An underground newspaper reporter becomes the target of a European spy web in the looming shadow of World War II Paris in this heart-pounding thriller from the master of international intrigue, Alan Furst.
Paris, 1938: a sensational story hits the tabloids: a murder/suicide in a lovers' hotel of an Italian political emigre and the wife of a prominent French politician. The assassination soon emerges as the work of Mussolini's secret police; the male victim was the editor of a clandestine newspaper that opposed Italian fascism. This is the story of Carlo, the man who replaces the victim as editor of the newspaper - the man who becoms the next target for Mussolini's police, Stalin's propaganda apparatus, the M16 and of the Gestapo, even as the war grows closer every day.
©2006 Alan Furst (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
"America's preeminent spy novelist." (The New York Times)
I have read and enjoyed several of Alan Furst's books. I think he is one of the best writers in the WWII/spy genre. This is the first one that I have listened to and I found it slightly disappointing, particularly the ending - it just seemed to run out of steam. It left me feeling that a sequel is being planned.
This is definitely one of the best of Furst's wartime thrillers - in fact it is set in 1938-39, Berlin and Paris, but involving Italian emigres. I have read about 4; they are all very good, but this was the most interesting I think.
George Guidall does a great job of reading - the other ones I had to read all by myself!!
"A good listen"
Alan Furst is wonderful at atmosphere but slim on plot development lately - this book is a return to his best, like The Polish Officer and Night Soldiers, which is still his best book in my opinion. Foreign Correspondent has strong characters, a likable hero and an interesting story line. Well worth the time.
"One of the best of a great series"
All Time Great!
The other eight in Alan Furst's first nine in the series that were narrated by George Guidall.
Many, many times over the years. Been a recorded book listener for almost 20 years. George Guidall is one of the all time great narrators and I consider his performance of the Furst's novels to be a highlight of his career. I've actually read a couple of the Furst novels in this series and they rate a 4. George elevates them to a 6. It saddens me that he stopped narrating Furst's novels. The subsequent recorded novels were, at best, a 2. A case, that is all too common, of the narrator ruining the novel.
A story of real resistance spies in World War II. They were scared, tired and bored most of the time.
The saddest part of the book and narration is "The End"I've listened to all the first 9 novels in the series at least 3 times and a few like "The Foreign Correspondent" 5 times.
"A Return to Furst"
A nice solid Furst novel. I took a small pause from reading Furst because his books had started to all blend together (maybe by design), but 'The Foreign Correspondent' was like a well-timed nosh. The story was tight and well-paced, there was an interesting memoir-within-a-novel that worked rather well since the protagonist in the novel was the ghost-writer of the memoir.
Anyway, not on my top-shelf of Furst's novels, but it was a good Night Soldier's addition that focused on the period of 1938-1939 when Italy (under Il Duce) formally aligned with Hitler's Germany while also bringing back a lot of Furst's crossover characters in small appearances (as well as the perpetually cameoed >).
"Spy Novel Fan"
No. I very rarely listen or read novels more than once. In addition, the story didn't enthrall me. I did enjoy the atmospheric details and the real sense of time the story created.
The novel seemed to just stop. I generally read spy fiction for the thrilling aspect of it. Furst seems more interested in setting up the stage and making the reader feel, quite successfully I might add, as if he is living in the period with his characters.
I listened to Night Soldiers (also by Alan Furst). I thoroughly enjoy Mr. Guidall's performances. He is easy to listen to and creates characters that are distinguishable and lively. His voices really seem to belong to separate people.
No, the book was more about creating a sense of time than suspense.
While the book did not satisfy the needs I usually have for spy fiction, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. the book really immersed you in the period and I found that extremely appealing. There were some elements of suspense, but on a smaller scale than some might expect from a spy novel. The story appealed to me more as a fan of historical fiction and history in general than as a spy novel.
"Not Furst's Best"
George Guidall is a genius, but not even he can turn this into an Alan Furst classic. I love Furst's rambling style and that he doesn't hew to the cookie cutter outline that dominates all fiction today. But. . . the characters here just aren't interesting to sustain Furst's style of writing. I never connected with any of the characters, least of all the main character, Weiss.
If you read Enid Blyton as a child, the "board"--who publish a subversive paper aimed at undermining Mussolini's regime--are about as sophisticated as The Famous Five, possibly less so.
I'm disappointed, but I'm going to try the next in the series. I just wish Furst could bring back the excitement and complexity of the first books in Night Soldiers, especially the first. If you haven't read/listened to it, download it right now! You won't be disappointed.
Did I say that George Guidall is a genius?
"Passes the time"
The writing and the narration were quite adequate. But this is liked easing a week old newspaper. Maybe you don't have much excitement and this seems like a thoughtful escape. I personally did find it very interesting. People saw war coming and didn't do enough to stop it. The common people weren't made out to be foolish just powerless. The 1/10th of the book that was exciting was down played. I have listened to worse stories and narrators. This was ok for being on sale. I won't ask for a refund. I'm sorry I bought two books on sale by this author.
"Fell Asleep, Didn't Miss Much"
This book goes nowhere fast. Typical of Alan Furst, lots of dialog, most of which adds little to the story. The theme was never really apparent to me and the "action" was sporadic. The history was sparse and was a duplicate of the other books in this series.
George Guidall's voice droned and put me to sleep
I never actually finished the book and went on to something more interesting...
"Slow and boring"
This book was so slow. A lot of conversations that were boring. I realize he was setting the way people thought to developed the plot. I quit about one third into the book. I guess I like more action.
I purchased this audiobook a couple of weeks ago when they had a sale on all books by Alan Furst. The reviews were excellent, and I chose this particular book for no reason other then it had a 4.20 rating as opposed to 4.0 for most of the others. Although the plotline was interesting and the background informative, this was a very tiresome story because it moves so slowly. It was like molasses. You would have a brief minute or two of a meeting and that was followed by interminable pauses before the book moved forward. I won't read another book by this author. The narrator is phenomenal.
I was really looking forward to this thriller, having had my eye on the book since it was published in paperback, but I think the narrator, George Guidall, really killed this audiobook. He is a very experienced narrator of audiobooks and I have listened to and enjoyed other books he's narrated (including at least one Jodi Picoult) very much, but he just wasn't right for this spy novel. I had to stop listening about half-way through because his over-inflections really made it impossible for me to concentrate on the plot. What I look for in an audiobook is a narrator who fits perfectly with the story so that you feel you are almost reading the book yourself, but George Guidall introduced far too many of his own accents in the wrong places and I was very disappointed.
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