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HHhH

Binet, Laurent

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Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid, Prague, 1942: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent on a daring mission by London to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich - chief of the Nazi secret services, 'the hangman of Prague', 'the blond beast', 'the most dangerous man in the Third Reich'. His boss is Heinrich Himmler but everyone in the SS says 'Himmler's brain is called Heydrich', which in German spells "HHhH". All the characters in "HHhH" are real. All the events depicted are true. But alongside the nerve-shredding preparations for the attack runs another story: when you are a novelist writing about real people, how do you resist the temptation to make things up? "HHhH" is a panorama of the Third Reich told through the life of one outstandingly brutal man, a story of unbearable heroism and loyalty, revenge and betrayal. It is improbably entertaining and electrifyingly modern, a moving and shattering work of fiction.

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About the Author:

HHhH is Laurent Binet's first novel. He lives and works in France. HHhH won the prestigious Prix Goncourt du premier roman and the Prix des Lecteurs du Livre de Poche.

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1
 
 
Gabcík—that’s his name—really did exist. Lying alone on a little iron bed, did he hear, from outside, beyond the shutters of a darkened apartment, the unmistakable creaking of the Prague tramways? I want to believe so. I know Prague well, so I can imagine the tram’s number (but perhaps it’s changed?), its route, and the place where Gabcík waits, thinking and listening. We are at the corner of Vyšehradská and Trojická. The number 18 tram (or the number 22) has stopped in front of the Botanical Gardens. We are, most important, in 1942. In The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Milan Kundera implies that he feels a bit ashamed at having to name his characters. And although this shame is hardly perceptible in his novels, which are full of Tomášes, Tominas, and Terezas, we can intuit the obvious meaning: what could be more vulgar than to arbitrarily give—from a childish desire for verisimilitude or, at best, mere convenience—an invented name to an invented character? In my opinion, Kundera should have gone further: what could be more vulgar than an invented character?
So, Gabcík existed, and it was to this name that he answered (although not always). His story is as true as it is extraordinary. He and his comrades are, in my eyes, the authors of one of the greatest acts of resistance in human history, and without doubt the greatest of the Second World War. For a long time I have wanted to pay tribute to him. For a long time I have seen him, lying in his little room—shutters closed, window open—listening to the creak of the tram (going which way? I don’t know) that stops outside the Botanical Gardens. But if I put this image on paper, as I’m sneakily doing now, that won’t necessarily pay tribute to him. I am reducing this man to the ranks of a vulgar character and his actions to literature: an ignominious transformation, but what else can I do? I don’t want to drag this vision around with me all my life without having tried, at least, to give it some substance. I just hope that, however bright and blinding the veneer of fiction that covers this fabulous story, you will still be able to see through it to the historical reality that lies behind.

 
Copyright © 2009 by Éditions Grasset et Fasquelle
Translation copyright © 2012 by Sam Taylor

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Binet, Laurent Author
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Book Description VINTAGE, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 128 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid, Prague, 1942: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent on a daring mission by London to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich - chief of the Nazi secret services, the hangman of Prague , the blond beast , the most dangerous man in the Third Reich . His boss is Heinrich Himmler but everyone in the SS says Himmler s brain is called Heydrich , which in German spells HHhH . All the characters in HHhH are real. All the events depicted are true. But alongside the nerve-shredding preparations for the attack runs another story: when you are a novelist writing about real people, how do you resist the temptation to make things up? HHhH is a panorama of the Third Reich told through the life of one outstandingly brutal man, a story of unbearable heroism and loyalty, revenge and betrayal. It is improbably entertaining and electrifyingly modern, a moving and shattering work of fiction. Bookseller Inventory # EAS9780099555643

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Book Description VINTAGE, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 128 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid, Prague, 1942: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent on a daring mission by London to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich - chief of the Nazi secret services, the hangman of Prague , the blond beast , the most dangerous man in the Third Reich . His boss is Heinrich Himmler but everyone in the SS says Himmler s brain is called Heydrich , which in German spells HHhH . All the characters in HHhH are real. All the events depicted are true. But alongside the nerve-shredding preparations for the attack runs another story: when you are a novelist writing about real people, how do you resist the temptation to make things up? HHhH is a panorama of the Third Reich told through the life of one outstandingly brutal man, a story of unbearable heroism and loyalty, revenge and betrayal. It is improbably entertaining and electrifyingly modern, a moving and shattering work of fiction. Bookseller Inventory # EAS9780099555643

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Book Description 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 130mm x 201mm x 23mm. Paperback. Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid, Prague, 1942: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent on a daring mission by London to assassinate R.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 336 pages. 0.200. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099555643

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Book Description Book Condition: New. Publisher/Verlag: Random House UK | Winner of the Prix Goncourt 2009 (Debütroman) and Publishers Publicity Circle: Hardback Fiction Award 2013 | An astonishing, unforgettable novel: a thrilling Second World War assassination plot told with rare literary brilliance. | Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid, Prague, 1942: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent on a daring mission by London to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich - chief of the Nazi secret services, 'the hangman of Prague', 'the blond beast', 'the most dangerous man in the Third Reich' His boss is Heinrich Himmler but everyone in the SS says 'Himmler's brain is called Heydrich', which in German spells HHhH. All the characters in HHhH are real. All the events depicted are true. But alongside the nerve-shredding preparations for the attack runs another story: when you are a novelist writing about real people, how do you resist the temptation to make things up? HHhH is a panorama of the Third Reich told through the life of one outstandingly brutal man, a story of unbearable heroism and loyalty, revenge and betrayal. It is improbably entertaining and electrifyingly modern, a moving and shattering work of fiction. | Format: Paperback | Language/Sprache: english | 235 gr | 202x139x21 mm | 336 pp. Bookseller Inventory # K9780099555643

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Book Description Vintage, 2013. paperback. Book Condition: New. *** NEW COPY *** TITLE SHIPPED FROM UK *** Binding paperback Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid, Prague, 1942: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent on a daring mission by London to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich - chief of the Nazi secret services. Bookseller Inventory # 0099555646

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Book Description Random House. Book Condition: New. pp. 336 Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid, Prague, 1942: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent on a daring mission by London to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich - chief of the Nazi secret services, 'the hangman of Prague', 'the blond beast', 'the most dangerous man in the Third Reich'. His boss is Heinrich Himmler but everyone in the SS says 'Himmler's brain is called Heydrich', which in German spells HHhH. All the characters in HHhH are real. All the events depicted are true. But alongside the nerve-shredding preparations for the attack runs anot. Bookseller Inventory # 58102848

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