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.
"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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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 nightmare dressed up as a dream"
have not read print version. fantastic narration, one of the best I have heard in years.
hotel booker sabatsky because its becomes easier to see why people become enthusiastic for an ideology they know little about
recommend this book to anyone who has a vague psychological idea of how the whole human process of becoming involved in a movement bigger than oneself.
"A good satire a little heavy to digest at times."
“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
George Orwell, 1984
“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”
― George Orwell, 1984
Hitler is back, how; he just wakes up covered in petrol on a park and everything has changed except him, this part of the book is very funny, we see everything Through his eyes and mind, a twisted repellent place that can not be cleaned of oudious beliefs. As an exercise in satire it is funny on and off. While I was reading it I kept getting the feeling that of and ecco a recognition of something I had experienced before And then I realized--like I was shot...like I was shot with a diamond...a diamond bullet right through my forehead. the horror the horror; it was Borat, Borat acting as he always acts and no one daring to contradict or confront him and that why it works we have seen this act on tv and film and seen what fools
people are when confronted with absolute belief, we do not deare contradiction in case we are accused of prejudice or racism and we would act the same if Hitler was Borat if that makes any sense. Now the other cultural reference I got was from a film by Peter Sellers Being There. This are two brilliant ideas so if you cook with the best the results can not be bad and so it is with this book,a good satire a little heavy to digest at times.
"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.
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.
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