We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
HHhH Audiobook

HHhH

Regular Price:$27.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

HHhH: "Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich," or "Himmler's brain is called Heydrich." The most dangerous man in Hitler's cabinet, Reinhard Heydrich was known as the "Butcher of Prague." He was feared by all and loathed by most. With his cold Aryan features and implacable cruelty, Heydrich seemed indestructible - until two men, a Slovak and a Czech recruited by the British secret service - killed him in broad daylight on a bustling street in Prague, and thus changed the course of History.

Who were these men, arguably two of the most discreet heroes of the twentieth century? In Laurent Binet's captivating debut novel, we follow Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubiš from their dramatic escape of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to England; from their recruitment to their harrowing parachute drop into a war zone, from their stealth attack on Heydrich's car to their own brutal death in the basement of a Prague church.

A seemingly effortlessly blend of historical truth, personal memory, and Laurent Binet's remarkable imagination, HHhH- an international best seller and winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman - is a work at once thrilling and intellectually engrossing, a fast-paced novel of the Second World War that is also a profound meditation on the nature of writing and the debt we owe to history.

©2009 Editions Grasset et Fasquelle. Translation from the French copyright 2012 by Sam Taylor (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"This fluid translation by Taylor is a superb choice for lovers of historical literary works and even international thrillers. Most highly recommended." (Library Journal)

“Captivating . . . [HHhH] has a vitality very different from that of most historical fiction.” (The New Yorker)

“[HHhH is] a marvelous, charming, engaging novel.” (Los Angeles Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (107 )
5 star
 (46)
4 star
 (38)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.1 (101 )
5 star
 (50)
4 star
 (25)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.3 (100 )
5 star
 (51)
4 star
 (33)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 02-02-13
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 02-02-13

    I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14381
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    663
    657
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3065
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Himlers Hirn heisst Heydrich"

    An interesting narrative about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. The title comes from the SS phrase: "Himlers Hirn heisst Heydrich" ("Himmler's brain is called Heydrich"). Instead of telling the story as a straight historical narrative, Laurent Binet weaves himself throughout the main narrative. It becomes in parts a contrived post-modern mediation on truth, fiction, and the author. I want to give Binet points for trying to create a novel that possesses gravitas, is interesting, is tense, but also isn't traditional. Throughout the novel I was cheering for Binet like I was cheering for Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis, but while Binet takes huge risks with this novel he just doesn't cleanly land his bold quadruple H.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bionichands washington, d.c. area 08-29-12
    bionichands washington, d.c. area 08-29-12 Member Since 2009

    procrastinator

    HELPFUL VOTES
    323
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    268
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    20
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Weird storytelling just didn't work for me."
    Would you try another book from Laurent Binet and/or John Lee?

    No.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    WOOL Omnibus Edition.


    Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?

    Sure there was no issue with the narrator.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The actual story and history that the book wants to tell is compelling. But the weird method of telling the story gets in the way.


    Any additional comments?

    This should have been a much better book considering the story it aims to tell about the assassination of Heidrich. The problem with the book is that the author is writing about his attempt to write this story. In PAINFUL detail. He literally interrupts the story to say things like, "I was going to write that Heidrich had pancakes for breakfast, but I didn't know for sure if that would be historically accurate". I'm not making this up. WTF?? The first three chapters of the book are the author's ramblings about thinking about writing a book. I thought it was just a lengthy FOREWARD or something.

    I don't know why he wrote the book this way. It seems like it would have been a compelling story and at times it starts to be, then the author interjects something like, "I wrote this sentence but my girlfriend didn't like it, but I kept it anyway." ugh.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen COLCHESTER, CT, United States 09-17-12
    Ellen COLCHESTER, CT, United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spellbinding & Unique Narrative"

    I loved the way the author told this story. The narrator of the story is a writer who has the facts about the real events that took place in this WW2 story and then builds the back story of the main characters. While being as factual as he can be he acknowledges that he has to create some of what the characters were likely thinking or feeling. This is why it is a novel and not a non-fiction history. He tells us what he is doing and I found the commentary he interjected while writing the story very entertaining. I really am not explaining this well; suffice is to say I really enjoyed this book. I was anxious to go back to it everytime I had to put it down.

    The reader did a great job. He was very easy to listen to and captured the tone of the story perfectly.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael e vinson 09-17-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "His sideshow was bigger than his main act"

    More time spent on useless asides than on the main story. It was a rambling, convoluted account of a very interesting story

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Lloyd 10-13-12
    Cathy Lloyd 10-13-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Difficult to follow"
    What would have made HHhH better?

    It was very difficult to follow. It jumped around a lot.


    What was most disappointing about Laurent Binet’s story?

    Not sure if something was lost in the translation, but it did not really hold my interest.


    Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?

    yes


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dan 08-30-12
    dan 08-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    149
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very good historical novel"

    Binet's wit and unusual way of telling a horrific story is captivating. The book is never dull and John Lee is superb as always. If Audible had five more novels by this duo I would purchase them now.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Erickson 11-24-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    76
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I liked basic story, writing style drove me nuts"
    Would you try another book from Laurent Binet and/or John Lee?

    lee yes-he did a fine job
    Binet--only with a gun to my head


    What was most disappointing about Laurent Binet’s story?

    the stream of consciences style--if he had whined anymore about the color of the car I was going to hurl, and then to spend pages on his imagined wishful end to the story--who cares?


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from HHhH?

    Any of the multitudes of tangents that we were force to go on


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Francis Gibbons Forest Hill, MD USA 10-19-16
    Francis Gibbons Forest Hill, MD USA 10-19-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great historical non-fiction/novel/memoir/diary"
    Any additional comments?

    An incredible book. I got the sense early on that this would be one of those books I'd be recommending for the rest of my life.

    It's a book about a mission of Czech and Slovakian nationals, who have escaped Czechoslovakia, going back to Prague to assassinate a Nazi leader. Sort of.

    It's really a book about how difficult it is to research a book about a well known and celebrated event and actually contribute anything worthwhile to the specific story in particular and the genre in general. Almost.

    At its true core, it's a book about how writing historical non-fiction so easily slips into historical fiction because of the relationship the author develops with his characters and the desire to glorify their words and actions. It's the feeling that you have to add some dialogue or back story to a detail which is crucial to the story but completely lacking any corresponding information.

    But it's really an homage to the bravery of the men of the mission and the thousands of people of Czechoslovakia who sacrificed so much for their mission. The sense of awe and love that Binet feels for the full cast of characters is evident and never becomes forced or maudlin. He doesn't address it i one of the many asides, but that trick may have been the hardest one of all to pull off!

    HHhH is full of brilliant asides, clever deprecations of other books on the subject (complete with longing that he'd let himself get away with action packed dialogue), and a true sense of the respect that Binet felt for the men of Operation Anthropoid. I recommend it fully as an historical account, as an historical novel, and as a personal memoir of the joys and pains of writing each of those types of books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sebnem 08-31-16
    Sebnem 08-31-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a real novel"
    What disappointed you about HHhH?

    It felt like I was watching a directors cut for a book.


    What other book might you compare HHhH to and why?

    Never experienced a book like this


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes and no....because the story is constantly interrupted by references to writing the story or references to other writers and their stories, it is bit tough to stay interested.


    What character would you cut from HHhH?

    The whole thing


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a novel, so do not buy this if that is what you are expecting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew LOUISVILLE, KY, United States 07-18-15
    Matthew LOUISVILLE, KY, United States 07-18-15

    Audible is my key to fitting my science fiction and fantasy pleasure reading into my schedule, so that's what you'll see me review here!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    70
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great if you are in the mindset to run with it"

    This book is weird, but in a good way. It took me a while to feel that way, however.

    This book is not a conventional novel or history. The author mixes history, an attempt to write a novel about the people involved, and a kind of running commentary on his own efforts and struggles in writing the book. In some ways it reminds me of the movie Adaptation, where an writer struggles to write a screenplay without inserting himself into the story.

    This book provided an engaging window into a piece of World War II history that is not covered much anymore (at least, in my experience). It also provides interesting insight into the struggles of writing a historical novel.

    The pacing of the book and its frequent switching between history, an attempt at fiction, and commentary on the attempt at writing historical fiction was very strange at first. I got used to it after a while and enjoyed it, but it may be off-putting to people in the mood for a conventional novel or history.

    I find that John Lee's narration can be dynamite or difficult, and it really depends on the book. His range can make books with lots of dialogue and characters difficult to follow at times. This book was right up his alley, however, as the voice of the author and his struggles came through pretty well.

    I would recommend this book for history and fiction fans looking for something different and experimental.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.