The Castle in the Forest

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A viral Books The Castle in the Forest release No career in modern American letters is at once so b

A viral Books The Castle in the Forest release No career in modern American letters is at once so brilliant, varied, and controversial as that of Norman Mailer In a span of than six decades, Mailer has searched into subjects ranging from World War II to Ancient Egypt, from the march on the Pentagon to Marilyn Monroe, from Henry Miller and Mohammad Ali to Jesus Christ Now, in The Castle in the Forest, his first mNo career in modern American letters is at once so brilliant, varied, and controversial as that of Norman Mailer In a span of than six decades, Mailer has searched into subjects ranging from World War II to Ancient Egypt, from the march on the Pentagon to Marilyn Monroe, from Henry Miller and Mohammad Ali to Jesus Christ Now, in The Castle in the Forest, his first major work of fiction in than a decade, Mailer offers what may be his consummate literary endeavor He has set out to explore the evil of Adolf Hitler The narrator, a mysterious SS man who is later revealed to be an exceptional presence, gives us young Adolf from birth, as well as Hitler s father and mother, his sisters and brothers, and the intimate details of his childhood and adolescence.A tapestry of unforgettable characters, The Castle in the Forest delivers its playful twists and surprises with astonishing insight into the nature of the struggle between good and evil that exists in us all At its core is a hypothesis that propels this novel and makes it a work of stunning originality Now, on the eve of his eighty fourth birthday, Norman Mailer may well be saying than he ever has before.From the Hardcover edition.. Bestseller Kindle The Castle in the Forest Is it possible to successfully novelize Adolf Hitler's life? Not if you're Norman Mailer. Mailer can't resist psychosexualizing everything. (Granted, it's a target-rich environment: Klara Pölzl, Adolf's mother, was the niece of Adolf's father Alois and (or) may have been his daughter; Klara called Alois "Uncle" throughout their marriage, apparently.) Mailer imagines Alois enjoying the feel of Adolf's buttocks as he beats him; he imagines a circle-jerk among school chums; Klara adores and celebrates little Adolf's little pink anus; the juvenile Adolf masturbates to a newspaper photo of the anarchist assassin of the Austrian Empress, Elisabeth of Bavaria, who happens to have a "dark little daub of a mustache" which reminds Adolf of his half-sister Angela's pubic hair glimpsed once when they slept in the same bed.A bigger problem with the novel is that it's just deeply boring. There's way too much about beekeeping, for one thing. The conceit of having a devil narrate in the first person - for, you see, Hitler's mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual development was guided closely by devils - is exceedingly tiresome.The novel ends with Hitler about age 18, having just passed his school exams after failing French a number of times. The school gives him a graduation certificate, which he loses, having passed out after a heavy bout of drinking. Knowing his mother will very much want to see the certificate, he goes to the school to ask for a replacement copy. The schoolmaster, disgustedly, shows Adolf the four pieces of the certificate; it turns out that the drunken Adolf had wiped his ass with it and torn it up. Adolf cleans up the certificate and glues it back together, telling his mother: "...the more I looked at it, the more did I realize how much you sacrificed for me, and how little I had understood. I tore it up to keep from crying like a baby."Klara wept with love when she heard why the certificate had come back to her in four pieces."It is even more valuable to me this way," she said. "I will be proud to put it into a frame."Two more novels charting Hitler's further life were to be written, but Mailer died the same year this was published.
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About Author

  • Norman Mailer Post author

    Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director.Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, but which covers the essay to the nonfiction novel He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice and the National Book Award once In 1955, Mailer, together with Ed Fancher and Dan Wolf, first published The Village Voice, which began as an arts and politics oriented weekly newspaper initially distributed in Greenwich Village In 2005, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from The National Book Foundation.

One thought on “The Castle in the Forest

  • Is it possible to successfully novelize Adolf Hitler s life Not if you re Norman Mailer Mailer can t resist psychosexualizing everything Granted, it s a target rich environment Klara P lzl, Adolf s mother, was the niece of Adolf s father Alois and or may have been his daughter Klara called Alois Uncle throughout their marriage, apparently Mailer imagines Alois enjoying the feel of Adolf s buttocks as he beats him he imagines a circle jerk among school chums Klara adores and celebrates little Ado [...]


  • While the concept of this book was interesting the narrator was a demon who influenced the devopment of Adolph Hitler in his early years I found it filled with so much disgusting detail that it was difficult to stay with it until the end And since much of it did not directly involve Hitler, it seemed unnecessary I would not recommend this book to anyone.


  • About ten years ago, I immersed myself in personal reading about Hilter and the Holocaust, including a biography by Alan Bullock, Hitler A Study in Tyranny, trying to understand how Hitler could have done what he did, how he became evil incarnate I was no student of psychology, but I suspected family of origin issues deeply contributed to his psychopathy I read other articles, citing beatings from his aging father and Hitler s contempt for his subservient young mother as reasons why he devolved [...]


  • i just read this book for our book club I think others disliked it, but I thought it was fantastic and very unusual which contributes to its fantastic ness is that a word The narrator is a minor devil who works for Satan, or maybe not, he doesn t really know, it could be another mid level devil with no real power and that begins to give you an idea of this elaborate world Mailer constructs The book is really about Hitler s family than about him, and some in the book club began to refer to it as [...]



  • CD unabridged Literature Where do I start Well, I m giving it four stars and I hate that I liked it I mean, it s about Hitler The narrator was Harris Yulin and he does a great job narrating with an American accent while doing the voices in a German one Harris Yulin played Head Watcher Quentin Travers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy d with out the slayer, you re just watching Masterpiece Theatre This novel is 15 discs long and had to have a good narrator I don t think I could have read it liste [...]


  • A strange, intriguing story marred with Mailer s overwrought obsessions preconceptions with Freudian scatology and creepy incest and the like.Mailer is much better off when he cuts out the self consciously radical metaphysical hullabaloo and tells the freakin story.This goes equally well for this novel as for many in the Mailer canon A noble failure Mailer tried to exemplify his philosophical system which I find fascinating using the story of Hitler s childhood and young adulthood Interesting co [...]


  • Hitler may have been a tiny bit inbred, according to Mailer s research Also, the Devil pulled the strings likeke Bela Lugosi in Glen or Glenda.But, couldn t get beyond page 100 And, keep in mind, it s part one of a trilogy.Forest of Trees is due in 2009, with Blondi and Eva to follow in 2010.


  • A terrific concept Hitler s childhood, told from the vantage point of the Devil Long, long, long, with a lot of odd side trips what is Tsar Nicholas coronation doing here , and kind of overwrought Wanted it to be a lot better than it was.


  • A blend of fact and fiction, a history of a family that came to be known as Hitler, and a small boy called Adolf A history related by the devil that was assigned to watch over him a tale where the shit literally hits the man.For a guy who has won two Pulitzer prizes, Norm isn t afraid to get his tongue dirty at times he makes Irvine Welsh seem like Jane Austen I learned about Adolf s little rosebud than I was ever keen on knowing This is a great book The whole episode of Der Alte and the bees w [...]


  • Dead now for not even two years and entering the reputational eclipse nearly all The Known do perhaps a symbolic washing of the corpse Norman Mailer deserves his last book to be noticed, even read.Not that this is vintage Mailer, but it does contain vintage Mailer themes sexual untidiness, grumbling guilt and bad faith, accident as opportunistic History, harmartia, and an existential theology, a battle between good and bad angels in this case, a secret bureaucracy not American, but that of the S [...]


  • Norman Mailer continues to frustrate me Sometimes he s brilliant and sometimes he s a cad The latter is the case with regard to this novel Filled with way too much crass, sexual perversion even for a liberal mind, this story appears to be Mailer s attempt to demonstrate to the reader how Adolf Hitler s family and childhood environment played a role in shaping him into the perverse and twisted individual that he ended up being as an adult From start to finish sex, in all it s manifestations, prev [...]


  • This is my first book by Norman Mailer and it surly won t be my last I did enjoy Mailer s writing style than I liked the story line The story is told from the perspective of one of Satan s devils and I found myself enjoying the details of what it is like to work for Satan, and what the crudgels angels are like, then about what in Hitler s past made him so evil There is quiet a bit of time spend on the toilet training of little Adolf better get it right parents, bee keeping, and a whole chapter [...]


  • Interesting premise devil observes life of young Hitler but very bizarre and dull digressions Lots of talk about piss and Nicholas II Come on, Norman, you could ve done better than this.


  • Interesante en algunos puntos, lo nico que me chirr a es la explicaci n propuesta por Mailer a lo horrible de la figura de Adolf Hitler No obstante, si obviamos eso, la novela plantea algunas cuestiones realmente interesantesNo est a la altura de otras de sus obras, pero he disfrutado bastante leyendola


  • A large portion of Norman Mailer s The Castle in the Forest is devoted to Adolf Hitler s adolescent years as an apprentice beekeeper Yes, bees Really I am not kidding I couldn t possibly make up anything so insane.The novel, the late Mailer s last, is told from the point of view of one of Satan s minions, who is assigned to Adolf and his family both before his birth and as he grows up It s this aspect of the book that s most troubling It seems a step backward in our understanding of Nazism and, [...]


  • Strange book Combine The Screwtape Letters , Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and The Secret Life of Bees and you can get a flavor for this book, although my comparison does a disservice to all 3 books mentioned above.The tale chronicles the formation of the young Adolph Hitler and events leading up to his birth that contributed to his nature Truthfully this book would bore a neo Nazi to tears Great if you are into beekeeping, incest or Austrian Customs inspection techniques of the 1800 s Not th [...]


  • This book made me feel so many conflicted emotions As a person who lives a Jewish lifestyle, I was horrified to discover feeling a sort of understanding for adolf hitler However, I feel that this text, based on mailer s own Jewish heritage, was perhaps his own way of rationalizing the evil that took place without actually having to say this is what I think It is a fictionalization that also attempts to make sense of something so senseless People often question why the holocaust happened in relat [...]


  • Mailer has written this from the first person narrative perspective of the demon who was in charge of Adolf Hitler s development The story follows the Hitler family history and the early developmental years of young Adolf, as told from the point of view of a minor devil This book didn t really do it for me In telling the story, Mailer explores many of the possible reasons why Adolf Hitler grew up to be a monster Some of these are fairly interesting possible inbreeding, an abusive father, a serio [...]


  • This novel constitutes a well researched hypothetical reconstruction of the early life of Adolf Hitler through the death of his father It s greatest weakness, in my opinion, is Mailer s decision to make its narrator a devil assigned to shepherd young Adolf through childhood and adolescence This allows some insight, yes, but such could as well have been achieved by third person authorial narration Or, even interestingly, Mailer could have stuck to the device of having the book narrated by the SS [...]


  • While I can see why some think Mailer is a genius, this was not, in my opinion, his best work Mailer tends to become obsessed with things meant to dusgust us, and in this one,true to form, I was digusted over and over I would find myself having to stop and backtrack a bit, thinking I must have missed something He can t possibly be speaking of anuses right now Unfortunately, he was The story itself was interesting only because we know this boy grows up to be a monster, but honestly, he wasn t tha [...]


  • I really thought that I would enjoy this book, seeing as I have a sincere interest in Hitlers childhood and all this talk about him being inbred Alas, I had to drag myself through it The concept is promising, and really pulled me in, however, having said that, I m not sure that I even understand how the demon has anything to do with Hitler at all Is the author saying he possessed him Did he possess his father Another family member Or did he just impact the actions of Hitler Or the actions of his [...]


  • This was a really odd and disturbing book and not for the faint of heart A lot of detailed sexual matters involved Told in third person from an agent of the Maestro Satan who delves into his instruction interventions of evil influences on Adolph Hitler, from before his birth through his years at school A rather difficult premise, which held my attention, even though there were times that I felt physically ill from the descriptions the author, Norman Mailer, used throughout the book.Would I recom [...]


  • While reading it, I couldn t help imagining the great book this would have been if written by Thomas Bernhard, who I think would have made an interesting exploration of some real events and people such as Adolf s classmate Ludwig Wittgenstein.The presence of incest is excessive and masturbatory The book made me think of Norman Mailer a father of nine as a puritan tool boasting his moral superiority over Hitler, which is the exact opposite of what I think a literary exploration of a dictator s mi [...]


  • I couldn t finish this book A tale of Hitler as a youth, Norman Mailer takes a compelling subject and adds his own bit of fantastic and supernatural drama in a disjointed way, which ends up taking away from the story, rather than adding to it Not serious enough to be a fictionalized biography, and not fun enough to be a fantasy novel, I didn t know what to do with it and have put it down for good.


  • Like his book about Lee Harvey Oswald, Oswald s Tale An American Mystery, this one is also peculiar It is a rather rambling, if not bumbling, fictional account of the childhood of Adolf Hitler and his bee keeping dad.In Michelin Guides oft used words it s not vaut le d tour


  • I enjoyed this book This is the only Mailer work I have read I didn t think I would like it since I wasn t interested in Mailer, Hitler, or WWII but I found it to be about a strange boy growing up in an unusual way I found myself often daydreaming about my own youth altho it was nothing like Hitler s So I recommend giving this book a try.



  • Norman Mailer s new novel, The Castle in the Forest, to be released on his 84th birthday on January 23rd, is an eccentric imagining about the young Adolph Hitler, narrated by a top lieutenant of The Devil Mailer s novel is study in three generations of dysfunction, with the young Adolph being the cold sociopathic fulfilment of Hitler Family Values In incident after incident, ranging from his father Alois s incestuous infidelities to the youth s rapt fascination in a village blacksmith s theories [...]


  • This was an audio book The narrative was a little long winded for me, but not to the point of being purple prose A curious story, I wonder how much of it is fiction with fact subtly intertwined It s the story of Hitler as a boy, but it really is the story of his father Alois as told by Dieter, a demon who is assigned to watch over Adolf as he grows up All of the characters, save one, existed in real life Mailer does a great job of using the narrator, Dieter, to provide an extremely plausible omn [...]


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