Making History – Stephen Fry

 If it weren’t  for the fact that Stephen Fry is everywhere these days, I probably wouldn’t have thought to pick up another  one of his books and having read The Liar and The Hippopotamus years previously, it seemed like a good idea.  The Amazon reviews didn’t dissuade me either, so what could possibly stop this book being another entertaining read?

The hackneyed plot was fairly obvious from the beginning, there were no real surprises to the tried and tested, meddling-in-history-and-changing-the-present formula. The question this time being would it have been better if Hitler had not been born?

As you would expect (and lets face it if it didn’t happen then the book would be somewhat pointless), an equally dastardly figure emerges into the Hitler ‘vacuum’ and then the questions presenting themselves to central character Michael Young are,  has he made the right choice meddling in history? Is it better this time around? Etc, etc.

The problem facing novels dealing with subject matter such as this, is whether it marginalises or even reduces the impact of such catastrophic events as the onset of Nazism and the Holocaust, in its fictional setting.

For me the result is debatable but I find that more to do with the lazy writing style which is just plain distracting.  The jauntiness and dare I say it, pretentiousness of the book is at odds with the subject matter, and the integrated screenplay parts that speeds the plot along seem gimmicky and not necessary in the slightest.  There are probably better and more sensitive examples of the ‘making history’ genre.

2 Replies to “Making History – Stephen Fry”

  1. I take it you didn’t like it then? It does seem like a predictable read, for sure, and sidelining the holocaust is rather tasteless and insensitive. I will still give it a go, just for the sake of the fact that I spent a pound on it. But will bear these comments in mind. Great Review, very entertaining! Keep up the good work!


    1. Without trying to sound conceited, I am mint! But seriously, it isn’t as good as either The Hippopotamus or The Liar. A pound is probably the correct sum to spend on it, and I hope it doesn’t put you off the other two Fry books I will be sending your way. This is definately a beach read (which I use as a derogatory term in this instance and indeed most instances).


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