Reviews

  • "An intelligent and engrossing fictional account of Hitler’s youth in early twentieth-century Austria … [Skwerer] brilliantly captures the banality of the man … and creates a strong sense of anticipation and doom. At a time when antisemitism and intolerance seem once again to be on the rise, The Tristan Chord offers a sobering reminder that evil comes in many guises, and sometimes can be as banal as a humourless sixteen-year-old loner who venerates music more than humanity"

    Observer
  • "Skwerer draws a fascinating picture of Hitler’s youthful obsessions ... never less than engaging"

    John Boyne, Guardian
  • "This is a remarkable first novel. With an extraordinary assurance and innate grasp of form and character, Glenn Skwerer, a Boston psychiatrist, examines the early life of Adolf Hitler through the presumptive dictator’s friendship with an upholsterer’s son ... The Tristan Chord deftly and persuasively shows [that] diabolical power is contagious, infecting even those who insist on innocence because their hands are not yet blood-stained"

    Herald Scotland
  • "Succeeds brilliantly … Without indulging in over-dramatisation, Skwerer has contrived to create a gripping and disturbing portrait of the young Hitler, interweaving historical and fictional material with exemplary ease. A serious novel should make the reader sit up and think, and The Tristan Chord surely does"

    Simon Mawer, author of the Man Booker-shortlisted The Glass Room
  • "Skwerer rediscovers the real Hitler and reframes him in human dimensions while never losing sight of the grotesque evil he would accomplish … A thoughtful, moral fiction"

    Ken Kalfus, author of Coup de Foudre and Equilateral
  • "Skwerer’s careful psychological insights, expressed against the seductive but problematic world of Wagner’s great operas, reward attentive reading … Compelling for anyone interested in exploring the all-too-human roots of destructive totalitarianism"

    Frederick Taylor, author of Exorcising Hitler
  • "It is hard to imagine a more delicate subject than the youth of the man who would later be identified with absolute evil. Skwerer explores this territory with great sensitivity and surprising wit. Readers will be intrigued and appalled"

    Tim Parks, author of the Man Booker-shortlisted Europa
  • "All too often we see the Nazis simply as monsters and tend to forget that they were able to commit their crimes precisely because they were humans. This is an uncomfortable read but it will make you think. I read it in a single afternoon"

    Meike Ziervogel, author of Magda and Clara’s Daughter