儿童英文读物 Making History
by Stephen Fry
In Making History, Stephen Fry has bitten off a rather meaty chunk by tackling an at first deceptively simple premise: What if Hitler had never been born? An unquestionable improvement, one would reason--and so an earnest history grad student and an aging German physicist idealistically undertake to bring this about by preventing Adolf's conception. And with their success is launched a brave new world that is in some ways better than ours--but in most ways even worse. Fry's experiment in history makes for his most ambitious novel yet, and his most affecting. His first book to be set mostly in America, it is a thriller with a funny streak, a futuristic fantasy based on one of mankind's darkest realities. It is, in every sense, a story of our times
1.My favourite Fry book. His jumps between narratives and playful use of various lit devices is only possible for Stephen Fry. As usual, you instantly adore the protagonist and watch his every fumbling step with the same paternal-yet-slightly-benevolently-lecherous gaze as Fry. The action in this is perfectly paced, the history glitters with colour, the humanity is raw, the politics aren't preachy or overdone, the love is true, and the voices are clear and exact. Above all of course, is the humour.
I want to make love to this book, it is so gorgeous. If I was a boy, I would freely offer myself to Mr. Fry. Seriously.
2.The book started well enough, young chap at Cambridge (Fry's alma mater) immersed in the history of Hitler, working towards spending his life at Cambridge in a paid capacity, is having a tough time with his hard-nosed scientist girlfriend who finally leaves him (I found her more interesting than our hero, stronger, and more capable of carrying a story, and was sorry to see her go). Young man makes a hash of his thesis, dissertation, whatever, by being way too inventive for historical research, but bumps (literally) into a physics prof. who catches sight of his subject matter, becomes very excited, and shows our young hero why. For his own reasons, he too is obsessed with Hitler and is working on a way to change the course of history, basically to assuage his own familial guilt. With the young man's detailed knowledge of Hitler's early life, the physics professor's project becomes much easier. And so these two set about making sure Hitler is never born. Fry's idea is that mass events will happen no matter who, or who is not, there...they will simply be somewhat different. Therefore, even without Hitler, the basic impulse of the time is achieved through a different cast of characters. Only worse. That was interesting, interesting enough to keep going with the story. The writing was a bit clever-clever, but not too clever, actually I expected more from such a celebrated wit (no Oscar Wilde here)...and towards the end became rather sophomoric, as did Fry's completely unnecessary descent into an alternative love story way out of character for our young hero, even understanding that he too changed when the world changed. It wasn't necessary for the story, just seemed sort of stuck on as an amusement/fantasy for Fry. In fact, the last fifty pages were juvenile and rushed. In the hands of deeper thinker and a better sci-fi writer, this might have been very good. But it petered out along the way as Fry's grasp of his material also petered out. He really didn't know what to do with everyone when they'd achieved their goal, so thrashed his way out in a very unlikely comic book fashion.