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German publishing sensation Er Ist Wieder Da (working title: Look Who’s Back) continues to make headlines around the world ahead of its April 2014 publication by MacLehose press.
This week alone Timur Vermes’ black satire, in which Adolf Hitler wakes up, confused but very much alive, in contemporary Berlin, has been featured in the Guardian and the Telegraph , which praised the “pitch-black prose” and “relentlessly dark” humour of Vermes’ debut novel.
Er Ist Wieder Da has sold over 400,000 copies in Germany, stubbornly refusing to shift from the top of the bestseller charts and kindling furious debate in the German media about the book’s taste – though no-one denies its hilarity.
Once Hitler works out where, and when, he is, he sets about trying to understand this strange new Germany, with its Turkish newspapers and its media executives, and in doing so unwittingly becomes an “ironic” Youtube sensation, critically-lauded “impersonator”, a TV personality, and someone whose opinion is listened to.
Er Ist Wieder Da: Springtime 2014 is for Hitler. . .
Wonderful article in BookBrunch yesterday on Timur Vermes’s “audacious German bestseller” Look Who’s Back:
In mid-January, a somewhat unusual email popped up in the inboxes of book trade people across Britain. My Volk, it began,
In 2011, I found myself alive and well in Berlin with no Reich Chancellery and no Führerbunker. The city which now lay before me was quite different from the one I remembered from 1945, yet I was, more or less, the same – once I got everything back to the way it should be.
As luck would have it I met some television executives, including my soon-to-be right-hand man Sawatzki, and the rest – as they say – is history. I now have my own television show, which is a ratings hit. Important moments in history must be recorded for posterity; to that end I have compiled my astute observations in a book which I have called Look Who’s Back. I am not too modest to say it has been a phenomenal success in the Fatherland. Now it is your turn to show me what you can do. Make me proud!
There was a PS directing readers to a video.
It is of course all part of the campaign for Timur Vermes’ audacious debut novel Look Who’s Back, which made news back last year when Katharina Bielenberg acquired it for MacLehose Press. In Germany, where Hitler is (let’s say) a particularly sensitive subject, the review pages were a little slow off the mark, but they were quick to pick up when word-of-mouth propelled the novel into the bestseller lists.
We’re publishing Look Who’s Back here in the UK on the 3rd April! Can’t wait? Neither can we!
(Whole article is over at BookBrunch, but you’ll need to subscribe!)
Happy New Year from all of us. Whether you spend it looking who’s back, learning the truth about Harry Quebert, hearing news from Berlin or wallowing in the Library of Unrequited Love, we hope you have a wonderful 2014!
Already planning for 2014? We know how you feel. Here’s a selection of books for you to look forward to the first six months of the year, including pioneering culinary-historical-crime fiction from Italy, a dark thriller from France, and something rather special from Germany . . .
Otto de Kat is indisputably a brilliant writer, but in NEWS FROM BERLIN (January) he’s now managed to unite that talent with a gripping plot, for what might well be his breakout novel. A Dutch diplomat during the Second World War discovers some potentially earth-shattering information – if he can reveal it without dooming his family. And it’s another beautiful small hardback book. Perfect.
There are a million reasons why LOOK WHO’S BACK by Timur Vermes is brilliant, but perhaps the most relevant to say here is that it’s so wonderfully easy to get people excited about it. Hitler wakes up in Berlin in the present day. He’s initially flummoxed by this, but recovers well. Can you claim you’re not intrigued? It’s probably worth saying that it’s a really intelligent book, that makes you think about media and society and evil and what is and isn’t O.K. to laugh at. But we won’t mind if you buy it solely because the cover looks like this:
Pierre Lemaitre returns with IRÈNE, a prequel to ALEX that’s even darker and more twisted, in every sense. A serial killer is basing his murders on scenes from famous crime novels, leaving Camille without a lead. This is a sinister slow-burner, that builds to a crescendo in a way that’s almost literally jaw-dropping. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be unable to resist staying up until 3am to finish it. And then you’ll find yourself alone in the dark with the horror . . .
It goes without saying we think all our books are brilliant, but AND THEN CAME PAULETTE by Barbara Constantine stands out as being the most infectiously joyous book we have on the horizon. Beginning with a lonely old man on his family farm, the book (and the farm) soon fills with a wonderful cast of characters, on both two and four legs, whose quirky charm leaps off the page.
If you like Agatha Christie, you’ll love THE ART OF KILLING WELL. This is a really clever and intricate murder mystery, based on the quite wonderful premise that the amateur sleuth is Pellegrino Artusi – author of what might well be the first ever Italian cookbook back in the nineteenth century. It’s a very knowing pastiche – the setting is so well-realised that you could imagine Poirot himself making an appearance – and packed with all the wit and devilry that one would expect of a classic crime novel.
Check back next week for part two!
Following its breathtaking success in Germany (1.3 million copies sold, and still counting!), Timur Vermes’s utterly unique debut novel Look Who’s Back has made far shorter work of conquering Europe than its notorious protagonist.
While Hitler himself took a sluggish six years from becoming chancellor to his first successful conquest (everyone knows Anschlusses don’t count), Timur Vermes has infiltrated every corner of Europe in barely more than a year.
And, not only that, but he’s even made it as far as a Persian edition – Hitler, famously, struggled when he tried to go East.
Once again, Britain stands alone in the face of this eerily identikit coiffured army (trust the Dutch, on the right, to be different).
But behind the brilliant cover, Look Who’s Back is a blistering satire that casts a Führious eye over the absurdities of twenty-first century life. Containing Hitler’s encounters with television, the internet, neo-Nazis and pooper-scoopers, it’s both hilarious and challenging, and is sure to capture the imagination in Britain.
The (marketing and publicity) blitz begins in April!