2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An interesting depiction of history, a superb translation.,
This review is from: HHhH (Hardcover)At first, I was going to call this review "An interesting interpretation of history..." but in point of fact "interpretation" is the very thing that Laurent Binet goes to such great lengths to avoid.
This is his portrayal of the events surrounding the rise of Reinhard Heydrich within the Nazi regime and the attempt on his life in Prague in May, 1942 - a daring mission called Operation Anthropoid.
The obstinacy with which Binet remains scrupulously faithful to the facts as historically recorded forms, I suppose, the basis for this book being called a novel. Interwoven with the historical facts and events leading up to the assassination attempt, Binet treats the reader to the various wrestles with his conscience as he tries to avoid falling into the trap of historical fiction cliché. Some readers will be charmed by this; others, I imagine, irritated. But whatever you make of it, you will have to admit that it's an unusual treatment of history and it has sent me scurrying away to Wikipedia to read "the bare bones" of the thing without the artistic - sorry, I can't help but use this word - interpretation.
I must make mention of the exceptionally good translation by Sam Taylor. An end note tells us Sam Taylor is himself an author of fiction and that this is his first translation. Laurent Binet has been extremely well served.