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Red Gold [Paperback]

Alan Furst
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Dec 1999

In this sequel to the acclaimed The World at Night, reluctant spy Jean Casson returns in another haunting and atmospheric thriller set in the shadows of occupied Paris.

In The World at Night, Alan Furst introduced film producer Jean Casson, who is forced by the German occupation of Paris to abandon his civilised lifestyle and falls into the world of espionage and double agents – until he is forced to flee the country. In Red Gold, Jean Casson returns to Paris under a new identity. As a fugitive from the Gestapo, he must somehow struggle to survive in the shadows and backstreets. He is determined to stay clear of trouble, yet, as the war drags on, Casson begins, inevitably, to drift back into the dangerous world of resistance and sabotage.



Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (6 Dec 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006499031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006499039
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 507,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alan Furst has lived for long periods in France, especially in Paris, and has travelled as a journalist in Eastern Europe and Russia. He has written extensively for Esquire and the International Herald Tribune.

Product Description

Review

‘Just when it looked as if Robert Harris had cornered the market in historical thrillers, along comes Alan Furst with a book that Harris could not better if he lived to be 100. Wartime Paris is beautifully evoked.’
Sunday Telegraph

‘Alan Furst’s sequence of spy novels deserves to be as feted as Patrick O’Brian’s sea stories… gloriously cinematic.’
Evening Standard

‘Cracking entertainment… all the cinematic flair of Casablanca.’
The Times

‘Brings an era to life with a feeling of authenticity that can only be described as breathtaking and wholly addictive.’
The Times

‘Nobody does it better. Gripping stuff related with a delicacy and economy that could trace a pattern on porcelain. Quite masterly.’
Literary Review

‘I can recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good spy thriller.’
Mail on Sunday

From the Back Cover

Reluctant spy Jean Casson returns to Occupied Paris under a new identity. Wanted by the Gestapo, he must stay away from the civilized circles he knew as a film producer, and must somehow struggle to survive among the shadowy backstreets and cheap hotels of Pigalle. His first experience of espionage had almost cost him his life, yet as the war drags on and he witnesses the sacrifices of his fellow citizens, Casson drifts back into the dangerous ground, unpredictable world of resistance and sabotage.
“Just when it looked as if Robert Harris had cornered the market in historical thrillers, along comes Alan Furst with a book that Harris could not better if he lived to be 100. Wartime Paris, with its moral complexities, is beautifully evoked.”
AVID ROBSON, 'Sunday Telegraph'

“Furst's spy novels deserve to be as feted as Patrick O'Brian's sea stories. Gloriously cinematic . . . these are the kind of novels in which a swirl of snow falls onto shining black cobbles.”
FRANCIS SPUFFORD,'Evening Standard'

“Hard to resist . . . atmospheric, always convincingly authentic, I can recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good spy thriller.”
PHILIP KERR, 'Mail on Sunday'

“Nobody does it better. Gripping stuff related with a delicacy and economy that could trace a pattern on porcelain. Quite masterly.”
PHILIP OAKS, 'Literary Review'

“Brings an era to life . . . breathtaking and wholly addictive.”
PETER MILLER, 'The Times'


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good I'm buying all the Furst I can find 8 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I usually read "serious" lit and very rarely "thrillers". But I was in the Stanstead Airport bookstore about to leave for holiday in Italy when I decided I needed something a little more entertaining. So I started looking at all the fiction books alphabetized by author when I came across "Red Gold" by Alan Furst. I totally judged the book by its cover-which is pretty darn cool-and the critical blurbs, one of which compared Furst with both Graham Greene, whom I love, and Patrick O'Brien, whom I've never read but have heard high praise for over his attention to detail. I also picked up a couple o' serious works, "The Innocent" by Booker winner Ian McEwan and "Last Orders," a Booker winner itself by Graham Swift.
Well, smack by snobby self, I liked "Red Gold" by a fair margin over "The Innocent" and a wide one over "Last Orders" (disappointing compared with "Waterland"). Alan Furst is no "writer" like McEwan or Swift or Graham Greene. But he knows his stylistic limits enough to stick to short, often elliptical sentences and, in so doing, is much better at evoking 1941 Paris than McEwan 1955 Berlin. A New Yorker by birth and residence, Furst spent enough years in Paris to know well his story's milieu. He conveys not merely the sights and sounds of Vichy, but also the shifting smells and tastes, temperature and humidity of the streets, bars and hotel rooms, and he blends them into a kind of sentient soundtrack that underscores the treachery, paranoia and heroism of the day.
"Red Gold" tells about Jean Casson, a former film producer and reluctant participant in the French resistance against Nazi occupation of Paris.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, accurate, deadly! 11 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback
I always knew, in an academic kind of way, that occupied France must have been a pretty unpleasant place to be. It was only after reading "Red Gold" by Alan Furst that I realised just exactly HOW bleak it must have been.
I have to say I found "Red Gold" a bit hard going. The whole novel reeks of the despair and shattered hope that is the lot of a proud nation in defeat. It is relentlessy dark, and very atmospheric and often very depressing. All the characters are described principally in terms of their negative traits. Even the sacrifice of some of the resistance fighters is described in a self-serving light.
But then this is espionage and double-dealing and the threat of instant "liquidation", is on every page. "Red Gold" is a cracking novel that really draws you into the seedy world of espionage and underground warfare. The historical side is well done, especially the social geography. Who would have thought that a New Yorker could write so convincingly about Paris street life?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating look at wartime espionage 12 Jun 2001
By Huck Flynn VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This isn't a genre I generally enjoy but Furst won me over with his realism in scene setting and characterisation. Peopled by ordinary people, allbeit some incredibly brave, its strengths are understated violence and a detached political awareness which capture the humanity caught up in the cogs of the German War machine in 1942 Paris. The tension between the Vichy, DeGaulle and Communist groups is as interesting as the oppressive atmosphere of the Nazi Occupation. The plot moves along remorselessly, the deaths aren't gratuitous and the relationships are not contrived so that the reader does care about the fate of the main characters. I will be reading more Furst soon.
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