Review: Look Who’s Back – Timur Vermes.

hitlerIt’s Summer 2011 in Berlin. It’s a normal day: Adolf Hitler wakes up, having lost the last few decades somehow. Look Who’s Back begins with people taking his impeccable look as him being a dedicated lookalike unwilling to break character, but then – of course – he goes viral. Youtube star with his own TV show, he’s pretty much set to get this shambles of a country he somehow left back on track.

It is, frankly, the most bizarre book you’re likely to read in a long time.

Hitler is so out of whack with how people actually remember him in history that he continues obliviously. All he knows is people believe he died. At first he’s outraged when people don’t greet him with a Nazi salute and refer to him accordingly. Then he’s frustrated at those who question his attire, or don’t agree with his controversial beliefs.

When being offered a stand up skit, the epitome of him missing the modern point occurs when a producer type says they need to agree that Jews are not funny i.e. keep them out of the ol’ Adolf routine. “Finally, someone who understands me,” he thinks.

From a non-German point of view, I felt a bit out of the loop on certain references to the modern world there, but otherwise it’s fine. I can see why this offends a number of people, but I can also see that the idea of Adolf Hitler being irrelevant, lost, and the butt of the joke is appealing to many as well. It does have an ominous tone though, as he uses his new found fame to try recruit followers once more.

The worrying thing is, if by some unnatural feat Hitler did wake up in modern day Germany, it’s not exactly farfetched that he’d become a viral star. He’d be punished beyond belief, but probably with an MTV camera crew close by.

[★★★]
Pub: 3rd April 2014 | Quercus / MacLehose  Press
@heathermmcd

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