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Synopsis

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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    Non-fiction historical horror

    A brilliant post-modern recreation of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, known as Himmler's Brain. A powerful portrait of the humanity behind the Czechoslovak resistance and a riveting suspense narrative. What is fascinating is the way Binet, always respecting historical fact, contrives a tale that is so captivating he has to constantly remind us it really happened. I read it in French, but I hope the English translation does justice to this exceptional novel.

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    An extraordinary book that tells 2 tales - the first an historical narrative told in true thriller style about the planning and execution of one of the lesser known, but no less evil, leading figures in Nazi Germany, and the second a fascinating account of the contradictions and complications the writer faces while telling the first. Initially the style takes some getting used to but it is a true page turner - highly recommended!

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    Quite an interesting read!

    Ending was too drawn out, though.

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    Riveting history

    More interesting for the history - Czech resistance fighters plotting against the Nazi's with the help of the Brits - than for Binet's self-conscious attempt at writing himself into the story.

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