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Look Who's Back [Hardcover]

Timur Vermes , Jamie Bulloch
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.00
Price: 10.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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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)
  • ISBN-10: 0857052926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857052926
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,096 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' 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
6 of 6 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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58 of 64 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Walking the razors edge of political correctness 19 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found this book an enjoyable if audacious spoof challenging current political sensitivities and political correctness. The author choses the most emblematic hate figure of the 20th century and recasts him in the 21st century,apart from his racial rants, as an almost sympathetic character questioning our current obsession with money and fame. Timur Vermes cleverly preempts an almost certain backlash by the Jewish communities and by all right thinking citizens of today by making his"hero" the target of hate by exactly those groups who one would normally consider to be his natural allies ie the extreme right and neo nazi organizations. A clever witty book and one which gives this verboten subject a cathartic airing
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Obviously not taken seriously, I found 'Look Who's Back' as a comical book that draws on many problems with current society and it's fascination with the media, viral videos and celebrities.

Although to more sensitive readers it may appear as if it is trying to make a cheap joke. However, I found it to be very engaging and funny! Through small things such as the discovery of the internet, youtube and smart phones to interactions with his assistant and her overuse of the phrase LOL! I found 'Look Who's Back' to be a fresh read and after reading countless books on the subject due to my degree and profession, this book is remarkably fresh.

Would definitely recommend
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who said satire is dead? 31 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Who'd a thought it? A book written in the first person by one A. Hitler.
It seems he didn't shuffle off this mortal coil after all, he was only sleeping. He wakes up in Berlin in 2011, not a day older, but hey, just go with it.
Some of 21st Century life he find's baffling,,but he picks it up quickly enough, and it's clear that the world needs him again, and yep, he's ready and willing.....
But, those around him think he's the best Hitler impersonator ever - they see him as a comedian who truly 'lives' the part. Meanwhile, he's just being himself. What's interesting is how plausible and reasonable some of his pronouncements appear. And his 'thoughts' too.
I've given it 4 stars not 5 (4.5 if I could) because (spoiler alert!) ....

....no-one twigs that he's serious / challenges him. One or two get close, but he's allowed to get away with it every time. Obviously the story would pan out differently if they did get it, and the author clearly wanted him to get away with it,...but I wanted to see how the author would handle the dialogue at that point of discovery, e.g. if the journalist got it....... but I guess it's ultimately more scary this way.
'Cos yep, he's back!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and subversive 20 July 2014
By M. D. Holley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very powerful novel this. Extremely clever. Subtle and subversive. Hilariously funny too.

Making Hitler himself the narrator is a good idea, because you as the reader get drawn in and feel some sympathy with him. How weird and distressing is that? It feels like the author has crawled inside your head and is messing about in there.

The book is not afraid to confront really difficult issues head on. In particular there is the scene where one of Hitler's closest friends, his secretary, brings out a photo of her dead Jewish family. I was wondering where the author would take this scene. Suffice to say the path the scene takes is pretty disturbing.

Comedy can sometimes uncover the truth in ways that 'serious' historians cannot. There are many books about Hitler, but these are gradually creating a caricature of the man. I am afraid they may even be obscuring the truth and increasing the liklihood that a modern day Hitler would gain popular support. In contrast, anyone who has read and understood 'Look Who's Back' is unlikely to vote for those contemporary policical parties whose affable leaders promote racist ideas.

The book feels quite light hearted initially, but as it went along I experienced it as being darker and darker.

I imagined the ending of the novel might bring some resolution, some return to sanity. It doesn't, and the book is all the more provocative for that.

Highly recommended. It should be required reading for every school child.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Super Smashing Great
Published 4 hours ago by Rollypolly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good
Published 1 day ago by Tony Bass
5.0 out of 5 stars black humour at its best
I haven't enjoyed a book this much for ages.Absolutely brilliant, and horribly believable, but beware, it is possible to start to understand his logic. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Rosalind Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fabulous book. Just what she wanted andeexcellent service :-)
Published 11 days ago by jenni
5.0 out of 5 stars needless to say I loved
you need a certain type of , sense of humour to fully appreciate this book . needless to say I loved it
Published 18 days ago by ronnie wallace
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I expected better from it, I found it rather disappointing :(
Published 21 days ago by jahartis
5.0 out of 5 stars superb read
Very accurate, enthralling read. This book does not fail to entertain, well written and humorous. I would highly recommend it.
Published 22 days ago by Jemma dudgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, buy it!
Very funny, very satirical but also potentially realistic and disturbing, well worth the read!
Published 23 days ago by Carl Valentine
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
I like the idea of it but the concept ran out of interest for me about a third of the way in.
Lots of interesting observations about the way the world has changed since WW2. Read more
Published 28 days ago by nellymoser
4.0 out of 5 stars clever constrution to explore an ineresting idea
If you suspend disbelief in its basic hypothesis, the book develops into a concept of could It happen all over again given the dominance of the media. Read more
Published 28 days ago by jack saltman
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