3.8
1 reviews
75

The Castle in the Forest


$20.00 Released January, 2007

Product Shot 1 The Pros:Highly imaginative with an innovative writing style. Mailer captures atmosphere well without being overly descriptive. Fascinating insights into the nature of good and evil.

The Cons:No clear line between what is fact and what is fiction.

How do you write about one of the most notorious dictators in history? If you're Norman Mailer, examining the minds, motivations and motifs of the infamous are regular past times. The Castle in the Forest is biographic fiction, detailing the origins of Adolf Hitler.

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Weaving fact with fancy, and no clear demarcations on where one ends, and one begins, Mailer recounts Hitler's ancestral backgrounds, up to his birth on to his early teenage years.

The fashion with which Mailer recounts these tales is through the eyes of Dieter. A former SS agent that is really a mid-level devil in service of Satan. Above the stories of Hitler's family are the sophisticated metaphysical world and hierarchy that sees devils and angels (called Cudgels) battle over the influence of people's souls. Dieter is both narrator and major protagonist of the novel with no clear distinction between story and story teller.

Was Hitler's father the uncle and father of his mother? Did Hitler excel at commanding boys on the school yard at a young age? These are all ideas that Mailer puts forth and leaves up to the reader to believe or discount. An extensive bibliography is given at the end of the book for readers that wish to delve further into the subject.

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75
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Pros
  • 1

    Highly imaginative with an innovative writing style

  • 1

    Mailer captures atmosphere well without being overly descriptive

  • 1

    Fascinating insights into the nature of good and evil

Cons
  • 1

    No clear line between what is fact and what is fiction

Comments (1)

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Omar
Omar: #the_castle_in_the_forest I'm about half-way through this book and I just don't know what to make of it. The writing is incredibly well done and is different from anything I've ever read before. However, it's very plodding in pace, and Mailer gives a lot of attention to very obscure details. I understand that is the entire point, but it doesn't make for an "enjoyable" read. It's not FUN. It's not meant to be fun. But it is interesting. Very interesting.

I know that when I'm finished reading the book I won't regret picking it up. But I also won't be too quick to recommend it to friends. This is a book that I'm sure is quite polarizing. Some people (literary heads most likely) will appreciate what it's trying to accomplish, and DOES accomplish. While people that aren't into literature may find it TOO unconventional.

This being my first ever Mailer book, despite hearing his name a lot, I'm definitely intrigued by his intelligence and insight. I'll probably read more of his books, but I don't know if I'll like it! Aug 17, 07
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