Stephen Fry

Making History

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Michael D. Young, a student of history in Cambridge, England, is about to finish his thesis when he meets physicist Leo Zuckermann, a survivor of the Holocaust, because Zuckerman’s mail landed in his letterbox by mistake. Michael who has dedicated his thesis to the life of Adolf Hitler and Zuckermann who still remembers the Nazis well start making a bold plan to change history in a significant way.

Can you "make" history, and if yes, how? For most people, history is something they have very little control over, it is something that is happening to them. It seems to be even more difficult if not simply impossible to change things that have already happened. But this is exactly what the author plays with, and the mind games he presents are bound to make your head ache. Time travel is a common theme in science fiction novels, and if it is well done and original, I never get tired of it.

Who hasn't wondered how exciting it would be to prevent certain catastrophes in the history of mankind before they can happen? But would it really make a difference if you could prevent Hitler from being born? The consequences could be significant or very minor for some individuals. Some of them wouldn't even be aware of the fact that they woke up in a parallel universe one morning, while others would think they lost their marbles and ask themselves who they are.

Making History isn't exactly what I would call a nice read for recreation, but it was definitely worth my time. Fry plays with time travel in a way I hadn't seen before and skilfully handles different plotlines. Sometimes they meet at some point, and then they drift away from one another, but they are all connected. It is an intelligent and gripping read and will give you food for thought.

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