Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Wednesday, June 13, 2012 / “HHhH: A Novel” by Laurent Binet

Today’s featured book is HHhH: A Novel by Laurent Binet, translated from the French by Sam Taylor.

"HHhH" by Laurent Binet

“HHhH” by Laurent Binet

Why I chose this book:

Fiction based upon fact involving the assassination of Nazi henchman Reinhard Heydrich (“The Butcher”) by two men who literally gave their lives for the cause of freedom. So factual, it might be hard to call it fiction, but that’s where it lands. An interesting look at storytelling. Avante-garde point-of-view of history. 257 short chapters. Two intertwined plots. Incredibly descriptive, sometimes painfully so. Continual action.

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 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.

“A literary tour de force … [HHhH] is a gripping novel that brings us closer to history as it really happened.” -Alan Riding, The New York Times Book Review

If you want to make your own comments on this selection, we would love to hear from you. Join our Facebook Killer Nashville group page and join in the discussion.

Remember that these books are listed at a discount through Amazon. You also don’t have to purchase the version that is featured here. Many of these books are available in multiple formats: e–book, hardcover, softcover, and audio. Enjoy!

– Clay Stafford, Founder of Killer Nashville

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About Clay Stafford

Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker (www.ClayStafford.com) and founder of Killer Nashville (www.KillerNashville.com). As a writer himself, he has over 1.5 million copies of his own books in print in over 14 languages. Stafford’s latest projects are the feature documentary “One of the Miracles” (www.OneOfTheMiracles.com) and the music CD “XO” (www.JefferyDeaverXOMusic.com). A champion of writers, Publishers Weekly has identified Stafford as playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” throughout “the nation’s book culture.” (PW 6/10/13)
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