Midnight in Europe: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Paris, 1938. As the shadow of war darkens Europe, democratic forces on the Continent struggle against fascism and communism, while in Spain the war has already begun. Alan Furst, whom Vince Flynn has called “the most talented espionage novelist of our generation,” now gives us a taut, suspenseful, romantic, and richly rendered novel of spies and ...
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Midnight in Europe: A Novel

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Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Paris, 1938. As the shadow of war darkens Europe, democratic forces on the Continent struggle against fascism and communism, while in Spain the war has already begun. Alan Furst, whom Vince Flynn has called “the most talented espionage novelist of our generation,” now gives us a taut, suspenseful, romantic, and richly rendered novel of spies and secret operatives in Paris and New York, in Warsaw and Odessa, on the eve of World War II.
 
Cristián Ferrar, a brilliant and handsome Spanish émigré, is a lawyer in the Paris office of a prestigious international law firm. Ferrar is approached by the embassy of the Spanish Republic and asked to help a clandestine agency trying desperately to supply weapons to the Republic’s beleaguered army—an effort that puts his life at risk in the battle against fascism.
 
Joining Ferrar in this mission is a group of unlikely men and women: idealists and gangsters, arms traders and aristocrats and spies. From shady Paris nightclubs to white-shoe New York law firms, from brothels in Istanbul to the dockyards of Poland, Ferrar and his allies battle the secret agents of Hitler and Franco. And what allies they are: there’s Max de Lyon, a former arms merchant now hunted by the Gestapo; the Marquesa Maria Cristina, a beautiful aristocrat with a taste for danger; and the Macedonian Stavros, who grew up “fighting Bulgarian bandits. After that, being a gangster was easy.” Then there is Eileen Moore, the American woman Ferrar could never forget.
 
In Midnight in Europe, Alan Furst paints a spellbinding portrait of a continent marching into a nightmare—and the heroes and heroines who fought back against the darkness.

Praise for Midnight in Europe
 
“A lovely book. With Midnight in Europe, Alan Furst delivers an observant, sexy, and thrilling tale set in the outskirts of World War II, when Europe grew dark and ordinary men and women found themselves compelled to fight for righteous principles. In Furst’s hands, Paris once again comes alive with intrigue. A dark time, yes, but also one that is endlessly compelling.”—Erik Larson
 
“Suspenseful and sophisticated . . . No espionage author, it seems, is better at summoning the shifting moods and emotional atmosphere of Europe before the start of World War II than Alan Furst. . . . Part of the allure of this exciting and moving novel is the way in which it shows Ferrar and other citizens persisting in their usual activities in the face of extraordinary circumstances.”The Wall Street Journal
 
“Tantalizing  . . . intricately plotted . . . too much fun to put down . . . a master of the atmospheric thriller . . . Furst vividly re-creates an era that brought pain and consequence to nearly every civilian in every country, even those peripherally involved. . . . It was novelist Alan Furst who taught me the meaning of ‘world war.’”The Boston Globe
 
“Furst is a master at creating the ominous prelude to destruction.”—BBC
 
“[Furst] has yet to write an unalluring spy novel . . . Even his version of Christmas shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue sounds ominous and erotically charged.”The New York Times
 
“Sophistication and gentility once again travel hand-in-glove with ruthlessness and spying in Alan Furst’s thirteenth historic espionage novel.”Shelf Awareness


From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The Spanish civil war, the so-called "dress rehearsal for World War II," serves as the gripping subject of the latest work of Alan Furst, the author Vince Flynn called "the most talented espionage novelist of our generation." As the midnight of global war approaches, secret operatives and self-motivated anti-fascists search for ways to aid the Republic's faltering army. The task is daunting: With foreign agents nearly everywhere, Spanish émigré Cristián Ferrar and this ragtag team of allies must thrust into danger to pursue even modest goals. A taut, well-plotted spy novel by an author who continues to win new readers.

Library Journal
01/01/2014
In 1938 Paris, Spanish Bourbon descendant Gregorio D'Alba runs guns and gathers intelligence for the Spanish Republic, then goes big time when he agrees to infiltrate the Nationalist government (with a little support from the British and Americans). Sales for master-of-espionage Furst keep going up.
Library Journal
06/01/2014
In Furst's latest suavely detached historical spy thriller, Cristián Ferrar is a Spanish emigré living in Paris. It's 1938, and the Spanish Civil War is raging while the Nazis are taking over Germany. Having fled Spain years earlier with his family at age 12, Ferrar has adapted well to France and is now a successful lawyer at a French law firm. He agrees, however, to do what he can to help the Spanish Republic after he's asked to assist with buying arms for the war effort. His first foray into weapon dealing takes him to Berlin, where Nazi rule has gotten uncomfortably dangerous. Some quick thinking and inspired negotiating free his compatriot from imprisonment and gain them a source for weapons. This takes Ferrar and company next to Poland, where they have to recover a hijacked train full of weapons. VERDICT Despite an intriguing and several escapades fraught with danger, there is little here of the suspense one expects from a spy thriller, leaving the reader a bit underwhelmed. Strictly for Furst fans.—Melissa DeWild, Kent District Lib., Comstock Park, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679604235
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 3,489
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Alan Furst
Alan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. Now translated into eighteen languages, he is the author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, Kingdom of Shadows, Blood of Victory, Dark Voyage, The Foreign Correspondent, The Spies of Warsaw, Spies of the Balkans, Mission to Paris, and Midnight in Europe. Born in New York, he lived for many years in Paris, and now lives on Long Island.


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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    *Recieved a free uncorrected copy through Goodreads First reads

    *Recieved a free uncorrected copy through Goodreads First reads








    First off Let me say this, I received the uncorrected proof of Midnight in Europe. And I didn't catch any writing flaws of grammatical errors. Which is awesome!!! So, if you know me, you would know that I love and crave romance novels. There's another side of me though, that not a ton of people know about, that side of me loves novels that center around Wars. All wars. World War two is my favorite era for novels. Midnight in Europe centers around that harshness. Who do you trust? How can you decipher who is a spy? Who is a friend? Who is the enemy? In a world of danger and distrust, blood and Guns, who is your ally? This book was suspenseful with a touch or two of romance!! I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2014

    highly recommended

    For anyone interested in the events leading up to WWII and the rise of Nazi Germany this book provides a powerful story and gives one food for thought. I am very interested in this historic time period and look to the novel to push me to reading the history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2014

    Highly Recommended - Another Great Book From Furst

    Another great book in Furst's series of pre-WWII spy novels. Just by reading, you can picture the characters. There are some returning characters from other Furst novels. This novel takes you from New York City to Paris to Berlin, Poland and Spain. The main character is not a hero but must deal with the situations that he is placed into. Very easy to read and follow the story and characters. Read in less than 2 days.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Highly recommend.

    I have read all of Alan Furst's novels and this one is in the same tradition. He creates an atmosphere that makes you feel you are living alongside his characters. I highly recommend this novel and his other novels as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 25, 2014

    This book is not up to his usual standard. I wonder if he owed h

    This book is not up to his usual standard. I wonder if he owed his publisher a book and didn't have the time to do it right.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2014

    Read like a "paint by numbers" if that makes sense. I

    Read like a "paint by numbers" if that makes sense. I was so looking forward to this book but I think it is his weakest story...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    Midnight

    Im here

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    JOIN ASHCLAN

    At asher res 1

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2014

    I definitely have to agree with all of the other reviewers that

    I definitely have to agree with all of the other reviewers that this novel, at best, rates a mere two stars. The plot line was very weak, a lot like a badly frayed rope.
    I couldn't really identify with any of the characters. That left a big void in my enjoying the reading. The failure to identify with these characters is the fault of bad character development in Furst's writing. This was my first and last foray into his novels. There are simply too many really good writers out there for me to waste time (and money) on these books.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2014

    Cristian Ferrar is a lawyer, a bachelor, a ladies man and now th

    Cristian Ferrar is a lawyer, a bachelor, a ladies man and now that Fascism and Socialism are threatening to spread their menacing
    reach across Europe he has added spy and arms buyer to the list.

    Cristian was born in Spain but due to political turmoil his family emigrated to France. Wanting to help his home country of Spain in any
    way he can Cristian finds himself working for the embassy of the Spanish Republic in their fight against General Franco's Facist Army.
    A lot of international men traveled to Spain to fight for the Republic but Cristian's family commitments of being the only one supporting
    his father, mother, cousin, and grandmother left him conflicted so he chose his family and didn't join the fighting forces but his job for the
    embassy was just as important if not more important than joining in the fighting and he still was able to provide for his family. Working
    with, Max de Lyon, Cristian goes about the task of not only buying arms for the republic but also risking everything to try to get these
    much needed weapons to the men fighting for the republic. Max has been at the spy game for a long time and shows Cristian how the
    game is played but don't count Cristian as the Robin to Max's Batman no Cristian's resources and quick thinking get them all out of
    some sticky situations. The war for the republic of Spain is looking bleak as Franco gets back up from Hitler and Mussolini making
    Cristian's mission all the more important. 

    The game of espionage is a dangerous one and Cristian finds himself in quite a few situations where his very life is on the line.
    Racing across Europe to obtain and ship the armaments for the republic tests not only Cristian's resolve but his wits. I however did not
    find the thrill that should have been there in the more hairy situations Cristian found himself in because there was a lack of something,
    it just didn't pull me in.

    Espionage is not the only thing on Cristian's mind. Love affairs with three different women from three different countries also keeps him
    pretty busy, maybe he is trying to compete with 007! One a teacher, another a author/librarian, another a spy, Cristian can sure pick
    them. The ending had to do with love and not war which is always nice but again there was something lacking, something missing,
    and I just was like blah which Teed Me Off because this is so my type of book. All in all it wasn't horrible but it wasn't that great either
    it just was. So unfortunately I was quite disappointed.  

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Worst book of his I have ever read. It's 199 pages of... nothin

    Worst book of his I have ever read. It's 199 pages of... nothing. He is all over the place - starting a plot line and then leaving it till well never. Not sure what the deal is, but it's like he forgot how to write. I love ALL of his other books!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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