“HHhH "Himmlers Hirn heiBt Heydrich" or "Himmler's brain is called Heydrich" is a novel of Reinhard Heydrich the "the Butcher of Prague and his death in May 1942 by a Slovak and a Czech recruited by the British secret service. It is a meditation on the nature of writing and the debt we owe to history.”see full review » see other reviews »
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“I was very excited when I heard about this book. A novelization about the assassination of Nazi Germany's Butcher of Prague, Reinhard Heydrich by two Czechoslovakian resistance fighters parachuted in after being trained in the UK. How could one go wrong with that?
“HHhH "Himmlers Hirn heiBt Heydrich" or "Himmler's brain is called Heydrich" is a novel of Reinhard Heydrich the "the Butcher of Prague and his death in May 1942 by a Slovak and a Czech recruited by the British secret service. It is a meditation on the nature of writing and the debt we owe to history.”Ron N wrote this review Saturday, April 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Got about a third of the way into this book and couldn't finish. I know it's a translated book but I didn't like the disjointed style and the overall tone. Hard to explain but just not something I felt the desire to finish.”Jennifer H wrote this review Friday, April 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A translated (from French) novel about writing a book about the assasination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Butcher of Prague, Blond Beast, etc. Burried in the layers of discussion about the challenges of researching and writing the book is an amazing amount of historical detail about the events leading up to the assasination, the assasination and the aftermath of the assasination. I suspect I would rather have just read the history of the assasination without the other layers, but as written, it is different and entertaining and perhaps more accessible and impactful. A good read. ”Neil Crocker wrote this review Wednesday, April 10, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“For a full review go to http://messybooker.blogspot.com.au/”Tonymess wrote this review Tuesday, April 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Fantastic metacognitive narration of a fascinating historic event. Brilliant, Brilliant!”Tiffany S wrote this review Thursday, March 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Seeing the unusual title (its the German acronym for the saying 'Himmler's Hirn Heist Heydrich' - 'Himmler's brain is called Heydrich') I picked up this book on spec, primarily because I know a little about the subject and was interested to see this author's take on Heydrich. This book is translated from French and I confess that after reading it (and it seemed to take an inordinately long time for me to do so) I am still firmly in two minds about it!
If you're a military buff as I am you may be impressed with the sheer amount of minute detail and original information hitherto unseen on Heydrich and Operation ANTHROPOID that Binet has researched (well) and uncovered but will likely be turned off a bit by the indulgent way it has been written. But it is a novel, not a history. In fact its a novel about... writing a novel!
Binet writes with passion about the lengthy struggle he has had on writing about a subject that he has been obsessed with for years. He details the struggle he constantly had with telling the historical facts of his research and avoiding adding invention by his own interpretation of them - as you tend to do as a novelist. The book really documents Binet's struggle with this while at the same time telling the factual story of the assassination of one of the most (if not the most) dangerous and evil of men (Reinhardt Heydrich) in one of the most evil regimes of modern times. Binet constantly flips back and forth with the factual bits about Heydrich and the courageous young Czechs of Op ANTHROPOID who killed him. The book is also his personal account of the processes of writing the novel and voicing opinions in a conversational style about all manner of issues that have been thrown up by his research etc, in other words, a book about writing a book!
Binet documents the lot but does it in a conversational style, a bit like 'Dear Diary, its Day 303 of writing this book...' I personally found this a bit tedious, which is probably why it took me so long to read it but others may enjoy this very personalized writing style. According to Binet, his research has been extensive and meticulous, accessing previously unknown Czech sources which the author can read (although French, he has a passion for and knowledge of all things Czech) but without stated references you just have to take his word for it. Martin Amis is one writer who's opinion I greatly respect and he gives big wraps to Binet's book and it is, as he claims 'charming, moving, and gripping' but if its a factual retelling of the Czech's assassination of Heydrich you're after, this may not be the book you're after.”
“Very interesting. Not my favorite, but well done. A TOB read.”Crossbike wrote this review Friday, February 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An unusual and fascinating novel about the assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich, the most feared Nazi. The author's approach is much different than other books on this topic. ”Martin A. Rubin wrote this review Tuesday, January 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Prague 1942, assasinat Heydrich. HHHhH, le cerveau de Himmler est Heydrich. Fiction romanesque de verite historique. Fascinant. ”Pierre Sabourin wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No