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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Kingdom of Shadows" is a dark entreaty
Hanging over Paris--nay, all of Europe in l938-39 like a Spectre
is the visage (and vandalism) of Adolph Hitler. However, as we well know, this was no mirage and eventually the Nazis were goose-stepping their way down the boulevards of The City of Light. Thus, with this somber--and agreeably frightening--spirit enveloping the continent, Alan Furst's "Kingdom...
Published on 11 Jan 2002 by Billy J. Hobbs

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring
I felt this book lacked a cohesiveness. The story line seemed be just a series of unrelated events set around a rather 'flat' character. It was set in a period (rise of the Reich) where a compelling story could have been told but the book didn't really do that. Furst has written better books.
Published 9 months ago by lawn ranger


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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Kingdom of Shadows" is a dark entreaty, 11 Jan 2002
By 
Billy J. Hobbs "Bill Hobbs" (Tyler, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kingdom Of Shadows (Paperback)
Hanging over Paris--nay, all of Europe in l938-39 like a Spectre
is the visage (and vandalism) of Adolph Hitler. However, as we well know, this was no mirage and eventually the Nazis were goose-stepping their way down the boulevards of The City of Light. Thus, with this somber--and agreeably frightening--spirit enveloping the continent, Alan Furst's "Kingdom of Shadows" mesmerizes its readers and we wait for the action to play out. Of course, we know the historical outcome, but Furst is able to paint an atmosphere that is both real and surreal.
The Nazis are coming, the Nazis are coming!
Furst's central character forty-ish Nicholas Morath loves Paris, where he's been living for some time now as a (not "an") Hungarian expatriot (which translates, in those days, as an aristocrat!). Indeed, a bon vivant in his own right, Nicholas' life even borders on the boring, despite the prestigious life style he enjoys--his uncle is a count; he moves in and out of Parisian high life.
But he's not French. He's Hungarian and the winds of war certainly are undeniable. He also is privy to the covert Nazi political machinations and, like Cassandra, knows the future only too well. Thus, he is enlisted by his uncle to "help the cause" and he goes about with the energy of a true patriot.Furst treats us to a geography lesson as well,as Nicholas hops, skips, and jumps his way across the path of the German war machine, from Paris to Budapest to Bratislava to Antwerp,and so on. The atmosphere Furst creates works well with the geography of the land, the political climate of the time, and the naivete of much of the "modern world." This is not to say that "Kingdom of Shadows" is dull reading--far from it. The author has no difficulty in catching--and holding--the reader's undivided attention. His dramatic pacing, his power of description and episode--all blend into an excellent read, one that, due to its historical implications, certainly cannot contain a "and they lived happily ever after" ending. We know what Hitler did in l939 and that he continued for a few more years. Furst doesn't take us past 1939.
This is an excellent read--not just for studetns of history, but for anyone who delights in being caught up in a plausible--yet exciting--storyline. (Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars multi-layered, atmospheric, crafted prose and understated plotline, 9 Jun 2012
By 
Rob Kitchin - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Kingdom Of Shadows (Paperback)
Furst's novels are multi-layered, atmospheric affairs, full of crafted prose and understated plotlines. Kingdom of Shadows is no different. An awful lot happens in what is a normal length novel, as Morath criss-crosses Europe sliding in and out of various scrapes, and yet the pace seems leisurely and evocative. Furst is very good at setting a scene, placing the reader into a landscape, and in providing in an economical fashion the contextual politics both locally and at a European scale. In this sense, the reader comes to understand the fully geopolitical complexity of what was going on, without it swamping the narrative. That takes some skill and yet Furst makes it look effortless. As with his other novels, various strands are left somewhat ambiguous, a snapshot of one set of social relations at a particular place and time. My only critique is sometimes the storytelling is a little too understated, especially when something truly dramatic is taking place (being shot at and chased has the same tone and feel as meeting a girlfriend), and there is a little too much ambiguity at times. But when all said and done, Furst has a distinctive voice and its always a pleasure to read one of his books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Travers, 30 July 2010
By 
G. R. T. Harpur "Travers" (Essex England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kingdom Of Shadows (Paperback)
Like Alan Furst's other novels it is strong in background and atmosphere. The Parisian and Central European sections make you feel you are there. The plot is a little complicated (at least for those of us who read it in seperate sessions) but revolves around the 1938 Czechoslovak crisis. This is a reissue of a 2000 novel. It is well worth reading even if you have not read any of his other novels.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Furst is the new Eric Ambler - only better., 1 Mar 2001
By 
George E. Stanley "Arabic Professor" (Lawton, OK USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kingdom Of Shadows (Paperback)
I have recently discovered Alan Furst - surprising, since he's an American. Years ago, I started reading Eric Ambler (and I've reread him over the years). I never thought anyone else could transport me back to the world of espionage in the 20's, 30's and 40's, but Alan Furst can. He is an excellent, very involving writer. Be prepared for a wonderful experience. Don't read just KINGDOM OF SHADOWS. Read them all - and beg for more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent page turner, 4 Jun 2014
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I republished this book. The detail of the people, places - even the food, kept me wanting more. The only reason I have given four stars rather than five it I would love to have read more. Now on to the Polish officer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cloak and dagger stuff, 26 April 2014
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Great read. Have to wonder what it was like back then. Main character is very good and this is worth the time to read. Make a good film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good series, 16 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Kingdom Of Shadows (Paperback)
Very interesting series of books about pre-war espionage which are well-researched and throw lightness on the dark of those years
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4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read, 6 Nov 2013
By 
S. O. Butler (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kingdom Of Shadows (Paperback)
A good combination of events that keeps one interested in what is going to happen next.
Well researched and surely must have happened to somebody during this period of turmoil
Was it really fiction? Or perhaps just the names changed to hide the brave.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring, 6 Oct 2013
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I felt this book lacked a cohesiveness. The story line seemed be just a series of unrelated events set around a rather 'flat' character. It was set in a period (rise of the Reich) where a compelling story could have been told but the book didn't really do that. Furst has written better books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Live breath and taste the atmosphere, 2 Oct 2013
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Europe in turmoil during the late thirties. The protagonists move from Paris to Hungary, Romania and the Sudetenland. All this against a Europe on the brink of war, a must read.
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Kingdom Of Shadows
Kingdom Of Shadows by Alan Furst (Paperback - 20 Aug 2009)
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