Making History

Making History

Stephen Fry / Jul 24, 2019

Making History In Making History Fry has bitten off a rather meaty chunk by tackling an at first deceptively simple premise What if Hitler had never been born An unquestionable improvement one would reason and so

  • Title: Making History
  • Author: Stephen Fry
  • ISBN: Making History
  • ASIN
    B00LKIBYC4
    Edition Language
    English
    Characters
  • Page: 152
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • In Making History, Fry has bitten off a rather meaty chunk by tackling an at first deceptively simple premise What if Hitler had never been born An unquestionable improvement, one would reason and so an earnest history grad student and an aging German physicist idealistically undertake to bring this about by preventing Adolf s conception And with their success is launc In Making History, Fry has bitten off a rather meaty chunk by tackling an at first deceptively simple premise What if Hitler had never been born An unquestionable improvement, one would reason and so an earnest history grad student and an aging German physicist idealistically undertake to bring this about by preventing Adolf s conception And with their success is launched a brave new world that is in some ways better than ours but in most ways even worse Fry s experiment in history makes for his most ambitious novel yet, and his most affecting His first book to be set mostly in America, it is a thriller with a funny streak, a futuristic fantasy based on one of mankind s darkest realities It is, in every sense, a story of our times Get A Copy Kindle Store StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Kindle Edition, 594 pages Published July 1st 2018 by Soho Press first published October 22nd 1996 More Details Original Title Making History ASIN B00LKIBYC4 Edition Language English Characters Michael Young, Leo Zuckerman, Axel Bauer, Rudolph Gloder Literary Awards Sidewise Award for Long Form 1998 Other Editions 34 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Making History, please sign up Recent Questions I drive a lot and love audiobooks This book used to be available on cassette but it seems no longer Very surprised that any Fry books are not available Anyone know where I can get 2 likeslike 3 years ago Add your answer See 1 question about Making History Lists with This Book Task 2 ReadHarder 2019 101 books 26 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter May 20, 2017 BrokenTune rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves reviewed Can you have a mid life crisis at twenty four Or is it just the usual crisis of adulthood, something I was going to have to get used to until I doddered into oblivion For the past year, I realised, I had been suffering from this pain, this leaking of hot lead in my stomach Every morning when I awoke and stared at the ceiling and listened to Jane s gentle snoring it flooded my gut, a dark swell of recognition that here was another pissing day to be got through as me How can you tell if that s Can you have a mid life crisis at twenty four Or is it just the usual crisis of adulthood, something I was going to have to get used to until I doddered into oblivion For the past year, I realised, I had been suffering from this pain, this leaking of hot lead in my stomach Every morning when I awoke and stared at the ceiling and listened to Jane s gentle snoring it flooded my gut, a dark swell of recognition that here was another pissing day to be got through as me How can you tell if that s freakish or usual No one ever says The ceaselessly expanding Christian Societies in the university would tell you that it was a sign that you needed room for Christ in your life That your ache was a vacuum in the soul Yeah, right Sure It was the same void that drugs filled, I supposed I had thought too that maybe this was what Jane was for No, not what Jane was for, what Love was for Then either I didn t love Jane as I should or this was another blown theory The longings of a creative spirit then Maybe my soul craved expression in Art But can t draw, can t write, can t sing, can t play Great Where does that leave me A kind of Salieri deal perhaps Cursed with enough of divine fire to recognise it in others, but not enough to create anything myself Aw, rats.Even tho I love Stephen Fry s books and pretty much everything else he shares with the world , Making History has been lingering on my kindle without even tempting me to start this Why is that Well, I unfortunately was put of by the premise that promised time travel that would culminate in the prevention of Hitler, two subjects that really don t intrigue me at all.When I started the book, the misgivings I had with the premise continued I liked Fry s writing but I still couldn t get to grips with reading what was in part a biography of Hitler, which, well, I had not planned on ever reading I even found myself skimming some of those parts It was written really well, but not something I would have engaged with if it had been by any other author.However, I knew enough about Stephen Fry to be intrigued as to how he would handle the subject and how he would tie up the various parallel story lines And of course the second story line about a history student who has just submitted his PhD thesis, was quirky enough and contained all the good parts, the parts where Fry questions things like the relationship between science and art, and how society attributes importance to one rather than the other.But then, at about the half way point, two things happened For one, I realised how unusual it is to read a WWI account even tho fiction from a German perspective What is , Fry did this rather well and without resorting to a lot of stereotyping or using cliches.The second change was that the story suddenly changed a gear when the two plots crossed, and when we get to read Fry s conjectured alternate reality, which is not as, erm, peachy as the simple solution erasing Hitler s existence from the 20th century may seem The second half of the book had me gripped If I had not arranged to meet with a friend for lunch, I would have read this book straight through all morning.What I loved about Fry s story is that he did not rely on a naive plot, but actually put a lot of thought into his conjectures, where one change effects so many things that outcomes are not predictable And, yet, despite the sensitive subjects that Fry brought up, there is an overarching tone of hope for humankind, even if the book focuses on the balance between the good and the bad that comes with every action.I absolutely loved it.Unfortunately, this is the last of Fry s novels that I hadn t read, yet, so I can only hope that he will at some point write another one I love his other books the non fiction ones , but his fiction work is rather special to me flag 33 likesLike see review View 2 comments Jan 30, 2008 Katie Muffett rated it it was amazing review of another edition Recommends it for everyone including you My favourite Fry book His jumps between narratives and playful use of various lit devices is only possible for Stephen Fry As usual, you instantly adore the protagonist and watch his every fumbling step with the same paternal yet slightly benevolently lecherous gaze as Fry The action in this is perfectly paced, the history glitters with colour, the humanity is raw, the politics aren t preachy or overdone, the love is true, and the voices are clear and exact Above all of course, is the humour My favourite Fry book His jumps between narratives and playful use of various lit devices is only possible for Stephen Fry As usual, you instantly adore the protagonist and watch his every fumbling step with the same paternal yet slightly benevolently lecherous gaze as Fry The action in this is perfectly paced, the history glitters with colour, the humanity is raw, the politics aren t preachy or overdone, the love is true, and the voices are clear and exact Above all of course, is the humour I want to make love to this book, it is so gorgeous If I was a boy, I would freely offer myself to Mr Fry Seriously flag 24 likesLike see review Sep 12, 2009 Ben Babcock rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves from library, 2014 read, alternate history, humour, science fiction, time travel This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here So you invent a time machine, and what s the first thing you do You go back in time and kill Hitler, of course Except you can t TVTropes , because either it doesn t work or it screws up the timeline even Thus resolving one of the burning questions surrounding time travel if it s possible, why do we still have Hitler Stephen Fry tackles this in a best of all possible worlds way in Making History, where his protagonist succeeds in averting Hitler s birth only for someone charismati So you invent a time machine, and what s the first thing you do You go back in time and kill Hitler, of course Except you can t TVTropes , because either it doesn t work or it screws up the timeline even Thus resolving one of the burning questions surrounding time travel if it s possible, why do we still have Hitler Stephen Fry tackles this in a best of all possible worlds way in Making History, where his protagonist succeeds in averting Hitler s birth only for someone charismatic and cunning to rise to power in his place.I didn t like this novel at first I m a fan of Fry as a TV personality, but the opening pages of Making History didn t endear themselves to me Michael Young is such an unsympathetic character But he kind of needs to be a jerk One requires a certain level of hubris to think that one should be responsible for changing history, and Michael certainly has that Of course, a story where one kills Hitler with no unintended consequences would be boring So things go wrong, and that s where it gets really interesting.When reality adjusts to Hitler s absence, Michael finds himself not in Cambridge but Princeton, where he is supposed have an American accent But with Hitler out of the picture, a charismatic German rose to power He reins in the anti semitism, and as a result, Germany develops the atomic bomb first World War II doesn t happen, and America exists in a tenuous state of non aggression with a Fascist Communist Europe In many respects this world seems advanced it s 1996 and everyone has mobile phones and tablets but culturally, civil liberties didn t happen Racism and homophobia are normal a climate of McCarthyism is the country s response to Germany s power And the Jews Well, in Europe, they got shuffled into a supposed free state but haven t been heard from since.Making History is a fantastic example of alternate history I particularly enjoyed how Fry shows the same scene, set during World War I, twice, once from the original timeline and once from the timeline after Michael erases Hitler It s an oh shit moment as the reader realizes the magnitude of what Michael has done It s a foregone conclusion that the new world is going to be somehow less preferable to the old one, but it s not immediately obvious how that s the case Fry reveals about the new timeline gradually, giving the reader time to acclimatize alongside Michael, who must pretend like everything is cool to throw off some suspicious G men even while he secretly freaks out and wants to find a way to restore the original timeline.This is a subject understandably close to Fry s heart, because he has family who died at Auschwitz And the Holocaust in any light is a serious subject So it seems like it would be difficult to poke fun at it and Fry doesn t try The humour in Making History is entirely at Michael s expense another reason he is an unlikable protagonist On one level, the narrative just seems to take umbrage at Michael s ego and conviction that he can make history better It mocks him for believing that merely removing Hitler from the picture will somehow defuse the anti semitism and fascist ideologies throughout Europe in the early twentieth century Fry makes a serious point here, in that often the vilification of Hitler seems to eclipse the important underlying issues But he does it with a lighthearted, humorous tone with regards to Michael s actions and feelings.The way that Fry balances the serious nature of the subject with his trademark wit is the most stunning aspect of Making History, and the most rewarding This is far than just another what if story of counterfactual fiction it moves both through pathos and humour I wanted to strangle Michael sometimes, but by the end I was starting to sympathize with him And while he s still a jerk at the end of the story, he has definitely changed and learned from his rather major mistakes In this way Fry reaffirms what is most important the close, personal relationship between two human beings, and the reminder that we are responsible for making a better world flag 17 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Feb 16, 2009 Hugh Malcolm rated it liked it review of another edition The book started well enough, young chap at Cambridge Fry s alma mater immersed in the history of Hitler, working towards spending his life at Cambridge in a paid capacity, is having a tough time with his hard nosed scientist girlfriend who finally leaves him I found her interesting than our hero, stronger, and capable of carrying a story, and was sorry to see her go Young man makes a hash of his thesis, dissertation, whatever, by being way too inventive for historical research, b The book started well enough, young chap at Cambridge Fry s alma mater immersed in the history of Hitler, working towards spending his life at Cambridge in a paid capacity, is having a tough time with his hard nosed scientist girlfriend who finally leaves him I found her interesting than our hero, stronger, and capable of carrying a story, and was sorry to see her go Young man makes a hash of his thesis, dissertation, whatever, by being way too inventive for historical research, but bumps literally into a physics prof who catches sight of his subject matter, becomes very excited, and shows our young hero why For his own reasons, he too is obsessed with Hitler and is working on a way to change the course of history, basically to assuage his own familial guilt With the young man s detailed knowledge of Hitler s early life, the physics professor s project becomes much easier And so these two set about making sure Hitler is never born Fry s idea is that mass events will happen no matter who, or who is not, therethey will simply be somewhat different Therefore, even without Hitler, the basic impulse of the time is achieved through a different cast of characters Only worse That was interesting, interesting enough to keep going with the story The writing was a bit clever clever, but not too clever, actually I expected from such a celebrated wit no Oscar Wilde here and towards the end became rather sophomoric, as did Fry s completely unnecessary descent into an alternative love story way out of character for our young hero, even understanding that he too changed when the world changed It wasn t necessary for the story, just seemed sort of stuck on as an amusement fantasy for Fry In fact, the last fifty pages were juvenile and rushed In the hands of deeper thinker and a better sci fi writer, this might have been very good But it petered out along the way as Fry s grasp of his material also petered out He really didn t know what to do with everyone when they d achieved their goal, so thrashed his way out in a very unlikely comic book fashion flag 13 likesLike see review Aug 14, 2017 Thomas Str mquist rated it really liked it review of another edition Probably my favorite fiction book by the wonderful Stephen Fry when you have read his autobiography, my suggestion is to go for this one The story, obviously, is about the changing of history and the consequences thereof Wonderful, live and likeable characters and some not likeable at all, of course and has all the trademark Fry English humor, wit, and beautiful language At no point in this book this feels overdone, but I felt that he hit just the tone and pace here The outcome of the m Probably my favorite fiction book by the wonderful Stephen Fry when you have read his autobiography, my suggestion is to go for this one The story, obviously, is about the changing of history and the consequences thereof Wonderful, live and likeable characters and some not likeable at all, of course and has all the trademark Fry English humor, wit, and beautiful language At no point in this book this feels overdone, but I felt that he hit just the tone and pace here The outcome of the meddling is very close to my first guess and I liked very much that he arrived there The fix is also a logical one, but does offer some surprises along the way This was, even though it s a bit long, a smooth and not easily paused read and one that I recommend very much flag 14 likesLike see review Apr 10, 2018 Marc rated it did not like it review of another edition Shelves science fiction This was clearly not a success for me Especially the literary level was very low weakly portraited, one dimensional characters, an occasional exciting moment but a lot of very boring moments, especially in the passages that have been written as a film script, and a really really dull final The only interesting approach is that Fry tries to imagine what the consequences would be of attempts to change history, but even that is poorly executed As a novel this does not exceed the level of cheap This was clearly not a success for me Especially the literary level was very low weakly portraited, one dimensional characters, an occasional exciting moment but a lot of very boring moments, especially in the passages that have been written as a film script, and a really really dull final The only interesting approach is that Fry tries to imagine what the consequences would be of attempts to change history, but even that is poorly executed As a novel this does not exceed the level of cheap science fiction, suitable to read on the beach flag 12 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Mar 21, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves read 2015, time travel, otp, my preciouses, europe, usa canada, lgbtqia, ooooh pretty, wwii holocaust, favourites 2015 You can read this review and on my blogIn a nutshell Making History is an equally fun and thought provoking read about an alternative history where Hitler was never born.This was not only my first Stephen Fry novel but my first read for 2015 It was a wonderful beginning on both accounts I ve wanted to read something by Fry for a while now and Making History was a perfect book for me to start with I m a history student like the protagonist and I m fascinated by alternative history, e You can read this review and on my blogIn a nutshell Making History is an equally fun and thought provoking read about an alternative history where Hitler was never born.This was not only my first Stephen Fry novel but my first read for 2015 It was a wonderful beginning on both accounts I ve wanted to read something by Fry for a while now and Making History was a perfect book for me to start with I m a history student like the protagonist and I m fascinated by alternative history, especially related to the time period In all honesty, I wasn t quite sure to expect from this book but I thoroughly enjoyed it It accompanied me through sleepless nights, killing time at the airport and a shaky flight home It made me laugh, smile and think What can I ask for from a book Making History answers an interesting question what if Hitler had never been born It s something that I have considered myself many times, and I ve read and heard about a lot of different theories In the novel, a history grad student Michael and an aging German physicist Leo are particularly concerned with it so much that they manage to ensure that Adolf Hitler was never conceived It s interesting to consider the implications of this Fascism and anti semitism would not have disappeared if Hitler had not existed it s not like these were new concepts in the world History instead play out differently and as a consequence, the world is changed Aspects of the alternative society concerning technology, history and sexuality were certainly different, and I loved Fry s take on it The novel is told from multiple perspectives and some chapters are written in a script format The switch could be disconcerting initially, but overall I appreciated the writing style The implications of what Michael and Leo did were effectively demonstrated with a scene told once with Hitler and again without him I liked the characters, despite their flaws, though I didn t necessarily form a strong connection with them Leo was an especially interesting character, considering the moral dilemma that drove him to change history If I had to pick a favourite character, I d go with Steve view spoiler I loved his relationship with Michael First his support, then when he realised this Michael was different Their relationship did seem to come about suddenly after what felt like a prolonged build up, but it felt true They were cute I was worried for a minute about Steve but the ending made me happy hide spoiler Fry is a wonderful story teller and I was engaged throughout the book, even during its build up to the actual history making This book was a pleasure to read and I m already looking forward to re reading it I especially liked that it was at the same time fun and playful, and thought provoking and interesting I d highly recommend Making History to fans of alternative history novels or simply anyone after a great read flag 9 likesLike see review Mar 25, 2018 Viir rated it really liked it review of another edition More like 3.5 stars but whatever.The story follows Michael D Young, a 24 year old guy who is supposed to turn in his thesis to achieve his doctorate He lives with his girlfriend Jane, who is a very clever ambitious Chemist I think, idk any and both of them are so different that this relationship isn t good for any of them The thesis Michael writes focuses on Adolf Hitler and his mother but because he is dumb, I can t find another reason for such a bad thesis he writes it in prose Lik More like 3.5 stars but whatever.The story follows Michael D Young, a 24 year old guy who is supposed to turn in his thesis to achieve his doctorate He lives with his girlfriend Jane, who is a very clever ambitious Chemist I think, idk any and both of them are so different that this relationship isn t good for any of them The thesis Michael writes focuses on Adolf Hitler and his mother but because he is dumb, I can t find another reason for such a bad thesis he writes it in prose Like it s a fucking novel and not a scientific paper What.The.Hell.Dude.So obviously the professor who is in charge for his thesis isn t too thrilled and wants him to rewrite his shit And somewhere here Michael meets another professor, Leo Zuckerberg who somehow was able to build a machine that allows him to look at Auschwitz in 1944 again I think that was the year, I really don t want to check again At this point they just look at itbut what would happen if they could actually do something that would prevent Hitler from doing the horror we all learnt about at school So the story unfolds there.The book switches between chapters focusing on the present , 1994 with struggling Michael and his life, and the past where we get to know Adolf Hitlers mother, her abuse by Alois and so on Then we also get chapters about how Hitler was working in the first world war, the people that served in the war etc It switches to another character from the time, but I don t want to give anything away.I really liked the history point in this book, I liked the time travel thing But the writing style is sth you have to get used to, what took me like 200 pages After that I was thrilled to continue reading One major negative point is that after going on and on about history the story evolves to become a fucking love story that no one needs and no one or maybe just me asked for But whatever It is what it is The love story wasn t even nicely written, just thrown out there I m annoyedILL I recommend reading it, go ahead have fun flag 10 likesLike see review Jul 30, 2007 Shelley rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves sci fi, historical Slow to get started, but once the set up ended around page 150 , it got completely awesome and very interesting Michael and Leo try to fix the world by making it so that Hitler was never born, except the world that results is even worse I loved the glimpses of the technology in the alternate world I think the premise that the world ends up in a perpetual state of the 1950s is fascinating I liked how Michael and Steve s relationship evolved, although I d have liked to see a bit of it I Slow to get started, but once the set up ended around page 150 , it got completely awesome and very interesting Michael and Leo try to fix the world by making it so that Hitler was never born, except the world that results is even worse I loved the glimpses of the technology in the alternate world I think the premise that the world ends up in a perpetual state of the 1950s is fascinating I liked how Michael and Steve s relationship evolved, although I d have liked to see a bit of it It was really just all around cool and fun and interesting Well worth the 5 I paid for it on marketplace g flag 7 likesLike see review View 1 comment Apr 23, 2014 Jason rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves read in 2015 Thoroughly good book The idea this book is based on is nothing new, people have discussed this many times, but this is the first time I have seen the idea written down It has been very well done, the different writing styles used keep you entertained Michael and Leo are very good characters and some of their dialogue had me in stitches.The first book I have read by Mr Fry, I will be back to read some flag 7 likesLike see review Feb 04, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves adventure, funny, time travel, multiple pov Amazing My absolute favorite of Fry s excellent works, and one of my favorite books, period Hilarious, it goes without saying Intelligent, playful, silly serious Romantic No one but Fry could write a book about Hitler that can make you cry with laughter Sodding pants flag 6 likesLike see review Jul 31, 2017 Mosharraf Hossain rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves year 2017, fiction, humer, alternate history Uchronia , to make the world a better place by ensuring that Adolf Hitler lived and prospered flag 5 likesLike see review Jan 08, 2013 Marina rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves library_hebrew, fantasy, owned_book_english This is such an unusual book for me, mainly in a sense that I don t tend to read SciFi and time travel and the like.But I knew that anything written by Stephen Fry would be funny and witty, and the description sounded very intriguing.Well then, imagine my shock when I read the first couple of chapters and discovered that not only is it funny but also very approachable and human and real, and that the description doesn t do the plot justice, in the sense that we are not only being told about the This is such an unusual book for me, mainly in a sense that I don t tend to read SciFi and time travel and the like.But I knew that anything written by Stephen Fry would be funny and witty, and the description sounded very intriguing.Well then, imagine my shock when I read the first couple of chapters and discovered that not only is it funny but also very approachable and human and real, and that the description doesn t do the plot justice, in the sense that we are not only being told about the past but actually living through it, with the people of the times I loved the characters, Michael and Leo, they were very human and relatable, especially Michael, who was very recognisable to me, personality wise And as for the plot, well, it is a personal story, but I suppose the message, if there s any, would be about the person being responsible only for his own destiny, and that the fate of the world isn t determined by a single person, that if evil has a face, it s the face of millions, not individuals But this book feels like it transcends plots and SciFi and even characters its biggest achievement, to me, is how deeply personal it feels The writing style helps the text is written the way it d be spoken, the way it d be felt and experienced Write what you know is a terrible advice And yetI ve no idea if Fry is Jewish I ve no idea if he s gay I ve no idea if he speaks German.But, reading this book, I could bet he is does all that flag 5 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Mar 28, 2018 Eleanor rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves 2018 books, book club, fantasy sf This was a great disappointment The best part of the book was the alternate world that Fry imagined, with a very different outcome to the Second World War from the one we know.I found the protagonist incredibly irritating, though I was presumably supposed to find him charming For someone who is a PhD candidate in history at Cambridge University, his inability to see that removing Hitler from the picture would not change the disastrous situation in Germany after the First World War, and that of This was a great disappointment The best part of the book was the alternate world that Fry imagined, with a very different outcome to the Second World War from the one we know.I found the protagonist incredibly irritating, though I was presumably supposed to find him charming For someone who is a PhD candidate in history at Cambridge University, his inability to see that removing Hitler from the picture would not change the disastrous situation in Germany after the First World War, and that of course some other leader would emerge, was frankly unbelievable, despite his immaturity Had he learned nothing from several years of reading history Other irritations included the way the story occasionally turns into a film script, and the way that in the sections dealing with Germans, the English text is larded with German words This makes as much sense as the old films where Germans or other nationalities spoke to each other in English with heavy accents so that we would know they were really speaking in German or French or whatever.Barely two stars, one being for the alternate outcome for Europe that Fry imagined and described well and succinctly flag 5 likesLike see review View 2 comments May 16, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing review of another edition Recommends it for everyone Shelves 2008, fiction This amazing novel is a blend of science fiction, history, and time travel, and I thought it brilliant If you re over the age of sixteen, chances are that you have spent a minute or two in school or outside of it pondering what our world would be like if the Germans had won World War II, or if Adolf Hitler had never been born, and that s exactly what this novel is about Fry explores a spectrum of potential realities historical, political, scientific, cultural, and sexual, and his speculat This amazing novel is a blend of science fiction, history, and time travel, and I thought it brilliant If you re over the age of sixteen, chances are that you have spent a minute or two in school or outside of it pondering what our world would be like if the Germans had won World War II, or if Adolf Hitler had never been born, and that s exactly what this novel is about Fry explores a spectrum of potential realities historical, political, scientific, cultural, and sexual, and his speculations smack of realism and often of frightening possibleness Michael D Young and Leo Zuckerman the young British historian and the elderly German physicist at the centre of the story are engaging, believable, and well rounded characters, and the situations into which they are thrown are, as I said, thrilling and involving and page turning stuff I also learned a few things about history I can t believe I never knew that Nazi was merely the first four letters of the full name of the political party that Hitler helped to found, for instance I think I paid a dollar for this book, at a recent book sale at work That was money well spent flag 5 likesLike see review Nov 13, 2018 Jenn JR rated it liked it Shelves fic sci fi fantasy This was my first Stephen Fry book and I was a bit daunted by the 500 page length The writing is pretty fast moving heaps of details that make me feel like he s writing for a film, plus some sections where it s written like a film dialogue not really sure why he s used this.Essentially, the story is about a student working on his PhD dissertation which sounds like an even purple style of prose than Erik Larsen bless his heart and is laughed off by his dissertation advisor He cr This was my first Stephen Fry book and I was a bit daunted by the 500 page length The writing is pretty fast moving heaps of details that make me feel like he s writing for a film, plus some sections where it s written like a film dialogue not really sure why he s used this.Essentially, the story is about a student working on his PhD dissertation which sounds like an even purple style of prose than Erik Larsen bless his heart and is laughed off by his dissertation advisor He crosses paths with a theoretical physicist who shares a painful personal story and, combined with access to an ex girlfriend s pharmaceutical project at work proposes let s make sure Hitler was never born The book really didn t pick up steam until about halfway through that s a massive investment in weak development of ancillary characters and lengthy history essays some of the history essays get longer in the second half, but the pace picks up We learn about the new world at the same pace of the protagonist.In a rather circular, roundabout way, Fry makes the point that cultural conditions result in so many things that the removal of one person won t necessarily mitigate the development of some particular outcome While he did a great job illustrating, in a small way, how some small changes would result in a world that is or less racist bigoted or homophobic he left out all the super interesting bits about what was happening in Germany after WWI that resulted in the rise of nationalism and cultural rebirth which created a really excellent environment for a charismatic leader I like the alternate history told in first person perspective, and I like the extra implications for even worse and dire consequences of the protagonist s attempt to fix history.The ending is lovely and makes me wonder if we could see this as a Wizard of Oz dream sequence where our protagonist realizes what he really wants at the end, and seizes it flag 4 likesLike see review Mar 18, 2008 Steve rated it really liked it review of another edition When someone as talented, witty, and educated as Stephen Fry writes a book, you half expect brilliance on every page While his genius was clearly in evidence, it was only every other page or so where it struck me still a helluva good rate.Fry did not lack for ambition But it was always going to be difficult to display humor, humanity, romance, and imagination when the fate of the whole continent s Jewish population was at stake The book asks whither a world without Hitler Fry s treatment an When someone as talented, witty, and educated as Stephen Fry writes a book, you half expect brilliance on every page While his genius was clearly in evidence, it was only every other page or so where it struck me still a helluva good rate.Fry did not lack for ambition But it was always going to be difficult to display humor, humanity, romance, and imagination when the fate of the whole continent s Jewish population was at stake The book asks whither a world without Hitler Fry s treatment and tone in response compels me to invent a new, compound German word if it doesn t exist already Unwahrscheinlicheleichternsthaftigkeittranslated roughly as mismatched light seriousness Despite Fry s light touch, he does hit on some thought provoking issues What if exercises are interesting when you ve got someone to give you proper context along the way A polymath like Fry certainly knows enough European history to do that In my mind, his knowledge of the German experience between the wars than made up for the inherent flaws in time travel logic I doubt even Stephen Hawking could make the physics behind such machinery sound plausible To his credit, Fry did not play up the sci fi elements What he did emphasize were pleasures of the intellect Now I m wondering what if someone went back in time and made Making History disappear I, for one, would feel less Unwahrscheinlicheleichternsthaftigkeit, and an even greater debt of outright fun flag 4 likesLike see review View all 4 comments May 21, 2013 Alytha rated it really liked it review of another edition I think I read somewhere once that the first rule of timetravel is that you try to kill Hitler, and the second rule is that it either doesn t work, or things get even worse.This book falls into the second category So, in terms of concept, it s not entirely new, but the execution is really really good.The book does an excellent job of capturing the human emotional level of the whole insane thing, and it s much funnier than you d expect this kind of book to be.This is not really a science fiction I think I read somewhere once that the first rule of timetravel is that you try to kill Hitler, and the second rule is that it either doesn t work, or things get even worse.This book falls into the second category So, in terms of concept, it s not entirely new, but the execution is really really good.The book does an excellent job of capturing the human emotional level of the whole insane thing, and it s much funnier than you d expect this kind of book to be.This is not really a science fiction book though Apart from some techno babble, we re never really told how the time machine works, and that s not the point of the book either It focusses on the consequences, which, despite the rather neat tech, are pretty horrible all around Fortunately, a bit of human decency and compassion has survived So this eventually turns into a bit of a romance too.Another good thing is that the German in the text is almost always correct Thank you, Mr Fry Some nitpicks some of the flashbacks are rather dull to read there s a bit of breaking the fourth wall about that, later, though view spoiler Also, logically, shouldn t Leo also feel displaced and remember his old life, as he was with Mike when they changed the past hide spoiler So, if you like history, and plots somewhere between Doctor Who and Monty Python, go for this one 4.5 stars, really flag 4 likesLike see review Jul 24, 2012 Heather Gibby rated it really liked it review of another edition This was the first book by Stephen Fry that I have read It is an enjoyable easy read, dealing with one of my favorite genres, time travel I found the chapters that were written to mimic a movie scripts were very distracting, and don t really understand its use as a literary style does Fry do this often The storyline is a fairly classic one, What would happen if you travelled back in time and prevented Hitler from being born The clever consequences of this action make this a very interesting r This was the first book by Stephen Fry that I have read It is an enjoyable easy read, dealing with one of my favorite genres, time travel I found the chapters that were written to mimic a movie scripts were very distracting, and don t really understand its use as a literary style does Fry do this often The storyline is a fairly classic one, What would happen if you travelled back in time and prevented Hitler from being born The clever consequences of this action make this a very interesting read The main protagonist is a flawed individual who steals your heart anyway I was also quite amused by the comparisons between American and English expressions in the book, as a Canadian, is was 50 50 as to which one was familiar to me flag 4 likesLike see review View 1 comment Feb 07, 2018 Franziska rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves challenge nbrc, wanderb cher Wow this book was amazing In the beginning, the switch between past and present was a bit odd and I had a hard time to find into the book But after several chapters, you see how all of it fits to the story and then I couldn t stop reading So I am really happy that I had the opportunity to read it can only recommend it flag 4 likesLike see review Oct 18, 2011 S.J Higbee rated it really liked it review of another edition This is the first time I ve picked up a Stephen Fry novel, and it was an enjoyable, if slightly uneven, experience Thumbing through the opening pages, I noticed that this book was first published in 1996, which begins to make sense when considering some of the faultlines running through this alternate history offering.The book is an intriguing premise two men decide, for very different reasons, to tamper with history by ensuring the one man responsible for the rise of Nazi Germany is never bo This is the first time I ve picked up a Stephen Fry novel, and it was an enjoyable, if slightly uneven, experience Thumbing through the opening pages, I noticed that this book was first published in 1996, which begins to make sense when considering some of the faultlines running through this alternate history offering.The book is an intriguing premise two men decide, for very different reasons, to tamper with history by ensuring the one man responsible for the rise of Nazi Germany is never born However, the result isn t what they bargained for As a former history student, I thoroughly enjoyed Fry s thorough approach to the historical content and had no problem with the leisurely start And the conclusion that Fry comes to is certainly thought provoking I ve been thinking a lot about the book since I put it down.Fry successfully establishes Michael s character as a wunderkind bedevilled with increasing insecurities as his peers are rapidly catching up, if not overhauling his precocious giftedness Inevitably, given the sub genre, the narrative timeline is speckled with flashbacks which are ably handled And it goes without saying that the writing is excellent actually, that shouldn t go without saying Excellent writing should always be acknowledged and I d be selling Fry short if I just gave a nod in that direction because we all know that the man has an intellect the size of Greece s overdraft So far, so good The protagonist has been well established, with plenty of depth We have met with Leo and there s been a couple of interesting plot twists and then the novel prose comes to abrupt end and I was confronted with a film script The action immediately speeded up as I witnessed a major emotional confrontation spool through in this script mode feeling completely unconnected to the characters Later in the novel, there is another, longer film script interlude, which also had the effect of alienating me from the action a real shame as I d really enjoyed the book up to this point I am aware that my extreme aversion to this literary device is subjective probably connected to the fact that books are my first and major love, while films are okay, I suppose However, I did find the film script sections really spoilt the book for me Having said that, up to the point it all went Courier I found the depiction of the alternate world engrossing and chilling in equal measure Fry is good at writing minor characters memorably and the flashes of humour helped alleviate what could have been a grim read, given the subject matter.All in all, it s an interesting book with an interesting premise and if you enjoy alternate histories, I highly recommend it Who knows you may even enjoy the scripted sections 8 10 flag 3 likesLike see review Oct 28, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves owned books, read in 2013, reviewed, read hardcopy This book is about Michael Young, a PhD candidate in the field of history, and Leo Zuckermann, a professor They both attend Cambridge and have a big interest in World War II, and in Hitler especially Young is writing his thesis about Hitler s life, while Zuckermann creates a time machine When these two people meet, they decide to eliminate one of the biggest evils that this world has ever known Hitler They succeed, but what they did not know is that the world may had been better off with Hi This book is about Michael Young, a PhD candidate in the field of history, and Leo Zuckermann, a professor They both attend Cambridge and have a big interest in World War II, and in Hitler especially Young is writing his thesis about Hitler s life, while Zuckermann creates a time machine When these two people meet, they decide to eliminate one of the biggest evils that this world has ever known Hitler They succeed, but what they did not know is that the world may had been better off with Hitler, than without Hitler I m really glad that I gave this book a chance, it was such an unique book It took 150 pages to warm up, and at first I really thought about giving up and abandoning it The writing was a bit weird it was something that I had not encountered before, the POVs kept shifting to people I did not know I did not understand it at all, to be honest , but it all made sense after I found out what Young and Zuckermann were up to Fry s humour is very clever, but doesn t take away all the seriousness in the book it is well balanced His references to pop culture really amused me and I liked that sometimes he changed to a film script format It gave a nice touch to the book.The only thing that really annoyed me was Rudolf Gloder s POV I did not add all that much to story, it merely strengthened his mean character, his brutality Granted, it drew a nice parallel, but those bits were so dry and boring compared to Young s POV, and that was a bit disappointing If it takes you some pages to get into this book, do keep reading It is a interesting, funny, and at the same time, serious book It s a real page turner and before you know it you slam the book shut and realise it s all over flag 3 likesLike see review Aug 29, 2011 Malquiviades rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves fiction, history This is my first approach to Fry s books.It is an entertaining read He is a talented and cultured man and that it is what you see while reading.A book is always embedded with the author s feelings likes and dislikes and opinions about anything It is his creature after all No surprises there However, it may seem here that the story is just a necessary background against which Fry s impress many of its thoughts academia s live and fauna, Scientific vs Humanist views, English vs Americ This is my first approach to Fry s books.It is an entertaining read He is a talented and cultured man and that it is what you see while reading.A book is always embedded with the author s feelings likes and dislikes and opinions about anything It is his creature after all No surprises there However, it may seem here that the story is just a necessary background against which Fry s impress many of its thoughts academia s live and fauna, Scientific vs Humanist views, English vs American, social and cultural criticism All of them spiced by many comments showing the broad culture of the author a thing that, so plainly shown, I dislike very much in a book the research, knowledge and culture should be there, but slightly woven into the whole story It is not bad, but I regret that the interesting story is just put aside What it is left is just an entertaining reading of Fry s humoristic view on the world Curiously enough, the research on Hitler s first days is thorough and compelling I liked it much those parts than the rest.The implications on changing the past have been visited many a time before, with better end worse results However I do prefer Back to the Future in this sense Admittedly, not the same thing, but far amusing flag 3 likesLike see review View 1 comment Jun 06, 2008 Lisa rated it it was ok review of another edition When I heard the premise behind this book I thought I would really enjoy it It was ok, but honestly i think I expected so much It was clever and inriguing but I still think Fry could have done with it Without adding spoilers, I think I can tell you that the idea is that 2 academics through the magic of a time machine of sorts change history and try to erase Hitler Wouldn t the world be a better place Well you ll have to read it to find out Maybe its just me, but I would have li When I heard the premise behind this book I thought I would really enjoy it It was ok, but honestly i think I expected so much It was clever and inriguing but I still think Fry could have done with it Without adding spoilers, I think I can tell you that the idea is that 2 academics through the magic of a time machine of sorts change history and try to erase Hitler Wouldn t the world be a better place Well you ll have to read it to find out Maybe its just me, but I would have liked to read details about exactly what things had changed beacuse of meddling with the past Definitely not as good as Fry s The Star s tennis balls I wanted to love it, but I was disappointed flag 3 likesLike see review View 2 comments Nov 05, 2016 Jelena rated it it was amazing review of another edition There are not so many books which manage to get in your head in such a way that you ask yourself all those questions even though you know you won t get an answer And it does so in such a light way filled with humor but it talks about topics darker than the night sky What if Hitler had never been born Would have this world been a Utopia or would it be even worse Is there always a worse possibility And should we ever, if given the chance, tamper with time and past events and what not What if There are not so many books which manage to get in your head in such a way that you ask yourself all those questions even though you know you won t get an answer And it does so in such a light way filled with humor but it talks about topics darker than the night sky What if Hitler had never been born Would have this world been a Utopia or would it be even worse Is there always a worse possibility And should we ever, if given the chance, tamper with time and past events and what not What ifs and what should have beens are numerous and I cannot give enough praise to Mr Fry for writing such a book flag 3 likesLike see review Aug 07, 2014 Hadas Sloin rated it it was amazing review of another edition Although it took me a while to get into it the beginning of the book is slow , I greatly enjoyed Making History Fry manages to take a well discussed topic and a well known even worn idea, and shape them into a funny and insightful story Mostly, I m amazed by his ability to meaningfully discuss such a complex and heavy topic, and still leave me with a smile on my face.While I didn t like Fry s writing style and his peculiar protagonist at first, I learned to love them both by the end of th Although it took me a while to get into it the beginning of the book is slow , I greatly enjoyed Making History Fry manages to take a well discussed topic and a well known even worn idea, and shape them into a funny and insightful story Mostly, I m amazed by his ability to meaningfully discuss such a complex and heavy topic, and still leave me with a smile on my face.While I didn t like Fry s writing style and his peculiar protagonist at first, I learned to love them both by the end of the book.Highly recommended to any humor or history lover, preferably both flag 3 likesLike see review Jun 11, 2012 Toyvo rated it liked it review of another edition flag 3 likesLike see review May 17, 2013 Trevor rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves own copy Loved this book from the first page, Stephen Fry has a wonderful turn of phrase and the way, which is so easy to read.The story is different take on time travel and results in history being worse after the first bout of time travel than it originally was However all things end up as they should by the end, or do they At times it was very funny, at other times quite serious, but a great read overall flag 3 likesLike see review Mar 20, 2018 astrangerhere rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves award winner, borrowed from library, mobile read bookclub, modern literature, read in 2018, sci fi a little too long, but a fun ride nonetheless flag 3 likesLike see review Feb 07, 2018 Nynke rated it really liked it review of another edition 4.5 flag 3 likesLike see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Around the Year i Making History, by Stephen Fry 1 10 Oct 28, 2018 02 31AM Librari Add cover to Making 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    Home Conner Prairie Create.Connect Design a new invention, fly a plane, and create an electrical circuit in this fun ever changing indoor exhibit that celebrates innovation in Indiana. UH Digital History DO HISTORY TOPICS Advertisements Architecture Art Beauty Fashion Cemeteries Children Controversies Courtship Decision Making Film Food Historiography Immigration Ethnicity Music Photography Political Cartoons Private Life Propaganda Posters Science Technology HISTORY Watch Full Episodes of Your Favorite Shows Watch full episodes of your favorite HISTORY series, and dive into thousands of historical articles and videos To know History is to know life. Home National Museum of American History Exhibitions on a range of topics offer firsthand experiences with treasures of American history. History Matters The U.S Survey Course on the Web Mar , Designed for high school and college teachers and students, History Matters serves as a gateway to web resources and offers other useful materials for teaching U.S history on this site Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World and millions of other books are available for instant accessew Kindle eBook view Audible audiobook The Making of the Atomic Bomb Richard Rhodes The Making of the Atomic Bomb Richard Rhodes on FREE shipping on qualifying offers Twenty five years after its initial publication, The Making of the Atomic Bomb remains the definitive history of nuclear weapons and the Manhattan Project From the turn of the century discovery of nuclear energy to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan The Messy, True Story Behind The Making Of Destiny Kotaku The storied studio, best known for creating the multi million selling Halo series, had spent the previous three years working on something they hoped would be revolutionary.Destiny, as they called Chicago History Museum See Chicago s History Unfold R This Is Chicago The Chicago History Museum ignites the spirit of Chicago It provides every visitor looking to experience our city, every local seeking to engage, and every student yearning to discover, the sense that This Is Chicago.This landmark million fundraising campaign will expand our institution and allow us to share Chicago s stories for generations to come. History Facts for Kids History for Kids Kidipede History and Science for Kids is an award winning website for middle school written and published since by Dr K.E Carr, Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. RELATED PAGES History for Kids is entirely supported by

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    About "Stephen Fry"

      • Stephen Fry

        Stephen John Fry is an English comedian, writer, actor, humourist, novelist, poet, columnist, filmmaker, television personality and technophile As one half of the Fry and Laurie double act with his comedy partner, Hugh Laurie, he has appeared in A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster He is also famous for his roles in Blackadder and Wilde, and as the host of QI In addition to writing fo Stephen John Fry is an English comedian, writer, actor, humourist, novelist, poet, columnist, filmmaker, television personality and technophile As one half of the Fry and Laurie double act with his comedy partner, Hugh Laurie, he has appeared in A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster He is also famous for his roles in Blackadder and Wilde, and as the host of QI In addition to writing for stage, screen, television and radio he has contributed columns and articles for numerous newspapers and magazines, and has also written four successful novels and a series of memoirs.See also Mrs Stephen Fry as a pseudonym of the author


    187 Comments

    1. Can you have a mid life crisis at twenty four Or is it just the usual crisis of adulthood, something I was going to have to get used to until I doddered into oblivion For the past year, I realised, I had been suffering from this pain, this leaking of hot lead in my stomach Every morning when I awoke and stared at the ceiling and listened to Jane s gentle snoring it flooded my gut, a dark swell of recognition that here was another pissing day to be got through as me How can you tell if that s< [...]


    2. My favourite Fry book His jumps between narratives and playful use of various lit devices is only possible for Stephen Fry As usual, you instantly adore the protagonist and watch his every fumbling step with the same paternal yet slightly benevolently lecherous gaze as Fry The action in this is perfectly paced, the history glitters with colour, the humanity is raw, the politics aren t preachy or overdone, the love is true, and the voices are clear and exact Above all of course, is the humour My [...]


    3. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here So you invent a time machine, and what s the first thing you do You go back in time and kill Hitler, of course Except you can t TVTropes , because either it doesn t work or it screws up the timeline even Thus resolving one of the burning questions surrounding time travel if it s possible, why do we still have Hitler Stephen Fry tackles this in a best of all possible worlds way in Making History, where his protagonis [...]


    4. The book started well enough, young chap at Cambridge Fry s alma mater immersed in the history of Hitler, working towards spending his life at Cambridge in a paid capacity, is having a tough time with his hard nosed scientist girlfriend who finally leaves him I found her interesting than our hero, stronger, and capable of carrying a story, and was sorry to see her go Young man makes a hash of his thesis, dissertation, whatever, by being way too inventive for historical research, b The book sta [...]


    5. Probably my favorite fiction book by the wonderful Stephen Fry when you have read his autobiography, my suggestion is to go for this one The story, obviously, is about the changing of history and the consequences thereof Wonderful, live and likeable characters and some not likeable at all, of course and has all the trademark Fry English humor, wit, and beautiful language At no point in this book this feels overdone, but I felt that he hit just the tone and pace here The outcome of the m Probably [...]


    6. This was clearly not a success for me Especially the literary level was very low weakly portraited, one dimensional characters, an occasional exciting moment but a lot of very boring moments, especially in the passages that have been written as a film script, and a really really dull final The only interesting approach is that Fry tries to imagine what the consequences would be of attempts to change history, but even that is poorly executed As a novel this does not exceed the level of cheap This [...]


    7. You can read this review and on my blogIn a nutshell Making History is an equally fun and thought provoking read about an alternative history where Hitler was never born.This was not only my first Stephen Fry novel but my first read for 2015 It was a wonderful beginning on both accounts I ve wanted to read something by Fry for a while now and Making History was a perfect book for me to start with I m a history student like the protagonist and I m fascinated by alternative history, e You can rea [...]


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