EPS Review #103 - Making History

Making History by Stephen Fry, Arrow Books 2004, 574pp.

I like Stephen Fry. As I mentioned in previous reviews (#56 - The Stars' Tennis Balls and #72 - The Hippopotamus), his best work is still the autobiographical Moab Is My Washpot. I wished that his other stories worked a little harder at being good novels, and were not frivolously nasty or class-obsessed. Be careful what you wish for - that is a theme of Making History, where the hero manages to change the past and avert Hitler's birth. I got what I wished for as well, since Mr Fry obviously did some careful research for his book, but at the cost of losing his wilder flights of verbiage. You get a competent alternate-history work of sci fi (guess what: the world is no better off) with a homosexual love story thrown in, and a tidy ending. It is not really memorable, though.

Speaking of Stephen Fry, if you do not have the complete DVD set of Jeeves and Wooster, then run out and buy it now. Somehow, even the dropping of a slice of lemon into a teacup is witty in this Wodehouse rendition, though the later series get more misogynistic.

A couple of people asked me for advice on Manga that don't include tentacle-rape and other adult delights, so I made an Amazon list. Have a look, and let me know if you can suggest any additions.

Joe wrote: Congratulations! I attempted Making History and could not get involved. Are we talking about the same book? The one I started was about a graduate student whose lover leaves him. That is as far as I got. As a punishment, I am now reading The Ambassadors by Henry James. Oh, Henry, get to the point! And I am just talking about the sentences, not the pages, or the chapters!

Mark wrote: his best work is still Black Adder. Who can forget the General's moustache...