The Castle in the Forest

Written by:
Norman Mailer
Narrated by:
Harris Yulin

Abridged Audiobook

Release Date
January 2007
6 hours 33 minutes

No career in modern American letters is at once so brilliant, varied, and controversial as that of Norman Mailer. In a span of more than six decades, Mailer has searched into subjects ranging from World War II to Ancient Egypt, from the march on the Pentagon to Marilyn Monroe, from Henry Miller and Muhammad Ali to Jesus Christ. Now, in his first major work of fiction in more than a decade, The Castle in the Forest offers what may be Mailer's consummate literary endeavor: he has set out to explore the evil of Adolf Hitler.

The narrator, a mysterious SS man in possession of some extraordinary secrets, takes the young Adolf from birth through his adolescence. En route, revealing portraits are offered of Hitler's father and mother, and his sisters and brothers.

A tapestry of unforgettable characters, The Castle in the Forest delivers its myriad twists and surprises with astonishing insight into the nature of the struggle between good and evil that exists in us all. At its core is a hypothesis that is employed with stunning originality. Now, on the eve of his eighty-fourth birthday, Norman Mailer may well be saying more than he ever has before.
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I only lasted through 7 discs of this verbose mess, fast-forwarding through the worst of the run-on obsessive Freudian gobbledygook (which added up to a lot of fast-forwarding). I didn't find much insight, or any point really, to speculation that Hitler was a product of incest, or the concept of a 'lesser devil' positioned as a Nazi, manipulating Hitler's upbringing under the direction of Satan. Extremely tedious and unappealing.

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This audiobook is neither gripping nor wildly entertaining. I listened to 8 of the15 disks only because I was cleaning the house for guests and was too busy to find something else to listen to. There is, so far, nothing about a castle in the forest and precious little about young Hitler. The disks go on and on and on about his family and other happenings. The narrator reads more slowly than one would like. I am returning it, confident any other audiobook would be more enriching to my life.

The Castle in the Forest
This title is due for release on January 23, 2007.

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The Castle in the Forest
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