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Look Who's Back [Hardcover]

Timur Vermes , Jamie Bulloch
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 April 2014

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 refuses 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. Naive yet insightful, repellent yet strangely sympathetic, the revived Hitler unquestionably has a spring in his step.


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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: 13.7 x 3.2 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,658 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

Review

'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.

About the Author

The son of a German mother and a Hungarian father who fled the country in 1956, Timur Vermes was born in Nuremberg in 1967. He studied history and politics and went on to become a journalist. He has written for the Abendzeitung and the Cologne Express and worked for various magazines. He has ghostwritten several books since 2007. This is his first novel.

Jamie Bulloch's translations include Ruth Maier's Diary, Portrait of a Mother as a Young Women by F. C. Delius, and novels by Paulus Hochgatterer and Daniel Glattauer.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 72 people found the following review helpful
By K. J. Noyes TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, deep satire. 24 April 2014
By biblia
Format:Hardcover
This satire targets Hitler, Nazism, the modern cult of celebrity and many other subjects besides, and I found it thought-provoking and hilarious at the same time. The author has managed to pull off something most wouldn't dare attempt, in a way that makes you laugh and shiver too. Amazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellently executed satire 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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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like satire then read this book 27 Mar 2014
By I Readalot TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
Every once in a while I read the blurb of a book and think 'I have to read this'. 'Look Who's Back' definitely fits into this category. After requesting this title I kept checking my emails from NetGalley to see if I had been approved and saw it while on the bus going home from work. Started reading almost as soon as I got home, found it hard to put down and finished it in a couple of days.

`Look Who's Back' is narrated by Hitler himself, from the moment he wakes up in unusual surroundings in 2011, it is Berlin but it has changed. People recognise him but believe he is just an impersonator, a comedian who takes his work very seriously, this of course is frustrating for the Fuhrer but incredibly funny for the reader of this book. The reader knows who he is and so we know that he means what he says and much of the humour comes from the misunderstanding of others. He appears on a TV show and the clip of his ranting is posted on YouTube, needless to say it goes viral and he becomes famous with fans and haters. He is not very complimentary about Germany's present Chancellor or indeed in the way the country is being run in general.

The satire in `Look Who's Back' is inspired, only a German could have written it. Like the characters in the book some people will laugh and others will believe that Hitler is not a subject for humour and condemn it, it will have its fans and haters. It made me laugh but is also incredibly thought provoking. I just want to say to anyone who - like me - enjoys satire - 'read this book'.

I only discovered this title through NetGalley, so thank you to them and the publisher Quercus for making it available.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Bruce62
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Well, whaddyaknow a German book that is funny. Lots of in jokes - you do need to know a bit about Nazi Germany and contemporary reunified Germany. A giggle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I'd hoped 20 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The writer missed his opportunities here, I feel. It was good, but not as good as I had hoped. The end was disquieting, though, as it should be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heily Entertaining 15 May 2014
By J K H
Format:Kindle Edition
There's an old joke about the return of Hitler. The world's press are gathered at the edge of a South American jungle,from which the Führer emerges.A journalist asks:"Now you're back,will you be doing anything different?" Hitler replies:"Ja, this time no more Mr Nice Guy." The disconcerting thing about Timor Vermes' wonderful novel, (which is written in the first person by Adolf Hitler, who comes to in a puddle in present day Berlin and immediately resumes his mission)is that the authorial voice is strangely charming, despite the fact that his political philosophy is just as obnoxious as ever it was in 1945.Look Who's Back is very sharp and very funny. Read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Hilarious!
Published 1 day ago by Ash
3.0 out of 5 stars Great idea
Good concept and started really well, but got a bit bored half way through and never finished. Might pick it up again sometime and just read the last few chapters.
Published 3 days ago by dubhe
4.0 out of 5 stars funny at times
Imaginative...funny at times....a good fun read.....not a political statement.
Published 16 days ago by Edmund Dantes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, good execution
While it is a one joke story, it is a clever concept which does raise some good questions not only about the power of today's media but also today's political world.
Published 20 days ago by Shane Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant cover design for a brilliant book
A wonderful satire about social media combined with the rapid rise of technogy since the war. Great observations about the power of the media, the decline of principled politicians... Read more
Published 22 days ago by KRobbins
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
recommended to this book whilst on holiday a really good read and very funny in parts
Published 23 days ago by Cat Chaser
3.0 out of 5 stars This starts out well and has some funny moments but it gets very heavy...
This starts out well and has some funny moments but it gets very heavy and political towards the end. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Clive McCarthy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
funny
Published 1 month ago by David Murray
1.0 out of 5 stars BORING!!!!
Does not make any sense whatsoever as bear
any relation to what happened after the war,and is boring in its writing
Published 1 month ago by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent satire and a take on modern society
Excellent satire and a take on modern society. Historical knowledge is a valuable prerequisite, but I can imagine that it is not everyone's cup of tea.
Published 1 month ago by Andy B
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