Paul's Reviews > Young Hitler

Young Hitler by Claus Hant
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Aug 15, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: wanted
Read from August 04 to 07, 2011

This is my first ever time reading something pitched as a 'non-fiction novel', but even a week after finishing reading it, I still have to recommend it. Young Hitler is an approximation of Adolf Hitler through childhood to the age of thirty, when he had only gained control of the Nazi Party.

The story follows Adolf Hitler from the eyes of a character amalgamated from four of Adolf Hitler's friends, including August Kubizek, who lived with him before discovering Adolf had not entered the Vienna art school.

From the very beginning, the story is written with a clear care for the factual basis surrounding Adolf Hitler's early life, and goes on what is known. Experiences added to the book feel believable enough, and not only is it well researched, it is also compelling. Because of the additional character that follows Adolf Hitler's journey through early life, the book manages to divert itself from growing a monotonous study of Hitler.

To get the best experience from the book it is definitely worth reading it with a computer alongside, or a smartphone. The book has many different references to authors and artists from the era; and yet it manages to make them seem positively compelling. Arthur Schopenhauer and Guido von List are among the authors who are most commonly referenced throughout, and as a result I found myself buying a copy of Schopenhauer's book in order to go deeper into the story.

The backdrop of Germany and Austria is excellently formed, and feels believable. It shows Hitler's love for the theatrics when in Vienna, as well as his love for Wagnerian opera; as well as the fact he did not appear anti-Semitic at the time. The story moves to Munich, and also to the front lines of World War I. It also shows the 'Pasewalk incident' where Hitler was supposedly transformed from a mere self-educated scholar to the man who became known as the greatest tyrant in history.

Claus Hant is most certainly an author worth looking out for. As a scriptwriter it is easy to visualize his work as a film, but in a manner that does not detract from the book. All in all, Hant's work is nothing short of a masterpiece. If you're interested in Nazi Germany and its foundations, then Young Hitler is worth reading. Even if you're not interested it would serve as excellent fiction based upon the war.
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