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Young Adolf [Hardcover]

Beryl Bainbridge
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Nov 2000
Paranoid, wilful, lazy, the young Adolf Hitler turns up in Liverpool to stay with his brother Alois and his sister-in-law Bridget. Hailed by Alois as a student and an artist, Adolf soon irritates his family beyond measure by his constant sponging and his tendency to get into serious trouble with the English. Surely this is a young man who will never amount to anything.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (2 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715613235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715613238
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,738,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'At once funny and appalling . splendid occasions of high farce . rich in prophetic ironies' OBSERVER *Bainbridge has created a lucicrously funny farce, behind which lurks the destructive power of repressed fantasies & deeply felt resentments' S. TIMES *Bainbridge at her whimsical best, putting fantastic events firmly in a beautifully observed background.' D. TEL. *'A delightfully original conception, executed with great skill and humour' John Fowles --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Beryl Bainbridge is one of the greatest living novelists. Author of 17 novels, 2 travel books & 5 plays for stage & tv, she has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize 5 times & has won many literary awards inc. the Whitbread Prize & Author of the Year at the British Book Awards. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
There had been a nasty incident, half-way between France and England, when young Adolf, turning in a moment of weakness to take a last look at the hills of Boulogne, had come face to face with a man wearing a beard and thick spectacles. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rather Good! 27 July 2010
I am shocked by the negative reviews of this book. People tend to be taking it a little too seriously. It is a work of fiction and should be viewed as such. Hitler and his brother are the only 'real' characters in the novel but if Hitler ever had visited Liverpool when he was younger (which he did not), then this is probably how he would have been. The paranoid, lazy, stubborn, waif who never seemed to fit in anywhere. The story has a strong comedy feel to it, always at Hitler's expense, and at times you feel sorry for the future dictator. My advce would be give it a try!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever and thought-proving 20 Jun 2011
By Mr. M Errington VINE VOICE
Taking the premise that young Adolf had visited his elder brother who did live in Liverpool, Beryl Bainbridge builds a story on the young misfit's experiences in the city. The cleverness in the plot is the way that the social ills of Liverpool are viewed through the warped mind of an inadequate young man. The psychological effects can be seen as the plot progresses. There are a series of scenes which give the reader flashes of recognition about the effects these experiences had on young Adolph's later life. These flash forwards are at once entertaining and frightening. By involving her audience in the story the author has created a satisfying and thought-provoking narrative. It does not matter that there was no such visit. I'm not quite sure how to pigeon-hole this book. The best I can do is to call it a piece of historical speculative fiction. Or maybe it's just a good novel.
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I enjoyed this book, like another critic it was a book not to take too seriously. Beryl Bainbridge picks out many of the characteristics that Hitler is well known for-laziness, quick tempered, feeling of great sorrow for himself and his background, lack of empathy, selfishness, the list could go on, and Bainbridge incorporates all these characteristics into a short novel, add his brother, and a backdrop of Liverpool in the 1912's, and you have a good story. Beryl Bainbridge always wrote good stories, and I feel that this one is no exception.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Young Adolf 5 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is about an imagined visit by a young Adolf Hitler to Liverpool. He stays with his step brother and wife. His confused observations and inadvertant inclusion in a revolt make this an entertaining book.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light reading for the beach 15 May 2008
By TKr
Granted, it's not to difficult to make fun of Hitler and probably it's even important to do so. Because exposing the ridiculous side of facism kills is fascination. However, Bainbridge picks the young Hitler and portrays him as clueless and paranoid. She combines this with memories of his truly unpleasant childhood and early years in Vienna. This does certainly not work because it does not make sense to create empathy for a person and then expose him to ridicule. So all in all this book is an uneasy mixture of satire and psychological novella. I think Bainbridhe should have decided whether to write a serious book about Hitler at this point in his life (which could have been interesting) or just a farce. In terms of trhe book being funny it's a pitty that Bainbridge did not really make full use of the potential Hitler's encounters with the English would have provided for comedy. So all in all the book is readable but only for its entertainment value.
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