Midnight in Europe

Midnight in Europe Paris, As The Shadow Of War Darkens Europe, Democratic Forces On The Continent Struggle Against Fascism And Communism, While In Spain The War Has Already Begun Alan Furst, Whom Vince Flynn Has Called The Most Talented Espionage Novelist Of Our Generation, Now Gives Us A Taut, Suspenseful, Romantic, And Richly Rendered Novel Of Spies And Secret Operatives In Paris And New York, In Warsaw And Odessa, On The Eve Of World War IICristi N Ferrar, A Brilliant And Handsome Spanish Migr , Is A Lawyer In The Paris Office Of A Prestigious International Law Firm Ferrar Is Approached By The Embassy Of The Spanish Republic And Asked To Help A Clandestine Agency Trying Desperately To Supply Weapons To The Republic S Beleaguered Army An Effort That Puts His Life At Risk In The Battle Against FascismJoining Ferrar In This Mission Is A Group Of Unlikely Men And Women Idealists And Gangsters, Arms Traders And Aristocrats And Spies From Shady Paris Nightclubs To White Shoe New York Law Firms, From Brothels In Istanbul To The Dockyards Of Poland, Ferrar And His Allies Battle The Secret Agents Of Hitler And Franco And What Allies They Are There S Max De Lyon, A Former Arms Merchant Now Hunted By The Gestapo The Marquesa Maria Cristina, A Beautiful Aristocrat With A Taste For Danger And The Macedonian Stavros, Who Grew Up Fighting Bulgarian Bandits After That, Being A Gangster Was Easy Then There Is Eileen Moore, The American Woman Ferrar Could Never ForgetIn Midnight In Europe, Alan Furst Paints A Spellbinding Portrait Of A Continent Marching Into A Nightmare And The Heroes And Heroines Who Fought Back Against The Darkness

Night Soldiers 1988

[Read] ➳ Midnight in Europe By Alan Furst – Uc0.info
  • Hardcover
  • 251 pages
  • Midnight in Europe
  • Alan Furst
  • English
  • 02 October 2019
  • 9781400069491

10 thoughts on “Midnight in Europe

  1. says:

    Wouldn t it be a better world if people revealed themselves Did what they secretly wanted I know you want to kiss me, she said What are you afraid of So he locked the door and they went ahead with it, his hands exploring herShe stood, removed hat and dress, thensuddenly self conscious, Would you look away for a moment He did, discovering a perfect image of the dimly lit compartment in the dark window as she wriggled out of the girdle, freeing a cascade of soft, rosy flesh Parisian Girdle from the late 1930s.It is 1937 and Christian Ferrar is a Spanish ex pat living in Paris making a very good living working as a lawyer for a prestigious firm The Spanish Civil War is going on and times are desperate for the Spanish Republic as Axis troops from Germany and Italy have joined the Francisco Franco Nationalists effort to overthrow the government Interesting enough the Soviet Union and Mexico are allied with the Spanish Republic Ferrar has an extended family in France that he is supporting, and so though he wants to go join the fight to protect the Republic it would mean leaving his family impoverished I ve always liked this shot of Hemingway working as a reporter and gathering material for a book in Spain in 1937.Meanwhile he is enjoying his life in Paris so aptly described by one of his friends The conversation drifted away, to life in Paris and then, as they worked through the second bottle of wine and ordered a third, to nightlife in Paris nightclubs high and low, and brothels catering to every imaginable inclination The Parisians are worldly in these matters, he said They believe that with money, all things are possible They accept the reality of the human appetite, and the reality of markets Here, one can have whatever one can pay for I have always admired their point of view Ferrar is offered the services of a high class madam who has a stable of aristocratic women indebted to their dressmakers, but he prefers his lovemaking infused with passion No, I like love affairs, a woman s desire is the best aphrodisiac I would give Ferrar a high five if I could walk into the pages of this book, sit down at the table with him, light a Gitanes cigarette I would most assuredly have smoked in 1937 , and order myself a gentiane Gitanes Cigarette Poster from the 1930s.The Spanish Republic is in desperate need of supplies, weapons that can be bought from the Soviets, but must be moved by ship and train through German controlled territory to Spain Danzig or Gdansk, a city with an interesting history Ferrar is asked to be a broker to help move those much needed weapons to his friends in Spain His predecessor, a museum director, did not fare well One of the issues for the Republic is that they don t have a professional spy organization and so have to recruit amateurs to be those valuable facilitators to keep the war effort alive Iconic Robert Capa photo of a Falling Republican Soldier.Ferrar meets people, some working for the cause and some selling information to whoever is willing to pay I particularly liked the description of Professor Z Finding Professor Z was not hard he was sitting on a bench at the foot of a staircase beneath an ivy covered pergola, reading a French novel When he looked up and saw de Lyon, he kept his place in the book with his finger, and there it stayed for the length of the conversation The professor was wearing a battered old chalk stripe suit and had the sort of beard worn by men who don t like to shave but don t like beards either a scraggly growth, brown and gray, chopped back when it grew too long He was smoking a cigarette in a cigarette holder and was, apparently, a chain smoker there were than a few squashed out butts on the brick cobblestones by his feet Haven t we all been in that position with our finger in a book waiting for someone to stop talking to us Books always play a part in Alan Furst novels Ferrar s girlfriend in New York is a librarian by day and a lurid pulp fiction writer by night Furst s characters generally are readers and Ferrar is no exception When time drags he picks up Robert Byron s book The Road to Oxiana which is still considered one of the classics of travel writing about the Middle East Lose yourself for a moment along with Ferrar in Persia in 1933 The day s journey had a wild exhilaration Up and down the mountains, over the endless flats, we bumped and swooped The sun flayed us Great spirals of dust, dancing like demons over the desert, stopped our dashing Chevrolet and choked us Suddenly, from far across the valley, came the flash of a turquoise jar, bobbing along on a donkey Its owner walked beside it, clad in a duller blue And seeing the two lost in that gigantic stony waste, I understood why blue is the Persian colour, and why the Persian word for it means water as well Robert Byron, a writer who died way too young.Alan Furst has a talent for infusing his atmospheric novels with elegance, sensuality, anxiety, sacrifice, and cleverness His characters, generally, are common people placed in uncommon circumstances who sometimes have to choose between loyalty or survival Things go wrong Sometimes luck is as important as skill His characters are learning the rules of the game on the fly and the penalty for losing is best not thought about There is a stylishness that I really appreciate in a Furst novel He places me back in time, a time that was full of danger and possibilities A time when a beautiful countess might be the love of your life or she might be the one who tries to kill you A time when criminals are useful and crimes have new definitions A time of changing alliances and trust is a difficult commodity to earn A time when a man might save the world and the world will never know it I highly recommend his Night Soldiers series They all work fine as stand alone novels so no need to read them in order I was first introduced to Furst with The World at Night so I have a soft spot for it I believe that universally The Polish Officer is considered one of his best I won t disagree with that assertion.If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  2. says:

    A solid 4 starsI read this library book in 2 days It is a taut, suspense filled story of spies in Paris, France, in the winter of 1937 38 It is obvious to most people that the Spanish Civil War is just a prelude to a European wide war The main character is Christian Ferrar, a Spanish migr and lawyer for a prestigious Paris law firm He is approached by the Spanish Embassy for assistance in buying arms, desperately needed by the Republican army He agrees to help and is soon enmeshed in a world of spies and counterspies How he manages to survive is a thrilling tale, told by a master of the genre If you like Eric Ambler s spy stories, then you will like this series.One quote on Spanish pastries available in France At one time, pastry in Spain had been baked and sold in convents, so the names of the little treats came from those days Ferrar bought huesos de Santo, saints bones, tetas de novicias, novice nuns breasts, and suspiros de ninja, nuns sighs.

  3. says:

    I got a pretty good fix for my addiction to this loosely connected series Now up to 13 books known as The Night Soldiers collection, they all take place in the last few years before France is invaded May 1940 and feature relatively ordinary people become extraordinary by getting involved in actions to slow the impeding takeover of Europe by the fascists. France is usually a setting for much of the action, but the plots spread the narrative to peoples and locations in other countries which vary from book to book e.g Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria,the Netherlands, Greece Here our hero is a Spanish transplant to Paris, Cristi n Ferrar, who works for a large international law firm He gets drawn into an arms supply scheme to help the Republican forces fighting a civil war against the military takeover by Nationalists led by Franco.As a lawyer who frequently travels around Europe for corporate clients, Ferrar is a logical candidate to facilitate financial dealings on arms deals on behalf of the Republic But France is technically neutral, and an embargo is in place on direct shipments Shipments through neutral countries often get intercepted In contrast with Russia s inadequate efforts to support the Republic, the Nationalists are well supplied by Hitler and his Luftwaffe dominates the skies Their besieged forces continue to hold big cities like Madrid and Barcelona, but most of the country has been taken Ferrar wants to help, and the espionage division of the Spanish embassy in Paris encourages him to take on the task of finding a source and directly managing the purchase and shipment of tons of anti aircraft shells There are definitely some thrilling parts where Ferrar has to engage criminal elements in his task and orchestrate clandestine activities in Berlin, the Polish port of Danzig now Gdansk , Istanbul, and Ukraine German spies work hard to sabotage their schemes, and Ferrar is concerned over whether his new lover, an exiled Spanish marquesa, might be working for them For those like me are a little fuzzy about the human cost of the Spanish Civil War, I pull this thumbnail sketch from Wikipedia The war was cast by Republican sympathizers as a struggle between tyranny and democracy, and by Nationalist supporters as between communist and anarchist red hordes and Christian civilization Nationalists also claimed they were protecting the establishment and bringing security and direction to an ungoverned and lawless society Death totals remain debated British historian Antony Beevor wrote in his history of the Civil War that Franco s ensuing white terror resulted in the deaths of 200,000 people and that the red terror killed 38,000 Julius Ruiz contends that, Although the figures remain disputed, a minimum of 37,843 executions were carried out in the Republican zone, with a maximum of 150,000 executions including 50,000 after the war in Nationalist Spain..As usual, Furst achieves in me as a reader of this book a marvelous sense of presence in this time and place of momentous significance The prose becomes invisible, and you can t help but be transported by the atmospherics I believe Furst s tales to be quite realistic and not over dramatic or romantic about his favorite theme of citizens from various walks of life moved to become secret soldiers and volunteer spies People hooked on espionage thrillers will likely be disappointed with the limited scope of the action of Furst s lead characters But their plausible heroism still moves me Unlike le Carr s plots, Furst s protagonist characters are not in moral torment or struggling with cynical despair, but merely human in their weaknesses, doubts, and vices You root for them with sadness over their doomed task to stop the forces of darkness and cling to the currents of nostalgia over the lives and culture destined to be swept away in the coming maelstrom.To help prospective readers with their choice I share a couple of quotes that speak to the sense of life in the character of Ferrar and some of his bold creativity in his approach to his efforts His attempts to garner useful help from the cagey representatives of the Spanish embassy in Paris stimulates this reaction He had seemed genial and forthcoming, but he was a diplomat and it was his job to seem so What was the old joke When a lady says no he means maybe When a lady says maybe she means yes But if a lady says yes, she s no lady When a diplomat says yes he means maybe When a diplomat says maybe he means no But if a diplomat says no he s no diplomat To get across the border into Germany, Ferrar and his partner in deception unfolds the following ruse with the security guard What then will you do in Germany We are here to take photographs for a special issue, to be called Nudism in the Reich It is quite popular in Germany we are told It was In an effort to stimulate the national libido, and thus breed Germans, public nudity had been officially endorsed Hitler himself, known to be a great prude in all things, had attended a nude ballet in Munich Herr Major Would you care to have a look I ve brought along some recent issues Would you care to keep those, Herr Major I have with me This book was loaned as an e book by the publisher through the Netgalley program.

  4. says:

    Another terrific story from Alan Furst, who always manages a different take on events that you are vaguely familiar with Here, a lawyer in Paris gets involved in arms smuggling on the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War, and in the course of telling the story, Furst presents as clear an understanding of what that war was about as I have read All of the bad guys Germany, Russia and Italy were getting ready for the bigger war to follow while the French and British dithered.Furst s ability to set a scene warmly and indelibly is as good as any author I know Some authors take paragraphs or even pages to do this Furst does it, time after time, in a few words Almost instantly, you are in the setting, seeing and hearing along with the characters, feeling the weather His scenes of Paris, many of which describe locales I know, are magnificent.The only complaint I have about Midnight in Europe is that it was, at 250 pages, too short I wanted .

  5. says:

    With Midnight in Europe Alan Furst is now a good novelist simply going through the motions His characters are stereotypes and the plots, always his weakness, are lifeless than usual He has lost his edge Frustratingly, Furst insists on patronizing his readers with ham handed history lessons.I came across two lines which, if they had been openings, would be contenders for the annual Bulwer Lytton Contest He believed, deep down where his desire lived, that redheads had thinner skin, so that a single stroke went a long way.The poetry of lust describes many inspirations the moon, a stray wisp of hair but only now and then cites haven t done it for a long time.The italics are Furst s.Whew

  6. says:

    Furst phoned this one in The characters, settings and dialogue are sketchy and formulaic, even as he explains things any dunderhead would know and repeats plot points in case we missed them the first time A very disappointing effort from an author who s given me much entertainment in the past This barely earns two stars.

  7. says:

    Damn I finished it in one day Now I have to wait two years for his next one sigh Maybe I ll go reread Night Soldiers or Dark Star. That might make me feel better.I ve always wondered what the Spanish Civil War was really about No one could tell me I knew it was a testing ground for Hitler s new weapons, but that s about it So, yeah, maybe I m a dope, but I wasn t really clear on what World War 1 was about either, until my daughter wrote an 11th grade paper about it As he always does, Alan Furst teases apart the tangled threads of the war, explaining and displaying the different sides, then showing you the terrible human cost Over the course of this brief, intelligent, sexy, and elegantly written novel, it became blindingly clear how this conflict grew into the horrors of World War 2, an extension of the grotesque battle between communism and fascism.Was this Furst at his best Wellfor that you must read the aforementioned Night Soldiers, or Dark Star, and I would also recommend The Polish Officer. But I confess I will follow Alan Furst with his supple prose and his very human spies anywhere, into any conflict, any book I wonder what the next one will be about.

  8. says:

    What is there left to say about Alan Furst This novel was not better than the others, nor as good, but I can t call it appreciably worse Some reviews have said Furst phoned this one in, which I don t agree with, but I think they put their fingers on something lackluster in this book, which I m willing to pin on its focus on the Spanish Civil War That conflict is complex and less familiar and it s not going to be as easy to use its events and outcome to loom over the story I did find the main female character in this story particularly frustrating she gets written out of the story barely ten pages after she is given a backstory and motivation Above all, I really wish Furst would try something new I ll even provide some free ideas in ascending order of difficulty He should write a book about a protagonist with a wife or family that he is close to, and who are involved and at risk in the spying I think he s written some men with families, but they still operated day to day like lone wolves That gives the novels a certain freedom and style, but significantly contributes to their interchangeability Or, he should write a book that takes place during the war Better yet, after the war, since the machinations and choosing of sides at the end must have been just as complicated as at the beginning Or, he should write a book about a woman, a real woman and not one of the walk on vixens he usually does The female protagonist should have her own motives and an actual emotional life that goes beyond adventure and lust She can t just be the usual male character with breasts, but I can t specify exactly what such a character should be like, because that s the author s job Review copy received from Edelweiss.

  9. says:

    It is very hard for me to believe that Alan Furst could write a book that I couldn t finish But he did I have loved or at least liked all of his works to date Such a disappointment.

  10. says:

    Alan Furst s WWII novels read like chilled martinis served on a dark battlefield His crisp prose and compelling narratives are spare and go down smooth, but their iciness chills the blood as you realize that his protagonists, often idealistic yet jaded men caught up in the snare of fascism, are about to come up against forces far greater than they expect He never wastes time filling in backstory From page one, you re drawn into his masterful tales set in isolated corners of a Europe hovering on the brink of annihilation, populated by spies, black marketeers, gilded dames with secrets, night club owners, and blustering arms dealers Each novel stands on its own a piece of an overall devastating picture Where he excels is in creating lasting glimpses into a vanquished world full of flawed humanity, whose choices are never simple, never easy, and of decisions made in a vacuum of historical forethought For Furst s people, war is a reality, not an abstraction Every day is another day to survive What comes next cannot enter their minds because they never know if the future will ever arrive.In MIDNIGHT IN EUROPE, it s 1937 and Christian Ferrar, a Spanish refugee lawyer living in uneasy Paris with his family, all of whom have fled Spain, is approached by a branch of an office dedicated to ensuring Republican victory in his civil war torn country Hitler growls in the distance, his shadow already looming over Europe, and Spain has become a bone of contention, with a non intervention pact that has allowed Franco s Nationalists free rein The Republicans last desperate stand depends on munitions, and Ferrar is asked to assist in the secretive negotiations Abetted by a Jewish spy jack of all trades, Ferrar plunges into the murky underworld of arms dealers and Russian subterfuge, while entertaining a marquesa of dubious motivations who needs his legal counsel Ferrar is a classic Furst hero not a fighter by nature, but rather a man of good taste and reserve, who can see which way the wind is blowing and hopes to sidestep the impending chaos But he s also loyal to the ideals of freedom in a time overcome by fascist nationalism, and his journey entails him shedding pieces of himself along the way as he struggles to defend a doomed cause.The book is deceptively slim and moves at a rapid pace Furst depicts Paris in all her finery and seediness, a city of elegance and bistros, and back alley night clubs where shady dealings are par of the course The jack of all trades, de Lyon, is a wonderful character wry, unimpressed by humanity s capacity for betrayal, and dedicated to preserving himself while abetting the battle against fascist ideology While Ferrar is the hero, de Lyon is the heart Together, they manage to pull off a seemingly impossible feat, with harrowing scenes set in Nazi Berlin, but the price is, as ever in a Furst novel, too high.The ending too, as always, is a fading, sepia tinted scene We never know what will come next, like the people themselves And that s what makes these novels so addictive Furst doesn t pander to our sentimental need for stories wrapped in tidy bows What he offers us instead is a cold drink of reality and when the glass breaks, its jagged pieces are ours to make of as we will.

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