Posted 20 hours ago

Making History

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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result isn’t what they bargained for… As a former history student, I thoroughly enjoyed Fry’s thorough approach to the historical content and had no problem with the leisurely start. 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. Then we also get chapters about how Hitler was working in the first world war, the people that served in the war etc. It focusses on the consequences, which, despite the rather neat tech, are pretty horrible all around.

Expecting the disorientation, Michael comes to his senses faster now and discovers that almost everything is back to how it was, except that his favourite band, Oily-Moily, never existed (one of the band's members was of Austrian extraction). But tinkering with timelines is more dangerous than they can imagine, and nothing – past, present or future – will ever be the same again. Unfortunately it was a bit too late and it didn’t redeem itself, so I was pretty disappointed with this one.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.

The pages of Making History cackle with a distinctly British flavor ("Theater is dead but sometimes I like to go watch the corpse decompose.In the beginning, the switch between past and present was a bit odd and I had a hard time to find into the book. For the past year, I realised, I had been suffering from this pain, this leaking of hot lead in my stomach. 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. World War II doesn’t happen, and America exists in a tenuous state of non-aggression with a Fascist/Communist Europe.

His references to pop culture really amused me and I liked that sometimes he changed to a film script format. 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.

While his genius was clearly in evidence, it was only every other page or so where it struck me--still a helluva good rate. Although this is the only novel of Fry's that I have read that uses extremely simplistic language (an unusual choice considering the characters are: a student writing his doctoral thesis in history, a professor of physics, and a student at Princeton), the premise keeps it in the realm one would expect from the genius Fry. I learnt something about WW2 (and WW1) and have something to chew on with regards to human nature and the results of WW1. History provides context and molds identity; but only after their time-tinkering do Michael and Leo learn to what extent and understand the haunting, and seemingly inescapable, effects. The author reflects on life in the Nineties, his mental health journey and getting a hug from Bret Easton Ellis to mark the new audiobook of his controversial third novel, Making History, about an alternative history in which Hitler never existed.

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