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The Foreign Correspondent: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 9) [Kindle Edition]

Alan Furst
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From 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 tyranny.

By 1938, 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 émigré life, they founded an Italian resistance, with an underground press that smuggled news and encouragement back to Italy. Fighting fascism with typewriters, they produced 512 clandestine newspapers. The Foreign Correspondent is their story.

Paris, a winter night in 1938: 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 émigré 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 Sûreté, 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 Berlin.

The 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.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Furst's reputation as one of today's best writers, in any genre, is further solidified by this gripping historical thriller with echoes of Graham Greene, which opens in Paris in December 1938. Journalist Carlo Weisz, an expatriate Italian who's half Slav, is fighting the Mussolini regime by writing for the Paris-based underground opposition newspaper, the Liberazione. When agents of the OVRA, the Italian secret police, murder the Liberazione's editor in the arms of his mistress, Weisz assumes greater responsibility for keeping the paper running. OVRA also targets Weisz and his surviving colleagues, forcing him to scramble to stay alive while continuing his subversive work. Furst (Night Soldiers) excels at characterization, making even secondary figures such as shadowy presences from British intelligence and Nazi minders more than cartoon stereotypes. Through the exploits of his understated hero, Furst presents a potent portrait of Europe on the eve of WWII. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Critics seem remorseful about handing Alan Furst less-than-glowing reviews. Widely acknowledged as a modern master of the spy thriller (he's often named alongside John le Carré and Graham Greene) and a masterful prose stylist, Furst leapt onto the scene with Night Soldiers and has since delivered acclaimed best sellers like Blood of Victory and Dark Star. Some reviewers happily embrace Furst's well-researched, atmospheric espionage, but a small minority grouses that, for all the lovely Parisian scenery and international intrigue, the story of an embattled journalist just isn't compelling. It's anything but a run-of-the-mill spy story, but without the palpable adventure of his earlier books, it's just ordinary for Furst.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
It is December 1938 and a small group of Italian exiles meet in the back room of the Cafe Europa in Paris. The editor of their underground newspaper Liberazione has just been assasinated by the Italian secret police and they need to find a new editor. They choose Carlo Weisz, a foreign correspondent for the Rueters News Agency. The novel that follows is Carlo Weisz battle to keep the anti-fascist Liberazione alive and publishing. To do this, he must enter the shadowy world of French, British and Italian spies.

There are very few authors who can legitimately say they dominate a genre of literature. In the same way that John Le Carre owns the Cold War spy novel or Louis L'Amour the Western, Alan Furst is the great stylist of the 1930's spy novel. Furst is not interested in the high end spy but rather the every day working spy. In classic Furst style, "The Foreign Correspondent" takes the reader to battlefields of Spain, French internment camps, Genoese dockyards and to Paris' working class neighborhoods. Because Furst writes only about this period, he is able to fill his novels with the gritty details that make his stories believable.

So how does "The Foreign Correspondent" fall within the body of Furst's work. It is somewhere in the middle. It is not his best nor his worst novel. I like the world Alan Furst creates and even one of his average novels gives me great pleasure. For those who like Furst's novels, check out the works of Eric Ambler, the first master of this genre.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read for summer days or winter nights June 11, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A friend of mine in London recently asked for a suggestion about a good book to read on the night train from Munich to Prague. I immediately recommended Alan Furst's King of Shadows, which opens on the night train from Budapest to Paris. An Alan Furst novel is often the answer to a request for a `good read'. His latest, "Foreign Correspondent", is no exception

Furst comes from a line of writers that can be traced back to both Graham Greene and Eric Ambler. Like Ambler, Furst often takes an unassuming, or unwitting civilian and immerses him in a world of mystery and intrigue in pre and post-World War II Europe. Foreign Correspondent opens in Civil War Spain but quickly moves to pre-war Paris. Italian journalist Carlo Weisz, a refugee from Mussolini's fascist Italy living in Paris, is part of a group of Italian expatriates who print a dissident newspaper, Liberazione, and smuggle it into Italy. The Italian secret police, the OVRA, has infiltrated the group. One of its members has been murdered and each member of the group is feeling the effects of the OVRA turning the screws on their operations. At the same time Weisz' day job as a foreign correspondent for Reuters takes him back and forth to the Berlin of Hitler, Himmler, and Goring. It is in Berlin that Weisz reunites with and reignites his affair with Christa von Schirren. Along the way Weisz comes to the attention of and is recruited by British Intelligence. The plot outline is simple: will Weisz and his cell continue to publish Liberazione and will Weisz be able to get Christa out of Berlin before the war that everyone knows is coming closes all borders.

Furst's strong point has always been how he sets the scene. His atmospherics are tremendous.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I love Furst but.... July 3, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is not a novel into which he has put much effort. I have read every book in Furst's admirable series about men and women caught up in the resistance movements of World War II and I have enjoyed every one until "The Foreign Correspondent". Books like "The Polish Officer" and "Kingdom of Shadows" are worthy of the highest praise but in this latest effort the plot is a recycled one; the action is thin; the use of recurrent characters has now reached joke proportions. Please, Mr Furst, either get back your interest in this series or move on to something that engages your considerable talents.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
In "The Foreign Correspondent", Alan Furst has moved away from his traditional novels populated with characters from lesser known Eastern European nations. The main characters are Italian émigrés in France, which does carry on the line of lost and exiled heroes that often appear in his novels. I think he has been moving in new directions since his last novel, "Dark Voyage", set primarily on board a freighter, and these latest works are as successful as the previous despite their differences. Carlo Weisz is also a more traditional hero than some of Furst's other sordid characters: he is a reporter for Reuters with a love interest working against the Nazis in Berlin. The setting is still in the late interwar years, a commonality with the previous novels, and Weisz makes a difficult and dangerous transition from mild opposition against the Fascists in Italy to outright subversion of his home government through the course of the novel; their particular weapon being a anti-fascist underground newspaper. The crisis is ignited by a political assassination in Paris and has far reaching consequences for Weisz and his companions. Throughout the novel Weisz and his émigré friends are hounded by OVRA operatives, courted by both the British SIS and the French Interior Ministry, and must find ways to survive in a world that is often annoyed with their presence. Furst also continues to include some familiar characters from his pervious adventures at the famous Brasserie Heininger in a very well written chapter (it is never a forced encounter, surprisingly). What will keep you up late reading is the main dilemma of the novel: will both Weisz and his lover Christa von Schirren survive, and will they be together? Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good grasp of the times
Published 7 days ago by Sanford Greenfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a perfect novel, but a GREAT history lesson
Meticulously researched, painstakingly detailed historical portrait of the Italian resistance (esp in France) during WWII: I learned more about the war reading this than I ever did... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Ioana Stoica
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Always tells a good story
Published 1 month ago by michael p.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Westy57
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant as always
Brilliant as always. Real espionage as conducted by regular people just hoping to survive but somehow finding the courage to fight the plague of fascism in Europe.
Published 2 months ago by Brian Arsenault
3.0 out of 5 stars Formula work
OK but pretty much "formula" for this series. The historical asides are interesting but, if you've read the previous books, there isn't much new.
Published 3 months ago by Art Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars Spy Not So Wanna Be's
Spy not so wanna be hero falls in love with a German girl and we find he is forced to take risks to save her. Of course she is in Berlin in 1939. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mark T. Patterson II
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant research. Tip Top writing style.
Published 3 months ago by John Wyche
1.0 out of 5 stars Skip it
Boring. Don't like this authors writing. I was so hoping I would
Published 3 months ago by gloria faylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
always a good read
Published 3 months ago by tom white
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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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Better than le Carre?
Furst is great, but the best of LeCarre (TSWCIFTC, The Looking-Glass War, A Perfect Spy) is better. Night Soldiers ranks up with the all time best.

Smith is certainly more versatile, but tends a little to the cinematic.

Berlin Noir was well-done and fascinating, but the central character was a... Read More
May 3, 2006 by Owen Dawnay |  See all 9 posts
Did Alan Furst read Istanbul Intrigues? Be the first to reply
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