Look Who’s Back: By Timur Vermes

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Hitler in the twenty first century: Hilarious satirical novel.

I know, it just seems so wrong, doesn’t it? But this very clever fictional account of the fuhrer is just so very funny and I recommend it wholeheartedly; it’s sure to tickle your funny bone.

The book has been a best seller in Germany (yes, in Germany) and has been translated into twenty seven (yes, twenty seven) languages including English (and yes, reviews have been very mixed. But here’s mine).

Look who's back

Before we get into the subject of whether Hitler is a suitable subject for satire, let’s explore the plot a little. One morning Hitler awakes and finds that he is in a vacant lot in Berlin. How did that happen? The last thing he remembered he was in the bunker with Eva Braun. His main thought is to return to the bunker but what has happened? Things seem to have changed so much.

Gradually, over the next couple of hours,  he realises that it is no longer 1945. Adolf Hitler has inexplicably been transported to 2011. What does he think about the twenty first century? How will he fare? To give you an example, he was horrified to learn that Germany was being run by a woman. And a dumpy little woman, at that.

Should we laugh at Hitler?

Yes, we know he was a monster. And we should never forget the horrors he perpetrated. We never will. But making him a figure of fun – showing how ridiculous he was and how his ideas were so extreme – you might negate the power that his memory has in history.

There are those who will read serious non-fiction books about Hitler and the Nazis but there are many, especially from younger generations, who will not. But they will read a satirical novel that gets the message across with humour – and its serious undertone. Hollywood legend – and incidentally Jewish – Mel Brooks put it best:

“I was never crazy about Hitler… If you stand on a soapbox and trade rhetoric with a dictator you never win … That’s what they do so well: they seduce people. But if you ridicule them, bring them down with laughter, they can’t win. You show how crazy they are.”

So what happens to Hitler in the twentieth century?

It’s assumed by all that he is a Hitler impersonator; a particularly brilliant one. As such, he appears on a TV comedy show and becomes a You Tube sensation. He experiences the internet, cellphones and the ‘celebrity culture’.

It does make you wonder what would have happened if Hitler’d had access to the internet in the nineteen thirties … oh, are we – the public – so easily manipulated?

Read reviews at Amazon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

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Author: Jackie Jackson

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