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The Spies Of Warsaw

The Spies Of Warsaw [Kindle Edition]

Alan Furst
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Product Description


[Furst's] stories combine keen deductive precision with much deeper, more turbulent and impassioned aspects of character¿ Mr. Furst¿ is an incomparable expert at this game. (NEW YORK TIMES)

Alan Furst's spy fiction is serious, even solemn: a good but never light read. (Jessica Mann LITERARY REVIEW)

Furst's tales... are infused with the melancholy romanticism of Casablanca, and also a touch of Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon. (THE SCOTSMAN)

Furst's latest excellent spy thriller... so elegant and genteel - beautfully written... your heart will be pounding with tension. (THE GUARDIAN)

Throughout, the author's delight in the process of espionage shines through (TLS)

Furst's uncanny gift for place and period lift his city, and its dubious cast of characters, well above the espionage norm. (Boyd Tonkin THE INDEPENDENT)

As ever the atmosphere is charged and the writing elliptic (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Furst's writing is so effortless, it nearly disappears. (TIME OUT)

Furst's research is such that one gets the impression that he hasn't just travelled, he has time-travelled. (James Lovegrove FINANCIAL TIMES)

alongside... is a love story that is told in such a lyrical fashion that it bcomes enthralling... I would recommend this novel without reservation. (Vincent Banville IRISH TIMES)

Furst draws a wonderfully convincing picture of a continent on the verge of destruction. (Andrew Taylor THE SPECTATOR)

Book Description

'In the world of espionage thrillers, Alan Furst is in a class of his own' William Boyd

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 487 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1400066026
  • Publisher: Phoenix (25 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GQ6E8A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #106,399 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific return to form 21 Jun 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was disappointed by 'Dark Voyage', thought that 'The Foreign Correspondent' was a slight improvement, but am delighted that Alan Furst has re-found his unique style and voice with 'The Spies of Warsaw'.
It's a real return to the high quality of his earlier boooks like 'The World at Night' and 'Dark Star' and their masterly evocations of period and setting - here principally Warsaw in the late 1930s, with the looming menace of Hitler's Germany on one side and Stalin's Russia on the other.
French military attache and intelligence officer Colonel Mercier, a minor aristocrat and wounded veteran of the Great War, is contemplating tendering his resignation, but dutifully plays his part in the diplomatic shadowplays, where the spies are known, but their covers are politely maintained by all, where his Polish hosts are probing for France's intentions when war comes, the Russians make overtures to recruit him, and the competing German agencies are fighting their own internal struggles...
But then one of Mercier's agents makes a mistake, and sets into motion a chain of events that forces Mercier back into the action, as he has the chance to uncover a vital part of Hitler's war plans.
We move between the embassy salons and the backstreets, the gilded restaurants and the brothels, the 5-star hotels and the rented rooms - infused with the author's sweetly melancholic appreciation of a still-graceful Europe sliding into conflict. There's romance too, plus the thumbnail character sketches and internal lives of the protagonists, sparsely but skilfully drawn in Furst's trademark style of hints and highlights - not too much, just outlines that the reader fills in. And of course, the Brasserie Heininger makes a re-appearance...
If you're a Furst addict or have just discovered him, you're in for an enjoyable read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as always 30 July 2008
I'm a big fan of Alan Furst's novels but was a little disappointed with 'The Foreign Correspondent'. I enjoyed this one far more. I thought it was very much like a Le Carre story, concerning the life of spies. There is not a great deal of action, but a fair amount of suspense. I thought it a very complete story and we are even told the fate of the two main characters, at the end. Well to a certain point. Which is not always the case with the this authors novels.

At least two characters from his other stories are in this. Colonel Vyborg; and Doctor Lapp. Mentioned in one sentence only, is Captain De Milja of 'The Polish officer' which is my favorite.

The hero, Captain Mercier is a hard man, a decorated veteran of a cavalry engagement, rather like Nicholas Morath in 'Kingdom of Shadows'. He comes to suspect how the Germans will invade France, but convincing those above him proves difficult.

There is romance as always.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alan Furst back in form 13 Sep 2008
I was somewhat disappointed with Furst's last book, "The Foreign Correspondent," but this book is more like his former pre-WWII spy novels. The year is 1937, the prospect of another war is looming, and Col. Mercier, a French military attache based in Warsaw, is given the task to discover how, should war break out, the Germans will attack France. Again we meet a cast of spies, civil servants and military officers, many of them world-weary and believing that war is inevitable. As in all his other novels, Furst includes a little romance, the Brasserie Heininger with its bullet-shattered mirror (that happens in his book Night Soldiers), the smoky night clubs, the rustic worker's bars. It's Furst's evocation of this era, the terse conversations, the atmosphere, which makes his books so good.

I didn't give it five stars as I still prefer his earlier novels, like Night Soldiers or The Polish Officer. These books were much longer, much meatier. I can't get enough of Alan Furst! If you are interested in espionage novels, or novels about WWII, Furst is definitely one to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid book 3 Jan 2009
By Bluebell TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a new writer for me, but to judge by this book, one I shall seek out in the future. Set around the beginning of the Second World War it has some of the flavour of John Le Carre novels with clandestine meetings, possible double-agents and a feeling of tension over who are the goodies and who the baddies. The uncertainty keeps one reading to the very end of the book. I found this writer easier to follow than the complexities of Le Carre's novels. Furst is very adept at painting word pictures of his characters which helped me imagine them and so clearly differentiate among them. It's not all spies though, there is some relief from their murky world in the interludes about the affair between the 'hero' and his new love.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tense and Atmospheric 4 Jun 2012
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
Alan Furst has written a number of spy novels set in the late 1930s. Whilst they invariably take place in different locations with a new cast of characters, there are some links between the books. What sets his writing apart is the sense of authenticity and the way that the books ooze tension and menace.

This book is set predominantly in Warsaw, Poland, between 1937-38. A country caught between Communist Russia on one side and an increasingly militant Germany on the other. Our hero is Mercier, the "military attache" to the French embassy, whose job it is to uncover as much information as he possibly can about Germany's potential invasion plans for France. The story doesn't really follow one coherent path. Rather it is about the day to day realties of his job: contacts wooed and lost, promising leads than evaporate, leads that produce solid information which may or may not be acted on in Paris.

Mercier is a wonderful character, still grieving the loss of his wife three years earlier and regretful at the distance between him and his adult daughters. He dislikes wooing traitors and despairs about Germany's obviously aggressive intentions towards his country. When he meets Anna he senses that perhaps there is the possibility of some happiness in his future, but she is engaged to someone else and seems out of reach.

I can't think of another writer who does a better job of capturing the feel of the times. Despite the disjointed nature of the plot, this is well worth reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Whether it was because the book was so different from the TV adaption...
Inspired by the recent TV mini series I started this book with enthusiasm but gradually became weary. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jeremy Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast moving realism.
I read this book after seeing the BBC dramatisation
An excellent fast moving book which paints a credible picture of intelligence gathering immediately prior to WW2. Read more
Published 5 months ago by J. N. Marshall
3.0 out of 5 stars A few days in the life of a spy
Disappointing would be my overall reaction to this book. The characterisation is good, the sense of time and place is well captured, the various elements of the plot are plausible. Read more
Published 5 months ago by manosque
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spies of Warsaw
Splendid Book as are all of Alan Furst's. His descriptive powers of life during WW2 and the spying "industry" are second to none. Read more
Published 6 months ago by misswirral
4.0 out of 5 stars A good story and I found it a worthwhile read
It maintained my attention throughout & was a good solid spy story. I found that it was certainly worth the reading.
Published 6 months ago by Bill Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars Spies of Warsaw
Good, pacy read.I chose this for my book club and most of the group enjoyed it, especially the men. The TV version is slightly different.
Published 7 months ago by anessa kadow
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spies Of Warsaw
Had heard good reports about this book. I'm interested in this period which is the run up to the second world war.
Published 13 months ago by J. Skowronski
3.0 out of 5 stars Pole Positions
This is a book about the shadows of war. The figure of Le Carre looms large over it. Furst has Le Carre's way with character, situation and location, but his interest is more in... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Freelancer Frank
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read - better than the film
I read the book before ordering the DVD and enjoyed both but the book has, inevitably greater depth, and offers ultimately a better story. Highly recommended.
Published 17 months ago by Peter Tabb
5.0 out of 5 stars Of his genre, he is the best.
Its a personal novel as the French might say, and if you dont like the style, it may not work. But if you like Camus and Sartre, this is well-written and enjoyable. Read more
Published 17 months ago by dithers
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