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Midnight in Europe: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Alan Furst
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (729 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $27.00
Kindle Price: $11.84
You Save: $15.16 (56%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Paris, 1938. 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 II.
 
Cristián Ferrar, a brilliant and handsome Spanish émigré, 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 fascism.
 
Joining 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 forget.
 
In 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.

Praise for Alan Furst and Midnight in Europe
 
“Furst never stops astounding me.”—Tom Hanks
 
“Furst is the best in the business.”—Vince Flynn
 
“Elegant, gripping . . . [Furst] remains at the top of his game.”—The New York Times
 
“Suspenseful and sophisticated . . . No espionage author, it seems, is better at summoning the shifting moods and emotional atmosphere of Europe before the start of World War II than Alan Furst.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Endlessly compelling . . . Furst delivers an observant, sexy, and thrilling tale set in the outskirts of World War II. In Furst’s hands, Paris once again comes alive with intrigue.”—Erik Larson
 
“Too much fun to put down . . . [Furst is] a master of the atmospheric thriller.”—The Boston Globe


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In 1937, the lights were going out in Europe, but jackbooted blackness had not quite swept the Continent. Through multiple novels, Furst has illuminated moments of reluctant courage and desperate love in a world teetering on the edge of destruction. He does so again here, and, as always, he does it exquisitely. We’ve met Furst’s unwilling heroes before, typically in Paris, as they bask in the City of Light while turning away from the chaos in their homeland, whether Poland, Italy, or Germany. This time it’s Spain, where a doomed war is already raging. Spanish émigré Christián Ferrar is a successful lawyer at an international firm, juggling his time between Paris and New York and happy to be far from the troubles in Spain. Yet, when he is approached to aid those supplying the Republican troops with arms, he is surprised to find himself complying. And so begins another tale of clandestine operations in which civilians step up, not out of idealism but out of the realization that history affords them no other choice. Furst is a master of mood, but, above all, he is able to show how the most personal of emotions—love, especially—drives the actions of men and women caught in a time of peril. --Bill Ott

About the Author

Alan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. Now translated into eighteen languages, he is the author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, Kingdom of Shadows, Blood of Victory, Dark Voyage, The Foreign Correspondent, The Spies of Warsaw, Spies of the Balkans, Mission to Paris, and Midnight in Europe. Born in New York, he lived for many years in Paris, and now lives on Long Island.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2096 KB
  • Print Length: 262 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0297863959
  • Publisher: Random House (June 3, 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HBQUFJM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,867 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
139 of 142 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Familiar territory May 10, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Having been a devoted reader of Alan Furst's often dark and exciting novels about the years leading up to and into WWII, with spies and passionate efforts to find ways to prevent the Fascist/Nazi takeover of Europe or to oppose the effort during the war, I approached this new novel with eager anticipation. While I was not deeply disappointed, I have to admit that this one seems to offer evidence of authorial fatigue, of a somewhat casual, if not careless, approach to building the fictional world--full of familiar character types and credible events (possibilities if not historical certainties)--that I have so much enjoyed living in through the earlier novels. There is plenty of suspense; there are appealing characters, including the central figure, the brilliant lawyer and reluctant hero, Cristian Ferrar; there are the same gloomy feelings associated with the frustration of people of good will attempting to resist the efforts of moral monsters while trying to avoid becoming monsters themselves by behaving with the same disregard not only for moral and legal limits but even of basic human decency. There is talk of the necessity of sacrificing some individuals for the sake of the cause, but always that talk is tempered with recognition that the sacrifice is not justified by the ends, even if practical considerations force recognition of its inevitability.

In 1937/1938, in Paris, observers of all stripes watch the apparently inevitable destruction of the Spanish Republican cause by the vicious combination of General Franco's Spanish Nationalists with supporters--the Third Reich, most obviously and the tacit or overt "support" (through inaction or behind-the-scenes collaboration) of the British and French governments.
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102 of 113 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Familiar territory for Furst April 24, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
By now, readers of Alan Furst know what to expect of his work and he follows the familiar script in this latest novel without much variation. That does not mean that this book was not enjoyable. After all, why mess with success? However, the danger remains that an author at some point becomes formulaic and avoids taking risks - and sooner or later this may happen to Furst.

So we once again find ourselves in the years leading up to World War Two in Paris. Our hero follows the usual Furst rules of what makes an interesting protagonist - he's a Spanish lawyer living in exile in Paris, pushing 40, single but willing to embrace sensual adventure when it comes his way, cautious but fundamentally decent, appalled by fascism and eventually pushed from his role of bystander into that of active participant.

Our hero gets involved in gunrunning to the Republicans fighting a doomed battle against Franco's fascists in his native land. This involves dangerous trips to Poland and Nazi Berlin to buy Czech anti-tank guns and smuggle them past a blockade and an audacious plot to steal ammunition from the Soviet Union. But there is never the sense that this will change history, which at this point is moving inexorably toward the great conflagration.

Furst is brilliant in describing what Berlin was like in late 1937; his reconstruction of the sights and sounds of a city dominated by Hitler and his henchmen is utterly compelling and authentic.

He is also great in describing how knowing, experienced adults conducted sophisticated sexual dalliances in those days. His characters seek fleeting pleasure where and when they can find it.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Alan Furst gives us another Casablanca-style yarn set in prewar Europe. This one concerns the Spanish Civil War, which he hasn't dealt with much since his first couple of books. Only a bit takes place in Spain; it's mostly about Spanish émigré Cristian Ferrar, a Paris lawyer who gets involved helping the beleaguered Republican forces procure arms through their Paris embassy.

It's not easy, as hardly anyone will sell them any, requiring all sorts of chicanery, and meanwhile the Republic is low on cash. Ferrar and arms dealer Max de Lyon must make a couple of dangerous journeys east.

The book continues Furst's familiar formula - heavy on ambience, light on plot. I'd say it's lighter than usual, a series of episodes without much crescendo. But the episodes themselves are plotted delightfully; this is where Furst can put his stylish characterization and scene-setting to work.

Furst is really a novelist of manners. He gets tremendous mileage out of every pause, every arched eyebrow, every word left unspoken, every cigarette lit. How does an aristocratic woman hold her hand out when she wants it to be kissed? His intensive research lends his scenes great authenticity. But while he can research what was on a menu in 1938, or why a Polish gangster would really rather have a Buick, much must come from a very fine imagination. You can't research how a dockworkers' fight would have gone down, what it was like to be a Republican soldier down to his last bullets in the freezing cold of Teruel, or what an NKVD triggerman might whisper in the ear of a one of the dozen or so people he'll execute that day.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Well written as usual but characters seem one dimensional. Plot seems rushed and unfinished as if Furst got bored with it half way.
Published 1 day ago by Tallperson
5.0 out of 5 stars Unpredictable
Alan Furst's books are unpredictable and you do not want to put the book down.
Published 2 days ago by Joleen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Terrific story, as expected from this accomplished author. Great development of the spy / con tactics, with sweet humanitarian particulars applied to the central characters.
Published 4 days ago by Virginia Westbrook
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
Fast moving, well written,good character development, interesting historical novel. Good story about supplying arms to Republican Army of Spain before WWII
Published 5 days ago by J. Condon
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Mr Furst's best story
I have read other books by this author and liked them much better. Just not as compelling as his other stories.
Published 6 days ago by Victoria
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting
Words do not flow through this book. It sounds stilted and a bit of a slog. Interesting story. Almost time in history.
Published 7 days ago by Michael A Musen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
this author is great. Always love his books
Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars While I don't think this is one of his better ones, I still enjoyed it...
I am a diehard Alan Furst fan. I've read all of his books.
While I don't think this is one of his better ones, I still enjoyed it very much.
Published 11 days ago by bill wigert
2.0 out of 5 stars Far from Furst's Best Book
A very slow moving novel with very little action or tension that focuses on two men in Paris -- Mr. Furst's favorite haunt -- who are trying to buy weapons for the government... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Richard C. Gross
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
God book
Published 13 days ago by George Jedlin
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More About the Author

Alan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. Now translated into seventeen languages, he is the bestselling author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, Kingdom of Shadows, Blood of Victory, Dark Voyage, and The Foreign Correspondent Born in New York, he now lives in Paris and on Long Island.


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