HHhH: "Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich", or "Himmler's brain is called Heydrich". The most dangerous man in Hitler's cabinet, Reinhard Heydrich was known as the "Butcher of Prague." He was feared by all and loathed by most. With his cold Aryan features and implacable cruelty, Heydrich seemed indestructible—until two men, a Slovak and a Czech recruited by the British secret service, killed him in broad daylight on a bustling street in Prague, and thus changed the course of History.
Who were these men, arguably two of the most discreet heroes of the twentieth century? In Laurent Binet's captivating debut novel, we follow Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubiš from their dramatic escape of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to England; from their recruitment to their harrowing parachute drop into a war zone, from their stealth attack on Heydrich's car to their own brutal death in the basement of a Prague church.
A seemingly effortlessly blend of historical truth, personal memory, and Laurent Binet's remarkable imagination, HHhH—an international bestseller and winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman—is a work at once thrilling and intellectually engrossing, a fast-paced novel of the Second World War that is also a profound meditation on the nature of writing and the debt we owe to history.
HHhH is one of The New York Times' Notable Books of 2012.
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Despite his fussing about the nature of historical fiction, this is mesmeric stuff; history brought to chilling, potent life.Read Full Review of HHhH
And it is conventionally successful too, as both a gripping thriller and a moving testament to the heroes of the Czechoslovakian resistance.Read Full Review of HHhH
HHhH is a wonderful document to an important and heroic act and a beautiful, engaging insight into the writer’s process.Read Full Review of HHhH
A gripping, panoramic historical thriller, HHhH is also a critique of the concept of historical truth and a meditation on the novel as a literary form.Read Full Review of HHhH
It has its flaws, its occasional weaknesses of tone and style, but Binet handles his inherently dramatic subject with intelligence, originality and poise.Read Full Review of HHhH
“HHhH” is certainly more interesting than most of its conventional rivals, but it also seems shallower than its more distinguished rivals.Read Full Review of HHhH
Laurent Binet tackles the story of a Nazi and the two Czechoslovakian war heroes who set out to assassinate him and writes a marvelous, charming, engaging novel.Read Full Review of HHhH
What makes the novel unendurable, aside from the banal narrative devices, is - certainly in translation - the thesaurus of platitudes...Read Full Review of HHhH
Here he proves himself a great writer of suspense, effectively ratcheting up the tension ...Read Full Review of HHhH
...a higher standard for any historical fiction or nonfiction than you’ll ever encounter again.Read Full Review of HHhH
Binet sets up flimsy, outdated binaries between truth and fiction, and then spends the rest of the book nervously biting his fingernails and generally giving capital-H History way too much credit.Read Full Review of HHhH
I really don’t know how to praise this book further than to say that it changed my conception of the possibilities of literature.Read Full Review of HHhH
...this book... joins the ranks of significant, original literary responses to a period in history which continues to defy belief and challenge the power of words to express.Read Full Review of HHhH
HHhH is an extraordinary piece of work, a book that sets out to be a historical document and ends up as something completely other.Read Full Review of HHhH
Some might think these authorial intrusions would distract from the story, but for me they added a certain veracity and charm to the telling.Read Full Review of HHhH
HHhH is moving, terrifying and gripping in equal measure, it’s a must for fans of the “genre” even if the story is told in a rather staccato fashion.Read Full Review of HHhH
This doesn't mean that the book is without successes, only that they were limited for me.Read Full Review of HHhH
A seemingly effortlessly blend of historical truth, personal memory, and Laurent Binet’s remarkable imagination...Read Full Review of HHhH
The true dilemma of HHhH doesn’t seem to be the accuracy of historical fact but rather the aestheticization of heroic and tragic acts, if we can use these terms.Read Full Review of HHhH
HHhH is a witty and thought-provoking exploration of how stories are constructed, historically, literarily, and biographically.Read Full Review of HHhH
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