THE CASTLE IN THE FOREST by Norman Mailer
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"Iíll be frank: itís been a while since I chose to read a book by Norman Mailer. The Naked and the Dead, The Deer Park, Executionerís SongóI loved them. But some of the later novels just seemed impenetrable. Then I picked up The Castle in the Forest. The only possible reaction is Wow!
He has taken on Hitler; not just young Adolf, but his parents. In Mailerís version, Hitler is not, as some suspected, the illegitimate product of a Jewish father, but is rather the result of incest. His father, Alois, a bullying and abusive womanizer, beds the daughter of his own sister. All of this is observed by the narrator, who is himself a demon. As we leave him, Adolf is both a hypochondriac and a malingerer, but Mailerís insights leave you very clear about the forces that lead him to the hell he will create.
Having said all that, the truth is that The Castle in the Forest is both a literary tour de force and an amazingly entertaining novel. I donít know how much of this is historically based and how much is Mailerís astounding imagination, but it stands as an enthralling and brilliant crown on an extraordinary career. In fact, I think this will be considered the finest of Mailerís career."óVictoria Skurnick, Editor-in-Chief
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