Harvill Secker £8.99
Paperback review: HHhH, By Laurent Binet (trs by Sam Taylor)
Sunday 20 January 2013
The main character of this 'true novel' is the Nazi Reinhard Heydrich – the title comes from the SS phrase, "Himlers Hirn heisst Heydrich" ("Himmler's brain is called Heydrich") – career murderer and a chief architect of the Final Solution, a sadist who deliberately allows a political opponent to bleed to death rather than finish him off with a second bullet, devoid of redeeming features, unless a talent for the violin counts.
He is not the protagonist but the target. The heroes are the Slovak Jozef Gabcik and the Czech Jan Kubis, who carry out a practically suicidal attempt to assassinate him. It's an intriguing meditation on truth and fiction; Binet reflects on his research and the story he's formulating as he constructs it. It's also a nail-biter, even if you know the ending.
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
The Gamechangers trailer: Daniel Radcliffe stars in GTA movie
Star Wars: New action dolls launched on Force Friday ahead of The Force Awakens release
Joan Aiken: Today's Google Doodle celebrates life of British fantasy novelist
Photographer captures the beauty and intensity of his girlfriend giving birth at home
Everything extra JK Rowling has revealed about Harry Potter
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees