By Michael Arditti

Format: Paperback

Michael Arditti explores the personalities and politics involved in the making of a 1970s German film about the relationship between Unity Mitford and Hitler in this meditation on the nature of evil.

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Arcadia Books

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Product Description


In his first novel since the best-selling Easter, Michael Arditti explores the personalities and politics involved in the making of a lost 1970s film by a German director about the relationship between Unity Mitford and Hitler. The completion of the film was destroyed by a terrorist outrage, triggered by the growing sympathy of its leading actress for the cause of the Red Army Faction and her admiration of a charismatic Palestinian activist. Arditti himself features in the narrative as, almost thirty years later, he attempts to uncover the truth about two friends who took part in the film. He consults the scriptwriter's letters and the diaries of a Hollywood child star turned crusading socialist. He interviews two of the German actors and the film's producer, an Auschwitz survivor who has become a high-powered pornographer. He reads a revealing family memoir and corresponds with a Hollywood mogul. These testimonies - ranging from 1930s Britain to post-war Germany - are often conflicting and prove to be deeply disturbing. Startlingly original in concept and treatment, Unity is a profound exploration of the nature and consequences of evil.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Maia Press Limited
Publication Date 1 May 2005
ISBN 9781904559122
Number of Pages 384

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Press Reviews

'The most intriguing and thought-provoking novel I have read this year' Clare Colvin, Daily Express 'Highly intelligent ... well worth reading' Adam Lively, Sunday Times 'Farce and intensity blend in a deftly layered version of Hitler's legacy ... Michael Arditti ambitiously tackles the theme of human evil in the history of Europe over the past seventy years. He does so with a touch both curiously light and unambiguously earnest' Melissa Benn, Guardian 'Strikingly original in form ... a remarkable, unsettling book ... a compelling fiction' Jane Shilling, The Times 'What is astonishing in Unity is the grim wit and ironic humour which pervades this deadly serious page-turner ... the reader staggers away from this uncompromising drama of ideas shaken and stirred' Patricia Duncker, Independent 'Chilling in the extremity of its import ... hugely ambitious in its scope, Arditti's novel examines the events and personalities that shape moral character' Neil Norman, Financial Times 'Persuasive, sometimes amusing, sometimes chilling ... a true novel with a strong narrative and acute, sympathetic characterisation' Allan Massie, Scotsman 'This remarkable book ... a strange and engrossing story that has powerful resonances with our own era' Ned Denny, Daily Mail 'The purpose ... is to understand the human appetite for gratuitous cruelty ... the final section ... debates this with a Dostoevskian intentness. The author's love for his creations [is] the only possible antidote to the loveless anti-human behaviour that Unity has been courageous enough to confront' Paul Binding, TLS 'A gripping read packed with intrigue, sex, politics and death. What more could you possibly want?' Wayne Clews, Attitude 'A wonderful novel, written with exceptional knowledge and understanding of past and present Germany'--Gitta Sereny

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