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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe because I am Dutch
Hopefully the bad reviews are a product of the English translation of this novel as I do not recognize anything written in this poor reviews. In my opinion this book is a fabulous fight from the author. He conquered Hitler by means of this story.

This book is really one of my favourites but then I love everything Mulisch wrote.
Published on 25 Aug 2008 by PAM van Gorp

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather vain book on an intriguing subject,
Rudolf Herter is an, in his own opinion brilliant, elderly Dutch writer with an Austrian background. After a lecture in Vienna he gets in contact with the former personal servants of Hitler and via them he finds out that Hitler and Eva Braun had a son and that this son met an untimely death. He thinks that through these revelations he has also gotten a better insight into...
Published on 28 Aug 2006 by Linda Oskam


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe because I am Dutch, 25 Aug 2008
By 
PAM van Gorp "Book Lover PAM" (Amsterdam) - See all my reviews
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Hopefully the bad reviews are a product of the English translation of this novel as I do not recognize anything written in this poor reviews. In my opinion this book is a fabulous fight from the author. He conquered Hitler by means of this story.

This book is really one of my favourites but then I love everything Mulisch wrote.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather vain book on an intriguing subject,, 28 Aug 2006
By 
Linda Oskam "dutch-traveller" (Amsterdam Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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Rudolf Herter is an, in his own opinion brilliant, elderly Dutch writer with an Austrian background. After a lecture in Vienna he gets in contact with the former personal servants of Hitler and via them he finds out that Hitler and Eva Braun had a son and that this son met an untimely death. He thinks that through these revelations he has also gotten a better insight into the being of Hitler, but in the end this insight proves to be fatal.

This book covers an intriguing subject, Hitler. The brilliant Rudolf Herter radiates his brilliance a little bit too obviously and this makes this alter ago of the author rather irritating, especially in the first part of the book. As the story develops, the book becomes more intriguing and more pleasant to read. But in the end the question remains whether Mulisch succeeded in explaining Hitler and one can wonder whether anybody will ever be able to explain Hitler.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Quadruple Dutch, 9 Mar 2014
By 
John Fitzpatrick (São Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Siegfried (Hardcover)
This writer really likes to have his cake and eat it.

Pity he didn't warn the poor reader who has to put up with the book's idiosyncratic structure that is part novel, part play, part philosophical treatise and part monologue.

The beginning is good and leads to the revelation made to the main character, a Dutch writer who is visiting Vienna, that Hitler had a son by Eva Braun who was raised by secret foster parents.

Unfortunately, this denouement is followed by a tiresome homily by the Dutchman (of Viennese descent incidentally just to complicate things even further) on German philosophers.

Just as the reader is about to give up, he suddenly finds himself reading Eva Braun's diaries as the Russians advance on Berlin. Hitler proposes and they marry. Very romantic except for the fact that, instead of a romantic honeymoon, dear "Adi" arranges for them both to be shot and their bodies burned.

As if this were not enough, the finale owes more to The Exorcist than Twilight of the Gods.

A reasonable read in parts but spoiled by the writer's disregard for the reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What if..., 9 Dec 2013
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I bought this book just because I was bloody bored at a mall waiting for my cat's surgery to end. The title and cover intrigued me so I bought it to read while waiting for my cat.
When I started reading it, I thought how bloody boring it is, but since I had nothing better to do and I was tired- I continued reading. As pages melted in my eyes, I got interested and wanted to know how everything will end. And I can say I already knew the ending, it was predictible book. But actually it ended not like I thought. In fact the last sentence of a book made me stunned for some minutes. Such a mysterious ending! In fact all book was so mysterious... Predictible and nothing special, but the end was amazing. It's hard to write how I liked this book not making a spoiler.
So, to say it simply: it was philosophical, predictible and mysterious book.
First pages make you want to put it away, but all interesting plot is just in the middle. And in fact... I have now such thought in my head: "What if this is truth what was said in the book?" What if....
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 30 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Siegfried (Hardcover)
BEWARE, SPOILERS. Although I see the truth of the critical reviews here, I still found this a fascinating, readable and utterly heart-rending book - admittedly I rather skipped the philosophical bit towards the end.
Of course we know that Hitler effectively ordered the deaths of millions of children, but by focusing on one, it DOES bring home the nature of evil. Since my own toddler was born I have found myself endlessly worrying about the fate of children throughout history - it's ruined the "pleasure" I used to get at reading conventional war histories - so I found it especially moving, especially the actual moment, which was beautifully written. "Spattered with blood, he remains staring at the point where Siggi's laugh was a moment ago."
I would need to read it again to really get the nuances - the role of Eva Braun, the deaths of the dogs, etc - but that's easy enough at only 179 pages. I won't though, because it's too sad.
(Incidentally, I think the translation is terrific, especially compared to the weird translation of Hans Fallada's Alone in Berlin)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good set-up, regrettable descent into philosophical name-dropping..., 30 April 2011
This review is from: Siegfried (Hardcover)
I love philosophy, and its integration into literature can be incredibly enriching. That said, I felt that this book was completely undermined by its descent into name-dropping philosophising towards the end. It felt like a very self-conscious and tacked-on exercise in creative intellectualising. The book had an interesting if not hugely original (see Archangel?) premise, which was followed in an appropriately novelistic manner... until the philosophy splurge. I don't know if Mulisch was trying to do a Jorge Luis Borges but whatever it was, I really think it didn't work. It doesn't feel arbitrary or tacked on with Borges because it's woven into the world and the drama of his stories. I can't imagine that it's a fault of the translation, because of how stark the division is between the genre-book descriptions and events of the majority, and the intellectual fever-dream that closes it. It's great that Mulisch wants to write accessible books with profundity and depth, and is erudite enough to stand a chance of doing so, but with this one I just don't think he's managed it, at all. Maybe I was just in a bad mood when I read the later part, but that's how it struck me...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, 12 Dec 2007
By 
Mr. Geoffrey Noble (Belfast, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Inspite of what others have said I think the philosophy at the end is key to the story. It is excellent prose and I will definitely buy one of his books again. Having just read Ian Kershaw's biography of Hitler I feel that Mulisch captures Hitler's essence very well.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thin Gruel, 9 Feb 2004
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
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Well regarded Dutch author Mulisch tosses his hat into the crowded ring of Hitler fiction with this brief novel pondering the notion of Hitler having sired a child by Eva Braun. The book's protagonist is Rudolf Herter, a renown Dutch author in Vienna for a reading at a prestigious cultural center (and, one suspects, a fictional stand-on for Mulisch himself). On this tour for his epic reinvention of Tristan and Isolde, Herter remarks on TV that the only way to truly understand Hitler would be to place him in some kind of fictional situation that would allow one to really get inside his head. Obviously this is a rather shaky premise, but without it there is no story.
It's already a third of the way into the book when an elderly couple approach Herter and claim to have been Hitler's personal servants at the Wolf's Lair. When he visits them the next day, they tell him an incredible story of how they came to be his servants and what befell them in their course of service. This middle third of the book is actually quite fascinating, painting a portrait of Hitler's mountain hideaway and inner circle that's quite personal and intriguing. Their story unfolds with great tension until it is revealed that they were enlisted to act our a role as
parents of the son born to Eva Braun on Kristallnacht.
After this stunning revelation (and one or two more besides), the author retreats to his hotel where he falls into a frenzy of philosophizing. At this point, the story comes off the rails, as Herter goes wild linking Hegel, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, St. Anselm, Wittgenstein, Plato, Kant, Schopenhauer, Pythagoras, the composer Wagner, and Nietzsche in numbing attempt to prove that Hitler was the "incarnation of Nothingness, a zero; just as zero multiplied by any number is zero, [he] consumed and destroyed whatever he touched." All of which leads in turn to a bizarre linkage of the madness of Nietzsche coinciding with the birth of Hitler in some form of transfer of spirit. This hyper-intellectualism crossed with ghost story betrays the first two-thirds of the book and comes across as a bad highbrow stab at Stephen King. Altogether, a bit of a disappointment.
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Siegfried
Siegfried by Harry Mulisch (Hardcover - Nov 2003)
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