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Comment: Exlibrary hardcover book in dust jacket- general reader wear & minor corner dings. Has all the usual library marks, stickers, and stamps.
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Look Who's Back Hardcover – May 5, 2015

4.1 out of 5 stars 215 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Look Who's Back, the film, is coming to Netflix April 9, 2016!

An Independent Best Books of the Year selection
A New York Times Summer Reading Pick


"You know his name. You know his face. You know his hair and mustache, which are caricatured with sharp, witty minimalism on the cover of "Look Who's Back," in which a baffled Adolf Hitler is returned to the even more baffled German people. Now you'll also know Timur Vermes, whose debut novel has created a sensation in Germany. [Look Who's Back] is desperately funny . . . Mr. Vermes has created an ingenious comedy of errors in which the jokes are either on Hitler's misapprehensions about the modern world or the modern world's refusal to take him at face value . . . Read this book."
Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Very funny . . . The frisson of reading "Look Who's Back" comes from its seamless transition from Borscht Belt one-liners to disturbing invocations of the legacies of Nazi rule. Mr. Vermes gives us a bracingly double-sided Hitler-the arresting public speaker and astute negotiator who loves dogs and small children, and also the fanatical champion of political violence, global tyranny and ethnic cleansing . . . Translator Jamie Bulloch helps by providing a glossary at the close of the book, but what people will remember is his perfect rendering of the ridiculously orotund, yet oddly compelling, manner of Hitler's speechifying."
Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

"We're startled into a genuine laugh . . . Vermes plays all of this straight, or at least deadpan. He is not a historian, but his presentation of the minutiae of Hitler's life amounts to an impressive feat of historical research . . . the ventriloquism here is impressive . . . The most striking and provocative feature of the narrative, in fact, is not the decision to resurrect Hitler but the choice to use him as a first-person narrator - to risk telling us more about Hitler than could be known, in Forster's phrase.―Daniel Torday, The New York Times

"Look Who's Back is Hitler satire at its best . . . while there has been much debate over whether or why it's appropriate to laugh at Vermes's relentless Hitler satire, this well-researched and uproariously cringe-worthy book makes it hard not to . . . It is ultimately a sort of commentary on Hitler's first ascent to power-on the point at which a charismatic man starts being taken seriously, and what that transition entails . . . laugh-out-loud funny."―Kira Bindrim, Newsweek

"A hilarious, yet poignant look at today's world through the eyes of one of its most horrific villains . . . the political and social satires translate will through the language barrier as the translator, Jamie Bulloch, did a fantastic job in the writing."―Seattle Post Intelligencer

"Look Who's Back offers searing cultural and political commentary in the guise of a wildly entertaining story."―Paste Magazine

"[A] wickedly satiric first novel . . . Hitler is, of course, deadly serious, and the dissonance between his earnest bigotry and the vacuousness of our media-soaked age is the comic grist that propels the novel toward its truly ironic conclusion. While German journalist ­Vermes has a good deal to say about the state of contemporary Germany, his reach here is more universal, as he's crafted a sardonic send-up of a media and a world where the message doesn't matter so long as your ratings are high and your videos go viral on YouTube."―Library Journal

"Thrillingly transgressive"―The Guardian

"The joke is not on the reanimated Fuhrer, spouting predictably on immigrant and Jews, but on the ironic flippancy of the YouTube generation . . . rollickingly enjoyable."―Angel Gurria-Quintana, The Financial Times

"It is 2011 and Hitler is back and going viral in a darkly entertaining satire."―The Sunday Times

"Hilarious . . . The appeal of the story is our our own reaction to a monster's view of how we live today. And being chilled by our own empathy with his disgust toward the media, politicians, government and, of course, technology . . .Vermes could have made the star of this book anyone from history. He's really telling us about ourselves."―Esther Cepeda, Washington Post syndicated columnist

"For Vermes's novel is not so much a satire on Third Reich revisionism and nostalgia--although that plays its part--as on the blank ironies of amoral and fad-crazy multi-platform media. For parallels, think Sacha Baron Cohen and Chris Morris. The undead Fuhrer gets his first big break on a show hosted by a Turkish-origin comedian called Ali Gagmez."

Bolyd Tonkin, The Independent

"Packed with wry, close-to-the-knuckle hilarity, and builds to a gloriously ironic conclusion."―Mail on Sunday

"Both funny and frightening, this is a subtle, historical study of the commanding nature of a fanatical demagogue, as well as a savage critique of contemporary western culture . . . a powerful and important book."―Sue Gaisford, The Independent on Sunday

"Very funny"―Financial Times

About the Author

The son of a German mother and a Hungarian father who fled the country in 1956, Timur Vermes was born in Nuremberg in 1967. He studied history and politics and went on to become a journalist. He has written for the Abendzeitung and the Cologne Express and worked for various magazines. He has ghostwritten several books since 2007. This is his first novel.

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR: Jamie Bulloch's translations include Ruth Maier's Diary, Portrait of a Mother as a Young Women by F. C. Delius, and novels by Paulus Hochgatterer and Daniel Glattauer.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press (May 5, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1623653339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1623653330
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy. **3.5 stars***

Summer 2011. Berlin. Adolf Hitler wakes up on a patch of 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, though – as a brilliant, satirical impersonator who refuses to break character. The unthinkable, the inevitable, happens, and the ranting Hitler takes off, goes viral, becomes a YouTube star, gets his own TV show, becomes someone who people listen to. All while he’s still trying to convince people that yes, it really is him, and yes, he really means it.

There have already been mixed opinions on this one – basically surrounding the sense or not of writing what is basically a comedy of errors and making one of the most villified characters in history – Hitler – its main protagonist. Before I dived in, I read several online discussions, a few non-spoiler reviews and was intrigued to see just what all the fuss was about…

How did I find it? Well I laughed a lot, sometimes in a vaguely guilty way admittedly. Mainly in the portions that dealt with Hitler’s interactions with the media – where they are assuming he is an impersonator, of course, and he is solidly and absolutely himself. Add to that, especially in the early chapters, his despair at the state of the world – and his discovery of television cookery shows – and the whole thing is ironically amusing.

I can see it would be fairly easy to find a reason to be offended by this book but I see no need.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Brief synopsis: Hitler wakes up in 2011 wearing his recognizable uniform (a time traveller perhaps?) unaware that the war finished many decades ago. As you can imagine, there is lots of room for interesting ideas to be developed as he wanders around Berlin trying to make sense of his surroundings, the modern technologies readily available, while still holding on to his old values, ideologies etc. Hitler is the narrator and the image that is painted of him is that of the Everyman. The dialogue in some places is reminiscent of Mein Kampf, which lends more credibility to the narrator's speaking voice.
I can (kind of) see why some people found this work in poor taste and questioned whether it was all right to tackle such a subject for the purpose of satire or comedy. The truth is there is no real need to feel this way. There will always be arguments from both sides. Personally, I am of the belief that we should remember what happened but we should also not lose our sense of humour.
I have read a tremendous amount of literature on the Holocaust and instead of looking at this book as though the author were making fun of something terrible in our human history why not change the perspective and look at it this way: This is a book about Hitler's perspective of our world today. Surely not such a bad thing. I think that this was the author's actual intent. It is certainly a clever idea and that alone was reason enough for me to give the book a try.
Yes, Hitler was, and still is, in this novel an ill-mannered, boorish and odious individual, but the world is filled with such people. Not all protagonists have to be likeable.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is such a hard book to review! Translated superbly by Jamie Bulloch (whose work we have encountered in the Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke, also set in Berlin) it has a wonderfully fluid writing style. It also has a cover that is so eye catching and raises a few eyebrows when folks catch sight of the stylised hair; and, really, is that the matching moustache? I KNOW the question you are dying to ask and it certainly is who you think it is delineated on the cover! Is this a risky book cover???? Would love to hear what you think!

It’s 2011 and (the real) Adolf Hitler awakens from some unaccounted slumbers and finds himself in a park in full regalia. A newspaper vendor, who has a kiosk in the park, takes him under his wing and soon sets up a meeting for him with a TV production company. They are fully of the belief that this Adolf is clearly a committed Method Actor who takes his art super seriously and pretty immediately they give him a slot on the Gagmez TV show. Adolf’s media presence balloons, just as it did in the 1930s. He soon insinuates himself into the public eye, and his appearances become the hot topic for discussion across society.

In essence this is a satirical look at celebrity and the role the media plays in bringing and then maintaining certain people in the media spotlight. It’s comical side in part stems from Hitler observing 21st century German (and international) culture through the lens of someone who has missed the build up to the modern day for the last 50 years or so. He cannily observes the politicians, there are wry comments about Chancellor Angela being a shapeless old trout; or Putin being a sop to his fellow countrymen by posing without his shirt on (remember those photos?).
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