- Hardcover: 449 pages
- Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (20 Sept. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786289082
- ISBN-13: 978-0786289080
- Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 14.8 x 2.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,819,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Foreign Correspondent (Thorndike Core) Hardcover – Large Print, 20 Sep 2006
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There are writers who so capture the feel of a particular historical time and place that, once you¿ve read them, it¿s impossible to look back to the period without sensing their presence. Alan Furst, with his novels of wartime Europe, is one of those authors. (Simon Shaw MAIL ON SUNDAY)
enjoyably gripping tale of spies and skulduggery (Christina Koning TIMES) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The next great page-turner from the master of the noir spy novel. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Furst comes from a line of writers whose literary lineage can be traced back to both Graham Greene and Eric Ambler. Like Ambler, Furst often takes an unassuming, or unwitting civilian and immerses him in a world of mystery and intrigue in pre and post-World War II Europe. Foreign Correspondent opens in Civil War Spain but quickly moves to pre-war Paris. Italian journalist Carlo Weisz, a refugee from Mussolini's fascist Italy living in Paris, is part of a group of Italian expatriates who print a dissident newspaper, Liberazione, and smuggle it into Italy. The Italian secret police, the OVRA, has infiltrated the group. One of its members has been murdered and each member of the group is feeling the effects of the OVRA turning the screws on their operations. At the same time Weisz' day job as a foreign correspondent for Reuters takes him back and forth to the Berlin of Hitler, Himmler, and Goring. It is in Berlin that Weisz reunites with and reignites his affair with Christa von Schirren. Along the way Weisz comes to the attention of and is recruited by British Intelligence. The plot outline is simple: will Weisz and his cell continue to publish Liberazione and will Weisz be able to get Christa out of Berlin before the war that everyone knows is coming closes all borders.
Furst's strong point has always been how he sets the scene. His atmospherics are tremendous.Read more ›
This certainly isn't a bad book. And there's nohing wrong with taking a "low key" approach to the 30s/40s espionage genre - but the Graham Greene comparisons are way off the mark. Compared to his earlier works, I'm afraid this is "Furst by numbers". All the usual elements are there: the jaded but honest protagonist, the potentially doomed love affair, the "night and fog" locations, and a few of the "occasional" characters from the earlier books.
But it just never quite catches fire. Sad to say, I could easily have put this book down a few pages before the end, with no burning desire to finish it. And that's something I never thought I'd say about an Alan Furst novel. I'll still await his next book with anticipation, because I know what he's capable of - but I think he needs to re-read "The Polish Officer" or "Dark Star" as a reminder of how it should be done.
For all the suspense and evocation of the book, which i loved (Furst is clearly a very descriptive, poetic even, writer), i couldn't help feeling a little disappointed by the conclusion. I kept wondering how he was going to pull it off as i ran out of pages and so knew the end had to be coming somehow. Kolb's Berlin visit only takes a few pages, and Weisz's final journey (please note care with which i try to avoid plot spoiling) is also rushed. He suddenly arrives - and book ends. Ho hum.
But then i suppose this is a love story not a John Le Carre - and that is sort of the point, i guess. It is humanity and relationships that are the most valuable treasure to protect to in wartime. I have to agree. It's just that i would have greatly enjoyed further descriptions by Furst of how to reach this conclusion. But then, if one is begging an author for more, then this presumably means he has done his job pretty well.
If I change my mind, I will edit this review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fascinating picture of pre-war Europe and how difficult it was for people with any sort of integrity or humanity to take on fascism, against the background of the dead hand of... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Robert Ward
Can anyone present the world at war as well as Furst? I particularly warm to his leading characters who appear like human corks bobbing on the tide of history. Read morePublished on 31 May 2015 by David Drake
There is no one as good as Furst at creating the atmosphere of the late 1930s as Europe descends into war.Published on 28 Dec. 2014 by Douglas McWilliams
A meandering tale interspersed with some exciting and dramatic incidents. Not up to Furst's usual standardPublished on 11 Nov. 2014 by Allan Gillie