Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Book Review: Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes
An extraordinary example of a book that cannot be judged without delving beyond the cover. This public snigger inducing work is a daring first person narrative of one of the most demonised personalities of history...waking up on a patch of Berlin waste ground in a petrol soaked military jacket in summer 2011. His only clear recollection of the night before was of showing Eva his pistol.
He is mistaken as a method actor unable to break character and becomes an internet sensation. The book is a razor sharp satire of a man transplanted out of time and his observations of the social and political world about him. The voice that emerges is strangely compelling as much as it is repellent. The comedic pace is unremitting and multi layered. Not just acute observation but many farcical scenes of interaction with the modern world. Hitler unable to operate his mobile phone or the over enthusiastic secretary whose only awareness of Hitler is from cinema who believes she must shout and screech everything at him are delightful. Yes, as a reader you will squirm as you delight in Herr Hitler skewering modern society only to return to the narrow prism of his nationalist world view.
An enjoyable read and a thought provoking premise that will have you grinning on the tram as the Zombie hordes around you churn out pointless emoticon messages or swipe lines of digital fruit. Hitler in the book talks of his plans to restrict smart phone use to non Germanic populations, due to the dangerous distractions they cause, you will wince as you look around you!
The book caused a sensation upon publication in Germany. Breaching the Hitler taboo and encouraging an earnest debate. The critical acclaim and respect led to the book being made into a successful film as well, but unless you can speak German you will need to watch it with subtitles!
Godwin's Law is an internet truism that states the longer a conversation continues on the internet, the
probability that someone or something will be compared to Hitler increases. In a world where you could be forgiven for thinking the name of the President of the United States is “Literally Hitler” this book is an ambitious and brave story that makes for compelling, thought provoking and strangely enjoyable reading.
Available on Amazon