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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin

Michael Young is a brilliant young history student whose life is changed when he meets Leo Zuckerman, an ageing physicist with a theory that can change worlds.

Together they realise that they have the power to alter history and eradicate a great evil. But tinkering with time lines is more dangerous than they can imagine, and nothing - past, present or future - will ever be the same again.

©1996 Stephen Fry (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"The tensions and resolutions are intrinsically comic, made still more enjoyable by [Fry's] sinuous invention and cleverness at caricature." (Spectator

"Sprightly and entertaining." (Telegraph

What listeners say about Making History

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Plenty of waffle with worthy gems

I struggled immensely with the self indulgent writing style of Fry. I feel each character is in one way or another another version of him. He also tends to go on and has a rather tangential style.

So why did I read, finish and rate this reasonably well? inspite of the stylistic faults, there were some truly good moments between characters in the story. There was also a valiant effort to utilise time travel and history in a very un-scifi way in my opinion. This was a bit of fun and refreshing.

Sadly, as a lover, seeker and searcher of time travel fiction, this one doesn't make the recommendation list. perhaps it is that Fry just ain't my guy. Perhaps it's that two tangential minds that have the propensity to live on the extremes of mood and emotions, don't really fit. I've tried with you Stephen, I really have.

I hope my very own self indulgent review is of benefit to others, as it seethes amongst the ever dazzling 5 stars that people seem obliged to give a Fry creation. Still, read and decide for your self. I'm just one moody voice in timeless Ocean of many.

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just awesome

What a great story, thoroughly enjoyable with an absolutely exceptional performance by both Stephen Fry and Richard E Grant, more please

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If your desperate only

Good narration. However bored me to tears. Found it hard to invest in characters. Weak execution, with Fry's elitist showing off of interlect great put off.

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Fry takes on the Butterfly Effect

A 'butterfly effect' tale of the twists and turns of history and the potential impact of trying to ;make things better' by removing Adolf Hitler from the gene pool. Told with Stephen Fry's brilliant humour and love of language (such a way with words!), the audiobook is read by Fry himself as well as Richard E Grant - what more could you want?!

As a side note, I have to give props to Fry for his open discussion of sexuality and love in a book written in the mid-90s when I suspect this was less commonplace for the hero of the story as it would be today.

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Fry and Grant smash the audio and a good yarn

I love a read of alternate choices missed or unexplored. This combined with Fry (and Grant) and a bit of history - was a must read. Fry weaves a new world based on deep historical (and fanciful history) research. Its a story that seems to have began from an ending. Beautifully described with humour, insight and rich characters.

For me the ending was a bit rushed, predictable and well, not quite plausible. Yes its a fanciful story but the other parts are so rich. Our main character towards seems to lose the plot and becomes sweary and judgmental. Kind of the oppositive of the intent of the close I'm sure. Despite wonderful prose throughout the ending jumps around missing key parts to bring the reader along. Perspectives change from first to third party and back. Easy for me to judge of course, but I felt the ending was a sprint to the finish punch line.

And somehow Fry thinks that the first worst thing in our modern world is Microsoft. After Hitler. Nuts!

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Interesting rabbit-hole

I liked the game premise of the book. I think everyone has considered at least once what the world would be like if Hitler had never been born, and how the world would change because of that single event. Fry’s book delves into that alternate reality and explores the possibility that the alternate might be worse for humanity.

Loved it, although I wasn’t really a fan of the use movie directions techniques, although it was effective.

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  • Mercutio
  • 24-05-2021

I've waited a long time

I adore this book, so clever and inventive.. The presentation here is wonderful, the mix of voices works superbly and the added sound effects are perfect...

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  • B. Nuttall
  • 05-07-2021

Time travel masterpiece

An excellent story showing Fry's deep understanding of history. Wonderful time travel adventure with lots of consideration of the repercussions of the alternate history created.

The book is structured in an odd fashion, and I felt like I wasn't following it properly quite often, but still enjoyable, and I think it warrants a second read/listen.

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  • Jonathan
  • 04-07-2021

Fry at his finest!

Wonderfully accessible story of time travel, destiny and love.
A magnificent production with Stephen's inimitable voice complemented by Richard E Grant.
Get it now!

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  • LokiDuff
  • 06-07-2021

stick with it, it's well worth it.

Spent the first few chapters wondering what on earth was going on, but after a few chapters the story starts falling together into a fantastic, imaginative and thought provoking tale. Really glad I stayed with it.

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  • Tinuvielle
  • 17-09-2021

Lovely Novel

I didn't love it at the start and it took me a couple of chapters to realize who Clara and Eloise are. I very much liked the view on history. It is a very enjoyable novel to listen to.





Spoiler Alert!!!
I share the idea that eliminating Hitler would not save the world. The party existed before he joined and there are multiple reasons for the war and atrocities that happened. Maybe if Germany hadn't "lost" WWI, hadn't suffered such a horrible depression, maybe this, maybe that,.. There wouldn't have been a second war but I doubt it. It's like stopping the murder that set WWI in motion, the countries probably would have found another reason to go to war.

On another note, I was relieved to read, I mean listen, that Michael was reunited with Steve. I love romantic endings but not romantic books. This one has a great balance of romance and adventure.

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  • D. Archer
  • 10-09-2021

Finally!!!!

I have waited for this audiobooks to be created since Stephen first recorded the hippo. Why has it taken so long, I do not know, but finally it is here, and finally I can hear this book again. So pleased.

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  • Click4akshay
  • 26-08-2021

Fantastically gripping historical fantasy

loved it. Perfect blend of history, fantasy, thriller blended with theory of parallel universes.

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  • Joanne Robson
  • 18-08-2021

brilliant! absolutely loved it!

Great story line and fantastic reading by Messrs Fry and Grant. I can't believe I've never come across this before. I love history and I love Fry's take on an alternative one. definitely food for thought!

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  • Willoam K.
  • 11-08-2021

Superb

Stephen Fry's counter factual history of the second world war is as good that of Robert Harris in Fatherland.

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  • Lazyrockgod
  • 30-07-2021

Surprisingly touching

*minor thematic spoilers*

Anyone who knows the work of Stephen Fry in any format will know what to expect of him - a competent and erudite wordsmith with a knack for flowing, elegant prose (if just a little lacking in conciseness) - and from this book I got just that. I expected an interesting historical fiction/sci fi novel with Fry's trademark dynamic and considered morality at its core, and a thorough examination of the complex interplay of history. What I didn't expect was a touching love story and an ending so full of hope in spite of its own inherent admission of the inevitability of evil in mankind.
Highly recommended.

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