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Look Who's Back Hardcover – 3 Apr 2014

288 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press (3 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857052926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857052926
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 3.4 x 22 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Timur Vermes was born in Nuremberg in 1967, the son of a German mother and a Hungarian father who fled Hungary in 1956. He studied history and politics and went on to become a journalist. He has written for various newspapers and magazines, and has ghostwritten several books since 2007. This is his first novel, and is currently being made into a film by Mythos in a co-production with Constantin Film.

Product Description


Be warned. This book is funny. Very funny (Rebecca K Morrison Independent)

Worryingly believable (time travelling despots aside) and unsettling. But also very funny (Nathan Filer)

A brilliant book (Russell Kane)

Brilliant and hilarious (Ken Follett)

Laugh-out-loud funny . . . An uproarious, disturbing book that will resonate long after you turn the final page (Caroline Jowett Daily Express)

Both funny and frightening . . . A powerful and important book (Sue Gaisford Independent on Sunday)

Peculiar, provocative and very funny . . . It makes you laugh and forces you to think (Darragh McManus Irish Independent)

Wonderfully inventive, very funny and superbly written (We Love This Book)

The Hitler of Look Who's Back has aged not a whit: his fascist views are intact, and he is as foul-tempered and misanthropic as ever (Christopher Goodwin Sunday Times)

There's no question that the novel has hit upon the key paradox of our modern obsession with Hitler (Philip Olterman Observer)

The jokes are very funny . . . rollicking, enjoyable (Sam Leith Financial Times)

A satire on the cult of personality . . . nicely played (Monocle)

This uproariously funny satire will have you in stitches (Shortlist)

'A darkly entertaining satire' Sunday Times. (Sunday Times)

'An uproarious, disturbing book that will resonate long after you turn the final page' Caroline Jowett, Daily Express. (Daily Express)

'Be warned. This book is funny. Very funny ... quite brilliantly translated by Jamie Bulloch ... good, edgy comedy that provides food for thought alongside the belly laughs' Rebecca Morrison, Independent. (Rebecca Morrison, Independent)

'Both funny and frightening, this is a subtle, historical study of the commanding nature of a fanatical demagogue, as well as a savage critique of contemporary western culture ... a powerful and important book' Sue Gaisford, Independent on Sunday. (Independent on Sunday)

'Packed with wry, close-to-the-knuckle hilarity, and builds to a gloriously ironic conclusion' Mail on Sunday. (Mail on Sunday)

'The deadpan portrayal of modern Europe through the eyes of the dictator is hilarious, but not without a sinister edge' The Lady. (Lady)

'This uproariously funny satire will have you in stitches' Shortlist. (Shortlist)

'Wonderfully inventive, very funny and superbly written' We Love This Book. (We Love This Book)

Book Description

Hitler returns to life in modern Berlin and becomes a media sensation.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Emma T on 22 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback
It can't be easy to translate humour - particularly one which has so much to say about contemporary German culture - but this was absolutely hilarious and very accessible. An excellent translation. I did love the very acerbic digs at 'ironic' racist humour - Hitler's being very sincere, but people take it as ironic. Some hilarious speeches, neatly capturing the tone of Hitler's self-aggrandising style. An excellent book which really made me explore my assumptions about modern media.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Laura Hartley TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 Oct. 2015
Format: Paperback
I’d seen a lot of hype about Look Who’s Back on Instagram so when I finally walked past it in Foyles, I had to buy it. Translated from German, Look Who’s Back is the story of a world in which Hitler exists again. Hitler wakes up in 2011, having inexplicably time travelled from the 1940s. He has no recollection of the end of the war and is incredibly confused by modern Berlin. He is recognised instantly by those he crosses but nobody takes him seriously and they think his political rants are all a joke. It’s not long before he’s a YouTube star with his own television programme and a worrying number of fans.

Timur Vernes presents readers with a satirical story that tackles the most taboo of subjects: Adolf Hitler. He has created a character who is absolutely ridiculous, downright hilarious at times, that somehow manages to turn himself into a celebrity. Whilst most of the things that Hitler says are outrageous, some of the comments he makes about modern society are shockingly accurate and force you to take a step back and reconsider today’s world. Obviously Hitler doesn’t understand modern technology or society and this lack of comprehension means that he gives us a fresh perspective on items and customs that we are all very familiar with today. The world as a whole is obsessed with the internet, social media and celebrities and these are all important themes in Look Who’s Back.

Something to note is that it is incredibly difficult to translate humour. As a languages student who is currently living abroad, I can tell you that it is so difficult to convey something funny in another language and a different culture. This book has you sniggering at Hitler’s confusion in the modern world and his comments about society and different cultures are nothing short of hilarious.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. Nichol on 15 Sept. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I know a few Jewish people who might vehemently disagree with me, I think this an important book.

In the spectrum of good and evil, iconic figures like Adolf Hitler tend to be pushed to the very extremes of our understanding, where they become dehumanised and rendered somewhat unreal; they become cartoonish super-villains that we can no longer take seriously.

We find their behaviour so abhorrent that they cease to be real, existing only on the fringes of our peripheral belief, like some antichrist concocted by do-gooders to keep the hoi polloi in line. This is a dangerous position.

Hitler wasn't inherently evil. To say this is to pretend that human nature is not capable of the despicable things he did, and that some sort of supernatural demonic intervention is required to create such a beast, which is simply untrue. He was an extremely charismatic, misguided man with an extreme vision of the future and the wherewithal to bring it - very nearly - to reality. He was very much human, doing what he believed was right, and there are doubtless many more like him out there, waiting for the perfect storm of circumstance that will add fuel to their fire.

Unless we confront who Hitler was, and how his radical ideas gained traction in Germany, the realities of what he achieved will eventually sink into folklore. His atrocities will feel no more real to our grandchildren's children than the great flood or Noah's Ark.

The trouble is, the more you amplify the horror in retelling the story, the farther you carry it from our reality and the less believable it gets. To truly dissect and understand the beast, you need to bring it closer to something you know and understand.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lark TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 July 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I cant think when I've enjoyed a popular paper back quite as much as I have this book and therefore I heartily recommend it.

There are some of the staples of time travel science fiction here, the protagonist, in this case Hitler with his unique perspective, encounters all the modern or interim innovations and developments responding to them as someone of his own earlier and different age. Its humorous, and that's the main point often in science fiction time travel fiction, but it also gives you occasion to think about the mundane or ordinary that is presented in this way. This was one of the great things about Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.

Vermes starts out simple enough, Hitler has been transposed from his more immediate setting in the middle of the war, the dress and behaviour of young people who meet him bewilders him as a consequence, their dress and skateboards but slowly, and I think the pace is excellent, one mod con after another is introduced, ring tones, mobile phones, "the mouse", the internetwork, wikipedia.

The political aspect of the humour and satire is done well too, for instance Hitler's thinking about the turks from his being taken in by a turkish news stand operator through his rise to youtube and television personality, to his meeting with modern day "nationalists", ie nazis and their response to him. This was something which had been done already to a certain extent by satirical political humourists like the team behind Iron Sky which had "moon nazis" visiting earth and beating up present day represenatives of thuggish fascism.
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