Synopses & Reviews
Marc Estrins illustrious debut, Insect DreamsThe Half-Life of Gregor Samsa
, traced a most improbable and unfortunate innocent through the first half of the 20th Century from pre-Nazi Austria to the explosion of the first nuclear bomb. With the same galloping humor, the same fear and loathing, and a touch of the Dickensian, The Education of Arnold Hitler
introduces Gregors human successor, a baby-boomer unfortunately named, who must navigate an absurd world of activists, academics, warriors, and their meaningless words.
Like the greatest works of Don Delillo, Richard Powers, and Jonathan Franzen, Arnold Hitler turns a powerful humor and a compassionate and cutting satire on the darkest issues of the age: the persistence of war and racism, the intractable force of history and culture, and the lies that words conceal.
"Estrin combines the black comedy of Don DeLillo with a bit of Tom Robbins's intellectual adventurousness to concoct a wildly provocative tale of a young man who must learn to define himself. Highly recommended." Lawrence Rungren, Library Journal
"In this smart, dense, cartoonish second novel from the author of Insect Dreams, a young Texan with a poisoned name comes of age on a countercultural tour of America, from sputnik to Watergate, with stops at a cross-burning, Harvard and the grassy knoll....Estrin is consistently learned and funny." The New York Times Book Review
"A brilliant meditation on the power of words... a richly multilayered coming-of-age story in which the hero struggles with the power of language and naming, the ambiguities of religious identity, the meaning of meaning and the nature of alienation.... [an] ingenious novel of ideas." The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
At once a chess master, a linguist, an athlete and an innocent in love, Arnold passes through the racial tensions of Mansfield, Texas (home of the author of Black Like Me) in the 1950s, the anti-war movement at Harvard, and both the Upper East Side and the Bowery, meeting Noam Chomsky, Al Gore, and Leonard Bernstein in the process, and finally learning the meaning of meaning.
Estrin's second novel is the story of a young man who stumbles through the second half of the 20th century bearing a most unfortunate name.
About the Author
Marc Estrin is a writer, cellist, and activist living in Burlington, Vermont, and the author of Insect DreamsThe Half Life of Gregor Samsa.