About two-thirds of the way through the book, the author ([a:Laurent Binet|3465954|Laurent Binet|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1342709342p2/3465954.jpg]) reflects:“To begin with, this seemed a simple-enough story to tell. Two men have to kill a third man. They succeed, or not, and that’s the end, or nearly”
This is a telling passage first, because it is an example of Binet’s constant presence in the “novel” (which, in some ways, is just as much a diary of his experience of writing this book as it is the story itself, at times) and, second, because it is true. This is not a book with numerable characters. What happens is a culmination of geopolitics, quotidian coincidences, and methodical planning (to name only a few).
I learned an enormous amount of history in reading this- well, I’m not sure what to call it- at one point Binet refers to his work as an ‘infranovel’
. The stories are heartbreaking and fascinating, triumphant and devastating. At times, Binet’s commentary on the choices of others who have sought to “novel-ize” the story of Heydrich’s assassination seemed to be too much; while, at the same time, I appreciate his candor about the process of relaying the incredible and true stories of history.