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4.0 out of 5 stars
Red Gold
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
You have to sypathise with authors. We readers just sit on our backsides expecting to be entertained (for days at under a tenner).And we love familiarity;I could quite happilly read any part of the life story of Jean Casson whether pre war, war time or post war. The writer just brings him to life so well. A good test is whether you are sad to have the book end and, of course ,I was.

Maybe we Brits were just brought up on series;for me it would have been Biggles and the Ian and Sovra novels of Elinor Lyon. Whatever the reason, Casson is a great hero and I cant wait for him to reappear though I do fear for his wife's lover come the Liberation !Yes I know these are fictional characters but,curse him, the writer makes us care!

So what if the plot is complicated- if Russian intelligence is involved then chess is the strategic method.Atmosphere as always perfect.Just how do Americans manage this;Cruz Smith with Russia , Elizabeth George (mostly with success, though not with the UK aristocracy) with England and Furst with France and all middle Europe.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2010
A previous negative view of Red Gold seems to downgrade it because it isn't a shoot-em-up, James Bond takeoff. It isn't. What it is is a continuation of the life of Jean Casson in occupied France during World War II, a tale begun in The World at Night. Another novel should be in the works. It reminded me of Somerset Maugham's spy novel (or reminiscences) Ashenden, written in the style of Eric Ambler. My only complaint is in the title: it's not about Russian red gold. The atmospherics are good, the geography is accurate, and it blends with the events in other books in his WWII series. Yes, Casson mainly reacts to outside events, but he's mainly interested in staying alive and out of the hands of the Gestapo. His work making films is lost in wartime France, leaving him without a professional anchor. Citrine has disappeared from his life, leaving him without an emotional anchor. But he does not despair. I look forward to the continuation of his story, just as I look forward to the continuation of the story of The Polish Officer.

There's a quotation from the Times on the cover: "As good as le Carre." I think he's better. His books lack the air of sophisticated cynicism that le Carre's books have. His characters get on with life in the most difficult of circumstances, and I salute him for that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2011
The continuing adventures of Jean Casson, a man who would rather be making love than fighting (would n't we all) Having returned to France at the end of the previous book 'The world at night' He is on the run from the Germans , the Communists and the Petainists at various points in the story and gets involved in many aspects of the resistance. At one point we are told that there at least 16 different groups fighting the occupation.
This is the strength of this book. It is complicated all the resistance groups have one eye on the future aware that todays allies may well be tomorrows enemies. There is a great sense of history and the way in which various sections of the community deal with the privations of occupation.
Jean Casson is a fascinating character he is not ideally suited to a world of violent action but is able to react when he has to. I enjoyed this book and i want to know what happens next.... Please Mr Furst i am running out of your books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2011
'Red Gold' follows on from 'The World At Night' and they are the only books by Alan Furst that don't stand alone as single novels. The poor review on here seems to stem from the fact that Furst's books are labelled 'espionage', which isn't very accurate. This book is about living and resisting in occupied France. The critical reader was clearly expecting a boys own thriller and Furst's books are deeper and much better than that, whilst still being page turners because you come to care about the characters. It's an excellent sequel to 'The World At Night'. I'd also recommend 'The Polish Officer', a title that gives a much better clue to the subject.

Because of the simplistic 'espionage' tag Furst gets compared to John Le Carre. It's misleading. Furst writes about the thirties and forties and not the cold war. I much prefer Furst. He's an excellent writer.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2006
This is not a sequel to The Polish Officer as Amazon suggest but to The World at Night.
It continues the story of Jean Casson who we last saw swimming back to the Normandy coast having been spirited onto a boat to England to escape the Nazis.
As ever with Furst, wartime Paris is carefully evoked and the historic accuracy of the story gives an interesting insight on how the different parts of the French resistance competed.
However, the plot of the novel is thin even by Furst's standards and we never really understand what drives Casson to do what he does. The action set pieces are tautly written and there is a palpable atmosphere to be enjoyed. But not one of Furst's best. Of those I have read, The Polish Officer would win that award.
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I agree with the positive comments and would add an additional one: the book does a really very good job of portraying the nuances of occupied France. The interaction between the Germans looking for a quiet billet, the timid Petainists trying to get by, the ruthless but effective Communists, the BBC-backed Gaullists and the old officer corps is beautifully done, without making simple goodies and baddies of any of them. People who like this should also check out Sansom's books, which are mostly about similar characters torn between rival ruthless factions.
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on 30 January 2015
Alan Furst's novels are always excellent in plot, characterisation, & in every way. This book was completely ruined for me, however, because the font size on my copy kept changing with great frequency. If I had known about this I would not have bought it. My recommendation is: DO NOT BUY It.
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on 20 May 2013
I am gradually working my way through all Alan Furst's novels, after enjoying the BBC mini-series Spys Of Warsaw. As with all the other books of his, that I have read to date, this one was most enjoyable. A very easy read and with enough intrigue to keep one reading, instead of sleeping.
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on 13 January 2013
Furst's style is very addictive, the tension is very real and the characters real if rather too similar book to book. Think dark , skinny chaps who keep their thoughts to themselves, instinctively brave and popular with the ladies. But that said I can't get enough of them.
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on 24 March 2015
An excellent read, just like all his other books. Highly believable characters with very authentic backgrounds check the story sequences as Furst writes the same characters into more than one story line.
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