Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes

bookshelves: radio-4, play-dramatisation, germany, alternative-history, satire, published-2012, translation, amusing, berlin, autumn-2015

Read from October 20, 2013 to October 05, 2015


Description: The next stop on Radio 4’s literary journey across Europe is Timur Vermes’ transgressive novel which topped the bestseller list in its native Germany.

Look Who’s Back shocked and then thrilled over 1.5 million German readers with its bold approach to the most taboo of subjects – Adolf Hitler. David Threlfall stars as the infamous Nazi leader in this provocative satire.

Part 1: When Adolf Hitler wakes up in modern day Germany he is not pleased. The war is lost. The Nazi party is defunct. And his beloved Fatherland is being run by a woman. He decides to re-take control. Only this time, mistaken for a comedy impersonator, his road to power is paved with TV stardom and internet fame.

Part 2: Having woken up in modern day Berlin Adolf Hitler decides he needs to re-take control of his beloved Fatherland. But when he is mistaken for a comedy impersonator by TV Executives, rather than running the country, he finds himself the star of a satirical show. As his rants against foreigners and current politics increase in popularity, so does his power over the German people.

Originally I had dismissed this as a viable encounter, then BBC decided to air it and I jumped in for a looksee. Have little idea why this is considered controversial, ‘Look Who’s Back’ is sub-par satire, a poor cousin to, say, the Downfall parodies, The Great Dictator, Springtime, etc. Of course, there is the aspect where Berliners, then entire Germany become mesmerised by him all over again…


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