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seriouslyreadabook

Seriously, Read a Book!

Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...

Currently reading

The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Notetaking
Mike Rohde
The Antidote
Oliver Burkeman
The Kind Worth Killing
Peter Swanson
Data Points: Visualization That Means Something
Nathan Yau
James Buchanan
Jean H. Baker, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

HHhH: A Novel

HHhH - Laurent Binet, Sam Taylor 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” (p.208).

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.