- 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: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (399 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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 ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very enjoyable read. Was apprehensive at first to read it, as it was not my normal reading material. Vey humorous.Published 1 day ago by BarryD
It's brilliantly imagined and full of lovely little subtleties.
The joke kind of tires a little towards the end but it's well worth a read and it will make... Read more
I found this book very funny. Not sure about the ending.??
My daughter read this book in German and said it was very funny, after reading a small section that is why i decided... Read more
Couldn't get far with this. From what I forced myself to read I found no insights or interest. Maybe it comes over differently in German, in Germany.Published 10 days ago by Marechal
Not an easy task to get you to empathise but not sympathise with Hitler (or is it vice versa?).
Timur Vermes achieves that in a brilliant satirical (or is it ironical?) novel. Read more
I am partial to the odd satire novel, and mostly love anything that is linked to the Second World War, so when I read the description I really thought this would be a novel I would... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Bridgey
I couldn't get beyond the protagonist's tedious descriptions of bad tv shows in chapters 6/7. Why have they made a film ?Published 25 days ago by EJSwift