The Liar, Stephen Fry's first novel, is, more or less, a Coming of Age Story about a compulsive liar. It centers around a young man named Adrian Healey, beginning with his public school years and ending sometime after he graduates from Cambridge. In between, he falls in love with his beautiful underclassman, Hugo Cartwright, forges an "unpublished" Dickens manuscript, works as a rent boy (allegedly), and gets involved in a pretend murder mystery. The novel is told in Anachronic Order with a liberal dosage of Unreliable Narrator, although the book is written in the third person.
The Liar provides examples of:
- The Alcoholic: Cartwright, by the end.
- Anachronic Order: The whole book. It can take two reads to get the whole story.
- Author Avatar: Adrian shares some similarities with a young Stephen Fry.
- Believing Their Own Lies: Adrian asks Professor Trefusis whether these sorts of lies could be picked up by a lie detector.
- Holding the Floor: Adrian does this to keep a meeting regarding Trefusis's trial from being televised.
- Lover and Beloved: Adrian is briefly in this kind of a relationship with an actor. Except he isn't.
- Show Within a Show: Peter Flowerbuck