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Red Gold: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 5) [Kindle Edition]

Alan Furst
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

"In the world of the espionage thriller, Alan Furst is in a class of his own."--William Boyd

Paris. Autumn, 1941. In a shabby hotel off the place Clichy, the course of the French resistance is about to change. German tanks are rolling toward Moscow. Stalin has issued a decree: all partisan operatives are to strike behind enemy lines--from Kiev to Brittany.
        Set in the back streets of Paris and deep in occupied France, Red Gold moves with quiet and pervasive menace as predators from the dark edge of the war--arms dealers, lawyers, spies, and assassins--emerge from the shadows of the Parisian underworld.
        In their midst is Jean Casson, once a producer of gangster films, now living on a few francs a day and hunted by the Gestapo. As the German occupation tightens, Casson is drawn into an ill-fated mission: running guns to combat units of the French Communist party. Their NKVD contact, a former Comintern operative named Weiss--his seventeenth name--begins to orchestrate a series of attacks against the Germans. Reprisals are brutal. Fear spreads through the city. At last the real resistance has begun.
        Red Gold masterfully recreates the duplicitous world of the French resistance in the worst days of World War II.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews Review

If you enjoy mysteries set against the rich background of World War II Europe (Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy and the fine French series by J. Robert Janes are prime examples), you should also know about Alan Furst. He began by writing such excellent, original books as Dark Star and Night Soldiers, all set in Eastern Europe. The locale then moved to Paris for The World at Night, where we first met the enigmatic film producer and reluctant Resistance hero Jean Casson.

Casson returns in fascinating form in Red Gold, washing up broke and depressed in his home city, now totally ground down by its German occupiers. Recruited by a sympathetic cop, Casson joins a group of officers working undercover inside the Vichy government to help de Gaulle. Casson's job is to convince justifiably skeptical French communists to cooperate; to do so he must organize a complicated, extremely dangerous transfer of weapons. There's nothing glamorous about the work or its result, but Furst is such a persuasive writer that we come to realize what a success it is for Casson just to stay alive. This innovative and gripping novel eloquently transports us back to a different era and a different world. --Dick Adler

From Publishers Weekly

From the atmosphere established in his fifth novel's first sentence ("Casson woke in a room in a cheap hotel and smoked his last cigarette") to the knock on the door at the denouement, Furst again proves himself the master of his chosen terrain?behind the lines of Nazi occupation in France during WWII. His previous novel, The World at Night, opened in May 1940, with French film producer Jean Casson setting out to take newsreels of the defense of France's Maginot line and becoming swamped in the German invasion. It is now September 1941, and Casson, broke and hiding under a false name, is about to commit fully to the Resistance. As a man of indeterminate political affiliation, he's chosen to negotiate between the Resistance and the French Communists, who, with the German army on the verge of taking Moscow, have orders from Stalin to sabotage the Nazis in any way possible. The "red gold" SS looters try to steal in Russia is a metaphoric payment in blood, while in Paris informers are everywhere and collaboration is still rampant. Furst's textured plot?exhibiting shifting loyalties and betrayals; lone, often hopeless acts of heroism; and lovers bravely parting?makes for spellbinding drama. (In one scene, a clandestine radio operator broadcasts a few moments too long, and hears soldiers' boots racing up the stairs to get him.) Furst, who deserves the comparisons he's earned to Graham Greene and Eric Ambler, seems to be settling into a franchise here, rather than reaching for the fire he caught in his third novel, The Polish Officer. Casson's story unfolds convincingly, however, and as it continues here to April of 1942, promises a few more episodes to come from this author's tried and true brand of masterfully detailed espionage.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 387 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0375758593
  • Publisher: Random House; Reprint edition (December 18, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,873 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Read In Order February 7, 2002
I read the paperback edition of this book, which lead me to read this sequel prior to reading the first book. There is no location on the outside of the book that explains this is a sequel. The positive news is that the story is self-contained and while it references the past it does not rely on it for this book to read well. I did read the first book, "The World At Night", and except for the dates the book is still enjoyable if partially compromised by having been read out of sequence. I don't see why a simple notation could not have identified the book as a sequel.
Alan Furst writes about a narrow by eventful time from 1933 to 1945. His books are meticulously accurate to the point they would pass inspection by many readers of history. The author takes an unusual step at the end of his books by sharing with readers his sources for the novels he creates. This is not done in an academic bibliography or a blizzard of footnotes, rather he writes conversationally about what he reads, and what he suggests as reading for those who are interested.
Our former film producer Jean Casson has transformed from a man without a positive idea of what he supports, to a man who now seems to get in the midst of everything. He also has lost any illusion of safety as he was taken to visit the Gestapo, and their interest in him has not declined.
Casson's relationships with actors and other support personnel for his pre-war movies brought him in contact with a variety of political agendas that were of little interest to him at the time, and that now have become relationships that can get a person killed for real or imagined activities. His uncertainty about what constituted honorable conduct, and what loyalty means in wartime were all explored in the first book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The occupation goes on August 18, 2000
I read Red Gold just after finishing World at Night. The occupation has not yet ended at the finish of Red Gold. Casson has grown wiser and now is more dangerous as he is called upon to contribute more to the resistance. Furst does an excellent job recreating the sense of desperation among the French. In Red Gold the Germans begin to lose some of the bravura that they exhibited in World at Night. The exploits of Casson and his compatriots make for a great read. The suspense is created in a subtle manner which prevents this book from being what I consider a page-turner. Well worth the visit.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Furst appeals- April 28, 2001
By A Customer
I was so impressed with, "The World at Night," that I had to immediately read, "Red Gold." "Red Gold," unfortunately, doesn't compare with "World." I certainly wish it did, because I was completely captivated by the first installment of the Casson story. I hope Furst continues and follows Casson on throughout the war. He's a compelling protagonist and Furst is a masterful storyteller. I've not read anyone who can recreate a time and period better than he can.
Furst should consider writing another book or two with Casson. I love this character. He is a reluctant hero. What I enjoy about Furst's characters are their ambiguity, none of them are moralists.
After the first twenty pages of "World," I was hooked in, but I never felt that way with "Red Gold." I read it through, but never felt the book was fully realized. I agree with a previous reviewer, who said, that Furst was going through the motions. I felt that a bit too. Having said that though, Furst is such a fine writer, that it really is a quibble, overall he's one of the best writing in this genre.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jean Casson, part 2 January 28, 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This work is a worthy sequel to "The World At NIght", and continues the story of Jean Casson, the French film producer, and now a, somewhat reluctant, member of the resistance movement in occupied France during World War II. The author has, once again, recreated the atmosphere of a country under the governance of another power, and the lives of the everyday people in reaction to that power, some submitting helplessly, some collaborating, and some, some few, taking steps to avenge themselves on the conqueror. There are the usual, for Furst, finely drawn characterizations, and the feeling of moral ambiguity constantly present in his writings. This book only takes Jean Casson to the latter part of 1942. I certainly hope the author continues his story, possibly until the end of the occupation: I like this man, and want to know how his story continues to go on as the years, dark and dangerous, pass for him and his associates.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cigarette smoke and fog February 23, 2003
I suspect when a person reads any Alan Furst book, he is left with the feeling that some insane person has ripped out the last hundred pages or so. And so it is with 'Red Gold'. Furst is a master of atmosphere and characterization, but always seems to me to be a bit wanting in plotting. That said, I consider myself an enormous fan of Furst's. This book centers around Jean Casson, a down-on-his-luck film producer stuck in Paris without friends or money. He is thrust into the resistance and becomes a liason between a group of french army officers and the communist resistance.
Casson has several thrilling adventures, amorous and violent. He hides in Paris, afraid of being recognised by old associates, but knows in his heart there is a war to be fought and, though he may be a reluctant warrior, he chooses to fight. Furst's novels all have a connection, the Brasserie Heininger, and it appears again here. So even though I get the feeling there are some missing chapters here, the war will continue in Furst's next novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant novel of the French Resistance
Alan Furst homes in on the French Resistance in Red Gold, the fifth of the 13 novels in his “Night Soldiers” series that have been appearing regularly since 1988. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Mal Warwick
4.0 out of 5 stars another great historical view
History and suspense. Well done.
Published 25 days ago by Lonnie Hayhurst
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Alan Furst, don't miss this one.
Captivating from the first page. Brilliant rendition of wartime Paris.
Published 1 month ago by Rick Allstetter
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed it a lot
Published 1 month ago by Dale H. Britton
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
it was good, not great.
Published 1 month ago by noelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A really well written & accurate descriptions of place & time. Held my interest throughout the entire book!
Published 2 months ago by Jayne D. Hood
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Alan Furst at his best! Well written, historically factual, with incredible research and plot development.
Published 2 months ago by Jose I. Ferreiro
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good read
Published 2 months ago by John Pierce
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 months ago by susanna a levy
3.0 out of 5 stars I was recommended this book by a friend and I think my ...
I was recommended this book by a friend and I think my review is best summed up by the statement " Its a okay book". Furst will never be mistaken for Le Carre . Read more
Published 4 months ago by GAA1
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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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