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Blood of Victory Hardcover – 26 Sep 2002

4.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New edition edition (26 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297829513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297829515
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.9 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 158,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'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

Book Description

A novel of adventure and intrigue in wartime Europe, by an author of the stature of Graham Greene and Robert Harris.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 20 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm not a particular fan of spy stories, and I picked this book up without any great expectations. However I was pleasantly surprised. This is not genre writing as such, rather good literature. It is well written, has strong, well drawn characters, and has the knack of creating totally believable and engrossing scenes. The setting is interesting, and I was very impressed with the historical detail, and the knowledgeable interpretation of complex events. Perhaps best of all, however, was the way the book captured the alienation of individuals exiled from their own countries, drawn into a web of espionage in order to resist the Nazis. No simple judgements here, just a fine slice of realistic writing. I shall be reading anything by Alan Furst I can lay my hands on, and recommending him to anyone who will listen!
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By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Mar. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is the fifth of Furst's seven WWII espionage novels I've read, and not one of his best. To be sure, it has all the trademarks of his work: good writing, dedication to period detail, oppressive and dreary atmosphere, exotic locales (Paris, Istanbul, Odessa, Belgrade, etc.), a middle-aged loner protagonist caught up in the espionage intrigues of the time, love interest, a blurry web of operatives. But that's the problem—if you've read a few of his books, you've basically read this one. The characters (especially the heroes) in his books are all starting to run together rather distressingly, and he's over-reliant on atmosphere to carry the minimally plotted stories. What's worse is that the pace of this one is absolutely glacial, there's barely any thrill in the thriller!
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another of Furst's detailed tales of intrigue and espionage set in war torn Europe . Not five star , the plot wanders a tad too far, but an absorbing read all the same. Furst always impresses with a detailed knowledge of the history and geography of his subject matter. As Lord Reith would approve, he manages to inform, educate and entertain once again. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good, well paced read. Mind candy. You get into it fast; a comfortable Furst scenario; middle aged Russian emigre; leftist but not Stalinist, intellectual, sexually adventurous, he ticks all the boxes but doesnt really stand for anything. A warrior facing moral ambiguity. We like him because Adolf is evil and our hero fundamentally reflects western liberal values. This one starts in Istanbul and revolves around the Danube and some ridiculous plots to interrupt the oil flow from Roumanian oil fields in Ploesti.Nice descriptions of a little known part of Europe. It's all a bit confusing really...Paris, Serbia, Roumania and train journeys. Nobody can be trusted. One is forced to live on one's wits. Once again Furst gives a believable insight into the way events in 1938-1943 progressed and dragged people in. One was forced to make decisions that resulted in consequences. Unlike our comfortable life today events proceed at a pace that forces one to decide to collaborate, hide or take risks. Moral ambiguity or nobility? Fascinating stuff...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Any book by Alan Furst is always a great read for its atmosphere. His research and geography is excellent to the point where I am there sitting in the same room as his character. The pace is so believable with the occasional flash of violent action out of the blue producing a result which affects the major scene of the war just a little to be acceptable and credible. Always interesting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read several Alan Furst books now and this follows his formula of a slow-moving, well researched, and very well-written "spy" novel. There is action and suspense but this is not a whizz-bang Clancy or Ludlum type of book. His style may get some getting used to but it is well worth pursuing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am going to reread this book , because the detail of what happened on the Danube, in Romania etc. is new to me & I do want to try to fix it in my poor unwell brain.

Never the less, a cracking story, full of incredibly complex, well drawn characters as always.
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Format: Hardcover
Trademark atmospherics, a loner hero with lovers in exotic towns, a carefully rendered historical setting (European Theatre 1939-41) -- all these tell us we are in the midst of another thriller by Alan Furst. This time, the references are even more oblique - tho the obligatory reference to the bullet hole in the restaurant mirror is there - and there is a fog-like uncertainty about proceedings. Our unlikely hero is a volunteer - and finds himself in harm's way in a somewhat improbable way. (Why is he there?) At the ending he fetches up not trumps but at least....
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".
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