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The Foreign Correspondent (Thorndike Core) Hardcover – Large Print, 20 Sep 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Large Print, 20 Sep 2006
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Product details

  • 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)
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Product description

Review

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.

Book Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A friend of mine in London recently asked for a suggestion about a good book to read on the night train from Munich to Prague. I immediately recommended Alan Furst's King of Shadows, which opens on the night train from Budapest to Paris. An Alan Furst novel is often the answer to a request for a `good read'.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Maybe it's me. I've read all of Furst's novels in this loose "series", and I'm a big fan. But either I'm getting bored with the style, or he's treading water.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed it - having been recommended him by friends I trust. This was the first volume to hand in a bookshop so bought it without knowing anything about it. Was immediately swept into the murk and dinge of pre-war Paris - which was excellent. He seems to have lost his faith in main verbs, but this was gradually restored as the book went on (or is that my imagination?) - it took a bit of time to get into the style - but it's staccato writing certainly helped to conjure up the nervousness and insecurity of living in a world gone mad and overshadowed by war.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not reading this after all. Disappointed with "A Hero in France". I dislike unnecessary graphic writing. I therefore have decided not to risk reading this book.
If I change my mind, I will edit this review.
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Format: Paperback
Having discovered Furst this summer, I have been enjoying going through the catalogue. What I really enjoy about Furst's work is how it makes me think again about the tragic history of Europe in the 20th century and unimaginably horrific events within living memory in ostensibly civilised societies. His work makes me feel lucky to be living in this era - which is strange in itself. This is somehow less intense than the novels set in eastern Europe but Furst shines a soft torchlight on the era gently unfolding an ostensibly simple plot using a fascinating blend of characters. A pervasive theme in his work is the characters' lack of awareness of the true extent of the horrors that are going to engulf Europe - it gives the reader a range of new perspectives on our common (European) history. My niggling reservation about this novel (similar to his other books) is the ending.
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