Le Faiseur d'histoire
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Le Faiseur d'histoire

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  5,440 ratings  ·  333 reviews
Thésard en histoire à Cambridge, Michael Young rencontre le professeur Zuckermann, vieux physicien obsédé par l'une des périodes noires de l'histoire du XXe siècle, le génocide juif. Le destin de Michael est alors bouleversé et sa destinée modifiée.
432 pages
Published May 22nd 2009 by les Moutons électriques (first published January 1st 1996)
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Katie Muffett
Feb 13, 2009 Katie Muffett rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Shelley
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
Doug
You know, there were issues with this book. It wasn't perfect by any means (Rapidly Demoted Woman issues and general marginalisation of women. Also no POC. Might be other issues, but it's been a couple of years since I read it) but I actually loved this like few books I've ever read before.

Have any of you guys listened to Chimamanda Adichie's 'Single Story' on TED? Because I feel this book resonates with what she's saying. It is, in my [admittedly not massively extensive] experience, not at all...more
adventurat
Jun 08, 2008 adventurat rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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...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."
Alytha
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
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
Steve
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
Jenny Sparrow
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
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
Toyvo
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
Trevor
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.
Amir Nakar
Dec 18, 2013 Amir Nakar rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Bookguide
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
Donna
Feb 08, 2013 Donna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Dimitris Hall
"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
Martin
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
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
Sjhigbee
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
Genia Lukin
Okay, I'll say this outright: this is not a bad book - it just wasn't for me.

Way too many things in it I didn't like. The too-cutesy-by-half romance plot and its resolution, the writing style, the also too-cutesy-by-half "movie script" inserts. I also didn't like the mucking around joke tone the book took. It somehow managed to miss the mark, for me, both on the funny and the serious side; it ain't Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett, that's for sure.

The continuous frivolous asides to show how humo...more
Dana
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
Emily
I could not put this down. I picked it up while staying at a friend's place and despite lots of beautiful scenery going by me on a train, or interesting places to go, I simply couldn't stop reading this book. Damn you, Stephen Fry, your book was too engaging!
I do not want to tell you a thing about it. I had no idea where it was going when I picked it up and where it went was such a lovely surprise. I'll tell you that it starts at Cambridge, features a graduate student (in history) trying to fin...more
Zorena
I have finally met a Fry book I didn't like. Well, I liked it but I didn't love it. It had two of my favourite things going for it and that was Stephen Fry as a writer and science fiction. Unfortunately it didn't mesh as well as I had hoped.

The premise is good as it's an alternate universe story about Hitler but it's been done much better. I'm not exactly sure where it went wrong but I'd say it's a lot of little things. The main one being Stephen's lack of any science fiction basis in previous w...more
unnarrator
This may even be a four-starred read...I encountered it while just finishing up my exams, though, and I worry that I'm not a reliable narrator on how good it actually is--that as with Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, it may just be that I'm a slut for all novels set in Cabbage (as Trezza Azzopardi used to call it, based on their being a roadsign off the motorway that directed one toward "Camb'ge"). Hell, I even like Dusty Answer. When there are SOMEDAY decent novels about the Greak Books...more
Elius
It was a better read than I expected. Slow start, but I liked the switching narratives and the switching styles. A lot of time was built up on preventing Hitler from being born, but when that was accomplished, the protagonist just reads a few book and races back to undo what he did. It didn't feel very balanced.

Otherwise, interesting premise and solid execution.

Also, second "What if Nazi Germany won" book I read. Woo! If you liked this, on a more serious vein, you might also like The Man in the...more
Korynn
Oct 15, 2007 Korynn rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: time travel romance
Shelves: romance
Mr Fry's literary style has always been clever, with his characters overflowing with dry comments and witticisms. This novel is hard to place, definitely fiction, with a definite time-travel storyline and a romantic love story stuffed in at the end, dubiously believable. But it is enjoyable, if a bit boggling at times with the different modes of writing, switching from the past to the future to the alternate future to diary to character to movie script (which is possibly the most annoying and ye...more
Annika
I. LOVE. This. Book.

This book exists in a lightly accented cloud of gorgeousness that isn't a far shot from being quite simply terrific.

This book is gorgeous and high and true and fine and fluffy and moist and sticky and lovely.

I use Mr. Fry's words to describe this book because his descriptive powers are far superior to my own.
I have read this book 3 times and will be reading it over and over until I depart this world.

Do you really need any more reason to read this book?

Wait, really?

Oh dear.

David Clarkson
Making History is Stephen Fry’s third novel and a major departure (on the surface, at least) from what we usually associate with him. The story introduces us to Michael Young, a post graduate history student who has written his thesis on the early life of Adolph Hitler. Michael’s girlfriend is a chemistry student working on a male contraceptive pill. So when Michael meets Leo Zuckerman, a brilliant physicist who has built a machine that can create a real time viewing window to the past, they are...more
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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” 141 likes
“Self-consciousness, that's what it is. Always my abiding vice. I keep seeing myself. Me watching myself watching others watch me. How do you lose that? What's the trick?” 90 likes
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