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1940

liked it 3.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  66 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
"Jay Neugeboren traverses the Hitlerian tightrope with all the skill and formal daring that have made him one of the most honored writers of literary fiction and masterful nonfiction. This new book is, at once, a beautifully realized work of imagined history, a rich and varied character study and a subtly layered novel of ideas, all wrapped in a propulsively readable story ...more
Paperback, 284 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Two Dollar Radio
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Paperclippe
Feb 21, 2011 Paperclippe rated it it was ok
This book had so much promise.

I tore through the first half in less than a few hours, even while at work, completely engrossed in the story, and most of the characters (namely Doctor Bloch, whose perspective and intelligence were captivating, and Daniel, who despite his condition, was clever and cool). As I noted in an update though, the main female lead, Elizabeth, was an utterly worthless and useless character. She had only two emotions: rage, and a lust that was both predictable and misplaced
...more
Andrew
Jan 30, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it
I'm somewhat challenged in reviewing this book, or even rating it. I think the book would likely be very interesting to certain readers - I was not that reader. Maybe I was in a funk when I read it, or maybe it was unnecessarily cluttered. Neugeboren has taken an interesting tack for assessing the relationship between Hitler and Judaism by casting the lead of this story as a Jewish doctor who treated Hitler's mother. This allows the exploration of all sorts of ideas about a young Hitler, and abo ...more
Tuck
Nov 08, 2011 Tuck rated it liked it
very neat premise of the story of the doctor of hitler's family in austria, but doc goes to usa in what, 1940? '36. doesn't matter, also a few good subplots of docs family and friends. the best bits of novel take place in europe and surprising fall flat and seem rushed when story is in nyc. not sure why. a small beer press
Susan
Jan 09, 2015 Susan rated it liked it
This book was a disappointment (as other reviewers have said.) Started off promising - Hitler's family physician, an Austrian Jew - has been given special permission to leave Germany with his daughter and son-in-law. He lands in NY and develops a friendship, relationship with an American Jewish woman, an artist, divorcee, mother, daughter. The relationship between these two became increasingly flat. Eventually, the characters - including the former husband and troubled adolescent son - seem like ...more
Stephen Gallup
Oct 07, 2012 Stephen Gallup rated it liked it
Saying something insightful about this psychological/historical novel, beyond sketching in the basic plot line, feels unusually challenging.

Here's the surface story: Elisabeth Rofman, a middle-aged divorcee employed as a medical illustrator by doctors at Johns Hopkins in 1940, travels to New York to visit her father, only to discover that he has disappeared. While in the city, she meets and forms a relationship with a somewhat elderly physician, Eduard Bloch, who'd recently immigrated from Austr
...more
Susan
Dec 19, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
The basic concept of this book is fabulous. Despite a great deal of historical information pertaining to the Holocaust, I was unaware of the FACT that a young Adolf Hitler and his family were under the care of a Jewish physician, a man whom Hitler himself deported to the United States to save him from the inevitable (but as yet unknown) plan for extermination of the Jewish people. The rest of the story is fictionalized. Interestingly, I think I'd have enjoyed the story much more if the whole Hit ...more
Kathy
Oct 13, 2008 Kathy rated it it was ok
Several subplots of moderate interest,But not enough to keep me reading the book. not enough emphasis is given to the most intriguing story behind the story--Dr. Bloch's relationship with Adolf Hilter and the rest of the Hitler family in pre-World War II Germany

To much jumping in time frame between chapters, that left you wondering... did you miss some pages?

I only read 1/2 of it
Lucy
May 24, 2008 Lucy rated it it was ok
This book was just kind of boring. One of the main characters is the Hitler family's doctor prior to WWII. Supposedly one of the only Jews that Hitler specifically allowed out of the country. I thought all of that would make the book a little more interesting. But there is an annoying woman and her equally annoying ex-husband and son that kind of ruined it for me.
Tracy
Jul 06, 2009 Tracy rated it it was ok
Not a bad book, it just felt like work to get through it. I never quite understood the relationship between Elizabeth and Dr. Bloch. Although the small tidbits about Hitler interspersed throughout were interesting.
Caroline
Jul 29, 2009 Caroline rated it liked it
Thought it be more powerful. The ending felt rushed whereas the rest of the book was very languid.
Terri Epp
Mar 19, 2012 Terri Epp rated it it was ok
2.5 stars
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