“Please remember that this is a work of fiction.” AG Mogan implores the reader in her prologue. Indeed we must, Adolf Hitler is one of the most hated men in history – Mogan should be commended for her bravery before anything else.
I hadn’t imagined myself reviewing a fictionalised account of Hitler’s life. One of the strongest points of The Secret Journals is it’s not cheap fan fiction, it is literary fiction and of good quality. We learn about this young boy who we could call Adolf, as he grows up in a family dominated by his father’s violence and the deaths of his young siblings and we leave him as a young man. AM Mogan doesn’t simply list what we know about Hitler she provides us with the [fictional] details of his life that show us how he develops into the man that the world came to know. My favourite of these details is his response when his sister is given a black doll for Christmas. Of course my reading of it was affected by the knowledge of Adolf’s destiny.
At times the language is halting “Have you forgotten what happened the last time you had the idiocy to curb me?” for instance, but overall it is well written and edited. I’d recommend it to readers of who clearly understand that this is fiction; it a reader wants to be outraged and declare that Mogan’s description is pat times too tender and too humanising he or she will find plenty of fodder here.
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