LOOK WHO'S BACK by Timur Vermes
ABOUT: In the novel, Adolf Hitler wakes up in 2011 from a 66-year sleep in his underground Berlin bunker to find the Germany he knew entirely changed: Internet-driven media spreads ideas in minutes and fumes celebrity obsession; immigration has produced multicultural neighborhoods bringing together people of varying race, ethnicity, and religion; and the most influential person in government is a woman. Hitler is immediately recognized...as an impersonator of uncommon skill. The public assumes the fulminating leader of the Nazi party is a performer who is always in character, and soon his inevitable viral appeal begets YouTube stardom, begets television celebrity on a Turkish-born comedian's show. His bigoted rants are mistaken for a theatrical satire-exposing prejudice and misrepresentation-and his media success emboldens Hitler to start his political party and set the country he finds a shambles back to rights.
With daring and dark humor, Look Who's Back skewers the absurdity and depravity of the cult of personality in modern media culture.
REVIEW: Mr. Timur Vermes brings beautiful and eloquent writing with an intelligent vocabulary to this enjoyable satire. The idea is brilliant and quite entertaining despite the main character's horror. Laughs are coming from the very first page, and we also owe this to the beautiful translation of Jamie Bulloch, who delivered a very fluid English writing style. One example? When Hitler is asked what he thinks of newspapers: "The deaf man writes down what the blind man has told him, the village idiot edits it, and their colleagues in the other press houses copy it." A good moment, by all means, makes us think about our time today and...to enjoy it!