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Look Who's Back | [Timur Vermes]

Look Who's Back

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (11 )
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3.9 (11 )
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  •  
    Vira 07-26-14
    Vira 07-26-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Read the book instead..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend the "book", but not the audiobook.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Didn't like any, due to the delivery of the narrator.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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...


    Do you think Look Who's Back needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Why not, but then it should be narrated by someone else.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results
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  • Wendy
    Ramsgate, United Kingdom
    6/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Tob
    4/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hilter Springer Show"
    If you could sum up Look Who's Back in three words, what would they be?

    Hitler haunts Berlin.


    What other book might you compare Look Who's Back to, and why?

    1984 but funny.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    When Hitler realised it was 2011.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book is hilarious yet sometimes inspiring.


    Any additional comments?

    I wouldn't recommend it to anyone emotionally connected with the WWII period.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Kent, United Kingdom
    5/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • alison
    cheltenham, United Kingdom
    4/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "brilliant"
    Any additional comments?

    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.
    Buy it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Kaggy
    Kent, United Kingdom
    7/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Cork, Ireland
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jenny Herter
    6/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hilarious!"
    Where does Look Who's Back rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Look Who's Back to, and why?

    Er Ist Wieder Da, because it's the original in German.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed so much on so many occasions. See, Germans do have humour.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Enfield, United Kingdom
    6/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a nightmare dressed up as a dream"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Look Who's Back to be better than the print version?

    have not read print version. fantastic narration, one of the best I have heard in years.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    hotel booker sabatsky because its becomes easier to see why people become enthusiastic for an ideology they know little about


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Giovanna
    Varberg, Sweden
    5/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great satire"
    What did you like most about Look Who's Back?

    The character of Hitler was scary and sympathetic at the same time. It was actually presented as a human being, without denying his deeds.


    What does Julian Rhind-Tutt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Julian Rhind-Tutt was the best narrator this book could get. He made the story alive and made you feel like it was the real Hitler talking. I loved the fact that he used a marked British accent for all the other characters but Hitler, which was having a German accent. His German is great!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I wouldn't use the word moved, but it was interesting to hear on how Hitler was developing feelings for the people he met.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stefan
    5/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best satire ever!"

    This is so good. You will crack up with laughter! Due to the seriousness of the subject matter it is also very suspenseful.

    Only thing I would critize is a small factual mistake in the translator's afterword. I.G. Farben did not invent or produce Zyklon B. That was done by Degesch. Which as a subsidiary of Degussa, which was forced to sell stakes in the company to I.G. Farben (a classic anti trust measure in Germany). I. G. Farben was first on trial and got the hardest section of the blame. Anywho that is a minor point (written the translator).

    Buy it now. You will not regret it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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