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Dark Voyage: A Novel Paperback – May 31, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Dark Voyage, at least on the surface, is a bit different. Dark Voyage is not set amongst the smoky bistros of occupied Paris, Bucharest, or Warsaw. The action is set at sea, on board the M/V Noordendam, a Dutch cargo ship captained by Eric deHaan. The Noordendam, an aging tramp steamer nearing the end of its useful life at sea, is pressed into service by the Royal Navy. DeHaan and his crew and and passengers, including a Polish engineer, a Jewish medical orderly fleeing the Nazis, a beautiful Russian `journalist' fleeing in fear from her Soviet bosses, and others are asked to undertake three missions, each one more dangerous than the last. The Noordendam, repainted and sailing under the colors of a sunken, neutral Spanish merchant ship, the M/V Santa Rosa delivers munitions and supplies to the British Expeditionary Forces in Crete; transports British commandos to conduct a raid on the North African Coast in Tunisia; and then up through the Baltic Sea on a secret mission that could save Britain from annihilation during the blitz.
Despite this difference in setting the essential elements that render Furst's novels so downright enjoyable remain in place.Read more ›
Alan Furst's new book, "Dark Voyage", is from the familiar period and area -- 1941 Europe -- but there is something of a departure this time around in that the primary setting is a ship, the Dutch tramp steamer Noordendam under the command of Eric DeHaan, ship and captain pressed into the service of the Naval Intelligence arm of the Dutch Government in exile, clandestinely transporting under false colors people and material to wherever orders require. The cast of characters, as always, is a mixture of diverse and uncertain nationalities, appropriate in an era when nationalities themselves were shifting at the whim of events. I found "Dark Voyage" to be a compelling, if episodic, reading experience as the weary Dutch freighter and her weary crew go about the dark business of a shadow war.
Furst's book are not a series, although a minor character in one book may turn up as the central figure in another, and can generally be read without any particular order. And for those of you who are familiar with Furst's novels, yes, Table Fourteen at the Brasserie Heininger in Paris does make its customary appearance.
Additionally, it is the true Armageddon of our memory, of our time. Hitler and Stalin ARE the evil empire and should they be victorious, the world would be oh so different than it is now.
Finally, I think if you read about that time, whether it's the novels of Deaver or Diehl or Woods on the one hand or the extraordinary Beevor's "Stalingrad" and "The Fall of Berlin," or Ambrose' "Easy Company" or Ryan's "D-Day," one gets the sense that for the Europeans, it wan't all black and white and no, John Wayne and Robert Mitchum didn't epitomize it. Nor Metro Goldwyn Mayer.
So Alan Furst brings to the table a series of novels not in black and white but in gray. Where the characters are motivated by doing the right thing but, where is that damn right thing? And how much of this morality do I have to extrapolate? And are there situational ethics that no one's written about? And do my handlers really care if I win or not, or just that I put on "a bloody good show, mate." And what is winning, anyhow? Is it living? On some days, is it just surviving?
Here Eric DeHaan, Ship's Captain, is seduced by Dutch Naval Intelligence. Well, "seduced" implies some volition on his part and clearly, if at all, there is little. His ship, the M/V Noordendam, will be used not so much for tramp steaming but to change it's name to the Santa Rosa, a South American steamer bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Noordendam, and carry men and material to be used against the Nazi effort. Which by now is most of Europe.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great story I enjoyed it
Nice to have a sea story by alan furst
This is certainly one of my favorits
My favorite in the series so far. Nice elliptical characterization, the usual page-turning pacing and sly humor.Published 3 months ago by Frederic Fischer
Real history; deep gritty, even ugly historical pvdetail. Fabulous character development set against the fear and paranoia generated by Stalin's purges. ExcellentPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I'm a big fan of Alan Furst. The characters are beautifully developed. The places are well described and interesting. Read morePublished 4 months ago by james lennon
As do all Alan Furst's thrillers, this one asks the question"these people took a stand against evil. Would you have done the same?"Published 5 months ago by Hilary Singho
After my review of the mediocre Midnight In Europe I thought I'd go back and read an earlier Furst to make sure I hadn't over estimated the earlier works. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tony Covatta