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.
"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.
"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 >).
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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