Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
on 1 November 2011
Well, to start with I must say I like Fry in general - film, TV, writing, and I've read pretty much all fiction he's done so far.
"Making History"... Well, from the expressive means point of view there's nothing in particular: it's about as straightforward as Dan Brown. Similarly, the plot is bland and painfully predictable, putting it firmly on par with other second-rate science fiction, albeit a little more pretentious, you know with re-writing history and all that. Don't get me wrong, it starts well enough, although seeing another panegyric to Cambridge coming from Fry is hardly that much of a surprise, but at least it's somewhat amusing.
The narrative falls flat on its face with the appearance of orange pills. The move is about as clumsy as you'd expect from a StarTrek fanfic-writing teenager who reached a dead end and decided that a new superpower must be invented by the protagonist; how otherwise would it lead to that (not so) marvellous turn with alternative history? And it goes on like that, in nudges and leaps, all the way.
OK, so Fry had that idea of "what-if-Hitler-never-existed". Original? Oh c'mon. Did he address it in a particularly notable way? No, he did not: he just provided a preamble and and afterword to his "look what I thought up one Sunday afternoon". Is his alternative history somehow worth the read, it is outstanding, or striking, or ANYthing? Again, not really (or really not): another take in yet another time-travelling sci-fi novel, hardly imaginative, terribly derivative and lazily written.
Having said all that, if you have a few hours to kill on a train, why not. Hardly anything beyond that, though.