The Castle in the Forest

  • by Norman Mailer
  • Narrated by Harris Yulin
  • 16 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 delved into subjects ranging from World War II to Ancient Egypt, from the march on the Pentagon to Marilyn Monroe, from Henry Miller and Mohammad Ali to Jesus Christ. Now, in The Castle in the Forest, his first major work of fiction in more than a decade, Mailer offers what may be his consummate literary endeavor: he has set out to explore the evil of Adolf Hitler. The narrator, a mysterious SS man who is later revealed to be an exceptional presence, follows the young Adolf from birth through his adolescence. En route, revealing portraits are offered of Hitler's father and mother, 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. Norman Mailer may well be saying more than he ever has before.

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What the Critics Say

"Mailer arrives at a somber, compelling portrait of a monstrous soul." (Publishers Weekly)
"This remarkable novel about the young Adolf Hitler, his family and their shifting circumstances, is Mailer's most perfect apprehension of the absolutely alien. No wonder it is narrated by a devil. Mailer doesn't inhabit these historical figures so much as possess them." (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Compelling

I have always loved Norman Mailer from his first novel, The Naked and the Dead, up to and including his recent effort, The Castle in the Forest.

This forensic psychological portrait of Hitler is both deeply disturbing and highly compelling, and I find myself looking forward to a quiet moment of the day when I can sit back enjoy some time with Mailer's extraodinary prose.

I'm a big fan of the printed word and I never thought I would choose an audio book of Mailer's work to listen to. Some of his phrases are so delicious, I like to re-read and savor them again and again. Perhaps I will buy a copy of the book to keep, too, but the narrator's voice on this is so wonderful I almost forget where I am. It is deep and resonant with diabolical mockery: Just listen to his charcterization of Himmler if you want a few goosebumps with your prose.

All and all a wonderful audiobook on all accounts. Mailer is at the peak of his powers as a novelist and the choice of narrator is perfect. You absolutely must get this!
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- Peter Mangiaracina

Mailer's Swan Song

Let us at least hope this is his swan song(think Sebelius' "Swan of Tuonela" floating down the river to death!). I am sure Mr. Mailer realizes that much of his book is vulgar, venal and scatological. The sexual perversity and explicit speech about all bodily functions not only gets old FAST but clearly over states the Freudian trip through all the stages of humanity's dark sides which is so de regeur in our universities these days especially if it also pays obeisance to queer theory. I lasted down to final 2 hours where a vulgar homosexual/pedophlic scene so churned my stomach that I didn't care anymore where the book was going nor what Mailer in Deiter's pedagogy( the devil who is the narrative voice) was so fatuously attempting to illustrate. Gunter Grass(porno-Grass) move over- literature has a new baD boy/expositor of Vapid vulgarity making Grass' work seem like a child's simple storybook. AH! But I forgot- Mailer has a humpbacked person in his story too! Shame on you Mr. Mailer for plagiarizing another great writer's icon in the name of how depraved Nazi Germany became. Or as another demon with erudite slyness gave away yet another secret if their ilk: our best work is done when we can get a man to sit in a cold room starring at a dead fire!
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- Charles

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-05-2007
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio