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Resistance [Kindle Edition]

Gerald Brennan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

In late December of 1941, two parachutists dropped into occupied Europe on a mission to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, an SS leader whom one contemporary called "the hidden pivot" of Nazi Germany.

Six months later, they succeeded.

This is the definitive telling of this oft-forgotten story--its fascinating background, its thrilling climax, and its tragic consequences. It is also a powerful meditation on the nature of history, and on the ways we distort the past in order to preserve it as memory.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The central events of the story--the plot to kill [Nazi Reichsprotektor Reinhard] Heydrich, the assassination itself and the staggering reprisals taken by the Nazis--are approached from several different angles, heightening both the tension and the power of the narratives. Brennan's command of facts is absolute and his ear for dialogue is pitch-perfect. The author is unafraid of making readers spend a great deal of time with some very unsavory people...[a]n extremely impressive debut." - Kirkus Reviews

From the Author

I've long been fascinated by the Heydrich assassination. One of the most important figures in Nazi Germany was killed at the height of the war by a daring secret mission--and yet few people know about it. Ever since I saw Callum MacDonald's history of the event on a bargain bookshelf as a teenager, I've wanted to write a novel about it and bring the story to a wider audience.

It would have been relatively easy to write a straightforward story, but I didn't want to do that. (If you're looking for something short, simple, and less nuanced, you'd be better off reading MacDonald's book, or Miroslav Ivanov's Target: Heydrich.) The more I read about Czechoslovakia's history, the more this story seemed like a great Shakespearean tragedy, and the peak of a much larger arc. So I wanted to write something more epic and arty than past books on the topic, something with the sweep of a David Lean epic and the psychological insights of Dostoyevsky's major novels.

I have no idea whether or not I accomplished that--obviously that's for you, the reader, to judge.

But if I didn't, it wasn't for lack of effort. I went to Prague three times and traveled extensively around the Czech Republic. I rented a bicycle and retraced the routes the assassins would have taken. I dug deeply into the stories of the men who set them in motion and the men who tried to stop them, and I tried to bring those stories to life as well.

I even wrote each third differently--the first part exclusively via laptop, the second on a typewriter, and the third by hand, with spellings and place names that vary according to the political biases of each narrator. Some readers have loved this approach, and some have hated it, for it isn't one narrative, but three--a triptych in which each piece has its own arc and the assembled whole has a greater arc. And history isn't just told by the men we admire, but by the ones we despise as well.

In writing this way, I hope I've put together something that gets at the very nature of history itself. We strain for objective truth, but we can only approximate it by cobbling together a lot of subjective narratives. We try to repeat our great successes and avoid our great failures, and in the process, we run into new successes and failures that we didn't see coming because we were too busy looking back. We seek enemies who are worse than us, but in fighting them, we come to resemble them.

Again, if you're looking for something simpler and more comfortable than that, I hope you go elsewhere; I don't want you to waste your time or take your money. But if you're looking for something thought-provoking and worthwhile, something that will be even better on a second or a third reading, I hope you'll give this a shot.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1840 KB
  • Print Length: 770 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Tortoise Books (December 31, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085QWLY4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,843 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History + Fiction = Win June 8, 2012
By J. Cook
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the first work of historical fiction I've enjoyed since junior high (and yes, I've tried the genre more than a few times since). There always seems to be too much fiction or too much history. Resistance gets the mix right. The history is compelling enough to make the layperson care about the facts, and the characters are rich enough to make the reader feel a near-personal connection to long-ago events. The combination makes for a page turner punctuated only by restroom breaks and Wikipedia visits.

Full disclosure: I watched the author quite literally sleep through a semester of Plebe history well over a decade ago. He also earned a much better grade than me. I had always assumed he was recovering physically from the action-packed cadet lifestyle. Now that I've read some of his fiction, however, I see that he was instead training his impressive imagination.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars read after reading HHHh September 13, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book after first reading HHHh. I found that book (HHHh) excellent and basically wanted to read this one as it was a different slant on the method of the HHHh author. In this book it also looks closely at the assisination of Reinhard Heydrich, but from 3 different angles, one from an army office of the Czech republic, then from the view of the actual assassins and finally from the view of the informer and parachutist who was with the assassins at one point and handed the identities to the Germans after the assassination. None of this is spoiling the story as those details seem to be well recorded and used to describe this and the other books about the same matter. It is well written and an excellent book with some good fine details, such as the situation after the assassination when the Germans murder Czech citizens and broadcast their names over the radio for all to hear. And also things like the view at the final scene and a fire hose is squirting water around making a rainbow on a fairly nice day, seemingly preaceful despite all the trauma around it. It is well worth reading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ!!!! August 15, 2012
By ANTS
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book, will be looking forward to others by this author.Kept my interest for the whole book, interesting!Very well researched.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Real Heydrich March 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This reads like a momoire and I was confident that the writer was telling his story from experience. Although the book is focused upon Colonel Heydrich much historically recorded assassination. I got some real insight into Heydrich from this book. I think he is fascinating because he was so celebrated as an evil man, as despicable as Hitler himself. No doubt he was the most influential figure other than Hitler of that period. He was totally obsessed with promoting himslef and his career. 'The Resistence' while the focusupon here is of less relevance to me personallh than the insights into Heydrich himself. And who better to reflect upon the man than those who suffered under his brutality, watched him carefully and were plotting his demise? While, not for the faint hearted, this is a very readable book and a great addition to my kindle library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Naziest Nazi August 14, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
SS Obergruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich is one of the most darkly intriguing figures in the pantheon of Third Reich baddies. One American Neo-Nazi reportedly dubbed him "the Naziest Nazi of them all," and he meant it as the highest praise. Heydrich had a very successful career as Heinrich Himmler's right hand, a position he gained by creating the SD, the security service of the SS whose tentacles reached every corner of the Third Reich. More importantly he became a driving force behind the development and implementation of the so-called "final solution" that led to murder on an industrial scale. His promotions were swift, and in 1941 Hitler appointed him to the position of "Acting Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia," that is, the German overlord of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, charged with keeping the populace in line and the giant Skoda armaments factories humming. He used this position ruthlessly, intent on impressing the Fuehrer with his skills and with the efficiency of an SS approach to controlling the occupied lands. Frustrated by the apparent docility of the Czech citizens in the face of Heydrich's oppression, the British government pressured the head of the Czech government-in-exile in London, Eduard Benes, to urge his people to resist more vigorously. To inspire them, Operation Anthropoid was conceived. Two exiled soldiers, one a Czech, one a Slovak, would be parachuted into Czechoslovakia to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich. The plan succeeded, but led to a wave of terror against the Czech population, including the total destruction of the village of Lidice and the murder of its inhabitants. Heydrich's unlikely rise and well-deserved fall are definitively chronicled in "Hitler's Hangman,The Life of Heydrich" by historian Robert Gerwarth (five stars). Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a fascinating true story of a group of Czech resistance fighters who had fled to England with Benes, who was the current president and were trained to return to Czechoslovakia to take out the evil Hitler SS leader Reinhard Heydrich who had been put in as the Protector. But rather than be a protector, he was a brutal murderer who put fear into the Czech people as he ruthlessly cleared out anyone who protested the German takeover.
Although Heydrich is pictured as a incorrigible womanizer, even though he was married, and was pursued by the women of the captive Czech capital Prague, I found him to be a frightening, evil and ruthless murderer.
A drunken reveler, he went into a church where the remains of the well known Czech saint, St. Wenceslaus's remains were buried and took his crown from the display(despite warnings of a curse) and danced around with it on his head. A few weeks later he was dead, and his two young sons died, one a victim of a fever, the other an accident. Many Czech's believed it was punishment for desecrating Wenceslaus' crown. But his habit of riding around in his Mercedes convertible with the top down and no escort probably made the assassins purpose much easier. Both escaped but the country suffered much retaliation from Hitler.
He is definitely a study of pure evil in a handsome suave body which probably hid from many how ruthless he truly was.
Surprisingly, he was an accomplished classical violinist and had been raised in a Catholic family.
Even though this is a bit lengthy, it is a great read for those interested in these historical times
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Buen libro pero no el mejor
Es buen libro pero no de los mejores al ser un relato histórico la continuidad de la historia de parte de pronto y cambia a otra persona.
Published 2 months ago by Abraham Mustri Farca
4.0 out of 5 stars Learn something new every day!
Great book with a lot of history. I didn't know all of the story, but this book is very good.
Published 2 months ago by 4jmillers
2.0 out of 5 stars Starts good but goes down hill.
The book has three parts. Really it is three short stories. Each part is a different story, different plot, different protagonist, different style and I would guess different... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jack Willis
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
This is an interesting book. At times it flows nicely and other times I found myself having to go back and see who the character is. Overall a very good book keeps you interested.
Published 5 months ago by Michael N. Numerick
2.0 out of 5 stars Historical Friction
As an amateur historian, I am always reluctant to read historical fiction. In this case i had limited knowledge of the assassination of Reinhardt Heydrich, the event on which this... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it! Remember it!
Sometimes a bit difficult to follow (it jumps around a bit) but without doubt a tale of daring and skill in a world we are too soon to forget.
Published 9 months ago by James Cook
4.0 out of 5 stars A great, big book about a pivotal event
This is a fabulous way to write historical fiction--a combination of memoir, documents and diaries. The subject matter is one of the most compelling journeys of the WW2 era, and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jane La Motte
5.0 out of 5 stars I had a hard time putting it down
A novel but a great way to get an inkling of the politics and history of the times and places
Published 14 months ago by Doris Baugh
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book
Very interesting book with lots of powerful subtext.
Easy to read and coverd lots of substories.
HIghly recommend to anyone interested in topic.
Published 14 months ago by D. Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars True or false?
This novel is so compellingly written and cleverly constructed that I had to keep reminding myself it was a novel, not memoir.
Published 14 months ago by R. Schwein
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More About the Author

Mr. Brennan earned a B.S. in European History from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University in New York. He's the author of Resistance and Ninety-Seven to Three. His writing has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Good Men Project, and Innerview Magazine; he's also been a frequent contributor and co-editor at Back to Print and The Deadline. He resides in Chicago.

Follow him on Twitter @jerry_brennan

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