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The Castle in the Forest by Norman Mailer

The Castle in the Forest is narrated by D.T., short for Dieter, a devil who had been incarnated into the body of an SS officer who had researched the story of Hitler's background and youth. D.T. is sort of a middle-manager devil, unhappy with Satan (whom he calls The Maestro), and willing to divulge the secrets used by devils in their constant battle against God. In addition to showing how devils have influenced history, D.T. also tells of the circumstances that led to Hitler's birth. Hitler's father, Alois, was a lecherous man, willing even to be incestuous to slake his thirst for sex. He relates the story of Hitler's life until he became 13, exploring the influences, both human and hellish, that contributed to his megalomania. Norman Mailer's novel of the eternal battle of good and evil intertwined with the story of one of history's most vile men has received mixed reviews. The New York Times says, "This remarkable novel about the young Adolf Hitler, his family and their shifting circumstances, is Mailer's most perfect apprehension of the absolutely alien. No wonder it is narrated by a devil. Mailer doesn't inhabit these historical figures so much as possess them."
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San Francisco Chronicle review by Alan Cheuse

New York Times review by Lee Siegel

Washington Post review by William Boyd

BookPage review by Sarah E. White

Boston Globe review by Roberta Silman

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review by Bob Hoover

Norman Mailer
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