Look Who's Back Hardcover – 3 Apr 2014
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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)
'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' Rebecca Morrison, Independent. (Rebecca Morrison, Independent)
'Both funny and frightening, this is a subtle, historical study of the commanding nature of the fanatical demagogue, as well as a savage critique of contemporary western culture. It is a powerful and important book' Sue Gaisford, Independent. (Independent)
Hitler returns to life in modern Berlin and becomes a media sensation.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hugely detailed, the author knows his history and is able to use it to put up modern culture. A impressive read and well worth your time. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Mr B P H Appleby
This was recommended to me as a cleverly written funny book. I found it anything but. Don't bother it is just rubbish from start to finishPublished 4 days ago by Kindle Customer
Boring, absolutely awful. Have been kicked out of book club for nominating it (jokes).Published 17 days ago by Mrs A Salmon
The premise of this book is intriguing and filled with potential, ie Adolf Hitler has woken up in Germany in the 21st century and doesn't like what he finds. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Janie U
Sums up modern day celebrity culture and the irritating trend of sound bite politicians in a strangely believable and humorous wayPublished 1 month ago by south