Ciska's Book Chest

I am an eclectic reader with preferences for crime/thriller/suspense, historical fiction, literature and contemporary fiction. For more books and other bookish posts visit my blog at Ciska's Book Chest

HHhH / druk 20: Himmlers hersens heten Heydrich

HhhH: Himmlers hersens heten Heydrich - Laurent Binet, Liesbeth van Nes The authorLaurent Binet (born 19 July 1972) is a French writer.Son of an historian, he was born in Paris, graduated from University of Paris in literature, and taught literature in Parisian suburb and eventually at University.He was awarded the 2010 Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman for his first novel, HHhH. The novel recounts the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich in 1942.The synopsisWe are in Prague, in 1942. Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent by London plan to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich—head of the Nazi secret services, 'the hangman of Prague', 'the blond beast', 'the most dangerous man in the Third Reich'.Heydrich works for Hitler's most powerful henchman, Heinrich Himmler, but in the SS they say 'HHhH': 'Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich'—Himmler's brain is called Heydrich.All the characters in HHhH existed then or still exist now. All the events depicted are true. But alongside the nerve-shredding story of the preparations for the attack runs another story: when you are writing about real people, how do you resist the temptation to make things up?The reviewI have finished this book almost 24 hours ago and still do not have a clue how I feel about it. I love books on WWII I read a lot of them. Both fiction and non-fiction and this must be one of the most disturbing ones I read. There are two stories in this book and I will separate them as is is impossible to combine them while discussing this book.There is the story about Heyrdrich and the group of people send to kill him. The author managed to get a lot of information on Heydrich and how he got to the place he was. There is obviously a lot of documentation on the steps Heydrich took to get to that spot. There is also a lot of information on the plans he made for the Nazi’s concerning the camps and how the idea's should best be brought to the people. The author managed to make Heydrich a very scary person, a master in misleading people and get them to do what he wants. The resistance people are staying a bit vague (despite the authors wish to make the story about them) but there is enough information to work with. The storyline in this part of the story is building up to the important parts, the assassination and the Nazi’s hunting down the suspects. There are some jumps in time when something that Heydrich invented is implemented later in the war which are not always clear and sometimes make the story messy but not as messy as that other part of the book.The other part is the story on how the author is trying to write the book. How he got information. How ideas get stuck in his head. How he feels the story should be and what should not be in it but how easy it is to put it in there cause of temptation. The author jumps between those stories how he sees fit even if it does not make sense for a reader. This is not a book you read on a sunny afternoon on a beach. This book means work. You have to keep your head clear and pay attention to what you read. I gave this book three stars which is average but that is because this book is either a 1 star I hated it or a 5 star I must have missed the clue and it is freaking brilliant book. I am not sure on which side of the scale I am so 3 stars is the safe side.I am not sure if I would advice other people to read the book. I am curious though to discuss this book with people and find out what they thought of the whole setup of the book.