Thursday, 24 March 2011

Stephen Fry's Making History

Finally finished (in the broadest sense of the word) Stephen Fry's third novel, Making History, published back in 1996. 

I got it in a trade a couple of years ago and it took me a long time to get started on it and an even longer time to finish. 

Making History was Mr Fry's take on an alternate reality - if Hitler was never born. The possibility was explored by his protagonist, Alex "Puppy" Young, a doctoral candidate in History at Cambridge, along with a Nazism-obssessed Prof. Zuckerman who sent a chemical castration pill back in time so that Hitler's father would be sterilized, and Adolf Hitler was never born. So he wakes up in an alternate reality where the Nazis were more powerful than before. Long story short, things got back to normal (sort of) and instead of "The End", the book ended with "The Beginning".

Much as I liked the premise of the book, but the execution (no pun intended) was tedious to read. The initial setup was just alright, but the second half was a bit hard to read. I wasn't exactly a fan of Nazi history to begin with, which doesn't help with my opinion of this book. There also wasn't enough witty lines for me to even plod through. I basically skimmed through the second half and went straight to the last few chapters.

Some of the book was also written in a screenplay format, which I don't quite understand the necessity, it's just adding to the tediousness of the reading experience.

I was just glad that I didn't pay retail price to get this book or I would've been more upset.