An imaginary story in which the the twenty-three year old Adolph Hitler comes to stay with his half-brother Alois in Liverpool. Hitler comes across as a paranoid tramp-like figure (one of the the reviewers uses the term 'Chaplinesque' which is nicely ironic). The level of the story is signalled when Alois' wife decides to make Adolph a replacement for his tattered shirt, but the only material available is brown linen... There are several other similar 'forward' reference to look out for.
An amusing read and a good antidote to all those self-important door-stopping biographies of Hitler that fill the history shelves of bookshops.
(A search on Google suggests that this story might actually have some basis in fact. There certainly does seem to be a tradition in Liverpool that Hitler's brother lived there for a while. However, as all the internet accounts post-date Bainbridge's 1978 story, I suppose that it is possible that the former were all derived from the latter by a process of chinese whispers.)
You can find a pretty definitive account of the Hitler family connection with Liverpool at Mike Royden's web-site. This account is based on a 2003 BBC radio broadcast
that was researched and produced by Nick Patrick. The visit by Adolph to
Liverpool was probably a myth invented by Alois's Irish wife Bridget in the
1930's. Interestingly, Royden mentions that Bainbridge's book, and
a subsequent television program based on it, have done a lot to spread the