The Foreign Correspondent

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"By 1938, hundreds of Italian intellectuals, lawyers and journalists, university professors and scientists, had escaped Mussolini's fascist government and taken refuge in Paris. There, amid the struggles of emigre life, they founded and Italian resistance, with and underground press that smuggled news and encouragement back to Italy. Fighting fascism with typewriters, they produced 512 clandestine newspapers. The Foreign Correspondent is their story." "Paris, a winter night in 1938: a murder/suicide at a discreet lovers' hotel. But this is no
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Overview

"By 1938, hundreds of Italian intellectuals, lawyers and journalists, university professors and scientists, had escaped Mussolini's fascist government and taken refuge in Paris. There, amid the struggles of emigre life, they founded and Italian resistance, with and underground press that smuggled news and encouragement back to Italy. Fighting fascism with typewriters, they produced 512 clandestine newspapers. The Foreign Correspondent is their story." "Paris, a winter night in 1938: a murder/suicide at a discreet lovers' hotel. But this is no romantic tragedy - it is the work of the OVRA, Mussolini's fascist secret police, and is meant to eliminate the editor of Liberazione, a clandestine emigre newspaper. Carlo Weisz, who has fled from Trieste and secured a job as a foreign correspondent with the Reuters bureau, becomes the new editor." "Weisz is, at that moment, in Spain, reporting on the last campaign of the Spanish civil war. But as soon as he returns to Paris, he is pursued by the French Surete, by agents of the OVRA, and by officers of the British Secret Intelligence Service. In the desperate politics of Europe on the edge of war, a foreign correspondent is a pawn, worth surveillance, or blackmail, or murder." The Foreign Correspondent is the story of a handful of antifascists: the army officer known as "Colonel Ferrara," who fights for a lost cause in Spain; Arturo Salamone, the shrewd leader of a resistance group in Paris: and Christa von Schirren, the woman who becomes the love of Weisz's life, herself involved in a doomed resistance underground in Berlin.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Even before the outbreak of World War II, hundreds of Italian intellectuals and journalists fled to Paris to escape Mussolini's tyranny. As they formed resistance groups and founded clandestine newspapers, spies from nations friendly and hostile moved freely in their midst. Alan Furst's spy novel The Foreign Correspondent is set in this perilous period of transition. Title character Carlo Weisz doubles as a Reuters stringer and the editor of an underground antifascist newspaper. But even his cover job offers no security: In these dangerous times, any journalist is fair game.

Justin Ewers
Life in Europe, in other words, is grim. And in his new novel, The Foreign Correspondent, his ninth set in the gray dawn of World War II, Furst again proves himself a master at exposing how each taut nerve frays in anticipation of the conflicts to come … Like the stories of Graham Greene and John le Carre before him, Furst's yarn spins best in history's forgotten corners.
— The Washington Post
Janet Maslin
Carlo knows that he cannot publish such thoughts. But he must find covert ways — and here is where the true suspense of The Foreign Correspondent lies — of making sure that they find their way to the wider world.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Furst's reputation as one of today's best writers, in any genre, is further solidified by this gripping historical thriller with echoes of Graham Greene, which opens in Paris in December 1938. Journalist Carlo Weisz, an expatriate Italian who's half Slav, is fighting the Mussolini regime by writing for the Paris-based underground opposition newspaper, the Liberazione. When agents of the OVRA, the Italian secret police, murder the Liberazione's editor in the arms of his mistress, Weisz assumes greater responsibility for keeping the paper running. OVRA also targets Weisz and his surviving colleagues, forcing him to scramble to stay alive while continuing his subversive work. Furst (Night Soldiers) excels at characterization, making even secondary figures such as shadowy presences from British intelligence and Nazi minders more than cartoon stereotypes. Through the exploits of his understated hero, Furst presents a potent portrait of Europe on the eve of WWII. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Forbes Magazine
History buffs, cloak-and-dagger fans and those who appreciate fine literature will find the novels of Alan Furst irresistible. No one else so granularly, graphically and dramatically recreates the atmosphere of prewar and early World War II Europe. His plots are gripping, his characters all too multidimensionally human. Yet his protagonists, when faced with the evils of totalitarianism, invariably rise above their feet of clay to do what has to be done. (9 Oct 2006)
—Steve Forbes
From The Critics

History buffs, cloak-and-dagger fans and those who appreciate fine literature will find the novels of Alan Furst irresistible. No one else so granularly, graphically and dramatically recreates the atmosphere of prewar and early World War II Europe. His plots are gripping, his characters all too multidimensionally human. Yet his protagonists, when faced with the evils of totalitarianism, invariably rise above their feet of clay to do what has to be done. (9 Oct 2006)
—Steve Forbes

Library Journal
Paris, 1939: foreign correspondent Carlo Weisz agrees to edit a clandestine journal opposing Italian fascism. He slips into Italy to recruit help, gets arrested but escapes. That, basically, is all there is to the plot of this superior thriller by the author of Kingdom of Shadows. Menace is everywhere in Furst's world: the man on the street corner outside one's apartment, the unanticipated interrogation by the police, the stranger who bothers the concierge. The protagonist commits himself, things happen, his attempts fail. Weisz's lover persuades him to smuggle information out of Nazi Germany. He asks her, "What you are doing? Will it really change anything?" "Who can say?" she replies. "What I do know is that if I don't do something, it will change me." Furst is virtuosic at setting scenes: "two shop girls in gray smocks, riding bicycles, an old man in a cafe, reading Le Figaro, his terrier curled up beneath the table, a musician on the corner, playing the clarinet, his upturned hat holding a few centimes." Furst's characters live in a gray world, confronted by monsters-and these monsters are winning. Strongly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/06.]-David Keymer, Modesto, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An Italian journalist joins forces with fellow expatriates in Paris to subvert the Fascist government at home, while he sinks into love with a German aristocrat. At ease again in the time and territory he has carved out for himself in such fine fashion, Furst (Dark Voyage, 2004; Blood of Victory, 2002) sets the stage here with a murder. The dapper, aging editor of Liberazione, a subversive newspaper published by anti-Mussolini intellectuals in France, is executed by a Fascist hit team while in the arms of his mistress. His job goes to Carlo Weisz, a half-German scribbler from Trieste who, like his colleagues, has fled for his life from the thugs who stole Italy in 1922. Weisz is, like all great Furst heroes, at first view anything but heroic. Fortyish and a loner, the Reuters reporter, newly returned from covering the Spanish Civil War, lives in seedy digs, dallying with a lovely Parisian he does not love, dining alone in neighborhood bistros, observing the coming catastrophe. The little newspaper to which he donates his time is his one effort to stick it to the criminals in power in Rome. Smuggled into Italy by a network of resistance workers, Liberazione is printed in Genoa under the noses of the authorities and distributed throughout the country by high-school girls. It is enough of an annoyance to the fascisti that the lives of all contributors are at risk, and Weisz, as editor, is first now on the hit list of OVRA, the nasty Italian organization hunting enemies of the state. He's also watched by interested British intelligence teams. An assignment to report events in Berlin reunites Weisz with old love Christa von Schirren, now married to a Prussian aristocrat. Christa is alsoinvolved with resistance efforts, perhaps even more dangerously than Weisz. As the great dark forces of the age close in on the couple, Weisz finds it necessary to strike a deal with those slippery Brits. Who knows why this stuff is so deeply satisfying? But it most surely is.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400060191
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/30/2006
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Furst
Alan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. He is the author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, Kingdom of Shadows, Blood of Victory, and Dark Voyage. Born in New York, he has lived for long periods in France, especially Paris. He now lives on Long Island, New York. Visit the author’s website at www.alanfurst.net.

From the Hardcover edition.

Biography

Alan Furst may have the narrowest purview in literature. His books – which he calls historical espionage novels -- are all set in Europe between 1933 and 1945, and all are stories of World War II intrigue.

But that brief eight-year period in history has given Furst a rich amount of source material; although he had published a handful of earlier novels (now out of print, some of them fetch hundreds of dollars) Furst hit his stride with 1988’s Night Soldiers , his first book to concentrate on the decade that would forever change the world. Furst had found his niche. As Salon rhapsodized in a 2001 review, "...to talk about one of his books is to talk about them all. He is writing one large book in which each new entry adds a piece to the mosaic of Europe in the years leading up to the war, as created by a partisan of the senses."

Furst's books are grounded in their author’s extensive research of the period, and are written in an almost newsy prose broken occasionally by beautiful, lyrical passages describing, say, a Paris morning in the 1940s, or night at the Czechoslavakian-Hungarian border. History buffs will find much to love here; while the books are fiction, some of the details are factual. In Night Soldiers, for example, immigrants arriving at Ellis Island exchanged their clothing for new outfits; in reality, the American government often bought clothing from immigrants to use as costumes for its spies.

And while Furst’s novels are entertaining and, often, elegant, they are not easy reads: the books traverse through a wide swath of Europe (an important character itself in Furst’s fiction), and characters duck behind corners and sometimes stumble into the continent’s more remote regions (while not partying in Paris, that is). Though his male protagonists manage to find and sometimes lose lovers, Furst’s books are primarily concerned with the moral slipperiness involved in fighting off Hitler's advance, where even the best intentions could produce regrettable results.

Furst's books have grown leaner and tauter over the years, the result of a conscious effort "to say more by saying less." Notwithstanding this paring back, or perhaps because of it, the praise for his books only seems to multiply, and Furst’s writing has lost none of its veracity or suspense. Furst, who many critics consider literature’s best-kept secret, may not be a household name yet, but with such buzz, his low profile won’t last much longer.

Good To Know

Night Soldiers originated from a piece Furst wrote for Esquire in 1983. He was also a reporter for the International Herald Tribune and wrote a biography of cookie entrepeneur Debbie Fields.

Furst wrote in a 2002 essay, "For me, Anthony Powell is a religion. I read A Dance to the Music of Time every few years."

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    1. Hometown:
      Sag Harbor, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Oberlin College

Read an Excerpt

In Paris, the last days of autumn; a gray, troubled sky at daybreak, the fall of twilight at noon, followed, at seven-thirty, by slanting rains and black umbrellas as the people of the city hurried home past the bare trees. On the third of December, 1938, in the heart of the Seventh Arrondissement, a champagne-colored Lancia sedan turned the corner of the rue Saint-Dominique and rolled to a stop in the rue Augereau. Then the man in the backseat leaned forward for a moment and the chauffeur drove a few feet further and stopped again, this time in the shadow between two streetlamps.

The man in the back of the Lancia was called Ettore, il conte Amandola--the nineteenth Ettore, Hector, in the Amandola line, and count only the grandest of his titles. Closer to sixty than fifty, he had dark, slightly bulging eyes, as though life had surprised him, though it had never dared to do that, and a pink flush along his cheekbones, which suggested a bottle of wine with lunch, or excitement in the anticipation of an event planned for the evening. In fact, it was both. For the rest of his colors, he was a very silvery sort of man: his silver hair, gleaming with brilliantine, was brushed back to a smooth surface, and a thin silver mustache, trimmed daily with a scissors, traced his upper lip. Beneath a white wool overcoat, on the lapel of a gray silk suit, he wore a ribbon holding a silver Maltese cross on a blue enamel field, which meant he held the rank of cavaliere in the Order of the Crown of Italy. On the other lapel, the silver medal of the Italian Fascist party; a tipped square with diagonal fasces--a bundle of birch rods tied, with a red cord, to an axe. This symbolized the power of the consuls of the Roman Empire, who had the real rods and axe carried before them, and had the authority to beat with the birch rods, or behead with the axe.

Count Amandola looked at his watch, then rolled down the rear window and peered through the rain at a short street, the rue du Gros Caillou, that intersected the rue Augereau. From this point of observation--and he had twice made sure of it earlier that week--he could see the entry of the Hotel Colbert; a rather subtle entry, only the name in gold letters on the glass door, and a spill of light from the lobby that shone on the wet pavement. A rather subtle hotel, the Colbert, quiet, discreet, that catered to les affaires cinq-a-sept; amours conducted between five and seven, those flexible hours of the early evening. But, Amandola thought, a little taste of fame for you tomorrow. The hotel commissionaire, holding a large umbrella, left the entry and headed briskly down the street, toward the rue Saint-Dominique. Once more, Amandola looked at his watch. 7:32, it said. No, he thought, it is 1932 hours.

For this occasion, twenty-four-hour time, military time, was obviously the proper form. He was, after all, a major, had taken a commission in 1915, served in the Great War, and had the medals, and seven lavishly tailored uniforms, to prove it. Served with distinction--officially recognized--in the purchasing office of the Ministry of War, in Rome, where he had given orders, maintained discipline, read and signed forms and letters, and made and answered calls on the telephone, his military decorum scrupulous in every way.

And so it had remained, since 1927, in his tenure as a senior official in the Pubblica Sicurezza, the department of Public Security of the Ministry of the Interior, set up by Mussolini's chief of national police a year earlier. The work was not so different from his job during the war; the forms, the letters, the telephone, and the maintenance of discipline--his staff sat at attention at their desks, and formality was the rule in all discourse.

1944 hours. Rain drummed steadily on the roof of the Lancia and Amandola pulled his overcoat tighter, against the chill. Outside on the sidewalk, a maid--under her open raincoat a gray-and-white uniform--was pulled along by a dachshund wearing a sweater. As the dog sniffed at the pavement and began to circle, the maid squinted through the window at Amandola. Rude, the Parisians. He did not bother to turn away, simply looked through her, she did not exist. A few minutes later, a black square-bodied taxi pulled up to the entry of the Colbert. The commissionaire hopped out, leaving the door open, as a couple emerged from the lobby; he white-haired, tall and stooped, she younger, wearing a hat with a veil. They stood together under the commissionaire's umbrella, she raised her veil and they kissed passionately--until next Tuesday, my beloved. Then the woman climbed into the taxi, the man tipped the commissionaire, raised his own umbrella, and strode around the corner.

1950 hours. Ecco, Bottini!

The chauffeur was watching his side-view mirror. "Il galletto," he said. Yes, the cockerel, so they called him, for he did indeed strut. Heading along the rue Augereau toward the Colbert, he was the classical short man who refused to be short: posture erect, back stiff, chin high, chest out. Bottini was a Turinese lawyer who had emigrated to Paris in 1935, dissatisfied with the fascist policies of his native country. A dissatisfaction no doubt sharpened by a good public beating and a half a bottle of castor oil, administered by a Blackshirt action squad as a crowd gathered and gawked in silence. Always a liberal, probably a socialist, possibly a secret Communist, Amandola suspected--slippery as eels, these types--Bottini was a friend to the oppressed, and prominent in the friends-to-the-oppressed community.

But the problem with il galletto wasn't that he strutted, the problem was that he crowed. Arriving in Paris, he had naturally joined the Giustizia e Liberta--justice and liberty--organization, the largest and most determined group of the antifascist opposition, and then become editor of one of their clandestine newspapers, Liberazione, written in Paris, smuggled into Italy, then printed and covertly distributed. Infamita! This paper kicked like a mule; barbed, witty, knowing, and savage, with not a wisp of respect for Italy's glorious fascismo or Il Duce or any of his achievements. But now, Amandola thought, this galletto was done crowing.

As Bottini turned the corner of the rue Augereau, he took off his steel-framed eyeglasses, wiped the rain from the lenses with a large white handkerchief, and put the glasses in a case. Then he entered the hotel. He was precisely on schedule, according to the surveillance reports. On Tuesday evenings, from eight to ten, always in Room 44, he would entertain his mistress, the wife of the French socialist politician LaCroix. LaCroix, who had headed one ministry, then another, in the Popular Front government. LaCroix, who stood beside the Prime Minister, Daladier, in the newspaper photographs. LaCroix, who dined at his club every Tuesday and played bridge until midnight.

It was 2015 before a taxi pulled up to the Colbert and Madame LaCroix emerged, and ran with tiny steps into the hotel. Amandola got only a glimpse of her--brick red hair, pointy white nose, a Rubenesque woman, fleshy and abundant. And greatly appetitious, according to the operatives who'd rented Room 46 and eavesdropped on the other side of the wall. Subjects are vocal, and noisy, said one report. Describing, Amandola supposed, every sort of moan and squeal as the two went at their coupling like excited swine. Oh, he knew her sort; she liked her food and she liked her wine and she liked her naked pleasures--any and all of them no doubt, the full deck of naughty playing cards. Libertines. A full-length mirror faced the foot of the large bed in Room 44 and surely they took advantage of it, thrilled to watch themselves thrashing about, thrilled to watch--everything.

Now, Amandola thought, one must wait.

They had learned it was the lovers' custom to spend a few minutes in conversation before they got busy. So, give them a little time. Amandola's OVRA operatives--OVRA was the name of the secret police, the political police, established by Mussolini in the 1920s--were already inside the hotel, had taken rooms that afternoon, accompanied by prostitutes. Who might well, in time, be found by the police and interrogated, but what could they say? He was bald, he wore a beard, he said his name was Mario. But bald Mario and bearded Mario would be, at that point, long gone across the border, back in Italy. At most, the girls would get their pictures in the newspaper.

Madame LaCroix, when the OVRA men burst into the room, would no doubt be indignant, this was, she would assume, some vile trick perpetrated by her serpent of a husband. But she would not assume it for long, and when the revolver appeared, with its long snout of a silencer, it would be too late to scream. Would Bottini? Or would he plead for his life? No, Amandola thought, he would do neither. He would curse them, a vain galletto to the end, and take his medicine. In the temple. Then, the silencer unscrewed, the revolver placed in Bottini's hand. So sad, so dreary, a doomed love affair, a lover's despair.

And would the world believe it? The tryst that ended in tragedy? Most would, but some wouldn't, and it was for them that this event had been staged, the ones who would know immediately that this was politics, not passion. Because this was not a quiet disappearance, this was public, and flamboyant, so meant to serve as a warning: We will do anything we want to do, you cannot stop us. The French would be outraged, but then, the French were habitually outraged. Well, let them sputter.

It was 2042 when the leader of the OVRA squad left the hotel and crossed to Amandola's side of the rue Augereau. Hands in pockets, head down, he wore a rubber raincoat and a black felt hat, rain dripping off the brim. As he passed the Lancia, he raised his head, revealing a dark, heavy face, a southern face, and made eye contact with Amandola. A brief glance, but sufficient. It's done.

4 December, 1938. The Cafe Europa, in a narrow street near the Gare du Nord, was owned by a Frenchman of Italian descent. A man of fervent and heated opinions, an idealist, he made his back room available to a group of Parisian giellisti, so-called for their membership in the Giustizia e Liberta--known informally by the initials GL, thus giellisti. There were eight of them that morning, called to an emergency meeting. They all wore dark overcoats, sitting around a table in the unlit room, and, except for the one woman, they wore their hats. Because the room was cold and damp, and also, though nobody ever said it out loud, because it was somehow in keeping with the conspiratorial nature of their politics: the antifascist resistance, the Resistenza.

They were all more or less in midlife, emigres from Italy, and members of a certain class--a lawyer from Rome, a medical school professor from Venice, an art historian from Siena, a man who had owned a pharmacy in the same city, the woman formerly an industrial chemist in Milan. And so on--several with eyeglasses, most of them smoking cigarettes, except for the Sienese professor of art history, lately employed as a meter reader for the gas company, who smoked a powerful little cigar.

Three of them had brought along a certain morning newspaper, the very vilest and most outrageous of the Parisian tabloids, and a copy lay on the table, folded open to a grainy photograph beneath the headline MURDER/SUICIDE AT LOVERS HOTEL. Bottini, bare-chested, sat propped against a headboard, a sheet pulled up to his waist, eyes open and unseeing, blood on his face. By his side, a shape beneath the sheet, its arms flung wide.

The leader of the group, Arturo Salamone, let the newspaper lie open for a time, a silent eulogy. Then, with a sigh, he flipped it closed, folded it in half, and put it by the side of his chair. Salamone was a great bear of a man, with heavy jowls, and thick eyebrows that met at the bridge of his nose. He had been a shipping agent in Genoa, now worked as a bookkeeper at an insurance company. "So then," he said. "Do we accept this?"

"I do not," said the lawyer. "Staged."

"Do we agree?"

The pharmacist cleared his throat and said, "Are we completely sure? That this was, assassination?"

"I am," Salamone said. "Bottini had no such brutality in him. They killed him, and his lover--the OVRA, or someone like them. This was ordered by Rome; it was planned, prepared, and executed. And not only did they murder Bottini, they defamed him: 'this is the sort of man, unstable, vicious, who speaks against our noble fascism.' And, of course, there are people who will believe it."

"Some will, always, anything," the woman chemist said. "But we shall see what the Italian papers say about it."

"They will have to follow the government line," the Venetian professor said.

The woman shrugged. "As usual. Still, we have a few friends there, and a simple word or two, alleged or supposedly, can cast a shadow. Nobody just reads the news these days, they decipher it, like a code."

"Then how do we counter?" the lawyer said. "Not an eye for an eye."

"No," Salamone said. "We are not them. Not yet."

"We must expose it," the woman said. "The true story, in Liberazione. And hope the clandestine press, here and in Italy, will follow us. We can't let these people get away with what they've done, we can't let them think they got away with it. And we should say where this monstrosity came from."

"Where is that?" the lawyer said.

She pointed upward. "The top."

The lawyer nodded. "Yes, you're right. Perhaps it could be done as an obituary, in a box outlined in black, a political obituary. It should be strong, very strong--here is a man, a hero, who died for what he believed in, a man who told truths the government could not bear to have revealed."

"Will you write it?" Salamone said.

"I will do a draft," the lawyer said. "Then we'll see."

The professor from Siena said, "Maybe you could end by writing that when Mussolini and his friends are swept away, we will pull down his fucking statue on a horse and raise one to honor Bottini."

The lawyer took pen and pad from his pocket and made a note.

"What about the family?" the pharmacist said. "Bottini's family."

"I will talk to his wife," Salamone said. "And we have a fund, we must help as best we can."

From the Hardcover edition.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 16 of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2008

    Not his best, but a good read.

    If you have not read Furst's previous books, especially The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold and Kingdom of Shadows you probably will not care much for The Foreign Correspondant. Why? Because The Foregign Correspondant revists the lives of many of the characters who appeared in those stories, albiet in brief snippits. I suspect this is why, in part, many readers did not like this story. Granted, the storyline is short on action. However, I enjoyed the dialogue between the characters. I also enjoyed learning more about the characters lives that Furst introduced in his previous stories. I also found the story suspenseful. Furst's talent, in my opinion, lies in his ability to transport the reader back in time. He excells at creating atmosphere and mood. Reading his stories, I always feel like a voyeur, getting brief glimpses into the lives of other interesting people.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2006

    To be continues?

    As ever, I enjoyed the easy read - however this time I felt suspiciously set up for a sequel. Most of Furst 's previous novels went full circle. I usually felt somewhat satisfied at the conclusion. I felt this one left too many loose ends. Still enjoyable.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2008

    Pointless and Boring

    I agree with Vance--what was the point of this book? There's no tension, you never really felt anyone was in danger, and it's hard to get excited about someone buying printing presses on the black market. Call this one 'The Spy Who Bored Me.'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2007

    not the furst

    all furst novels are the same:great atmosphere, excellent prose, way too many characters, the story is all over the place, and the ending falls apart. i believe he tries to offer his stories as they would happen in real life: the hero meets many people, and many things happen. but this is not drama, and it would take genius to pull it off. alan furst: condense your characters--the female journalist, mccarthy, and elena, from the underground paper, become one character. lose the paris girlfriend, expand the berlin girlfriend. lose the guy in the park in berlin--it goes nowhere. lose the rebel writing the book. bring the bad guy you open the story with back for more than just one paragraph. in short--find a narrative drive and stay on spine. and cut the majority of your characters so the reader can become familiar with the people on the page. in this short novel, there's probably 70 speaking parts, and half the scenes don't work or aren't necessary. but still, furst is such a good writer, and can conjure europe before the second world war, that i somewhat like and finish his books. i just wish i could edit them.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2006

    A reviewer

    This is one of the most boring, plotless pieces of fluff I've ever read. If it were intended to be a sort of tongue-in-cheek, cheesy kind of homage to pulp fiction, it might have worked on some level. Instead, publishers hail Furst as *the* master of the historical spy novel. Well, you might think that if you've never read LeCarre, Ludlum, etc. This book is all stereotypical atmosphere. 'Ze Freench! Zey are so, how shall I say, Romanteeec! Pass me a Gitanne!' Oh, brother. It's just silly. You could write a summary of this novel on the back of a cocktail napkin. Finally, I wish someone would tell Furst that sentence fragments and comma splices are fine if you use them for effect or to reflect some character's thought process. Using them randomly within plot narrative is distracting and causes one to wonder whether the author even understands the purpose of proper punctuation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 30, 2008

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