Blood of Victory Hardcover – 26 Sep 2002
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'Intensely romantic and nostalgic, but with a pounding, bullet-riddled climax on an icy river guaranteed to make your hair stand on end. Prime quality. Fiction to engage the heart and mind.'Philip Oakes, Literary Review 'Blood of Victory is the latest, magnificent addition to an oeuvre that oozes class at every pore...hugely entertaining and, in its portrait of a Europe gone mad, where ephemeral pleasures must be savoured to the hilt, extraordinarily poignant.'David Robson, Sunday Telegraph 'It is not the plots of his novels that set Furst above the competitors in his genre; it is a combination of the beautifully oblique writing and way in which he can produce a charged atmosphere with just a few sentences...How I envy anybody who has not yet discovered his writing.'Toby Clements, Daily Telegraph '...well written...absorbing...extremely readable.'TJ Binyon, Evening Standard 'Aware if the millions of words written about this period, he [Furst] wishes to add only those that are strictly necessary. The effect, rare in thriller fiction, is to leave you wanting more.'Mark Lawson, The Guardian '...Furst takes the reader to the back alleys abdglittering salons of 1940 with uniquely compelling authenticity.' CRIME TIME'Downbeat spy fiction that perfectly evokes a war-weary, double-crossing Bucharest. Ideal paternal Christmas giftage.' FHM '...Furst is careful to ensurethat not all loose ends are tied up: that, and the multi-layered characterisation of Serebin is another way in which the new novel has the kind of weightmore typical of fine literature than the thriller genre.'Barry Forshaw, Amazon 'Furst is not afraid to challenge the reader, and his radical reinvention of the espionage novel is the happy result of the authority and fastidiousness of his writing. The multi layered characterization of Serebin and the care Furst takes to ensure that not all loose ends are tied up give this novel thekind of weight more typical of literary fiction than the thriller genre.'Good Book Guide In the States it has reached no. 14 in the Publishers Weekly bestseller lists and no. 20 in the New York Times. 'Densely atmospheric and genuinely romantic, the novel is most reminiscent of the Hollywood films of the forties, when moral choices were rendered not in black-and-white but in smoky shades of gray.'The New Yorker 'He [Furst] glides gracefully into an urbane pre World War II Europe and describes that milieu with superb precision. The wry, sexy, melancholy of his observations would be seductive enough in its ownright - he is the Leonard Cohen of the spy genre - even without the sharp political acuity that accompanies it.'New York Times 'Furst expresses the singular acuity of his historical vision in an exact, nearly telegraphic pose thatrelies heavily on sentence fragments and rapid-fire sequences of images to capture the extraordinary complexity of his characters' political and personalreality. His writing is eloquent in its factual, fatigued simplicity.'New York Times Book Review 'Blood of Victory is stunningly well researched, packed with historical detail and thick with atmosphere.'Time Out New York 'Furst has researched the historical background, as he always does, and the chronologyof four crowded winter months would be enough to keep us panting. But, though there are trysts and narrow escapes aplenty, Furst's settings matter more than politics, incidental intrigues more than international ones, social skirmishes more than armed encounters. Atmosphere is all, especially in spy thrillers, and Furst is a master atmosphere-spinner. Understated sentiment, deprecatory charm, digressions aplenty, more nuances than action, more subtlety thanslaughter, hints, nudges, whispers and incredible stories one would like to believe are the ingredients of his style. The recipe has worked before, and he
A novel of adventure and intrigue in wartime Europe, by an author of the stature of Graham Greene and Robert Harris.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The gist here is that in 1940 the Allies are desperate to interdict German access to the vital Romanian oil fields. Having tried to sabotage them once before, they're faced with a tough problem. Paris-based Russian émigré writer I.A. Serebin is drawn into a plot to resurrect an old spy network in an attempt to strike a blow. However, Serebin's recruitment into this venture is never really convincing, and the weaving of the plot is so oblique that it's hard to get drawn in. It's as if Furst is so faithful to building the shadow world that his characters live in that he's forgotten about the reader. Which is not to say this is an awful book or anything, just that he's written better and might benefit from straying a little further from the European theater he's set seven books in.
Never the less, a cracking story, full of incredibly complex, well drawn characters as always.
The idea is to block movement of oil from Roumania to Germany. Sabotage to the Ploesti oil fields has been tried; it failed. Now the agents who've signed on with the British come up with another scheme. They plan to obstruct river passage up the Danube. This scheme requires cooperation from long-forgotten friends, careful timing, and middle European semi-competence. Good story with a satisfying solution. Compare to "From Russia with Love" by Ian Fleming. But read the first Furst first: "Night Soldiers".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A continuation of an excellent tradition of wartime novels. Engrossing and well worth the read.Published 26 days ago by bruce smith
This is not a long book. It's about spying during the second world war involving our European neighbours. It kept me entertained.Published 1 month ago by Blyth
Brilliant - the quality of the writing is up there with the best. Others have likened his writing to Graham Greene. I would not shrink too far from that suggestion. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Michael O'Connell
Alan Furst is as good and convincing as ever in intricate tail of attempts to block oil supplies to Germany by blocking the Danube. Read morePublished on 30 Sept. 2013 by David Owen
I travel to Central Eastern Europe often and I like looking for references in the book to places that I have been. Read morePublished on 5 Aug. 2013 by Stephen James