Young Adolf

by Beryl Bainbridge | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 11/30/2004
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 30, 2004
BB is unique, who else writes these very British, clever, history-based quirky comedies better, even at all?

I bought this in the Cancer Research charity shop after delivering some donations, after 2 other shops (in Woodbridge) had turned them down. We are too charitable here in green wellie & deck shoe country, the charity shops can't cope!

(17/07) Finished...review to follow

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, July 18, 2005
A fictional account of young Master Hitler coming to Liverpool c.1910ish (after Titanic, before WWI) to visit his half brother Alois, sister-in-law Bridget and nephew ‘Darling’ Pat. I’m fascinated that AH should have family, and a mundane history, although I must admit to knowing about the artistic aspirations. (I’m assuming that some or all of the biographical detail here is correct, e.g. his failure to get into art college, leaving home and rootless drifting around Austria & Germany, losing his mother early, having a bullying older father etc.)

I was left with a strong impression of a self-indulgent, paranoid and lazy individual – maybe the seeds of a disgruntled pen-pusher with a chip on his shoulder, not a psychotic & charismatic megalomaniac. Maybe great evil can germinate and flourish in such unremarkable circumstances?

There are a few interrelated stories, which to be honest were a bit obscure and not really that interesting; involving the Hitlers and friends in a run down ‘tenement’ building; destitute children being taken into care; mistaken identity; and sexual undercurrents.

There’s not much of Bainbridge’s normal humour, except how she brings in some of Hitler’s ‘trademarks’ – the hairstyle, moustache & brown shirt. Maybe, after all, the subject matter is a little too serious for such an irreverent, mocking treatment which I think BB was aiming at? I’m not sure why AH came to England with such a fully formed irrational fear of being followed by bearded men (Hassidic Jews?) the suggestion that he was worried about conscription doesn’t quite add up – as his brother points out. And, lastly, was the relationship with Meyer (landlord & friend of Alois), again a nod towards future anti-Semitism. Now this *is* typical BB, making her readers think a bit more than most authors do!

A quote which I liked. After running through a long list of potentially fatal illnesses, Doctor Kephalus says, "There are so many ways of dying it's astonishing any of us choose old age"

Journal Entry 3 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Reserved to send to Beebarf - an occasional Bainbridge fan :)

Journal Entry 4 by BookGroupMan at on Thursday, September 29, 2005

Released 14 yrs ago (9/29/2005 UTC) at

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Postal release to fellow BCer

Journal Entry 5 by beeofgoodcheer from Stowmarket, Suffolk United Kingdom on Monday, October 03, 2005
A RABCK from the wonderful Bookgroupman! Many thanks!

Journal Entry 6 by beeofgoodcheer at BookMooch in BookMooch, BookMooch -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, August 23, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (8/23/2007 UTC) at BookMooch in BookMooch, BookMooch -- Controlled Releases

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