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hhhhJuly’s Book of the Month has us asking – what exactly is a novel? Laurent Binet’s book HHhH is an intriguing blend of thriller, historical fiction, fact and much more.

Two men have been enlisted to kill the head of the Gestapo. This is Operation Anthropoid, Prague, 1942: two Czechoslovakian parachutists sent on a daring mission by London to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich – chief of the Nazi secret services, ‘the hangman of Prague’, ‘the blond beast’, ‘the most dangerous man in the Third Reich’. His boss is Heinrich Himmler but everyone in the SS says ‘Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich’, which in German spells “HHhH”. All the characters in “HHhH” are real. All the events depicted are true. But alongside the nerve-shredding preparations for the attack runs another story: when you are a novelist writing about real people, how do you resist the temptation to make things up? “HHhH” is a panorama of the Third Reich told through the life of one outstandingly brutal man, a story of unbearable heroism and loyalty, revenge and betrayal. It is improbably entertaining and electrifyingly modern, a moving and shattering work of fiction.

We’ll be discussing the book throughout the month as we read it before culminating in our podcast discussion.

Here’s the schedule for June:

Tuesday 9th July: What The Critics Say
Tuesday 16th July: Your Thoughts!
Monday 29th July: Podcast discussion –  Rob and Kate share their views.

Do get involved in the discussion as we’d love to hear your views. Send us your thoughts or questions about HHhH via TwitterFacebook or email.

Buy the book: AmazonWaterstonesBook Depository

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