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Making History

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  7,742 Ratings  ·  470 Reviews
Those of us who have already discovered Stephen Fry know him as the brilliant British comedian behind TV series such as Jeeves & Wooster and Blackadder, and the author of two enormously funny novels, The Liar and The Hippopotamus. But his new film (in which he plays Oscar Wilde) and his new novel (this one) represent a somewhat alarming departure from his previous work ...more
Paperback, 572 pages
Published July 20th 2004 by Arrow Books (first published October 22nd 1996)
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BrokenTune
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 ...more
Katie Muffett
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 ...more
Ben Babcock
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 more. 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 more charismati ...more
Hugh Malcolm
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 more interesting than our hero, stronger, and more 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 ...more
Rebecca
You can read this review and more on my blog

In 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
...more
Shelley
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 more of it. I
...more
Jason
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 more.
Laura
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."
Marina
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
...more
Wendy
May 16, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: fiction, 2008
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 ...more
Steve
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
...more
Alytha
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
...more
Heather(Gibby)
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
...more
Toyvo
Jun 11, 2012 Toyvo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Забавно, насколько чудесные концовки "Лжеца" и "Гиппопотама" меняют отношение ко всему тексту. Это действительно так работает: Читаешь книжку, местами скучаешь, местами ощущаешь легкое неудобство, будто кто-то публично испортил воздух, а потом, внезапно, концовка, катарсис, гранд финале и все внезапно становится на свои места и ощущение совершенно замечательное. Я за это очень люблю Фрая, да.
Ну так вот, а тут все наоборот:( Замечательный зачин и сюжет и его развитие...
А потом, вдруг, самая изби
...more
SJ Higbee
Oct 18, 2011 SJ 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
...more
Michelle
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 ...more
Malquiviades
Aug 29, 2011 Malquiviades rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction
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
...more
Jenny Sparrow
Jul 26, 2011 Jenny Sparrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Из всех романов Стивена Фрая я сильнее всего хотела прочитать "Как творить историю". Особенно после того как узнала, что там будут некие махинации со временем и историей - одна из моих любимейших тем.

Читаться роман начинал тяжело. У меня, по крайней мере, всегда так с Фраем - для погружения требуется время. Столько незнакомых имен использует Фрай, столько намеков и аллюзий на британскую и мировую культуру, такая у него специфичная лексика, что так просто и не занырнешь. Заныривала я, считай, на
...more
Lisa
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 more. It was clever and inriguing but I still think Fry could have done more 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 ...more
Jelena
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 ...more
Hadas Sloin
Jan 25, 2017 Hadas Sloin rated it really liked it  ·  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
...more
Trevor
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.
Bookguide
Mar 28, 2013 Bookguide rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What if? This reminds me of a late-night student discussion of what would have happened if Germany had won WWII, what if Hitler hadn't been born, and what if you had the ability to change history. If you changed one thing, would that make the present better? In 'Terminator', somebody returning to the past changes the future for the better, but even though one butterfly flapping its wings in Japan can theoretically change events on the other side of the world, will removing one major agent for ev ...more
Dimitris Hall
Oct 25, 2012 Dimitris Hall rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
"I don't know why I find it intensely erotic to stand naked before an open fridge, but I do. Maybe it's something to do with the expectation of a hunger soon to be satisfied, maybe it's that the spill of light on my body makes me feel like a professional stripper. Maybe something weird happened to me when I was young. It is an alarming feeling, mind, because all those assembled food-stuffs put ideas in your head you're on the rise. Stories of what you can do with the unsalted butter on ripe melo ...more
Dimitrije Vojnov
MAKING HISTORY, roman Stephena Frya iz 1996. godine ne spada u alternativnu istoriju iz prostog razloga što kreće iz našeg doba (mada danas je to već prilična prošlost) i govori o promeni istorijskih okolnosti usled korišćenja novootkrivene mogućnosti da se intrveniše u prošlosti i time promeni tok istorije. Međutim, ovaj SF triler o putovanju kroz vreme vrlo detaljno prikazuje to "novo vreme" stvorenom intervencijom u prošlosti, pa bih ga po čitalačkom ugođaju svakako mogao uklopiti u alternati ...more
Martin
Sep 24, 2012 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We all know what happens when characters in a novel mess with history, but try they must, especially when they have a chance to prevent Hitler from being born, and so they shall. This is what the protagonists of Making History think and who can argue with such an obvious course of action. Stephen Fry in his third novel comes up with a remarkable narrative construction, which is clever, endearing, smart, intelligent, amazing, and unfortunately grossly under appreciated. Us readers don't remember ...more
Haje
Nov 24, 2011 Haje rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Making History, first published in 1996, is a book written by Stephen Fry, and is essentially a long and thorough answer to the question If you could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you?.

The book is a piece of fiction writing, 600-odd pages long, and is an unusual novel indeed. It interweaves a set of stories: A young history student’s doctoral thesis, a historical account from the trenches of the first world war, and the main story-line, set partially in New Jersey, and partially in Camb
...more
Donna
Jan 30, 2013 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Donna by: Sarah Taylor
Shelves: 2013
I really liked this book!! A friend lent it to me a week ago and I have flown through it in the last couple of days - I even put down the knitting and turned off the TV for it. It's been a while since a book has done that for me.
The premise of the story is that Michael, a Cambridge postgraduate student has written a thesis on Hitler's early life and rise to power. He meets an elderly professor whose father was in the Aushwitz concentration camps. He has built a device which can change history by
...more
Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
I love the brilliant Stephen Fry. He is possibly one of my favourite people. Ever.

So, having read The Liar six years ago and because I am pathetically in love with the man, it was a no brainer to read Making History.

I admit, I felt a bit let down from the first half. I expected more – much more – from such a genius. It seemed to lack that Stephen Fry wit I adore so much.

I dove into the book expecting one fantastic, wonderfully crafted sentence after the other, but I was disappointed. It took me
...more
Amir Nakar
Nov 30, 2013 Amir Nakar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoyed The Liar
Great book.
Even though it is the longest book I read in a while (500+ pages), I got through it in a daze.

I'm having a hard time placing it, either as sci-fi, pure humor or just something else.
Surely anyone who likes the likes of Douglas Adams or other stuff by Fry will enjoy this book.

The language (as always with Fry) is very sculpted and sophisticated, at the same time remaining very believable and real.
The main character is very real and nice and I think anyone can somewhat relate to it.
Overal
...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Add cover to Making History ebook 3 13 May 29, 2017 04:37AM  
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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 ...more
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“Hell, I am young. I am free. My teeth are clean. The sun shines. To hell with everything else” 169 likes
“How to seperate the humiliation from the loss, that's the catch. You can never be sure if what tortures you is the pain of being without someone you love or the embarrassment of admitting that you have been rejected.” 104 likes
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