HHhH: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $26.00
  • Save: $7.09 (27%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
HHhH: A Novel has been added to your Cart
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by BigHeartedBooks
Condition: Used: Very Good
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

HHhH: A Novel Hardcover – April 24, 2012


See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, April 24, 2012
$18.91
$3.72 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

HHhH: A Novel + Sweet Tooth: A Novel
Price for both: $38.23

Buy the selected items together
  • Sweet Tooth: A Novel $19.32

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Discover an addictive, suspenseful debut thriller filled with twists and turns that will keep you engrossed from start to finish. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First American Edition edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780374169916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374169916
  • ASIN: 0374169918
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

“[An] extraordinary first novel . . . HHhH, translated from the French by Sam Taylor, charts Heydrich’s rise through the Nazi ranks and Germany’s march to war . . . [to] the training in Britain of the Czech and Slovak assassins, Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabcík, who parachuted into the country in December 1941 to kill Heydrich. Ample material for a decent espionage thriller, but Binet, ‘a slave to my scruples,’ makes something altogether less commonplace of it. His fidelity to the historical record, and obsessive urge to analyse those moments where surmise replaces fact, makes HHhH as much about the technical and moral processes of writing a historical novel as it is a historical novel . . . This unusual method results in a literary triumph . . . Using short, punchy chapters, Binet keeps his story haring along. The book’s final section, which recounts the assassination and subsequent manhunt in minute detail, is a masterpiece of tension, and its closing pages are extremely moving. Very few page-turners come as smart and original as this.” —Chris Power, The Times (London)

“Captivating . . . [HHhH] has a vitality very different from that of most historical fiction.” —James Wood, The New Yorker

“[Binet] knows how to wrangle powerful moments from history.” —Susannah Meadows, The New York Times

“[HHhH is] a marvelous, charming, engaging novel.” —Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times

“Every now and then a piece of work comes along that undermines the assumptions upon which all previous works have been built . . . These pieces of art complicate the genre for everyone that follows. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius did it for the memoir, Reservoir Dogs for action films, and now HHhH does it for the historical novel. Laurent Binet’s brilliantly translated debut deconstructs the process of fiction writing in the face of the brute reality of facts . . . Binet’s [HHhH] resets the path of the historical novel. He has a bright, bright future.” —David Annand, The Telegraph

“One of the best and most original new novels I’ve read in years.” —Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Ingenious and inventive . . . HHhH [is a] knockout blow in the boxing match of genre-defying literature. Binet steps between styles with ease . . . [and] has written a tale of Heydrich to defy most academic study. Moreover, Binet has managed to engage. His description is playful and joyous, at times even wrongfully celebratory, but always, always surprisingly on form. As a deserving winner of the Prix Goncourt, HHhH is a fantastic read. As a dynamic assault on the genres of contemporary writing, HHhH must join that coterie of celebrated titles: it is unique.” —Charles J. Haynes, California Literary Review

“An impressive debut . . . HHhH is fascinating not only because of the subject matter, but also because of the immense amount of detail Binet includes. The book transports and enraptures. It also impresses upon the reader the legacy of that history. His reflections on how to write the book with thoroughness and integrity and the effect of the project on his life are examples of how important the subject and the consequences of the history are to him. Heydrich’s life is not as documented as those of other high ranking Nazi officers. By researching and publishing HHhH, Binet reminds the reader that history has myriads of layers, but that they are all relevant in our contemporary world.” —Ashley McNelis, Bomb

“[HHhH is] quirky, clever . . . Binet makes a very perceptive and informed recording angel, one with an exceptionally clear and unfussy prose style (rendered extremely well by the translator, Sam Taylor). It doesn’t hurt that he has triple-A premium material, but Binet doesn’t push too hard to give the events a meaning. He lets them be the tragedy that they are, and as such they’re devastating.” —Lev Grossman, Time.com

“[HHhH] is as much a meditation on fictionalizing history—on factual truth versus a more expansive definition of truth, on the obligations and the agendas of writers—as it is a story about an assassination . . .  Binet accomplishes something paradoxical. By clinging to the historical record and a very strict definition of truth, he transcends the barest facts and creates a work with its own heft and depth . . . [He] has produced the only essential piece of World War II fiction in years.” —Jessica Crispin, Barnes & Noble Review

“[HHhH] is utterly compelling and ruthlessly fascinating.” —Laurence Mackin, Irish Times

“A breezily charming novel, with a thrilling story that also happens to be true, by a gifted young author . . . [Binet] marshals and deploys his materials with exceptional dramatic skill . . . By the time you reach the book’s devastating finale, it’s this discreet storytelling mastery . . . that leaves the deepest impression.” —James Lasdun, The Guardian

“A cracking book . . . With its double-narrative and its authorial playfulness, HHhH reads in places like a stylistic homage to WG Sebald or Italo Calvino.” —Ruadhán MacCormaic, Irish Times

“That HHhH is so devastatingly brilliant is testament to both its originality and ambition. In fact, it would not be going too far to say it is a modern masterpiece.” —Rob Minshull, ABC (Brisbane)

HHhH triumphs precisely because it not only delicately, and sometimes grippingly, depicts a major historical moment, but because it manages to depict the unique challenges of 21st-century remembrance.” —Michael Lapointe, The Globe and Mail

HHhH is brilliant.” —Michel Basilières, The Toronto Star

“[A] remarkable first novel . . . Binet has created a rare thing: a book that tells us stories, mixing scholarship with suspense, while simultaneously laying bare and critiquing the book's construction. It's a difficult approach, which makes the enjoyment of reading it all the more striking.” —Matthew Tiffany, Plain-Dealer (Cleveland)

“There are not enough books that blend the profound and the entertaining. This is one and it comes in a sparkling translation by novelist Sam Taylor.” —John Gardner, New Zealand Herald

“An extraordinary first novel . . . A literary triumph . . . The books final section, which recounts the assassination and subsequent manhunt in minute detail, is a masterpiece of tension, and its closing pages are extremely moving. Very few page-turners come as smart and original as this.” —The Times (London)

“This is mesmeric stuff; history brought to chilling, potent life.” —Leyla Senai, The Independent

“I really don’t know how to praise this book further than to say that it changed my conception of the possibilities of literature. I cannot recommend this book more highly than saying, despite the cliche, that it is an actual must-read, both for its important content, but as importantly, for its avant-garde nature as it pushes forward the boundaries of historical fiction. (From a different lens, it represents the avant garde of teaching history. I can’t imagine anyone who would read this book and consequently not feel interested in the essential questions of historiography i.e. what can we truly know about history.) Go out, find this book, devour it, and prepare to find yourself changed, in ways you could not expect.” —Joe Winkler, Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“A brilliantly profound debut about the assassination of the architect of the Holocaust . . . I found myself turning pages faster and faster while I read about the two men who parachuted into the countryside and slowly closed in on Heydrich, even though I knew exactly what was about to happen. Maybe you can’t write a successful novel about the Holocaust. But, turns out, you can write a wonderful book—let’s call it a novel—about the impossibility of writing about the Holocaust.” —Malcolm Jones, The Daily Beast

“Riveting . . . [HHhH is] exuberant and breathless and wonderful throughout.” —Weston Cutter, Kenyon Review

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

HHhH is a highly original piece of work, at once charming, moving, and gripping.” —Martin Amis, author of The Pregnant Widow

“A wonderful, ambitious book, and a triumph of translation.” —Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin

HHhH is an astonishing book—absorbing, moving, for the agony and acuity with which its author engages the problem of making literary art from unbearable historical fact.” —Wells Tower, author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

“A work of absolute originality.” —Claude Lanzmann

“By the time I got to the last page of Binet’s masterpiece, I had to close my eyes and rethink histo...

About the Author

Laurent Binet was born in Paris, France, in 1972. He is the author of La Vie professionnelle de Laurent B., a memoir of his experience teaching in secondary schools in Paris. In March 2010, his debut novel, HHhH, won the Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman. Laurent Binet is a professor at the University of Paris III, where he lectures on French literature.


More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I was looking forward to this book, but finished it slightly disappointed.
Famous Séamus
So, if, like me, you're a fan of historical fiction, history, fiction, the philosophy of writing fiction, or any combination therein, you'll probably dig this.
Gregory Zimmerman
Interwoven with the story are Binet's first person thoughts and the decisions he makes during the writing process.
Donna

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Caddis Nymph on May 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel deals with the subjugation of Czechoslovakia by the National Socialists during World War II and the beginning of the Final Solution. A grim subject presented in a rather unusual way: the author breaks through the fourth wall, you might say, by not only telling the story of the assassination of the Nazis' 'Protector' in Czechoslovakia, Reinhard Heydrich, a merciless and practical man who launched the Holocaust, but by 'turning to you' and making remarks about the history and characters being described.

Extremely well written, highly inventive, and gripping, this story of two men, a Czech and a Slav, who had early in Germany's rampage escaped northward to the Baltic and then by boat arrived in France, where they were assigned to the Foreign Legion's Czech battalions to fight Germany alongside the French. But given the fact that they were native speakers of the Czech language and capable fighters, the Czech government in exile in London scooped them up and assigned them to jump into Prague with the aim of assassinating Heydrich. How difficult that was, how they accomplished it, and how it turned out for them personally comprises this novel.

The author might be sitting opposite you, telling you the story, bringing it to life, but from time to time he leans in and gives you *his take on what's going on, how much he wishes he were with them, knowing them, taking the same risks, contemptuous of the German terror being visited on their land. Sometimes he shares his dreams that he's actually done or is doing exactly that, but then he shakes his head, pauses and goes back to telling the story in straight, unrelenting narrative.

Translated from the original French by a first-time translator; excellent work, very smooth, practically vernacular ... I noticed only a single error and that a minor quibble on my part. Both the author and translator deserve heartiest congratulations.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Robert Abidor on April 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
HHhH by Laurent Binet is many things: a history of the Third Reich's eastwards expansion, a novel about the successful plot to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, the Butcher of Prague, and a critique of the art of writing historical fiction. In a quirky but endearing style, Binet develops the story of Heydrich and the story of the plot to kill him. Authors of similar works are prey to Binet's commentary on their failures as writers and as historians. Yet, through it all, Binet in HHhH compels you forward with his narrative as you become a sideline cheerleader for the two Czechoslovakian assassins.

HHhH (which comes from the German meaning Himmler's brain is Heydrich) is not your average historical fiction. It does require the reader to accept Binet as his guide through the story and, with it, to take whatever diversions Binet wishes you to take. However, historical fiction, at its best, is a story and a story requires a strong voice to tell it. Binet, in this excellent translation, is a voice worth listening to and HHhH is a story that needs to be told. Sit back, strap yourself in, and be prepared for an excellent journey.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are many ways to write history and possibly the most tricky is when an author includes himself in the narration. I'm not talking about a memoir, where an author has a place in the history he's writing, but rather when the author makes himself part of the story. It's a technique used by Laurent Binet in his new novel, "HHhH". Written in French, the book is well-translated by Sam Taylor. "HHhH" is the story of the assassination plot of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague, in May, 1942.

Most readers of this review are probably familiar with SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, born in Halle, Germany, of a musical family, who joined the Nazi party in 1931. A fast-riser within the SS, he served under Heinrich Himmler, and was complicit in almost every event within the party in the 1930's. From the "Night of the Long Knives", to helping to set up "Kristalnacht", to convening the Wannsee Conference in January, 1942, Heydrich found fame - and death - as the "temporary" Reich-protector of Bohemia and Moravia. Sent to Prague to rule as Hitler's minister, he was assassinated after serving there for a year or so. But, he was on the fast-track upwards and history has him as moving on to rule German-occupied France when he was done in Prague.

Binet's "novel" begins with an author (himself?) writing a book on the assassination. He writes about his own background, and about his writing processes. At the same time, he's recounting the story of Heydrich and of the "parachutists" sent into Prague in 1941 to kill Heydrich. "Operation Anthropoid" the plot was called. Begun in London under the auspices of the Czech government-in-exile and British Intelligence.
Read more ›
8 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By R. S. Wilkerson on June 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a novel about writing a novel, which is, at the same time, the narrator claims, a history. The narrator/writer intrudes often and becomes imaginatively a part of the story. He reminds the reader so often that the work is not fiction that the reader can never be sure which is which nor how reliable the narrator is. The story ostensibly is about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, May 27, 1942, but since there is little substantive information about his assassins or about the individual, a turncoat, who for a million marks, turns them into the Nazis, the narrator/writer can only speculate about them as personalities, which means that he is writing fiction despite all of his claims to the contrary. The paucity of information forces the book to be about Heydrich, although the writer/narrator claims it is about the assassins and makes an effort to keep the reader focused on them. He claims that he wants the reader to "know" them, so he mentions often the research that he's done, citing history and fiction, how he has tried to learn the story in intimate detail and put himself into the events so that the reader can experience it.

The narrator/writer claims "The people who took part in this story are not characters. And if they became characters because of me, I don't wish to treat them like that (p. 320)." But he has made them characters; there is in this type of work, no way to avoid it; they are more real as characters in a novel than as stories in a history book. That, of course, is the conscious irony of the work: as characters they have substance. As historical figures "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" (p. 323), they are shadows.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?