William Patrick Hitler was born in Liverpool where he lived with his Parents. One indeed was Alois Hitler the half brother of Adolph. With this book Ms. Beryl Bainbridge stepped into what could have been controversial ground. Historically based fiction is a familiar foundation for her work, and this one is excellent.
In, "Young Adolph", the Author imagines a trip he might have taken to visit his brother in Liverpool when he was 23 years of age. To the extent there is humor in the work it is at the expense of her subject who on his best day does not rise above pathetic, and when drunk becomes a raging lunatic. If this sounds familiar it should, as the Hitler of History was so painfully ordinary it is almost beyond belief he did not die on the street during one of his homeless periods.
The Author brings about several events that are not earth shattering until you place them in the context of the Evil that was to be Hitler. Some are relatively minor as when we learn how his ridiculous hairstyle came about. However Ms. Bainbridge also hypothesizes where some of the events and practices that later would shake the world and resonate to today, may have started.
The book is as interesting as many Historical Works I have read about this genocidal maniac, and in some ways it carries with it more impact than scholarly studies of the creature. When portrayed as he has been presented here, the horror he becomes and unleashes on a good portion of the world, is either amazing or terrifying and probably both. An evil genius would be an understandable character, however such an unlikely character that History elevated to one of the great mass murderers of the 20th Century is as far from genius as language allows. And this is what Ms. Bainbridge illustrates so well in this work.