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Look Who's Back cover art

Look Who's Back

Written by: Timur Vermes
Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
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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

Critic Reviews

“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 listeners say about Look Who's Back

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Light thoughtful audible

Julian Rhind-Tutt is a brilliant narrator. His balanced and nuanced portrayal of this book, despite some of its grim content in relation to Hitler (his iconic rants) interspersed with good comedic moments, is a delight to listen to.

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  • Eggert Eggertsson
  • 29-12-18

Brilliant satire

I had my doubts when I bought it. Hitler is probably the most hated man in history and how can a English man narrate it! Well I decided to go for it and took it as it is, a satire and gave the English man a chance. I did not regret it. Julian Rhind-Tutt is simply brilliant and very funny with all his "Lol" and "Omg" or whatever. He is hilarious as furious Hitler and although speaking English he pronounces all the German names and sites in perfect German (I think). Of course you cannot read or listen to a book like that without thinking about all the history and what if it would happen again. But as Hitler says in the book...."It was not all bad" ...or was it?

1 person found this helpful

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  • John
  • 31-05-19

love it

extremly entertaining..i love hitler now..he shld def come back...wld have a lot of votes. Germans prob still suffer from shame they shld not have

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  • Nimrod Ken Dror
  • 30-05-18

very original story

the narrators performance is amazing! , story starts really good but slowly declines afterwards. overall its a good book.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 20-02-17

Funniest book I've ever read!

I loved it. This is the ultimate form of contemporary satire. Bringing today and history together is perfect for both reflection and a jolly good laugh.

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  • Greg D. Joffe
  • 15-10-15

Not funny

Hitler wakes up and it is 60 years later. As one of the minor characters says 'he wasn't funny then and he is exactly the same - not funny now"

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  • Vira
  • 26-07-14

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.

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  • Kaggy
  • 13-07-14

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.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Tob
  • 03-04-14

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.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Evolutionary Artefact
  • 16-09-14

Superb satire on modern life

A very funny and perceptive book, superbly performed by Julian Rhind-Tutt. Timur Vermes' Hitler is a horribly plausible mixture of kindly gent and dictatorial megalomaniac. His pedantic inner dialogue brings Adrian Mole irresistibly to mind - up to the point where it spins from 'A leads to B leads to C therefore millions must die'.

The device of voicing Hitler with a German accent and the other characters in modern-day English emphasises the central character's cuckoo-like situation. I enjoyed the allegorical side of the novel - the parallels between the modern entertainment business's misjudgement of the fictional Hitler in the story and the political establishment's misjudgements in the 1930s. Even more fun is the Führer's incomprehension of modern habits like picking up after one's dog and his withering assessments of modern-day institutions like the tabloid press: 'The deaf man writes down what the blind man told him, the village idiot edits it and the other press houses copy it'.

Some of the satire is aimed at modern German politics, which is bound to go over the head of non-German readers. However, that only detracts slightly from the enjoyment and there is a very helpful translator's note at the end of the audio, which explains the main cultural and historical references.

A first-class effort all round. It could be a tough act for Vermes to follow but I hope that J R-T will be persuaded to narrate more books in future.

23 people found this helpful

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  • W
  • 16-06-14

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.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Me
  • 06-05-14

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.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Martin
  • 07-07-14

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.

14 people found this helpful

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  • pippin66
  • 08-04-14

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.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 08-06-14

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.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Robyn
  • 14-07-16

Jury's out on this one....

I'm not too sure what to make of this one. This is a book review, so I'm trying to avoid making any political statements here....

I know it's supposed to just be satire, but there's not enough of the satirical stuff to avoid my feeling uncomfortable with all the racist rants. I'm not wholly convinced I understand the author's intentions with this book. Lines like "it wasn't all bad", just didn't sit comfortably with me..... Good idea, well narrated, just not for me.

11 people found this helpful

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  • JvF
  • 01-06-14

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.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 26-01-19

political and social commentary

most people hear about this book because its 'funny' or a 'great satire'. Those two facts are just consequences of the supurb insight and freakish foresight of the author who writes in a light and witty tone. by its nature this book is different because you can never develope or redeem a character which is written to be "literally Adolf Hitler". Finishes well, is the right length, builds a very engaging world of modern germany around the main character. Weirdly the narrator voices everyone in these broad cockney/british accents but I think thats just cause its the English lanague version of how they are interpreted in German (working class, rural like, or crippled with teenage-slur).
a fine little book that you will get more thought out of than enjoyment.

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  • Jerry Furnell
  • 23-12-17

Funny at first but the same joke gets old.

Heard the movie was funny... however, the book got lots of chuckles at first but went dry pretty quickly for my taste.

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  • Howard K
  • 31-10-17

Very funny and clever but the main joke gets a bit old

Very funny and clever but the main joke gets a bit old by the end. Great performance probably the best I have heard.

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  • ali
  • 04-09-17

enjoyable

As a history graduate with a keen interest in the history of Nazi Germany and a new fan of comedy audio books, I have to say I enjoyed every aspect of this book. The character development was great, the story line was interesting and captivating, and to top if off, the narration was beyond awesome.

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  • Mario Gudelj
  • 24-07-17

This book is an absolute gold!

You'll be laughing out loud the whole way through. It's the best piss-take on the modern society. And it also carries the warning. I think that warning is that a deluded maniac will even today find an audience, just like he did in 1930's and 1940's, as long as he is convinced that what he does is for the good of the people. But what it does is it explores this taboo topic in German society really well.