HHhH : A Novel
"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 Gabćik and Jan Kubis 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.
- Hardback | 327 pages
- 149.86 x 210.82 x 33.02mm | 421.84g
- 24 Apr 2012
- Farrar Straus Giroux
- New York, NY, United States
""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"""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
About Laurent Binet
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.