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Look Who's Back

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  34,008 ratings  ·  3,524 reviews
Berlin, Summer 2011. Adolf Hitler wakes up from a 66-year sleep in his subterranean Berlin bunker to find the Germany he knew entirely changed: Internet-driven media spreads ideas in minutes and fumes celebrity obsession; immigration has produced multicultural neighborhoods bringing together people of varying race, ethnicity, and religion; and the most powerful person in g ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 3rd 2014 by MacLehose Press (first published September 1st 2012)
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Boudewijn I started the book but left it halfway through. Although the comedy aspect is there, it becomes repetitive and the novelty wears off. After 150 pages,…moreI started the book but left it halfway through. Although the comedy aspect is there, it becomes repetitive and the novelty wears off. After 150 pages, it gets boring.(less)
Rohan This book is mainly critiquing our culture's tendencies to idolise celebrities, whoever they may be. So I guess there are parallels you can draw with …moreThis book is mainly critiquing our culture's tendencies to idolise celebrities, whoever they may be. So I guess there are parallels you can draw with Donald Trump, although, written in the German context, I don't think that is the main thing on the author's mind.(less)

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Average rating 3.43  · 
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 ·  34,008 ratings  ·  3,524 reviews

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Jul 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, german, 2013
Although I read this book in German, there are already lots of German reviews and it may get published in translation, so I'll review auf Englisch. The title translates as "He's Back" and it's about Hitler, who mysteriously reappears in Berlin in 2011 and becomes a TV star. His audience apparently believes him to be some kind of method actor or nth-degree Stephen Colbert character, and is alternately discomfited by his unironic profession of Nazi ideals and interested in his updated ideas, for e ...more
Oct 18, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
I read an excerpt of this book and I talked at length with someone who has read half of it before tossing it with disgust.

This book may read "funny", but to make a somewhat likable comic figure of the most cruel mass murderer the 20th century has seen is not only tasteless but dangerous.

Shame on anyone who writes a positive review on this book. Shame on anyone who buys this book or asks for this book at the library. Shame on anyone who supports the author and the publisher of this book with a si
howl of minerva
Do the Germans have the right to find Hitler funny? That's the (mistaken) question which seems to drive much of the controversy over this wildly popular novel in which Adolf Hitler, by mechanisms which are wisely left unexplained, returns from the dead and finds himself whole and well in modern day Germany. What does he make of the world and what does he do with himself?

He does what he does best: rapidly grasps a socio-political situation and delivers impassioned rants that lead to immediate sta
Nandakishore Mridula
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Most people have praised this witty satire, though a few elderly Germans and Holocaust survivors seem, for some unaccountable reason, to find it offensive. I do not properly understand their objections, and have decided to follow the majority opinion. My own contribution to this new and exciting genre is a screenplay based on the life of the late Jimmy Savile, the celebrated English entertainer and serial pedophile. Although in form a lighthearted sex comedy, the work, needless to say, in no way ...more
Mark Hebwood
Running into ideas

For the last few days I've been reading Timur's book, and yesterday I finished it. That is usually the time when I force my opinion on the world - it was time to leave a review on Goodreads.

As I was walking home after work, I thought about my upcoming review. What to say about this? What did I think? I wasn't sure. Actually, I had trouble deciding what this book was about...

Did it leave me with any lasting impressions? Not really. Any deeper insights? No. Anything lighter maybe
Katy Noyes
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

4.5 stars.

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 peo
Update, 24th July 2014

I think I can now safely assume that it's a generational thing. There's been a rather heated argument with an older female reviewer of this book, and I figured I'd ask my grandparents about their opinions on the book. My grandmother was born in 1937 in northern Germany, my grandfather 1933, equally in nothern Germany. As my grandpa was at that point old enough, he had had to join the Deutsche Jugend(German Youth - the group you entered before you entered the Hitler-Jugend).
Ms. Smartarse
Published in English, as Look Who's Back.

What would happen if Hitler woke up in present day Germany? How would he deal with the large number of foreign immigrants living in contemporary Germany, not to mention its political agenda?

If you're one to scoff at such a scenario, rest assured that the characters of this book did so as well ...with the exception of Hitler himself, of course. So, our most-hated-dictator ends up becoming a famous comedian. Let's face it: he couldn't REALLY be speaking se
Jr Bacdayan
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it

**Cue in 3, 2, 1**

Gagmez: Ladies and Gentlemen tonight we have a special guest. Tonight our beloved Fuhrer will have a special one on one interview with a formidable opponent. Has he finally met his match? Well, stay tuned and hold on tight to your seats if you want to find out, because tonight we have something really exceptional for you. Tonight we are graced by the presence of the man himself, the frontrunner and Republican Presidential Nominee Mr. Donald J.
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
"It is in times of crisis that the true Führer is revealed. When he shows his nerve, persistence, and sheer determination." ― Timur Vermes, Look Who's Back


"And of course without an established ideology, in the modern entertainment industry one hasn't got a chance, nor even a raison d'être. The rest is taken care of by history -- or the TV ratings."
― Timur Vermes, Look Who's Back

"The rest is silence. Left like sperm.
In a stranger's gut, waiting its term,
Each thought, each step lies; the roots
Well if I could I would give it 3.5 stars, but in my opinion it is not a "4" so 3 stars it is. I quite enjoyed it, in fact my enjoyment level fluctuated quite a lot. I liked the first third of the book then got a bit fed up after that as it got a bit repetitive. That is until the last third when I felt it picked up again, and finally it just ended so quickly, leaving me feeling bit like "and......". So thats why its only 3 stars.
As you can see it's taken me 2 months to read, and whilst that is n
Joana Marta
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fiction
The first thing was the hair.. I looked at the cover so white and I was like 'I know that hair from somewhere'. Then I approached the book and I was like: OH THAT'S ORIGINAL!!! After, it was the fact the title is making his mustache that made me laugh in the place I was. I couldn't avoid, it was too hilarious!!!

This book is really good... honestly, I doubt a second before if I should buy it or not.I was afraid this was one of those books with lame jokes about famous characters and so on, but hey
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Instead of dying in his bunker Hitler appears in the year 2011. For him the world is turned upside down!


Trying to remember last night - was it last night?
My first thought was, “What did I get up to last night?” Seeing as I do not drink, I could rule out any overindulgence in alcohol. The last thing I recalled was sitting on a sofa, a divan, with Eva. I also remembered that I was – or we were – feeling rather carefree; just for once I had decided to put the affairs of state to one side. We had n
Jonathan K
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Hoping for a hilarious journey akin to a Mel Brooks film, this library staff pick was disappointing. In concept the idea has merit but the author's sense of humor is subdued. It's slow moving and lackluster as well. Enough said. ...more
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.8 stars. I have mixed feelings about this book.

In Look Who's Back, Adolf Hitler mysteriously time-travels from the ending days of WWII to the 2011 Germany, so the guy naturally has a lot of catch-ups to do. So, what can the former dictator do in the age of reality TV shows, consumerism, EU and Neo-capitalism? Answer: becomes a TV star!

I do apprentice how the author managed to make his Hitler talks, thinks and behaves in the most believable way and I like how this guy (with his out-of-date-beli

Description: The next stop on Radio 4's literary journey across Europe is Timur Vermes' transgressive novel which topped the bestseller list in its native Germany.

Look Who's Back shocked and then thrilled over 1.5 million German readers with its bold approach to the most taboo of subjects - Adolf Hitler. David Threlfall stars as the infamous Nazi leader in this provocative satire.

Part 1: When Adolf Hitler wakes up in modern day Germany he is not pleased.
DNF at 16%

I thought I could, but I can't do this.
I don't drop reading at 99,9% cases, I get through real shit and this includes whole freaking series, not just one book. That's how I got through 50SoG, to say the least. But this one? I'm too disgusted to continue.

I get this. I really do. It's a satire. It shows how Germans as a nation and country changed, how Hitler would be now treated like a harmless fool, a clown maybe. How ridiculous his ideas and plans now seem to be. So laughable.

Only the
Sam Quixote
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Adolf Hitler awakens in 21st century Berlin, his last memories being in the Fuhrerbunker 70 years earlier before the Allies broke through. Though understandably perplexed by his situation, Hitler quickly adapts and is mistaken as a Hitler impersonator, the most dedicated method actor who never breaks character. He’s put on TV where he becomes a hit politically-incorrect “comic”. Hitler once more begins his rise to power in Germany…

Before picking it up, about the only thing I knew about Timur Ve
What if Hitler didn’t die in 1945 but, Rip Van Winkle-like, lay dormant until 2011 and emerged in near-contemporary Berlin? Such is the simple premise behind Vermes’s playful bestseller, which began as a succès de scandale in his native Germany and has spread worldwide. Heretofore, Christopher Goodwin writes in the London Times, “Germans have been terrified that humanizing Hitler in any way might lead to a resurgence of Nazism.”

Vermes’s Hitler seems something of a hapless buffoon. Sheltering wit
Liz Janet
True satire should make you uncomfortable with the raw truth it presents, much like Swift's A Modest Proposal, laughter should not be the only feeling while reading, the disgust must be there as well. This novel allows for it, showing how a man like Hitler, would not be as scrutinized for his ideals today as he was right after the Second World War, he becomes a representation of oppressive movements right now that are not being seen as a threat, even though they are.
In this novel Hitler gets tr
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intelligent, interesting and thought-provoking book

Hitler wakes up in 2011, having inexplicably time travelled from the 1940s. He has no recollection of the end of the war and is incredibly confused by modern Berlin. He is recognised instantly by those he crosses but nobody takes him seriously taking him for an actor or performance artist.

The humour derives from Hitler’s reactions to what he sees around him, his self-belief that it remains his destiny to lead Germany, and the reactions of tho
Greta G
Nov 27, 2016 marked it as only-saw-the-movie-or-series  ·  review of another edition
The film version was slightly funny but mostly, shocking.
And ultimately, that was the point of the film:
"Can it happen again ?"

0 Yes
0 No
0 Don't know
2.5/5 stars

I am so bummed that I'm not giving this a higher rating. When I first picked up this book, I was so excited to read it because the premise was so captivating. Yes, the premise was very intriguing, but the execution of the book just wasn't to my liking. I found it so hard to read this book and I was constantly putting it down. I was promised a funny book, but at times it felt like a history overload (not in a good way) rather than a political satire. I admit, I found many parts of the
Wiebke (1book1review)
Okay listening to the abridged version read by Christoph Maria Herbst seems to have been the best decision I made. I don't think I could've stayed any longer in Hitler's head.

First of all I was surprised how spot on the writing was at times, how the author uses Hitler's voice to criticize and comment on today's society, be it cultural or political.
The reader frequently finds themselves agreeing with things that are said, which in my case was always immediately followed by an awkward and uncomfo
Cold War Conversations Podcast

With all the fuss about this book, I felt I had to read it in order to form my own opinion.

It’s very much what I’d call a marmite book – some will love it and some will hate it. Those that will hate it will in the main be those that have either studied the 3rd Reich in detail or have been personally affected it.

I must admit I did feel a real unease reading this book. Whilst I’ll find Mel Brook’s “The Producers” funny this book is a very different proposition as it’s told from an imagined Hitler
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know many people will be completely opposed to this novel (and probably rightfully so) because, on the surface, this seems like a lighthearted story about Adolf Hitler. However, in today’s political climate, particularly in America, Look Who’s Back is a timely and important book to discuss, even if it is controversial.

The story starts in the summer of 2011 in Berlin, where Adolf Hitler wakes to find himself in a vacant lot. Through a series of strange events, he is offered a contract with a t
Charley Cook
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
I didn't rate this so low because of what you might know...the Hitler stuff, the story just didn't gel for me!
The characters were amazing and the simple idea of Hitler waking up in modern day Germany and not being taken seriously and being given his own parody comedy show is nothing short of brilliant. I just didn't feel like it was executed in the best way.
Maybe if i could read this in German and have a lot more knowledge on the war (i'm sure 75% of the references went straight ove
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This book interested me from its release; however, I could never find the conviction to read it. This seems over sensitive when crime fiction is full of murder, torture and innocent killings especially where missing childrn are concerned.
That said it didn't seem likely that I would get round to reading it anytime soon, with many more 'valid' and pressing books to read. The chance came through a reduced price audio book read by the brilliant and engaging Julian Rhind-Tutt. This further arosed my
Daniel Clausen
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-of-2020
I actually have a lot to say about this book, but will refrain for the time being and perhaps the extended future.

I doubt this simple book review will become a nest for poisonous partisan politics and political graffiti, but why take a chance.

Perhaps the best way to sum up the myriad thoughts I have for this book is: Of course he's back. He always comes back!
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Vermes was born in Nuremberg in 1967. His father fled from Hungary after the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. After graduation, he studied history and politics in the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Since then he has been a journalist for tabloids such as the Munich Abendzeitung and the Cologne Express among other newspapers. In 2007 he started to ghostwrite books, including a bo ...more

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