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.
Click here to watch a video of Laurent Binet talking about HHhH
“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
"This book tells the story of The Third Reich through the account of one man's brutal life. It is a story of heroism and loyalty, revenge and betrayal."
- Daily News
"Fascinating as the narrative is, what makes the book compelling is the authorial voice as the reader is privy to the narrator's inner debate over the question of invented dialogue or an imagined portrayal of what real-life characters were thinking or feeling. The narrator rejects imagined scenes. But the authorial comment is entertaining and, one suspects, leavened with a scoop of fiction. HHhH is an excellent novel."