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Er ist wieder da: Der Roman by Timur Vermes
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Er ist wieder da: Der Roman (original 2012; edition 2013)

by Timur Vermes

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Title:Er ist wieder da: Der Roman
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Er ist wieder da by Timur Vermes (2012)

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» See also 17 mentions

English (11)  German (9)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Off beat ,irreverent satire. Loses a lot in translation
Not humorous at times ( )
  sogamonk | Aug 7, 2014 |
Is it morally acceptable to feature Hitler as the rather likeable protagonist of a comic novel? Is it in good taste to turn a mass murderer into a figure of fun? These questions naturally come to mind when faced with Timur Vermes's first novel. The premise is simple - Hitler inexplicably wakes up in modern day Berlin and, mistaken for an uncannily brilliant method actor, lands a programme on national tv. Much of the resulting humour is, predictably, based on the reverse anachronisms raised by the Rip-van-Winkle situation. Hitler is astounded by the technological advances such as the "mouse device", the "internetwork" and the "Vikipedia", which he believes is named after the "intrepid explorer Teutons of old". He is flummoxed by the sight of "madwomen" walking their dogs and cleaning up after them,cannot understand why his goth scretary does not wear wholesome, colourful clothing and is impressed that Herr Starbuck has apparently taken over all the coffee houses in Berlin.

Vermes makes the most out of these scenes, but he is most incisive when he uses his character to satirize modern-day society, politics and media. On the whole, therefore, an entertaining and occasionally thought-provoking read. What is pleasantly surprising is that although the humour is probably quite culture and language-specific, the English translation is zesty, flowing and idiomatic. Kudos to Jamie Bulloch fo this. ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Jul 31, 2014 |
This book takes as its starting point the reappearance of (the real) Hitler in 2011 Berlin and what ensues from there as he tries to discover what has happened to the world in his absence. The cover of my copy describes this novel as "a merciless satire" and I think this is quite accurate. Hitler finds his way onto TV and at once becomes immensely popular - people of course think he is an impersonator but they start to rally to what he is saying (which is exactly the same as what he said in the 1930's). And that is what is frightening - as Hitler points out he was elected to government by the Volk the first time - they were not overwhelmingly coerced into voting for him - could it happen a again? #TimurVermes ( )
  PennyAnne | Jul 27, 2014 |
First published on Booking in Heels.

I was hooked on Look Who's Back by the end of the third page. Adolf Hitler wakes up in modern-day Berlin and is surprised to discover that his last order, to raze the city to the ground, wasn't carried out. By his reckoning, Germany shouldn't exist at all and he's a little annoyed that it does, actually. The novel and I just 'clicked,' and I settled down this odd but engaging book in one sitting.

I especially enjoyed Hitler's assumptions about modern life. It's fascinating how he interprets simple things like the amount of people picking up their dog's waste and the prevalence of mobile phones. He decides that modern slang and language was implemented purposefully in order to allow the Turkish workers access to a simple language suitable for their lesser intellect.

The story never even tries to explain why he suddenly ended up in 2011, but that's alright. It's hardly the point of the story and I'd rather it didn't bother than came up with some half-arsed, silly reasoning. What's more interesting is Hitler's own rationale about why he's been sent forward in time, which is basically that the country has gone to the dogs and the time is right for him to step forward and save it from the incompetant female Chancellor, the European Union and, of course, the Jews.

It's not pro-Hitler or anti-Hitler - it's actually as objective as something like this could be. Occasionally I started to sympathise with his lonely, befuddled character but then he would demonstrate his true views and I'd feel revolted all over again. It doesn't make apologies for his decisions, policies or views but it does explore what might have been going through his head at the time.

It's written very, very well in a slightly formal tone (as one would expect from Hitler, I suppose) but it still remains accessible. I don't think the title fits with the tone of the book but that's most likely down to a poor translation. I do think that you'd need a certain amount of history knowledge, mostly relating to World War II, as words like lebensraum and the Treaty of Versaille are bandied about. I got by just fine with GCSE History but you'd need to know something to fully appreciate Look Who's Back.

The knowledge and detail that have gone into this book is astounding. Mr Vermes even knows how much the chandeliers in the Reich Chancellery weigh! This isn't some silly book and I'm surprised that the review quotes on the cover mention how funny it is, because I don't see it that way at all. It's obviously not meant to be taken that seriously, but it's not comical either.

In a way, it's actually kind of terrifying. I hope somebody pretending to be Adolph Hitler and spouting his views on national television wouldn't really amuse the nation to that extent. If somebody like him devolves into just a joke, then how would we recognise it if it happened again? Would the fictional audience in the novel still be laughing if they realised it really was Hitler? Probably not. Perhaps we don't take World War II as seriously as we should.

The basic point, or the one I took away, is that Hitler was elected once, by a rational, logical society. We look back at what a tyrant he was but at the time an unhappy body of people just voted for a strong man with strong views. He was a person, not a boogeyman. These are the things we need to remember in order to prevent it ever happening again. ( )
  generalkala | May 23, 2014 |
Sehr lustig, aber nicht ganz überzeugend durchgehalten ( )
  pepe68 | Apr 14, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Timur Vermesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andersson, KarinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bulloch, JamieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slobodan DamnjanovićTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Narod me je strašno iznenadio.
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Summer 2011. Berlin. Adolf Hitler wakes up on a patch of 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, though - as a brilliant, satirical impersonator who refuses to break character. The unthinkable, the inevitable, happens, and the ranting Hitler takes off, goes viral, becomes a YouTube star, gets his own TV show, becomes someone who people listen to. All the while he's still trying to convince people that yes, it really is him, and yes, he really means it. Look Who's Back is a black and brilliant satire of modern media-bloated society, seen through the eyes of the Fuhrer himself. Adolf is by turns repellent, sympathetic and hilarious, but always fascinating. Look Who's Back is outrageously clever, outrageously funny - and outrageously plausible.… (more)

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