Young Adolf - A Novel
Publisher: Open Road Media
A darkly humorous fictionalized account of Adolf Hitler’s alleged stay in England as a young man. Before becoming the Führer of the Third Reich, it is said Adolf Hitler was a failed artist who bummed around at his half-brother’s house in Liverpool from 1912 to 1913. Based on the memoir of the future despot’s sister-in-law, Bridget Hitler, Young Adolf is a vivid imagining of this alleged visit to the United Kingdom. The story begins with Adolf aboard a ferry, aiming to avoid Austrian military service. He has no luggage, save for a book, and holds a false passport made out in the name of his dead brother, paranoid that the authorities might be tailing him. But what Adolf should be worried about is how he will be received at his destination. At the train station, his brother Alois greets him with outrage. Alois had sent money for their sister Angela to travel to Liverpool, but Adolf stole the funds. Taking refuge on the sofa for days, Adolf makes only one friend: Jewish landlord Mr. Meyer, surprisingly enough. With mutual interests in opera and architecture, the two become close, though Adolf does mention his thoughts on race relations and “contaminated blood.” Eventually, under pressure, Adolf stops loafing and gets a menial job. Most people think he won’t ever amount to much, but it’s clear that Adolf has bigger aspirations. Originally published in 1978, this was the first foray into historical fiction for award-winning author Beryl Bainbridge, who would become famous for works like Master Georgie and the bestselling Every Man for Himself. Combining dark humor and psychological intrigue, Young Adolf is a portrait of both a man and a city before two World Wars changed everything.