I really wanted to like this book, as it's an interesting premise and a great opportunity for some sharp satire and black humour.
By the time I had got to page 130 and the corners of my mouth had not once been troubled by the vaguest flicker of a smile, I realised I was chasing a lost cause.
Smug, obvious and deeply unfunny comments on modern architecture, morals, technology, politics, language and culture, a lack of internal logic that would have helped to suspend disbelief, a lack of any historical insights, plodding language (possibly attributable to the translation), very poor characterisation of the main character and a weak plot. All of these factors go towards making this a tedious dirge of a read.
At the end of one chapter we read that Adolf thinks YouTube is actually U-tube (as in U-boat – geddit?). I suppose that has to be at the end of the chapter because you need time to recover from the massive belly laugh and wipe the tears of helpless laughter from your eyes before moving on to the next chapter.
I assume the book is popular in Germany because it attracted a lot of publicity and is considered rather daring, broaching as it does a “taboo” subject. I read and speak German, having lived there for a few years, but I chose to read the English translation. It’s possible the book is witty and hilarious in the original language but quite frankly, life is too short to find out.