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.
©2012 Bastei Lübbe AG (P)2014 Quercus Publishing plc
“Shockingly plausible” (Die Zeit)“Uproariously funny” (Stern)
“Be warned. This book is funny. Very funny.” (Rebecca Morrison, Independent)
“An uproarious, disturbing book that will resonate long after you turn the final page” (Caroline Jowett, Daily Express)
“Clever, provocative and very entertaining. Hitler is a great, albeit monstrous, comic creation.” (Darragh McManus, Irish Independent)
“Julian Rhind-Tutt’s reading is beyond marvellous . . . 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)
I would recommend the "book", but not the audiobook.
Didn't like any, due to the delivery of the narrator.
I really, really disliked the narrator in this one. He reads it well, but he ruins the atmosphere and immersion by making the characters sound too English. I personally lost my appeal for this audiobook due to this fact. If the narrator would have read and enacted the characters with a more German accent that would have made things much better in my opinion. The narrator obviously has no idea whatsoever how certain words are pronounced in German either. For instance, I don't know how many times he pronounced the word "Volk" instead of "Folk". You might think this is nitpicking, but for someone like me who cares about accuracy it was not possible to ignore.
My advice is read the book or hope someone else narrates the book some day. The delivery of the characters are in my opinion terrible due to the lack of accuracy and since this is a character driven book, it had to be done right. Why they picked someone with no German skills is beyond me...
Why not, but then it should be narrated by someone else.
If a second version of the audiobook would ever be done, I would not hesitate to give it a go. I am sure that the narrator does a good job on other books, but he was not suitable for this one at all. I would have much preferred listening to a German with a heavy accent than this narrator.
"The man who relinquished his wonderful trousers"
This was quite amusing but to be honest I don't think it was as outright brilliant as the other reviews seem to suggest. Hitler's deranged rants were exactly as expected and there are a couple of laugh out loud moments. I just thought this was but overlong and with no real plot. I also wasn't entirely clear what it was supposed to be satirising. Nazi's? rubbish television? modern Germany? Probably all of them, but it was all a bit incoherent.
I did enjoy the narrator. He kept his reading of Hitler at exactly the right pitch and avoided spoiling the material by using bad German accents.
I would love to give this higher marks but when I think of some of the other books I have rated, I have to settle on three stars. I would say however, that this is worth a listen.
"Hilter Springer Show"
Hitler haunts Berlin.
1984 but funny.
When Hitler realised it was 2011.
The book is hilarious yet sometimes inspiring.
I wouldn't recommend it to anyone emotionally connected with the WWII period.
"Evil Isn't Quite This Banal"
This book was quite a disappointment. If it was a movie, it would be called "high concept". A storyline based on Adolf Hitler waking up in present times and how he might perceive the world and the world him has great potential. But it did not work for me. I suspect its impact in Germany has a lot to do with the fact that it is still a slightly taboo subject so even tepid attempts at humour have the thrill of the forbidden. I am sure I also missed a lot of the topical references. Having said that, I still think the author could not make up his mind how far to push things. Or, maybe more worryingly, it is not entirely clear what his motives are. I would still recommend listening to it. The narrator does well with the material and it is a book that will be discussed, maybe a bit more than it deserves.
"A very guilty and entirely disconcerting pleasure"
I have very mixed feelings about this book. Written in the style of Mein Kampf (so I understand, although I haven't read it), this book finds Hitler awaken on a football pitch in contemporary Berlin having apparently time-travelled there and consists of his musings on modern life and the people he encounters. He is universally regarded as an ironic, satirical Hitler impersonator and builds a new career on this basis, which he mistakes for an opportunity to espouse his ideals for Germany's future. However, this misapprehension is never quite dispelled and like a lot of things in this book, I found it irritatingly glossed over. There are some genuinely funny moments as one would expect from examining what historical figures would make of the modern world, especially from an extremist such as Hitler - there are plenty of opportunities for Vermes to poke fun at his protagonist and he greatly takes advantage. However, apart from my discomfort that arose from the 'should I be laughing at this' sensation, what I also found problematic was that Hitler was often sympathetically portrayed - almost an endearing and insightful 'old Uncle Adolph' - which was for me, very difficult to deal with.
I would recommend this on the basis of its comedic and thought-inducing elements and for Julian Rhind-Tutt's excellent narration. However, my recommendation is very cautiously given.
"Spoiler don't think of Stewie out of family guy"
After a little apprehension I downloaded what turned out to be an exceedingly funny and very well written book. Who says Germans don't have a sense of humour.
Yes you will cringe in places .
The narration added to the story even though for some reason Stewie out of family guy kept coming to mind .
Give it a go 17 million Germans can't be wrong I'm sure I've heard that somewhere before.
I bought this book out of curiosity - the cover alone is great - it is one of the best purchases I've made. Brilliant satire, very funny in part but also thought provoking and uncomfortable, a difficult tightrope for any author to tread but this book pulls it off.
Julian Rhind-Tutt does a superb job as narrator, perfectly contrasting the slower accented "everyday" characters with the clipped and at times manic tones of the Fuhrer.
The second best book I've listened to in the last few months. The only book who was able to top this one was the German version, Er Ist Wieder Da.
Er Ist Wieder Da, because it's the original in German.
I laughed so much on so many occasions. See, Germans do have humour.
"Superb satire on modern life"
A very funny and perceptive book, superbly performed by Julian Rhind-Tutt. Timur Vermes' Hitler is a horribly plausible mixture of kindly gent and dictatorial megalomaniac. His pedantic inner dialogue brings Adrian Mole irresistibly to mind - up to the point where it spins from 'A leads to B leads to C therefore millions must die'.
The device of voicing Hitler with a German accent and the other characters in modern-day English emphasises the central character's cuckoo-like situation. I enjoyed the allegorical side of the novel - the parallels between the modern entertainment business's misjudgement of the fictional Hitler in the story and the political establishment's misjudgements in the 1930s. Even more fun is the Führer's incomprehension of modern habits like picking up after one's dog and his withering assessments of modern-day institutions like the tabloid press: 'The deaf man writes down what the blind man told him, the village idiot edits it and the other press houses copy it'.
Some of the satire is aimed at modern German politics, which is bound to go over the head of non-German readers. However, that only detracts slightly from the enjoyment and there is a very helpful translator's note at the end of the audio, which explains the main cultural and historical references.
A first-class effort all round. It could be a tough act for Vermes to follow but I hope that J R-T will be persuaded to narrate more books in future.
"Really not great"
Nothing really, the book is interesting, but more from a meta perspective of the Germans trying to make hitler humorous than for any of the actual content
asides from being generally unfunny (in the same vein as the psycopath test in a lot of ways) the main downside is the book just randomly ends rather than having a proper conclusion.
i dunno really, the narration itself was fine, but overall didn't seam very inspiring
nobody, just needs some more development
"interesting take on genre"
This definitely lends itself to audio book format, really adds colour and depth to the characters. Interesting choice that they go for variations on british accents, but occasionally the main protagonist becoming very german. However, I think this is less of a distraction than if they had chosen to go down the root of shoddy, comic german impressions.
The first tv appearance of the Fuehrer. Even though it is funny, there is still a sense of how people can get drawn into a message, or interpret it as satire in the modern age. Narration was excellent for this section.
Hitler, no doubt. Other than coming and goings of accent, made him, colourful, comic and menacing in equal measure. Even on occasion sympathetic, which is an odd idea given you are aware of the evil committed by this man, but I am sure he probably was cordial to his typists and general staff, making him more human seems to make him all the more evil, rather than a cardboard cut out super villain.
If it were practical, yes.
Would recommend. Not often alternative history type books are funny, especially those that involve Hitler and the Nazis. Very good book, my only personal hang up is how Hitler got to be in the future and why, i know its not important to the story and doesn't impact the purpose of the narrative, just me being geeky and wanting it to be fully resolved
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