What if Adolf Hitler was never born? What would the would look like? How would things change? What would remain the same? This is the premise for Stephen Fry’s third novel, Making History. This novel follows Michael “Puppy” Young, a Cambridge student working towards his history doctorate. He has a chance encounter with Professor Leo Zuckerman, a Cambridge physicist with a deep interest in the Holocaust. Together they form a plan to wipe Hitler out before he’s even born, and their world, both literally and figuratively, will be changed.
I’m a big fan of Stephen fry as a television personality, but I’ve never actually read anything by him before, so I was excited to see if his humor and personality translated well in print. It certainly has his voice coming through, his humor however seemed a bit lacking. Although this book focuses on the idea of a Hitler-less world, the story is really about a young man trying to figure out who his is. In this regard the novel did fantastic, it really created a character struggling with their identity and where they fit in the world. On the whole this book had flashes of excellent storytelling, it’s clear that Fry did his research while writing this, but it just falls flat multiple times throughout the story. It was very easy to lose interest, with some logic-based plot-holes that seemed like they could have easily been fixed. It was an fun read overall, but I hope the next novel I read of his will be better.