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Monday, October 21, 2019

HHhhH (2012) by Laurent Binet

Book Review
HHhH (2012)
 by Laurent Binet

   HHhH is what you might a call a "dazzling work of metafiction" and it won the 2010 Prix Goncourt for first novel- different from the main Prix Goncourt- which is like the Pulitzer Prize for France.   The unnamed narrator is determined to tell the story of Nazi leader Richard Heyrdrich, notable for this role as an architect of the "final solution" and Nazi leader of the occupied Czech Republic.   Heyrdrich was killed by two partisan's during World War II, and his assassination was the most significant assassination of a Nazi by a partisan group during World War II.

   HHhH is about Heydrich, the plot to murder Heydrich and the life of the unnamed narrator, who is not Author Binet but resembles him in several notable respects, including time living in Prague.  The narrator is not unaware of contemporary trends in Nazi inspired lit- notably The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell, published in 2006 and winner of the Prix Goncourt, it covers similar territory but is closer to a late 19th century realist novel than the metafictional wizardry of HHhH.

   I enjoyed this Audiobook, which wasn't long- racing through it to the detriment of the other books I was listening to at the same time.  There is, about Binet- fun in the hatefulness, in the same way that Michel Houllebecq is fun. If people are going to be hateful miserable fucks they should at least be fun about it.  

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