Stephen Fry’s 7 Deadly Sins

Podcast Review by Subhadra Jayaraman

I have always admired Fry as an actor and found a wonderful author and entertaining narrator in him when I first heard his book Mythos on audio. I was stunned at his fabulous storytelling, his curiosity-driven research, and his ability to enrapture any listener. During the pandemic, his narration of the Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone kept my mind sane for a while. And then came the world of podcasts, in which Fry was already paving a path. I came across his 7 Deadly Sins podcast while browsing on Spotify and started listening.

Just as a refresher – the seven sins are Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, and Sloth. Stephen Fry masterfully weaves his way through these in individual 30-minute episodes. His sharp intellect and witty content are just delightful, and his deep baritone only adds more splendor to the experience. He portrays each sin in detail with well-crafted social examples, careful research, and ingenious personal touches.

Sins like Greed and Envy, which we can all certainly identify closely with, take on a new, rather more profound meaning as Fry takes them and gives them a hilarious new perspective. Episodes on Gluttony (“Loosen your waistbands and gorge with me until you gasp”) and Wrath (“Furious to know more?”) are rib tickling and thought provoking at the same time, a feat only Magician Fry can manage to pull off. I have re-listened to the Pride and Greed episodes multiple times and every time I learn something new embedded in the intricate volume.

The best part about this podcast is that it seamlessly integrates the dreaded sins into the context of everyday life and changes the narrative from one of disgust, fear, and judgement to one of acceptance and allows a profound peek into our own natures as we unfurl our thoughts to Fry’s elaborately woven backdrop.

Fry’s characteristic humor, expressions (yes, you can almost see him bare his teeth, scrunch up his nose, raise an eyebrow, or salivate in desire – that’s how awesome he is), and content is embellished by the gleeful narration and at times rather coarse but nevertheless heartfelt language (keep your kids away from the Lust episode).

Do give this podcast a whirl – what can I say, it is just sinfully enchanting. 😉

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