The Castle in the Forest: A Novel by Norman Mailer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Norman Mailer, at the top of his game, is really good. The problem with Norman Mailer is that for too many years he was his own biggest fan. It took him 10 years to get this one written, but it was worth waiting for.
The form of the book is a study of the young and adolescent Hitler and his family, as narrated by a demon assigned by "The Maestro," to make him really evil. But the book really is a religious meditation on the nature of good and evil, the struggle between "The Maestro" (the devil) and "The Dumkopf" (God) and the extent to which our fates are determined by ourselves and forces external to ourselves.
Mailer never forgets in this book that the purpose of a novel is to tell a story, and tell a story he does, in all its unsavory details. This is not a book for persons easily offended. It is a book for persons who enjoy a well-told story.