The Foreign Correspondent

The Foreign CorrespondentFrom Alan Furst, Whom The New York Times Calls America S Preeminent Spy Novelist, Comes An Epic Story Of Romantic Love, Love Of Country, And Love Of Freedom The Story Of A Secret War Fought In Elegant Hotel Bars And First Class Railway Cars, In The Mountains Of Spain And The Backstreets Of Berlin It Is An Inspiring, Thrilling Saga Of Everyday People Forced By Their Hearts Passion To Fight In The War Against TyrannyBy , Hundreds Of Italian Intellectuals, Lawyers And Journalists, University Professors And Scientists Had Escaped Mussolini S Fascist Government And Taken Refuge In Paris There, Amid The Struggles Of Migr Life, They Founded An Italian Resistance, With An Underground Press That Smuggled News And Encouragement Back To Italy Fighting Fascism With Typewriters, They Produced Clandestine Newspapers The Foreign Correspondent Is Their StoryParis, A Winter Night In A Murder Suicide At A Discreet Lovers Hotel But This Is No Romantic Traged It Is The Work Of The OVRA, Mussolini S Fascist Secret Police, And Is Meant To Eliminate The Editor Of Liberazione , A Clandestine Migr Newspaper Carlo Weisz, Who Has Fled From Trieste And Secured A Job As A Foreign Correspondent With The Reuters Bureau, Becomes The New Editor Weisz Is, At That Moment, In Spain, Reporting On The Last Campaign Of The Spanish Civil War But As Soon As He Returns To Paris, He Is Pursued By The French S Ret , By Agents Of The OVRA, And By Officers Of The British Secret Intelligence Service In The Desperate Politics Of Europe On The Edge Of War, A Foreign Correspondent Is A Pawn, Worth Surveillance, Or Blackmail, Or Murder The Foreign Correspondent Is The Story Of Carlo Weisz And A Handful Of Antifascists The Army Officer Known As Colonel Ferrara, Who Fights For A Lost Cause In Spain Arturo Salamone, The Shrewd Leader Of A Resistance Group In Paris And Christa Von Schirren, The Woman Who Becomes The Love Of Weisz S Life, Herself Involved In A Doomed Resistance Underground In BerlinThe Foreign Correspondent Is Alan Furst At His Absolute Best Taut And Powerful, Enigmatic And Romantic, With Sharp, Seductive Writing That Takes The Reader Through Darkness And Intrigue To A Spectacular Denouement From The Hardcover Edition an excellent portrayal of anti fascist resistance, in this case against Mussolini Furst s place descriptions, as always, are superb The plot is satisfyingly complex, and the ending is appropriately ambiguous the lives Furst explores never have clear demarcations. I found this book very disappointing I snatched it from a bookshelf at home, thinking it was the book that provided the basis for Hitchcock s 1940 film, Foreign Correspondent Oops It is a 1930 s spy novel all right, but one published in 2006 by highly regarded writer Alan Furst Ok No big deal It could still be pretty good, right I have enjoyed than a few books that transport one back to the time and place, capturing a certain feel I was still hoping for Hitchcockian adventure Alas Furst has made considerable effort to capture the sensibility of say, Eric Ambler Yet, while the structure was certainly in place here, with a sympathetic hero, a heroic damsel needing our hero s help, bad guys aplenty of the fascist and nazi persuasion, spies and reporters, the whole just seemed for me less than the sum of its parts Although our hero Carlo Weisz was certainly heroic enough, although looked at individually the elements make sense, I never really felt all that involved It was as if the writer was engaged in a solely intellectual undertaking It felt to me that the book lacked soul I expect I am in the minority here. Stars wise, this is either a strong 3 or a weak 4 Normally, I would rate Alan Furst s novels highly, and this one was a solid 4 star up until the last 50 pages or so I think the problem I had was that the author doesn t seem to flesh out the last part of the story enough Furst gives us a lovely build up, but when his protagonist is in the most danger, he the author rushes through to the end Still, I was entertained All the usual elements were there exiles and refugees, Stalinist agents lurking in alleys, fascist secret police drinking wine in cafes, star crossed love affairs, a sense of impending doom hanging over everything Reading Alan Furst is like watching Casablanca or one of those old wartime spy films with Charles Boyer That said, this one wasn t as good as most of his other books. I picked this book up because I was so taken with the first Furst book I read, The Spies of Warsaw Also, Furst is considered a master of the historical spy novel, and he is writing about the time period I am writing about More or less So why not sit back and watch a master at work I found The Foreign Correspondent to be slightly disappointing, particularly when held up to Warsaw The problem I think I had with this novel was that we never really got to know enough about the main character Which sounds funny his name literally appears on every single page but still, there was something distant about the way Furst presented him to us As a result, there didn t seem to be as much at stake for him though obviously a journalist who dabbles in spycraft on the eve of WWII could certainly lose his head for it It was just that I had a hard time caring about him I kept feeling like there was going to be another character introduced who would be our protaganist But, no, it was Weisz And then we are eventually introduced to a past love interest who motivates the second half of the novel But wait, what about her is so special Nothing that I can see And she appears so late in the story is in and out again no pun intended she wasn t enough for me to see Weisz take the risks he did, and since she wasn t worth it, I had a hard time empathizing with him.Furst does a capitivating job for me in bringing secondary and teritiary characters to life the resistors in Italy, the drunken Greek sailors, the Nazi propaganda ministers, the British spymaster, and certainly the Genoan black marketeers though all their parts are much smaller, I felt a greater connection with them than I did with Carlo Weisz.I still am a huge Alan Furst fan I just think the story of Carlo Weisz might have been a bit of a misfire I have of his novels in the queue and I look forward to reading them If you are a fan of WWII spy novels, I recommend Mr Furst to you, though perhaps not this one, but rather The Spies of Warsaw. I enjoyed this adventure through Paris on the eve of the Second World War, partly because of all the references to newspaper journalism as a force for good, partly for its portrait of emigres lives that don t seem so dissimilar from my own as an expat in a foreign land, and partly because the age we live in feels a lot like a prelude to disaster and it s inspiring to feel that people of conscience in a previous age could make a difference, if at great personal cost Oh, and did I mention that this was a love story too Download my starter library for free here and receive my monthly newsletter with book recommendations galore for the Japanophile crime fiction English teacher in all of us. In the world of Alan Furst the clock is set to either just before the start of or just after the start of the Second World War He excels at presenting that sick feeling in the pit of the stomach that things are likely to get much worse and soon.The Foreign Correspondent is the story of Reuters foreign correspondent Carlo Weisz, from Trieste, who now lives in Paris working for Reuters, and in his spare time editing an anti fascist publication called Liberazione, which is attracting the unwelcome attentions of OVRA, Mussolini s secret police.Weisz gets connected up with various British Intelligence operatives, who are eager to use his skills against Mussolini especially after the latter signs the so called Pact of Steel with Hitler.It is June 1939, and we are three months from the Nazi invasion of Poland Like all of Furst s novels, there is a brooding atmosphere of impending violence, which no one is quite nearly as good at as he is There are several interesting subplots set in Germany, Spain, and Italy I have enjoyed all the Furst novels I have read and The Foreign Correspondent is well worth reading. In times of trouble I have been known to turn often to the exquisite narrations of Kobna Holdbrook Smith reading the Rivers of London series in order to take my mind off things, but it turns out that when it all goes to shit Alfred Molina will do as well Alan Furst is very concerned with what s going on with everyone s breasts, but otherwise this was a good little story about journalists fighting fascism. This is a war, and, in war, sometimes you lose, sometimes you win, and, sometimes, when you think you ve lost, you ve won This turned out to be really yummy Good cloak and dagger stuff, but with nary a cloak nor a dagger in sight Italian emigres living in Paris put together newspapers to be smuggled into Italy, where Mussolini has control of the information flow This was much quieter than a lot of spy war novels Instead of the fast paced action, it depicts what life was like in Europe immediately before WWII began in earnest Everyone was tense, knowing war was coming, but not knowing what they should do or how it would play out in their own lives The author really knows Europe, and he knows his history The little details made me feel I was there.I had to read the first 70 pages quite slowly so I could keep track of who everyone was and what side they were on and how they fit into the picture After that I could speed up a bit Not that I was in a hurry, but the first 70 pages I really had to concentrate

Night Soldiers 1988

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  • Hardcover
  • 288 pages
  • The Foreign Correspondent
  • Alan Furst
  • English
  • 15 May 2018
  • 9781400060191

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