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A popular German satirical novel about Adolf Hitler who wakes up in modern Berlin to find life has changed!

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Den scores




365 pages

‘Look Who’s Back’ is a popular German satirical novel originally published in 2011 about Adolf Hitler who wakes up in modern Berlin to find himself clashing with a new world order. Following its success, the novel has been translated into English (2014) and the basis for a black comedy film of the same name (2015) which has been aired on leading TV platforms. A daring novel written by German journalist, history scholar and ghostwriter, Timur Vermes - for readers looking for a Wild Card choice that will challenge and shake up any book club.

It’s Berlin 2011 and the Führer has woken up to find life has changed - no Eva Braun, no Nazi party and no war. In fact he barely recognises the new Fatherland now filled with immigrants - and with a woman in charge (Angela Murkel)! Rising from the ashes - a patch of earth, Hitler dusts down his uniform and is welcomed as a comic impersonator who refuses to break character.

This novel is shocking and challenging in equal measure as we the reader are lured into the story, told from Hitler’s perspective. However we clearly recognise his insanity and how his thinking is completely at odds with his community and us the readers.

The premise of a historical figure waking up in modern times gives rise to plenty of amusing encounters and it was easy to imagine the surprise and incredulity from our own ancestors and deceased elders, let alone a dictator. There were plenty of comic moments as the twentieth century character comes to terms with technology and communication and simple modern day conveniences such as self service shopping and local chemists in which Mr Boots will not be serving you! The comical aspect of the story lures the reader into the novel and it seems very plausible to imagine how such a monstrous leader and personality might rise to fame in the modern world. In this case, the 'impersonator' is loved for his authenticity and comic genius - always appearing in character (whilst we the reader understand this is the real Hitler). In fact, Hilter’s grotesque slanders finds him further notoriety and adoration amongst his fans.

The outrageous satire sparked lively discussion in our book club and it was easy to see how modern day leaders and personalities can easily exploit social media platforms to spin stories and manipulate its audiences. This was a chilling read and warning to all on how the unthinkable can happen - without even considering the emergence of AI and deep fake resources.

This won’t be a choice for all book clubs - but it certainly is a Wild Card option!

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