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Look Who's Back Hardcover – 3 Apr 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press (3 April 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0857052926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857052926
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 3.2 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,332 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


'A darkly entertaining satire' Sunday Times.

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

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

'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.

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

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

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

From the Back Cover

Berlin, summer 2011. Adolf Hitler wakes up on a patch of open ground, alive and well. Things have changed - no Eva Braun, no Nazi party, no war. Hitler barely recognises his beloved Fatherland, filled with immigrants and run by a woman.
People certainly recognise him, albeit as a flawless impersonator who refused to break character. The unthinkable, the inevitable happens, and the ranting Hitler goes viral, becomes a YouTube star, gets his own T.V. show, and people begin to listen. But the Führer has another programme with even greater ambition - to set the country he finds a shambles back to rights.
LOOK WHO'S BACK stunned and then thrilled 1.5 million German readers with its fearless approach to the most taboo of subjects. Naïve yet insightful, repellent yet strangely sympathetic, the revised Hitler unquestionable has a spring in his step.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By I Know My Place on 16 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Leap of imagination. Hitler wakes up in modern day Berlin. That’s the premise of this book.

An excellent, and at times very funny, satire on the press, media and celebrity intelligently put together. By the end you begin to see how celebrity and the media can be manipulated and the rather sinister undertones of what can happen…a warning if you like.

It helps if you have some very basic knowledge of Germany but there is a good appendix telling you who all the names who are mentioned are. Therefore read this first as a refresher/catch up.

Thoroughly recommended if you like satire, or even if you didn’t know you did, and leave alone if you are bereft of imagination. I can’t give four and a half stars so five it will be.
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71 of 81 people found the following review helpful By K. J. Noyes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
4.5 stars.

I can guess what you're thinking: "That cover.... is that .... ?" And then, "But it says it's funny....?!"
I can see from some other reviews and comments around that this is appalling to some, that the concept of a comedic book about one of the most evil men who ever lived is abhorrent. I can understand that. But I also think that comedy, and satire in particular has a great deal of value in making us think about situations and people in ways we might not have before.

I imagine a few people (like me) will consider themselves irreverent and try this because of the 'shock' value. I know I saw the fantastically simple but instantly recognisable cover and was sold. Thing is, this isn't written for its shock value. At least, I don't think that's it's major point. It's not disrespectful. It's certainly not cheap laughs and stereotypes. This is a well-thought-out, witty and very relevant satire on modern life, on the media, on our own sense of humour. At times it's frightening how like sheep people can be, were then, still are.

We have to take one giant leap for it to work - Adolf Hitler from 1945 suddenly wakes up in modern-day Germany. We never find out how, even he doesn't spend too long questioning. To immerse yourself in what happens after, you just have to accept it. Initially disorientated, he doesn't let his unfamiliar surroundings faze him for long. A kind-hearted newspaper seller takes him under his wing and is the first of many to see the Führer as a fully-in-character comedy impersonator. Soon TV producers come calling and a slot on a comedy show beckons. What was once a hypnotic despot is now a hypnotic comedy performer. Is this the point?
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Format: Kindle Edition
With all the fuss about this book, I felt I had to read it in order to form my own opinion.

It’s very much what I’d call a marmite book – some will love it and some will hate it. Those that will hate it will in the main be those that have either studied the 3rd Reich in detail or have been personally affected it.

I must admit I did feel a real unease reading this book. Whilst I’ll find Mel Brook’s “The Producers” funny this book is a very different proposition as it’s told from an imagined Hitler point of view. The imagined Hitler is essentially portrayed as a grumpy old man struggling with the modern world with all the hatred and prejudices of the real person.

The book does ask some interesting questions about the keys to his power in the 1930s, how many of those elements still exist and for example how a modern day Hitler would exploit social media.

I was hoping that Hitler would experience an epiphany at some point, and did think that was going to happen when one of the characters talks of the sadness and anger of their Jewish relative at the fact that they are working with what is believed to be a very accurate Hitler impersonator.

However, any epiphany never happens and all we have is a character that you could feel sympathy for viewing the modern world seen through an imagined Hitler’s eyes.

Whilst some may argue that it shows how a new Hitler figure could appear again and that it’s very profound, I can’t help being very uncomfortable with Hitler being portrayed as simplistically as a grumpy old man struggling with the modern world despite the message.

I can’t recommend this book. It’s too close to a horrific period of world history, but it does makes you think. All I can hope is that by reaching a wider audience than a dry history book it may make that audience read further to fully understand the horror that was the 3rd Reich.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adele Surer on 5 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Satirical, funny, but also disturbing. Years ago I read Mein Kampf (along with Lenin's What is to be done? Gorgias, Aristotle etc.) in the interests of teaching a course on Rhetoric and Propaganda. What disturbed me is how well Timur Vermes has captured that working class Viennese night-shelter voice and reasoning of Hitler. It is uncanny. And in a rather serious way, Vermes's ability to portray Hitler in the modern social democracy of Germany makes it seem he could deceive people all over again in a different context with his "frank man of the people." So, this is both a hilarious and cringe-making book (people's reactions to Hitler) and a good intuitive stab at recreating Hitler's voice today. No one would be converted to Hitler by reading this book though. I can see him sitting in an engineers office beside a heater reading the Daily Mail and erupting spasmodically into rage about lack of athletic training for youth, or the lily livered members of today's government.
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