Next club is Friday, February 19th at Jared’s new house (for real this time). We picked HHhH by Laurent Binet in what Dave declared to be a “pure” paper vote, including peripheral (get it) votes from absentees.
HHhH is the debut novel of French author Laurent Binet. It recounts Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of Nazi leaderReinhard Heydrich in Prague during World War II. It was awarded the 2010 Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman.
The novel follows the history of the operation and the life of its protagonists – Heydrich and his assassins Jozef Gabčíkand Jan Kubiš. But it is also interlaced with the author’s account of the process of researching and writing the book, his commentary about other literary and media treatments of the subject, and reflections about the extent to which the behavior of real people may of necessity be fictionalised in a historical novel.
The title is an acronym for Himmlers Hirn heißt Heydrich(“Himmler‘s brain is called Heydrich”), a quip about Heydrich said to have circulated in Nazi Germany. It was suggested as a title by Binet’s publisher, Grasset, instead of the “too sci-fi” working title Opération Anthropoïde. The editor also requested the cut of about twenty pages criticizing Jonathan Littell‘s Les Bienveillantes, another novel about the SS in World War II that was awarded thePrix Goncourt in 2006.The Millions published the “missing pages” in 2012.