Cover Image: Two Hitlers and a Marilyn

Two Hitlers and a Marilyn

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Member Reviews

Funny and touching at moments! Adam Andrusier spent his childhood in pursuit of autographs. After writing to every famous person he could think of, from Frank Sinatra to Colonel Gaddafi, he soon jostled with the paparazzi at stage doors and came face-to-face with the most famous people on the planet.

For young Adam, autographs were a backstage pass to a world beyond his chaotic family home in Pinner, and his Holocaust-obsessed father. They provided a special connection to a world of glamour and significance lying just beyond his reach.

But as Adam turned from collector to dealer, learning how to spot a fake from the real deal, he discovered that in life, as in autographs, not everything is as it first appears. When your obsession is a search for the authentic, what happens when you discover fraudulence in your own family?

Two Hitlers and a Marilyn is a hilarious and moving account of discovering that idols are mortals. It's a story of growing up, forgiveness and discovering a place in the world.
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A biography that tells the life of the author by starting each chapter about a signature that he has or wanted. 
Adam is a collector who started at a very young age and eventually turned it into a career after he left university.

It kept tempting me back with each chapter heading, Elvis hello!

4 Stars

I received a free copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Interesting memoir of a professional autograph and document dealer who began his hobby as a young boy collecting autographs. But as is often the case it is the everyday life of the boy and man that shines through, growing up in a Jewish family in Pinner, eccentric parents and relatives, parental infidelity and divorce. The story is cleverly framed by chapters centred around a particular autograph that he did (or in some cases) didn't manage to get. Interesting and a fun read.
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Two Hitlers and a Marilyn is a humorous and poignant memoir by Adam Andrusier telling of his tentative steps into the world of autograph collecting as a young lad to his eventual status as an expert and dealer. Alongside that it tells the tale of him growing up as a part of a London Jewish family and his relationship with his father,a man who the word "eccentric" is inadequate to describe. 
Adam's determined attempts to get the autographs of the rich and famous are often hilarious ,as are some the weird and wonderful people in the world of collecting and dealing,as with every other niche hobby oddballs and deeply strange people abound.

Adam's relationship with his parents is as complex as theirs is with each other and along with the funny stories some of it is quite moving.
There is one problem with this book,there are people I'd love to recommend it too but I know there's a part that they would find deeply offensive, an overly gratuitous description of Andrew's Dad's "stash" of pornography. Not really necessary and out of kilter with the rest of the book , I seriously think his editor has done him a disservice by not insisting that part was at the very least toned down.

That aside a very entertaining  read.that is laugh out loud in places and quite moving in others,the ending is "just right".
Please be aware however that there is  a small part of the book that is extremely sexually explicit and might cause offence.
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A witty account of the author’s childhood, the start of his Autograph collecting and how he progressed to make a career from it. Who knew there was so much competition between autograph collectors, or the skill and knowledge needed to sort the fakes and the secretarial signings from the real thing.

I was given a copy of Two Hitlers and a Marilyn by NetGalley and the authors in return for an unbiased review.
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This was a fascinating memoir from the author Adam Andrusier who started collecting autographs of the great and the good as a young boy. He shares his successes and failures with us and we share in his excitement with each new autograph that arrives through the post. His ‘in person’ autograph encounters are the most interesting, whether he is successful or not, and also gives an insight into the world of celebrity. His relationship with his father is woven into the narrative and enriches the story as the complexities between father and son unfold. It is a witty and charming story, full of gentle humour. I would add however, that the book contains some pornographic text, which changed the tone of the book in part and some people may find it offensive.
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This is the charming memoir of Adam Andruiser, who grew up in 80s / 90s Pinner amid a strained family set up. Adam finds comfort in autograph hunting, collecting and ultimately big success as a dealer. 

This book gives a unique insight into the world of autographs and all the interesting characters that hobby attracts to it. I really enjoyed Andruiser’s interactions with the great and good of celebrity. Ronnie Barker, Ray Charles and an excellent interaction with Nelson Mandela to name a few. To read a teenagers perspective on meeting these icons in mundane, unguarded moments was fascinating. 

The emotional heart of the story is Andruiser’s relationship with his parents. He does such a great job of exploring his father’s eccentricities in a way that was both challenging but also caring. Likewise with his mother. The sections in the book that talked about the wider family and their history were my favourite parts of the book. 

If I have one criticism it would be the small section early on where the author writes about finding a porn magazine. The language gets really graphic and violent quite out of nowhere and it really wrong footed me for the rest of that chapter. It didn’t fit with the overall tone and I’m not sure the audience for this book would appreciate that level of graphic detail. I’m sure it’s just a proof copy oversight that will get fixed but felt I should mention it. 

Overall, a really enjoyable memoir.
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