully, so it took until page 268 till the coin dropped and I realised that I was actually reading Alexandre Dumas.... Sad ending. I liked the first part of the book better. The story is very close to Monte Christo and therefore there were not any surprises towards the end, it was too predictable. Still enjoyed it though.

Review by

I found my self completely enthralled by this book. It is a very interesting, modern retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo. The characters are "thoroughly thought through" and grow and develop in believable ways to the end. This tragedy is a complete departure from Fry's usually humorous stories, and it is very well done.

Review by

Wickedly entertaining a horrible mind boggling roller-coaster of human nature at it's worst. Terrifically gratifying.

Also by Stephen Fry   |  View all