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Bestselling Hitler


Hitler novel tops charts 

Anovel that pokes fun at Adolf Hitler and the creepy personality cult that once surrounded him has topped the bestselling lists in Germany. Called He's Back (Er Ist Wieder Da) by first-time novelist Timur Vermes, the novel has a striking blackand-white cover, depicting a shock of black hair and a square moustache that evoke Hitler's face. Even the price tag is symbolic: 19. 33 is no doubt a reference to the year the Nazi party leader came to power in Germany. Vermes told the German media: "He's always the monster and we can be comforted by the fact that we're different from him. But in reality he continues to spark real fascination in people, just as he did back then when people liked him enough to help him commit crimes. " In the novel, Hitler awakes in Berlin in the summer of 2011 having fallen asleep in 1945, in what the BBC says is "a deliberate parallel with the German fairytale Sleeping Beauty. " He becomes a celebrity TV comic before entering politics, where he campaigns against speeding. The book has sold over 400, 000 copies and thousands of audiobooks. But many Germans are distinctly uncomfortable with the sales and with all this talk about Hitler. As one editorial put it: "The focus on Hitler - be it as a comic figure or as the embodiment of evil - risks washing away the historical reality. " 

ABC for Mitt 

At the Hay Festival in Cartagena de Indias, the award-winning novelist Colum McCann was asked "the standard New York Times" question : If you had to give a politician a book to read, what would it be? "It depends on the politician, " shot back McCann, a New Yorker with a strong Irish accent and a European-style scarf wrapped around his neck. "If it was Mitt Romney I would give him A, B, C. " As the audience broke out in delighted applause he continued, "As for Mr Obama, I like Mr Obama. He has an agile mind and can take anything. He would like Gabriel Garcia Marquez . . . But if it were Mitt Romney, I would give him elemental reading. "

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