Young Adolf

An Alternate History

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 02/28/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Young Adolf: An Alternate History is a work of fiction in the historical and psychological subgenres, best suited to mature readers. It was penned by author team Frank P Daversa and Joseph V Franciosa Jr. As the title suggests, the work explores the possibilities and child psychology of one of the world’s most hated figures: Adolf Hitler. In this fictional treatise, the authors intermingle the accurate and trying surroundings of young Adolf’s early life alongside his meeting with a young woman just a little older than himself. As this fictional figure enters his life, questions of what might have been begin transposing into a history-altering love story.

This psychologically jarring but very satisfying tale of teenage romance creates a fascinating juxtaposition between the figure history teaches us to hate and the capacity for both good and evil in every human being on the planet. Author team Frank P Daversa and Joseph V Franciosa Jr certainly offer plenty of food for thought throughout this epic and highly readable historical work, blending the accurate austerity of Hitler’s upbringing with the possibility of something more hopeful so well that the work begins to feel real. I also really adored the dialogue, which felt oddly modern in its intentions despite fitting in perfectly with the historical and geographical setting. It will certainly be an acquired taste and perhaps a conflicting read for many, but for me, Young Adolf delivers hope for the human condition and a fascinating ongoing tension that will certainly spark much discussion long after the book is finished.

Vincent Dublado

Not many tyrants in history are as well documented as Adolf Hitler, and there seems to be a new trend to romanticize his life through alternative history. Young Adolf: An Alternate History by Frank P. Daversa and Joseph V. Franciosa, Jr. does just that. In a premise that serves as a what-if question, this fictional biography of the would-be Führer plunges you into the rich detail of his childhood and struggles that begin with his mother Klara’s difficulty in giving birth. The authors use their creative license by introducing the fictional Helga as an instrument in Adolf’s formative years. They didn’t fall in love instantly, and the narrative meticulously explores the way their romantic relationship blossoms. Adolf genuinely falls in love, and she becomes his muse, encouraging him in almost every interest he had. But, in the end, things don’t turn out happily.

As this work of fiction is a study in developmental psychology, it proves that many are still fascinated with trying to understand the anatomy of Hitler’s upbringing, and why this man who was so articulate and persuasive could become one of the most infamous dictators in history. Frank P. Daversa and Joseph V. Franciosa, Jr. heap compassion on Hitler as he is depicted as an inspired artist overcoming his demons, and finding a wellspring of positive energy in Helga. The conclusion, however, returns to the factual Adolf who becomes free to live out his dreams in Vienna. Yet the question remains: will he be truly happy? This is another fascinating side to this story. It is left for the reader to decide if Helga’s influence on Adolf could have altered the course of history. Young Adolf is an engrossing and colorful look at the life of a young Hitler, and anyone interested in history will likely find this work of speculative fiction thought-provoking.

Asher Syed

Young Adolf: An Alternate History by Frank P Daversa and Joseph V Franciosa Jr. is a speculative novel that reinvents the childhood of one of the most despised individuals in world history. Daversa and Franciosa provide alternatives that might have changed the course of history. Or not. The answer is left wholly open-ended. In the version presented in this book, we revisit some of the facts we know to be true, with the blanks being replaced by fiction, such as intimate household conversations. Hitler's parentage, his education, and even his artistic inclinations are widely known and woven into the fabric of the story. The account then goes several steps further in creating affection, and then love, between Hitler and a girl named Helga. An abrupt end to the timeline brings a reader back to the path of real history. The question as to whether any of it would have made a difference is left unanswered.

Alternative history is a genre I have read and loved for a long time. Speculative fiction concerning Hitler, the outcome of World War Two, and what would have transpired if he'd either never been born or perhaps survived the war are pretty standard fare. In Young Adolf, Frank P Daversa and Joseph V Franciosa Jr. venture along this path but do so in a fashion that attempts to personalize the young man. It's interesting and different, although it's fair to say that I would have preferred not to read the details of make-out (and more). The big question remains. If Hitler had grown up in a nurturing household, been cuddled a bit more, and been loved by Helga, would he have murdered 11 million people? I think he would have, but another reader may not. As for the writing itself, it can be on the loquacious side and frequently veers into the weeds, but the novel is worth a read for those who enjoy deeply controversial speculative fiction and debate.

Pikasho Deka

What kind of heartbreak might have led Adolf Hitler to turn into the hateful man he later became? Young Adolf: An Alternate History by Frank P. Daversa and Joseph V Franciosa Jr. is a fictional take on Adolf Hitler's childhood while keeping most of the real-life facts associated with his life intact. Raised by an abusive father, Adolf grew up in a conservative household bound to strict rules. From his adolescent days, he developed a deep hatred for Jewish people, who he considered lesser than his Christian brethren. As a student in Linz, Austria, he meets Helga Faveshra, who becomes the first girl in his life who encourages his love of opera and shows him how to love. But soon, tragedy strikes that set Adolf on a course of no return.

If you love to read historical fiction, Young Adolf is a book you shouldn't miss out on. Frank P. Daversa and Joseph V Franciosa Jr. offer readers a fresh take on what might have prompted the young Adolf Hitler to grow into a man filled with hatred and devoid of love. The authors give readers much to think about. Is childhood trauma inescapable and inevitably impacts on a person's decisions as an adult? What if Adolf Hitler had a normal childhood and found love? The characters are well-fleshed-out and placed in realistic situations, making them all the more compelling to read. This is a riveting story about a young man whose childhood trauma and environment pushed him toward a path that changed millions of lives. A gem of a book for historical fiction lovers.