Salzburg, 1945: Eugen Reczek, a middle-aged Austrian desk clerk, is interned by the American occupiers.
The reason: he is der Hitlerjugendfreund - `The Friend of the Fuhrer's Youth'. Linz, 1905: An upholstery apprentice by day and fledgling violist by night, Eugen meets fifteen-year-old Adolf Hitler at the local opera, and for the next four years they see each other almost daily.
Eugene is captivated but also troubled by Hitler: his almost complete isolation, his morbid preoccupation with his dead father, and his obsession with a young woman to whom he has never said a word. They move together to Vienna - Adolf to study art; Eugen to study music - but as Adolf's money runs low, he becomes increasingly drawn to the racist gutter press of Vienna, and so to hatred: of women, of sex, of all things sensual.
When Eugen begins a relationship with the Jewish mother of one of his piano students, it is only a matter of time before their suppressed conflict will ignite. Now, with the Third Reich in ashes, Eugen sits in a barren room writing his memoir.
In a voice by turns intelligent, sceptical, pained, nostalgic and appalled, he tries to come to terms with the course of his own life and with the unfathomable criminality of his boyhood friend - his Hitler. Sales points:* The Tristan Chord was awarded the 2013 Hackney Literary Prize - the only literary prize in the United States which accepts unpublished manuscripts. * This is an intelligently crafted portrait of the rarely explored youth of a familiar monster: Adolf Hitler. * August Kubizek's memoir, The Young Hitler I Knew, inspired psychiatrist Glenn Skwerer to look more closely at the psychology of the friendship between Kubizek and a young Hitler. * For fans of Pat Barker's Regeneration, Thomas Keneally's Schindler's Ark, Robert Harris's Fatherland.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 384 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 09/08/2018
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9781783525744