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4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,602 Ratings  ·  1,371 Reviews
HHhH gira en torno a uno de los más bellos y emocionantes episodios de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y, muy posiblemente, de la historia de la humanidad; dos miembros de la Resistencia aterrizan en paracaídas en Praga con la misión de asesinar a Reinhard Heydrich, jefe de la Gestapo y cerebro de la solución final. Delatados por un traidor y acorralados por setecientos hombres ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 2011 by Seix Barral (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Mar 16, 2016 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”This is what I think: inventing a character in order to understand historical facts is like fabricating evidence. Or rather, in the words of my brother-in-law, with whom I’ve discussed all this: It’s like planting false proof at a crime scene where the floor is already strewn with incriminating evidence.

 photo heydrich_zpsfyy8klq1.jpg
I don’t know how to describe him any other way except that he has a punchable face.

This is a book with a plot ensnared in the arduous process of conceiving a historical novel. Laurent Binet is
Let me tell you a story. A true story. A story that you might know, but only in the passing.

This story took place in World War – II. To be exact, it was a mission. No, not a mission. Destiny, rather, of our heroes. Amongst numerous missions that were carried out in the War, this one should rank within the top 10 most important ones, in my opinion (And I have read about all the major ones).

So, let me tell you about this book.

Laurent Binet, the author, has named it HHhH.

What does "HHhH" mean?

It m
Cindy Knoke
I am addicted to reading about the history of WWII and I really wanted to like this book.
Binet's book however frustrated me. The constant insertion of the author into the text and his continuous use of the word "I" was incredibly distracting. Who was this book about precisely, the author or Heydrich? The purported topic, Heydrich was interesting, the author's pathos? Not so much.
His short chapter format consisting of 257 chapters, some of which were only a few sentences long, resulted in a cho
MJ Nicholls
Binet has written the world’s first (and please God the last) metafictional Nazi thriller. As one who baulks at the WW2 novel (how passé is “the war??”—been there, done that, babe), Binet’s self-commenting novel-about-a-novel is a refreshing addition to the legions of prize-winning tomes about lesser-known Nazis and atrocities. Heydrich is the topic—a high-ranking Nazi who could have been up there with Himmler and Goebbels on the mass-murdering-psychopaths-whose-names-are-forever-etched-into-his ...more
Jul 10, 2012 Hadrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is HHhH? Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich, or Himmler's brain is called Heydrich.

This acronym, as chilling as it was, was not the author's first choice - he would have preferred Operation Arthropoid, the name of the covert action which occupies the majority of the book. But it was rejected as sounding like a Robert Ludlum, when this is a more meditative and sardonic bit of historical fiction.

Of course history is not always so neat and clean as it is in thrillers. There are still missing piece
Jul 27, 2013 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tfitoby by: Daniel Juckes
Shelves: lit, translation
“This scene is not really useful, and on top of that I practically made it up. I don't think I'm going to keep it.”

No other quote from this wonderful piece of post-modern literature could quite as effectively capture the tone and style of the content. HHhH is two narratives in one, a piece of creative non-fiction telling the story of Operation Anthropoid - the plot to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich - alongside which runs the journal of the Czech professor obsessed with commemorating the brave men
Jul 03, 2012 Dergrossest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have had my fill of books about Nazis, but this clever little title was irresistible. And thank heaven it was since this story about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich is absolutely brilliant. It was sort of a travelogue-type history in the manner of Tony Horowitz, although most of the travel in this book is through the author’s mind as he ruminates on the nature of historical biographies in general, wrestles with self-doubt as to whether he is up to the task of writing something original ...more
The fact that HHhH isn't quite the book I was expecting to read is entirely the fault of the back cover. The last paragraph of the blurb reads:
All the characters in HHhH existed then or still exist now. All the events depicted are true. But alongside the nerve-shredding story of the preparations for the attack runs another story: when you are writing about real people, how do you resist the temptation to make things up?

If you have the Postmodern Klaxon going off in your head, you're not alone -
Mar 09, 2013 Elaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
First, I wrestled with a considerable amount of guilt for reading this in English. I could at have read this in French, but it would have been much longer and harder. I know enough about translation to be uncertain of how closely what I read resembled the original. But in the end, it was better to have read this than to have missed this because of my own stupid pride about works in translation. (This sort of personal interjection is actually rather influenced by the style of the book).

Second, th
Nikos Tsentemeidis
Συγκλονιστικό. Καταφέρνει πολύ απλά και ζωντανεύει την ιστορία. Διαβάζεται χωρίς ανάσα. Θα μπορούσε άνετα να διδάσκεται στα σχολεία.

"Η Ιστορία είναι η μόνη μοίρα που υπάρχει: μπορείς να την ξαναδιαβάσεις και να την ερμηνεύσεις όπως θες, μα δεν μπορείς να την ξαναγράψεις."
Sam Quixote
HHhH = Himmlers Hirn heist Heydrich, which in English means: Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich.

This is the true story of one of the most evil men who ever lived, Reinhard Heydrich, and Operation Anthropoid (also the original title of the book), the successful plot to assassinate him by the heroic pair, Jan Kubis and Jozek Gabcik.

Heydrich was Head of the Gestapo and one of the most feared men in Hitler’s Third Reich. He was central to the Final Solution (the formal planning behind the Holocaust)
Diane S ☔
This was a very differently written type of historical fiction; a stream of consciousness novel where a narrator who happens to be writing a book about the assassination of Heydrich lets the reader in on all his thought processes, feelings, and personal life. In the beginning I found this fascinating as the narrator imparts many little known facts (at least by me) of Heydrich's early life and marriage, the forming of the Nazi party, Hitler, the Night of Long Knives and the forming of his securit ...more
Feb 05, 2016 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
...češki radnici su na krovu praške Opere kako bi s njega uklonili kip Mendelsshona, skladatelja, zato što je Židov. To im je naredio zaljubljenik u klasičnu glazbu, Heydrich novi protektor Češke i Moravske. Ondje se nalazi mnogo skulptura, a Heydrich nije naglasio koja od njih je Mendelsshon. A čini se da ga nitko od njemaca osim Heydricha ne zna prepoznati. Međutim, nitko se ne usuđuje Heydricha zbog tog uznemiravat. Kako traže Židova, njemački esesovac koji nadzire operaciju. odluči pokazati ...more
Oct 30, 2010 Petr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Knihu cizince zabývající se naší vlastí čte člověk jaksi jinak: citlivě reaguje na věcné chyby, pozorně sleduje dojmy a hodnocení, je předem maličko naježen. Jen si vezměte, kolik emocí vyvolal Szczygiełův Gottland. Binet se na rozdíl od kriticky uvažujícího Poláka Čechům asi zavděčí, vždyť Praha je podle něj nejkrásnější město světa a Gabčík s Kubišem „strůjci jednoho z největších odbojových činů lidských dějin a nesporně největšího odbojového činu druhé světové války“. Řeč je o atentátu na Hey ...more
Feb 02, 2013 Dem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Jan Book Club Read. 4.5 Stars

HHhH by Laurent Binet is a novel filled with historically correct facts and traces the planning, execution and aftermath of Operation Anthropoid, the resistance’s successful plot to assassinate Heydrich in Prague. The two heroes of the novel are Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis, two amazingly brave assassins, but the main character of this novel is the “Butcher of Prague “ Reinhard Heydrich”.
“All the characters in this book are real and all events depicted are true whic
Ioannis Anastasiadis
..Η απόπειρα δολοφονίας του 'ξανθού κτήνους' Ράινχαρντ Χάιντριχ, του εμπνευστή της 'Τελικής Λύσης' γ τους Εβραίους, λειτουργεί ως το πλαίσιο πάνω στο οποίο ο Laurent Binet θα ξετυλίξει μια από τις ένδοξες παραστάσεις της Τσέχικης κ Ευρωπαϊκής Αντίστασης ενάντια στην κτηνώδη κυριαρχία του Γ' Ράιχ ..μένοντας πιστός στην απόδοση της πραγματικής Ιστορίας (μέσω αμέτρητων πηγών) κ έχοντας μια αποστροφή γ μια ενδεχομένως λανθάνουσα μυθιστορηματική κατασκευή των δυο βασικών του ηρώων, ο Laurent Binet αν ...more
Miloš Kostić
Kao i obično, znao sam vrlo malo o delu pre nego što sam ga započeo, baš kako najviše volim. Ovog puta zaveo me jedan komentar, ovde na Gudridsu, koji je preneo jedno poglavlje iz ove knjige u kome se ukratko daje zaplet jedne druge knjige. Ovde sam maltene očekivao komičan roman. Ali, iako je tako zovu, ova knjiga teško da je roman. Ovo je stilizovana popularno-istorijska knjiga sa malim dodacima izmišljenih dopunjavanja praznina; knjiga sa zanimljivim pristupom, umereno zanimljiva. Dobra stvar ...more
Feb 24, 2016 Vasso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readathon16
Πραγματικά ακόμη και τώρα αμφιταλαντεύομαι για το αν τα 4 αστεράκια ανταποκρίνονται στην αίσθηση που μου άφησε το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο!
Και μόνο το γεγονός βέβαια ότι έχει καταφέρει να αποτελέσει το μήλο της έριδος για πολλούς βιβλιόφιλους, το κατατάσσει επάξια -κατά τη γνώμη μου πάντα- σε λίστα to read!
Αν περιμένετε ένα συνηθισμένο ιστορικό μυθιστόρημα, σίγουρα θα σας απογοητεύσει. Αν ωστόσο οι εκπλήξεις είναι για σας καλοδεχούμενες, τότε μην καθυστερείτε την ανάγνωση του!
Μία ιστορία γραμμένη με
Lila Dimaki
Feb 12, 2016 Lila Dimaki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Απίστευτο βιβλίο.Αν και στην αρχή με ξένισε ο τρόπος γραφής του δεν μπορώ να μην το θεωρήσω αριστουργηματικό για δύο λόγους:1)είναι ένα βιβλίο που σου μαθαίνει ιστορία και 2)η συγκίνηση και η ένταση των τελευταίων σελίδων σε καθηλώνουν."Η ιστορία είναι η μόνη μοίρα που υπάρχει:μπορείς να την ξαναδιαβάσεις και να την ερμηνεύσεις όπως θες,μα δεν μπορείς να την ξαναγράψεις".
Jonathan Norton
Apr 01, 2013 Jonathan Norton rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First of all let's be clear that Nazism is a terrible and pretty stupid political creed, and that the Nazis did evil things. If you're one of those people who think it is silly to use words like "evil", because the world is awfully complicated, then I suggest you explore the more sophisticated viewpoint of Primo Levi's books, where it is shown that the world is awfully complicated AND ALSO it contains evil actions and events.

I have to make that clear as my position, to avoid any misunderstanding
Peter Idone
I have no problem with an author injecting himself into his novel as an attempt to write a pure and vital work of historical fiction or any fiction for that matter-post modern or otherwise(otherwise being an infranovel as Binet describes what he's writing in Section 205) Unfortunately I found this author too whining in tone and not at all as clever when described by reviewers in the NYT, the Guardian, etc. It was a disappointment and I'm almost sorry to have to say this.There were passages that ...more
Mar 27, 2016 julieta rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, europa
No sé por dónde empezar, pero estoy emocionada con este libro, porque muestra dos lados opuestos de la naturaleza humana. El lado más horrible, la crueldad, el odio hacia los demás, habla de uno de los momentos más horribles de la humanidad. También muestra lo positivo que podemos tener, la importancia que tiene la Historia, la literatura, la esperanza.
Además de el hecho de que el narrador, o escritor, es una presencia constante, su búsqueda, su amor por la Historia, el homenaje que hace a tant
Mar 21, 2014 Abby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Himmlers Hirn heist Heydrich. Himmler's brain is called Heydrich.

Reinhard Heydrich -- the butcher of Prague, the blond beast, the man with the iron heart – was one of the cruelest and most feared of the high-ranking Nazis. Chief of security and an architect of the final solution, he was named Reichprotector of Bohemia and Moravia, the Czech states annexed by Germany, and charged with crushing Czech resistance and all vestiges of Czech culture, “Germanizing” the desirable population and eliminat
Nov 13, 2013 Jenne marked it as didnt-finish  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what the title means...but coincidentally it is also the sound I made when I thought about having to read any more of it.
Matt Brady
Mar 09, 2014 Matt Brady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Reinhard Heydrich. Chief of the German Reich's security and intelligence forces (Basically. I'm glossing over his actual title and responsibilities but that's about the size of it). Key planner of both the Night of the Long Knives and Krystallnacht. Himmler's right-hand man. Architect of the Nazi's Final Solution. Protector (Tyrant is probably the better word) of Bohemia and Moravia. The Blond Beast. The Hangman of Prague. "Heydrich is Himmler's brain," the SS would say, or HHhH in German. A man ...more
Nov 26, 2012 Simon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This meta-novel about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich is good, but not great. The story of the assassination and the story of Heydrich's life more generally are well told and engaging enough, but less engaging are Binet's digressive commentaries on the difficulty of writing historical fiction. Now, that's not to say that these digressions are bad, I'm just not sure they're as radical as Binet seems to think they are. I'm also not sure they're entirely appropriate for a story in which the ...more

Facts: Laurent Binet is French. This is his debut novel and won the Prix Goncourt for a first novel in 2010; the French equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. The book I read is translated from French and is on the Tournament of Books list for 2013.

Opinions: Anyone who can write a historical novel set during World War II and do something new is alright with me. Laurent Binet bravely, perhaps recklessly, put himself as author into the story, all very meta-fiction, and created an absorbing read.

It was
This should really be a 4 star book - story of Heydrich's assassination is fascinating and told in detail here together with other information on Heydrich's life and how the war affected Czechoslovakia. Heydrich was seen even by Hitler himself as his successor so this was a key event in the war, but the assassination had terrible repercussions for the Czech people.

The problem that I had with the book was the style of writing - it is written as if the author is chatting to you as he writes the b
Un po' romanzo storico, un po' ucronico, un po' saggio documentario dal tocco postmoderno, non saprei bene come definirlo, di certo posso dire che mi è piaciuto, superata l'iniziale riluttanza dovuta a queste intromissioni autoriali, all'inizio le ho trovate fastidiose, perché Binet ci dice della sua ragazza cecoslovacca, dei film che vede, dei libri e documentari che avidamente divora sull'argomento, pazzesco, poi la sua paura di sbagliare, di tralasciare qualcosa. Questa mancanza di omogeneità ...more
Jul 17, 2015 J.M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs and writers
"I think I'm beginning to understand. What I'm writing is an infranovel."

Amazing. I went in expecting a straightforward historical fiction novel about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich-- the Butcher of Prague-- by a pair of paratroopers, one Czech and one Slovak (an excellent story in its own right). What I did not expect was having the process of writing the novel woven into the novel itself, seamlessly, with Binet-- a teacher by profession-- detailing his neurotic fidelity to known, prova
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Son of an historian, he was born in Paris, graduated from University of Paris in literature, and taught literature in Parisian suburb and eventually at University. He was awarded the 2010 Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman for his first novel, HHhH.

Laurent Binet est né à Paris. Il a effectué son service militaire en Slovaquie et a partagé son temps entre Paris et Prague pendant plusieurs années. Agrég
More about Laurent Binet...

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“This scene is not really useful, and on top of that I practically made it up. I don't think I'm going to keep it.” 5 likes
“How many forgotten heroes sleep in history's great cemetery?” 3 likes
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