Having just finished Winter of the World, which is a wholly respectable sequel to Fall of Giants, I decided to stay with WWII for a bit longer and delved into HHhH, which says it's a novel, but it's not really. Not quite.
The book is about the two Czech parachutists who assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the Nazi SS, and chief architect of the Holocaust. Also known as "The Butcher of Prague", Heydrich, after Hitler himself, is probably the most evil man who has ever been spawned onto this earth. Much of this book is dedicated to filling in details of his life and his ascent to power. HHhH, incidentally, stands for "Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich" or "Himmler's brain is called Heydrich", suggesting that despite the fact that Himmler was Heydrich's boss, Heydrich was the sick mind behind the ruthless Nazi efficiency.
This is "not quite" a novel because it's really almost non-fiction. Large portions of the book are given over to simply relaying the facts, and as the author, Laurent Binet, does this, he slips into fictional narrative--perhaps crafting some dialogue or setting the scene. He does this with characteristic French angst, hating himself for having to resort into "imagining" and engaging in self-mockery that makes himself a character--though he would be mortified to hear me say that. It's a little amusing, actually, but the effect is that he crafts a work that is unlike anything I've read before--a fiction/non-fiction hybrid that brings to life one of World War II's more obscure episodes. Binet's obsessive compulsive (not exaggerating there) dedication to accuracy ensures that anyone reading this work will experience a version of the events that is as close to the truth as one can possibly get. I have a lot of respect for what Binet has done here, but I'll admit that by the end, I was looking forward to moving on.