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    HHhH (Paperback) By (author) Laurent Binet, Translated by Sam Taylor

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    Description""HHhH" blew me away... It's one of the best historical novels I've ever come across."--Bret Easton Ellis, author of "American Psycho" and "Less Than Zero "A Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction A "Financial Times" Best Book of the Year A "New York Times Book Review "Editors' Choice HHhH: "Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich," or "Himmler's brain is called Heydrich." The most lethal man in Hitler's cabinet, Reinhard Heydrich seemed indestructible--until two exiled operatives, a Slovak and a Czech, killed him and changed the course of history. In Laurent Binet's mesmerizing debut, we follow Jozef Gabčik and Jan Kubis from their dramatic escape from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to their fatal attack on Heydrich and their own brutal deaths in the basement of a Prague church. A seamless blend of memory, actuality, and Binet's own remarkable imagination, HHhH is at once thrilling and intellectually engrossing--a fast-paced novel of the Second World War that is also a profound meditation on the debt we owe to history.


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  • Full bibliographic data for HHhH

    Title
    HHhH
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Laurent Binet, Translated by Sam Taylor
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 327
    Width: 137 mm
    Height: 206 mm
    Thickness: 25 mm
    Weight: 295 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9781250033345
    ISBN 10: 1250033349
    Classifications

    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: F2.3
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: FV, FA
    Abridged Dewey: 813
    B&T General Subject: 360
    B&T Book Type: FI
    LC classification: PS
    DC22: FIC
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 21110
    Ingram Subject Code: FH
    Libri: I-FH
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 19
    DC21: 843.92
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 38
    B&T Approval Code: P24103201
    BISAC V2.8: FIC032000, FIC014000, FIC019000
    Thema V1.0: FB, FV
    Edition statement
    Reprint
    Publisher
    Picador USA
    Imprint name
    Picador USA
    Publication date
    23 July 2013
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Laurent Binet was born in Paris, France, in 1972. He is the author of "La Vie professionnelle de Laurent B.," a memoir of his experience teaching in secondary schools in Paris. In March 2010, his debut novel, "HHhH," ""won the Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman. Laurent Binet is a professor at the University of Paris III, where he lectures on French literature.
    Review quote
    ""HHhH" blew me away. Binet's style fuses it all together: a neutral, journalistic honesty sustained with a fiction writer's zeal and story-telling instincts. It's one of the best historical novels I've ever come across."--Bret Easton Ellis, author of "American Psycho" and "Less Than Zero ""Unsurpassable... Told with elegance and grace... A magnificent book."--Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature "Brings a raw truth to an extraordinary act of resistance...A literary tour de force...A gripping novel that brings us closer to history as it really happened."--Alan Riding, "The New York Times Book Review ""Binet has threaded his novel with a contemporary story, which is the drama of the book's own making.... The tone is clever, witty, casually postmodern....Captivating."--James Wood, "The New Yorker """HHhH "is a startling novel....Who would expect a postmodern exploration of the limits of historical fiction to be a page-turner? But it is, absolutely....Fascinating."--Madeline Miller, NPR "Marvelous...Pulsing with life, lit by a wisp of dry humor, [and] fully imagined."--Carolyn Kellogg, "Los Angeles Times ""One of the best and most original new novels I've read in years...."HHhH" is paced like a thriller, in which the endgame is the fate of the world."--Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "[An] extraordinary first novel..."HHhH," translated from the French by Sam Taylor, charts Heydrich's rise through the Nazi ranks and Germany's march to war...[to] the training in Britain of the Czech and Slovak assassins, Jan Kubis and Jozef Gabcik, who parachuted into the country in December 1941 to kill Heydrich. Ample material for a decent espionage thriller, but Binet, 'a slave to my scruples, ' makes something altogether less commonplace of it. His fidelity to the historical record, and obsessive urge to analyse those moments where surmise replaces fact, makes "HHhH" as much about the technical and moral processes of writing a historical novel as it is a historical novel...This unusual method results in a literary triumph...Using short, punchy chapters, Binet keeps his story haring along. The book's final section, which recounts the assassination and subsequent manhunt in minute detail, is a masterpiece of tension, and its closing pages are extremely moving. Very few page-turners come as smart and original as this."--Chris Power, "The Times "(London)"[Binet] knows how to wrangle powerful moments from history."--Susannah Meadows, "The New York Times ""Every now and then a piece of work comes along that undermines the assumptions upon which all previous works have been built...These pieces of art complicate the genre for everyone that follows. "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" did it for the memoir, "Reservoir Dogs" for action films, and now "HHhH" does it for the historical novel. Laurent Binet's brilliantly translated debut deconstructs the process of fiction writing in the face of the brute reality of facts...Binet's ["HHhH"] resets the path of the historical novel. He has a bright, bright future."--David Annand, "The Telegraph""Ingenious and inventive... "HHhH" [is a] knockout blow in the boxing match of genre-defying literature. Binet steps between styles with ease... [and] has written a tale of Heydrich to defy most academic study. Moreover, Binet has managed to engage. His description is playful and joyous, at times even wrongfully celebratory, but always, always surprisingly on form. As a deserving winner of the Prix Goncourt, "HHhH" is a fantastic read. As a dynamic assault on the genres of contemporary writing, "HHhH" must join that coterie of celebrated titles: it is unique."--Charles J. Haynes, "California Literary Review""An impressive debut...HHhH is fascinating not only because of the subject matter, but also because of the immense amount of detail Binet includes. The book transports and enraptures. It also impresses upon the reader the legacy of that history. His reflections on how to write the book with thoroughness and integrity and the effect of the project on his life are examples of how important the subject and the consequences of the history are to him. Heydrich's life is not as documented as those of other high ranking Nazi officers. By researching and publishing HHhH, Binet reminds the reader that history has myriads of layers, but that they are all relevant in our contemporary world."--Ashley McNelis, "Bomb""["HHhH" is] quirky, clever...Binet makes a very perceptive and informed recording angel, one with an exceptionally clear and unfussy prose style (rendered extremely well by the translator, Sam Taylor). It doesn't hurt that he has triple-A premium material, but Binet doesn't push too hard to give the events a meaning. He lets them be the tragedy that they are, and as such they're devastating."--Lev Grossman, "Time.com""["HHhH"] is as much a meditation on fictionalizing history--on factual truth versus a more expansive definition of truth, on the obligations and the agendas of writers--as it is a story about an assassination...Binet accomplishes something paradoxical. By clinging to the historical record and a very strict definition of truth, he transcends the barest facts and creates a work with its own heft and depth... [He] has produced the only essential piece of World War II fiction in years."--Jessica Crispin, "Barnes & Noble Review""["HHhH"] is utterly compelling and ruthlessly fascinating."--Laurence Mackin, "Irish Times""A breezily charming novel, with a thrilling story that also happens to be true, by a gifted young author...[Binet] marshals and deploys his materials with exceptional dramatic skill...By the time you reach the book's devastating finale, it's this discreet storytelling mastery... that leaves the deepest impression."--James Lasdun, "The Guardian""A cracking book... With its double-narrative and its authorial playfulness, "HHhH" reads in places like a stylistic homage to WG Sebald or Italo Calvino."--Ruadhan MacCormaic, "Irish Times""That "HHhH" is so devastatingly brilliant is testament to both its originality and ambition. In fact, it would not be going too far to say it is a modern masterpiece."--Rob Minshull, "ABC" (Brisbane)""HHhH" triumphs precisely because it not only delicately, and sometimes grippingly, depicts a major historical moment, but because it manages to depict the unique challenges of 21st-century remembrance."--Michael Lapointe, "The Globe and Mail"""HHhH" is brilliant." --Michel Basilieres, "The Toronto Star""[A] remarkable first novel... Binet has created a rare thing: a book that tells us stories, mixing scholarship with suspense, while simultaneously laying bare and critiquing the book's construction. It's a difficult approach, which makes the enjoyment of reading it all the more striking."--Matthew Tiffany, "Plain-Dealer" (Cleveland)"There are not enough books that blend the profound and the entertaining. This is one and it comes in a sparkling translation by novelist Sam Taylor."--John Gardner, "New Zealand Herald" "An extraordinary first novel... A literary triumph... The books final section, which recounts the assassination and subsequent manhunt in minute detail, is a masterpiece of tension, and its closing pages are extremely moving. Very few page-turners come as smart and original as this."--"The Times" (London)"This is mesmeric stuff; history brought to chilling, potent life."--Leyla Senai, "The Independent""I really don't know how to praise this book further than to say that it changed my conception of the possibilities of literature. I cannot recommend this book more highly than saying, despite the cliche, that it is an actual must-read, both for its important content, but as importantly, for its avant-garde nature as it pushes forward the boundaries of historical fiction. (From a different lens, it represents the avant garde of teaching history. I can't imagine anyone who would read this book and consequently not feel interested in the essential questions of historiography i.e. what can we truly know about history.) Go out, find this book, devour it, and prepare to find yourself changed, in ways you could not expect."--Joe Winkler, "Vol. 1 Brooklyn""A brilliantly profound debut about the assassination of the architect of the Holocaust... I found myself turning pages faster and faster while I read about the two men who parachuted into the countryside and slowly closed in on Heydrich, even though I knew exactly what was about to happen. Maybe you can't write a successful novel about the Holocaust. But, turns out, you can write a wonderful book--let's call it a novel--about the impossibility of writing about the Holocaust."--Malcolm Jones, "The Daily Beast""Riveting... ["HHhH" is] exuberant and breathless and wonderful throughout."--Weston Cutter, "Kenyon Review" ""HHhH" is a highly original piece of work, at once charming, moving, and gripping."--Martin Amis, author of "The Pregnant Widow""A wonderful, ambitious book, and a triumph of translation."--Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of "Let the Great World Spin"""HHhH" is an astonishing book--absorbing, moving, for the agony and acuity with which its author engages the problem of making literary art from unbearable historical fact."--Wells Tower, author of "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned""A work of absolute originality."--Claude Lanzmann"By the time I got to the last page of Binet's masterpiece, I had to close my eyes and rethink history. I'm rethinking it still."--Gary Shteyngart, author of "Super Sad True Love Story""Laurent Binet has given a new dimension to the non-fiction novel by weaving his writerly anxieties about the genre into the narrative, but his story is no less compelling for that, and the climax is unforgettable."--David Lodge, Booker Prize-winning author of "Small World" and "Nice Work"""HHhH" offers something all too rare in contemporary literature: the excitement of encountering something that feels genuinely new. Laurent Binet has thrown all the rules of authorial decorum out the window, and the result is a historical novel of the Czech resistance to the Nazis that is a playful, suspenseful delight."--John Wray, author of "Lowboy""Read "HHhH" and be hooked, horrified, haunted, and (h)enthralled."--Bernard Pivot, "JDD""[A] tour de force... Gripping... Binet demonstrates without a doubt that a self-aware, cerebral structure can be deployed in the service of a gripping historical read. ["HHhH "is] a perfect fusion of action and the avante-garde that deserves a place as a great WWII novel."--"Publishers Weekly" (starred review) "The story of how two Czech agents--recruited by the British secret service--assassinated Hitler's ruthless lieutenant Reinhard Heydrich in broad daylight on a Prague street in 1942 has been told by the historian. Now it is the novelist's turn. And what a turn Binet delivers! Weaving together historical fact, fictional narrative, and authorial reflection in what he labels an "infranovel," Binet gives readers a close-up look at the metamorphosis of documentary truth into literary art. It is an art that makes disturbingly real the cold cruelty of a Nazi titan intent on slaughtering innocent Jews and makes inspiringly luminous the courage of Josef Gabcik and Jan Kubis, the men who kill him. But it is also a curiously hybrid art that foregrounds the creative artist's own struggle to wrest meaning out of his anarchic material. Nowhere is this struggle more evident than in Binet's handling of the bizarre climax of his chronicle, when Gabcik stares down Heydrich's car, only to have his gun jam, forcing Kubis to lob a bomb, leaving the wounded Nazi leader to die days later of an infection. Readers will recognize why this brilliant work won the Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman--and why an English translation was imperative!"--Bryce Christensen, "Booklist" (starred review)"["HHhH "is a] soul-stirring work... The account of the assassination attempt and its nail-biting aftermath is brilliantly suspenseful... Binet deserves great kudos for retrieving this fateful, half-forgotten episode, spotlighting Nazi infamy, celebrating its resisters, and delivering the whole with panache."--"Kirkus" (starred review)