[PDF/EBOOK] HHhH By Laurent Binet BY Laurent Binet

SUMMARY HHhH By Laurent Binet

Centre de Prague HHhH est un acronyme inventé par les SS ui signifie en allemand le cerveau d’Himmler s’appelle Heydrich Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich L’essentiel de l’histoire se situe entre 1938 et 1942 Le récit est structuré comme un entonnoir des chapitres courts relatent différents épisodes en divers lieux et à diverses époues ui tous convergent vers Prague où s’est déroulé l’attentat Tous les personnages de. No it s not invented What would be the point of inventing Nazism Laurent Binet s novel HHhH is actually two stories in one Firstly it s an exciting thriller and suspenseful novel about the assassination of Protector of Bohemia and Moravia Himmler s right hand or brain according to the title of the novel Reinhard Heydrich Novel is packed with well known names from Nazi high echelons in brief retrospectives Binet recaps events which led to Hitler s accession to power growth of anti Semitism birth of the idea of Final Solution and bringing it to existence to assassination on Heydrich and it devastatingly disastrous aftermath While I knew most of these facts oddly the names of assassins were alien to me Jan Kubi and Jozef Gab k Czech and Slovak what I find not only touching and symbolic but also important as a sign of solidarity and attempt to overcome longtime animosity between these two nations Secondly HHhH is a novel about writing a novel about the tribulations of the writer chasing his youthful dream when he first heard about the attack on the Butcher of Prague It s about collecting materials visiting sites picking up memorabilia anecdotes digging in archives and libraries about people he met in the course of that search This is a thing about the torments of creation and writing process of filling the gaps there where reliable sources don t exist of frustrating and confusing facts there were three different people called Moravec but one what a relief Moravek of obsessive delving into details was Heydrich s Mercedes dark green or was it black This kind of narrative that jumping from Nazi Germany to the present day to describe the personal struggles with still expanding material some readers found as it biggest weakness the kind of crack the author s attempt to establish himself as an eual protagonist of described events But I do not think soI thought it was brilliant Thanks to it the novel gained personal intimate character And a new perspective Binet did not write a history textbook right and therefore could afford for a lot of personal emotional sallies towards politicians When he describes appeasement policy and The Munich Agreement cowardice of the French minister Daladier or lack of moral backbone and blindness of Chamberlain when he calls them vile we do feel his anger and contempt It is hard to blame him for that right Was turning a blind eye to subseuent reuests of Hitler sacrificing another countries the Anschluss of Austria Sudetenland the establishment of the province of Slovakia with puppet government leaving the Czech and then Polish to themselves supposed to save the world from the next conflict Satisfy Hitler s appetite Binet is not the subtle one in his accusations when he senses shit he doesn t pretend it smells like perfume Let the history prove who was right and who was wrong judge the guilty but he the author has the last word He is neither historian nor diplomat and while trying to remain faithful to historic events he allows himself to be snarky And unsure And in awe To me strength and innovation of that novel lies just in its structure and the duality of the narrative Two complementary and interrelated parallel threads record of historical facts mixed with author s reflections on writing historical book And it perfectly worked here Not only brought to life people and places but also allowed Binet to show his admiration feel the compassion yell out his wrath And save all these brave people from oblivion Here ends my proper review but I wanted yet to share this anecdote with you Mariusz Szczygie Polish journalist and avid admirer of Czech people their country and culture author of collections of great reportages about our south neighbors Gottland Mostly True Stories from Half of Czechoslovakia Make Yourself a Paradise had once conversation about heroism with Czech taxi driver It went or less like that TD You Poles probably despise us a bit MSz I for sure do not sir The Czech Resistance killed Hitler s favourite Heydrich It is certainly the heroism TD But what is the claim to fame Heydrich traveled in an unarmoured open top vehicle so it was easier to hit himMsz But you got him TD That s an overstatement He drove without any escort and the route was not guarded by any patrolsMSz But he did not survive TD Just because he himself eased that task As the first assassin tried to shoot him Heydrich instead of running gave the order to stop the car MSz But still you killed himTD But it is not so certain the gun of the first assassin misfired and the second one had to throw grenade toward the carMSz Well and thanks to it you slew the right hand of HitlerTD There s no need to exaggeration Heydrich did not even defend himself He jumped out of the car and wanted to shoot but it turned out that in his gun was not the magazineMSz But you managed to kill him TD Why no He died a week later in hospital From sepsisAnd on that Szczygie could only state that it is not an easy thing to make a heroic act in the Czech Republic I love that anecdote because it speaks something not only about our neighbors but also about Polish When we are whole pathos and ethos Czechs love absurd and dark humour And nation which can laugh at themselves will never lose


HHhH By Laurent Binet

Ce livre ont réellement existé ou existent encore L’auteur a rapporté les faits le plus fidèlement possible mais a dû résister à la tentation de romancer Comment raconter l’Histoire Cette uestion conduit parfois l’auteur à se mettre en scène pour rendre compte de ses conditions d’écriture de ses recherches de ses hésitations La vérité historiue se révèle à la fois une obsession névrotiue et une uête sans fin. 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 choppy stilted flow His constant debunking of historical novels and their fictionalized aspects gets a bit tired but I found his statement that I am struck all the same by the fact that in every case fiction wins out over history provocative But I also was then confused by his many discussions of Hollywood movies about the era and his continuous insertion of fictionalized vignettes that he explained were to serve as examples of how he wasn t fictionalizing One senses he is really fascinated with historical fictionalized accounts but thinks he is doing something far superior I think he may not have achieved this goalHe is an interesting intelligent man and this should have been a better book If you want a recommendation for a riveting read on the era try Endgame 1945 The Missing Final Chapter of World War II by David Stafford

Laurent Binet ✓ 1 CHARACTERS

Deux parachutistes tchécoslovaues envoyés par Londres sont chargés d’assassiner Reinhard Heydrich chef de la Gestapo chef des services secrets nazis planificateur de la solution finale protecteur de Bohème Moravie surnommé le bourreau la bête blonde l’homme le plus dangereux du IIIe Reich Après des mois de préparation il est finalement abattu dans sa Mercedes Il s’ensuit une folle traue ui se termine dans une église du. 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 I don t know how to describe him any other way except that he has a punchable faceThis is a book with a plot ensnared in the arduous process of conceiving a historical novel Laurent Binet is writing about the assassination of the Nazi Reinhard Heydrich and the men who killed him in Prague Binet shares with us the concerns he has with taking too many liberties with what is known truth and what are his reasonable speculations Was Heydrich riding in a forest green car or was it black Does it matter His girlfriend Natacha reads the chapters as he writes them She is involved in the process to call him to task whenever he breaks one of his own rules about writing historical fiction When she reaches the second sentence she exclaims What do you mean the blood rises to his cheeks and he feels his brain swell inside his skull You re making it up He sheepishly deletes the line but then later in the day he puts it back in because every other line he tries to replace it with lacks precision Oscar Wilde has that famous uote regarding this exact predicament I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning and took out a comma In the afternoon I put it back again Of course Binet doesn t know exactly how Heydrich may have reacted to a piece of bad news but he does know that given what he has read about him than likely anger dark consuming anger is the only way that someone especially as disturbed and self absorbed as Heydrich could react He was picked on as a child He was called the goat due to his appearance and his awkward sounding voice The anger against humanity could have begun there The uestion is did his childish tormentors create him or did they sense on some feral level that he was going to be the architect of something evil No one could have guessed the magnitude of the holocaust that he was going to unleash He acuired many nicknames once he found his home in the Nazi party the Hangman the butcher the Blond Beast and this one given by Adolf Hitler himself the Man with the Iron heart The Nazi party attracted the outcasts the angry the perverted and the brilliantly demented They were men who wanted to have power over people and dreamed up creative ways to hurt them but even among them Hitler had to look for a man cold and calloused enough to exterminate legions Reinhard Heydrich was the perfect man for the jobI want to return for a moment to Binet s struggles with speculating about Heydrich s physical reaction to a particular piece of bad news Nonfiction in many ways fails to tell the truth by the very process of stripping away all the elements that are not known We know that things are discussed but usually those dialogues are not recorded for posterity A good writer will read everything he can find on a historical person he plans to use in a novel She will read everything she can find about the period He will read letters and diaries to glean bits and pieces of information that will lend authenticity to his novel She will know the type of pen that was in the hand of a letter writer or the shapes of stains on the walls of a prison cell or the color of frilly underwear a mistress wore for her German lover When a writer has done this much research he knows instinctively although still subjectively how a historical figure will react to a situation Reasonably accurate dialogue can be written most assuredly better written than the original discussion The point of historical fiction is to make people come alive than what can be accomplished by staying strictly within the facts of what is known I do appreciate it when a fiction writer does not alter events known to be true Though even that I can forgive if they notate those deviations in the forward Was the car dark green or was it blackReinhard Heydrich is a man ripe for assassination He is careless and freuently seen riding around Prague in a convertible car without bodyguards The people who know him despise him and the rest of the world would too if they knew what he was doing Heydrich is well aware that everyone considers him the most dangerous man in the Reich and it s a source of vanity for him but he also knows that if all the Nazi dignitaries court him so insistently it is above all to try to weaken Himmler his boss Heydrich is an instrument for these men not yet a rival It s true that in the devilish duo he forms with Himmler he is thought to be the brains HHhH they say in the SS Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich Himmler s brain is called Heydrich but he is still only the right hand man the subordinate the number two He is dangerous because he is ambition twined with ruthlessness Binet will introduce us to the assassins They are men from Czechoslovakia and Slovakia who are willing to risk their lives parachuting back into enemy territory to kill a man responsible for so much misery As he gets to know them he becomes attached to them He wants to save them He wants to write their life after their acts of heroism He could create a hidden door that will allow them to escape He could change the circumstances and give them a chance to fight their way clearbut then that would be breaking the rules Jozef Gab k and Jan Kubi young men who proved too much for HeydrichI remember years ago H W Brands who freuently shows up on the History Channel was discussing the death of Lincoln He must have been researching him for his Ulysses S Grant biography but one of the things that he talked about that really stuck with me was that he found himself tearing up as he wrote about the assassination of Lincoln That event that he knew so well still inspired an emotional reaction in him that caught him by surprise As writers we would love to write a new ending but of course in the case of Lincoln he couldn t have died at a better time to insure his legacy This book was a constant struggle to write Binet tries to adhere to his own self imposed rules He uestions everything he has written He wants to do it right His perspective outside of the novel shifts I can relate to that I uestion my life all the time Why do I do this Why don t I do that Is what I write really worthwhile Will someone see through the facade and ridicule me Am I worthy of the subject When I watch the news when I read the paper when I meet people when I hang out with friends and acuaintances when I see how each of us struggles as best we can through life s absurd meanderings I think that the world is ridiculous moving and cruel The same is true of this book the story is cruel the protagonists are moving and I am ridiculous But I am in Prague I am freuently ridiculousI want to close with one last uote from Binet about the responsibility that writers feel for those they leave in the shadows Worn out by my muddled efforts to salute these people I tremble with guilt at the thought of all those hundreds those thousands whom I have allowed to die in anonymity But I want to believe that people exist even if we don t speak of them Sometimes though a writer can pluck a person let s say one who is buried in an unmarked grave with 33771 other Jews in Kiev and sheath him in flesh pump blood into his veins and free his tongue so he can tell a story left untold If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visithttpwwwjeffreykeetencomI also have a Facebook blogger page at

10 thoughts on “HHhH By Laurent Binet

  1. says:

    ”This is what I think inventing a character in order to understand historical facts is like fabricating evidence Or rathe

  2. says:

    May 4th 1942 the Heydrich residence After filling their bellies with Venison steaks Heydrich Himmler and Goebbel

  3. says:

    Let me tell you a story A true story A story

  4. says:

    No it’s not invented What would be the point of inventing “ Nazism “ ? Laurent Binet’s novel HHhH is actually two

  5. says:

    REVIEW SHORT VERSIONThis is a hell of a story told very engagingly The last 50 pages are agonizing and heroic and you won’t forget them RecommendedREVIEW LONG VERSION A UESTION OF DEFINITIONIf I waddled around in an elaborate penguin costume loudly proclaiming that I was a penguin while swallowing fish whole it wouldn’t make me a penguin Even if I got all my friends to violently nod their heads and point at me and say yes he

  6. says:

    One night while he was researching this book Laurent Binet dreamt he was writing the key chapter In the dream he begins with a description of a black Mercedes sliding through the streets of Prague like a racer snake slipping behind a building

  7. says:

    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 incredib

  8. says:

    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

  9. says:

    So what is this exactly? It has won awards for fiction and the author calls it a novel except when he says “If this were a novel ” The author intrudes is a character he is an author researching and writing about the May 27 1942 assassina

  10. says:

    Jan Book Club Read 45 Stars HHhH by Laurent Binet is a novel filled with historically correct facts and traces th