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Look Who's Back Hardcover – 3 Apr 2014

3.8 out of 5 stars 329 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: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (329 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
It’s 2011. Hitler wakes up in Berlin with no idea how he got there and with no recollection of the ending of World War 2. He wanders around Berlin, astonished at the changes of the last sixty+ years. Soon, people start to notice him. Thinking he’s just a very convincing actor, Hitler soon appears in television shows, where he is free to give his opinions on current affairs.
I decided to read this novel for three reasons:
1. The German film adaption has already hit theatres and I wanted to read the book before seeing the film.
2. Since I’m studying German, it’s a wise idea to also read German books in my spare time.
3. This book just seemed very interesting and my cousin had told me that it was quite funny.
It is very controversial, as one might imagine. Most people who give it a low rating do so because they feel it’s the opposite of funny. After all, Hitler remains a mass-murderer and surely this is not a topic to make fun of.
I have to disagree. Of course, Hitler remains a horrendous human being and I don’t think his deeds are laughable. Yet, the main reason why this novel is funny is because of the culture shock Hitler experiences. You could have picked another person from the 1940’s and wrote a book about them, and it would probably be just as funny (though maybe that’s not entirely true, since Hitler has some very… strong opinions on certain matters). What makes some of the situations in this novel so laughable is that Hitler remains deadly serious at all times, yet people think he is just an actor and that he is joking.
Others say that Hitler becomes more human in this book. Again, I have to disagree.
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Format: Hardcover
I was drawn to this book because of its controversial notion - what would Hitler think of modern Germany, and wider popular culture.

As you start - you quickly get what the writer is doing here. Hitler is merely the vehicle used to dissect popular culture. A lot is made of the fleeting, vapid nature of celebrity - and the throwaway world of reality TV in its various guises. And, once you've got maybe 50-60 pages in you wonder how long this cynicism can last. It's relentless and snide - but the juxtaposed nature of it coming from Hitler carries the joke enough for it not to wear on you too much. Just as it does - the pacing changes, and the moral of the book broadens to ask some bigger questions you start to forget Hitler just woke up randomly in a field.

Yes - there are jokes you're only going to understand if you have a good knowledge of the modern Germany media, and Germany in the 1930-40s. Enough is done to make most of the jokes universal, so you'll have a rough idea of what is being said without having to look the names of German magazines up.

A funny, thought provoking book that will entertain those who can look past the controversial premise.
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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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