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Extended Audio Sample The Castle in the Forest, by Norman Mailer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,520 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Norman Mailer Narrator: Harris Yulin Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 all of us. 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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Quotes & Awards

  • “This remarkable novel about the young Adolf Hitler, his family, and their shifting circumstances, is Mailer’s most perfect apprehension of the absolutely alien…Mailer doesn’t inhabit these historical figures so much as possess them…Mailer the wild empathizer, the maestro of the human ego, is keen and blunt about…what, in effect, are the deceptively homey psychological origins of evil.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Terrifically creepy…Mailer has an inclusive vision of evil, one that embraces nurture, nature, and supernatural demonic forces, all of which come together in that perfect storm over the spin-and-span Hitler home…An icy and convincing portrait of the dictator as a young sociopath.” 

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Mailer’s great strengths as a novelist shine: his feeling for character and detail, his empathy for the unworthy and the sly, his wit…Mailer knows Hitler’s life intimately…and his insights and intuition into how that warped mind was influenced and grew are genuinely intriguing.” 

    Washington Post

  • “Saturated with a very material sense of evil: The moods, textures, auras, and above all the smells that announce the entrance of the Devil into earthly affairs.” 

    Boston Globe

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Derek | 2/19/2014

    " Well-written and exhaustively researched, but felt like it lacked some sort of conclusion. The premise was fascinating, but there were no great truths, no secrets revealed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Cindy Deyo | 2/12/2014

    " I've never made it through a Norman Mailer book before so this is an accomplishment for me. Very interesting take on the youth of Adolf Hitler and a reminder how Satan works, and walks, among us all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Gunnar | 2/9/2014

    " What a sick bastard. I'm of course talking about Norman Mailer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by John Giroux | 2/9/2014

    " It's unfortunate that Norman Mailer passed away before he could finish what was supposed to be a trilogy. A fictional look into Adolph Hitler's childhood. "

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