By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter
El Medio Bluffs resident Marvin Winitsky is captivating fellow Palisadians and readers with a novel he penned called “A Fly on the Wall: The Discovered Journals of Heinz Linge, Valet to Adolf Hitler.”
When the story begins, main character Heinz Linge has taken a leap from a hardscrabble bricklayer to the personal valet of Adolf Hitler—a dizzying rise that baffles no one more than Linge himself, the author wrote to the Palisadian-Post: “While he scrambles to survive the machinations of the toadies and sycophants in the Fuhrer’s orbit, Linge quickly realizes he’s been called to serve in ways he never expected and barely understands.”
“As the atrocities of the Reich become more blatantly horrific to him,” the novel unravels the question: Can Linge use his “unmatched access to Hitler to influence the fate of millions?”
Winitsky, who has lived in the Palisades for 15 years with wife Patrice Conlin, developed his writing chops during his many years teaching as a professor. Though he has written some screenplays and novels as a hobby, this is the first novel for public consumption.
The idea for the novel was sparked after Winitsky saw the 1993 film, “The Remains of the Day,” which captured his interest in the concept of a valet.
Winitsky found the behaviors in the movie both appalling and intriguing, and it triggered him to think about the nature of the valet, and perhaps, a selfless valet in the midst of a leader.
He shared that he wouldn’t have even written this if not for the film that really got him intrigued and excited about the subject itself—not as much Hitler, as it’s about a valet.
In an effort to thoroughly research his subject, Winitsky took on graduate school-style research and pored through everything he could get his hands on about Hitler and valets, and came up with what he described as “some very interesting things.”
“I didn’t want to do a better biography of Hitler,” Winitsky explained.
Winitsky wanted to stretch his fictional muscles and create his own story on re-imagined historical figures while bringing in the occult and magical realism to create a complete and thorough alternative history novel about the valet’s relationship to Hitler and how he undermines his plan.
“The thing that I did that distinguishes my book from many other alternative histories is that Hitler still loses,” Winitsky said. Hitler makes all the mistakes he made.
“The only difference, and it’s one heck of a difference if you read the book, is it’s because of his valet,” he added.
Winitsky graduated from the University of California Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s degree in European history, later becoming a professor at Pepperdine University in the 1970s. He taught legal studies, organizational behavior and U.S. history, having completed a law degree and a Ph.D. in constitutional history from UCLA.
When writing the novel, Winitsky knew he wanted to make it suspenseful for the reader—the book reaches over 700 pages.
“‘A Fly On The Wall’ is as thoroughly entertaining and hypnotic as John Kennedy Toole’s cult classic, ‘A Confederacy of Dunces.’ Stunning, entertaining and consummately worthwhile,” Hugo N. Gerstl, international bestselling author, wrote in a testimonial.
For more information, visit marvinwinitsky.com.
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