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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 9 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743533879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743533874
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,176,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Furst, master of the historical spy novel, offers this meticulously detailed and sprawling epic set at the onset of WWII. Drenched in romance and espionage and given to thrilling plot twists, the novel is beautifully realized by Daniel Gerroll, whose mastery of variously accented English dialects lends added authenticity to Furst's tale. Providing gritty and realistic German, French, and even Russian accents, Englishman Gerroll displays a natural stage presence and true performance ability. There is a subtle theatrical aspect at play here as well, creating a mysterious and enchanting atmosphere for the audience. A Random hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 14). (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

With The Spies of Warsaw, Furst continues to assert himself as the contemporary master of historical espionage. Although he has condensed his vision in recent efforts, Furst’s latest combines a relentless verisimilitude with intricate plotting and well-drawn characters. That attention to character, however, was a double-edged sword for critics: too much character development, and the plot suffers; too many plot twists, and the characters become cardboard cutouts. By creating atmospheric, complex, and often open-ended novels that reflect the ambivalence of the period and the humanity of characters who are too often lost to history, Furst gets high marks for remaining true to his original intention when he began writing historical espionage two decades ago.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

Customer Reviews

His characters are well developed.
C. Potgieter
Furst's triumph as a writer is the way he combines historical detail with cool character evocations in a style that is remarkably nuanced and yet always exciting.
Donald Gallinger
Furst, a master of brevity and nuance, uses subtlety and polish to carry his story.
Jedrury

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

201 of 206 people found the following review helpful By Marco Antonio Abarca VINE VOICE on June 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is the Autumn of 1937 and a European War is on the horizon. The German people are bitter about their defeat during the First World War and Adolph Hitler is promising them revenge. Europe will soon be plunged into war and the French Military Intelligence Service is hard at work trying to devine German War Plans. In Warsaw, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier is the new French Army Attache to Poland. His official job is to promote good relations between the French and Polish Army Staffs. His real job is to gather military intelligence from any source he can mine.

Alan Furst has made his career in espionage novels. His haunts are the more obscure European countries and his heroes are the average, working spies. "The Spies of Warsaw" fits his pattern. There are no master spies or high level conspiracies. Just an ordinary military attache at work in the charged atmosphere of pre-war Poland.

This is Alan Furst's tenth espionage novel and "Spies of Warsaw" is one his better books. He is a very strong writer who spends a lot of time on historical research. Furst fills this novel with all the rich details that allows him to recreate Warsaw in the late 1930's.

The greatest writer of these types of espionage tales is the remarkable English writer, Eric Ambler. He wrote great espionage novels in the late 1930's during the rise of facism in Europe. Through his many fine novels, Alan Furst has become the inheritor of Eric Ambler's legacy. "The Spies of Warsaw" is another great addition to Furst's body of work. Highly recommended.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Douglas S. Wood on June 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Great news has arrived for those fans of Alan Furst who thought he mailed in his last work, The Foreign Correspondent: A Novel. The master of the historical spy novel is back at the top of his game in The Spies of Warsaw. Furst centers his story in Warsaw, the scene of some his best writing and the return is triumphal. The typical Furst protagonist is the ordinary man of above-average principles, thrust by accident of history into the dangerous interstices of inter-war Europe. This time, however, our man is one Jean-Francois Mercier, decorated hero of the Great War and wounded veteran of the Polish victory in the 1920 Battle of Warsaw - the Miracle at the Vistula - and new military attaché at the French embassy and a professional spook.

Mercier runs an agent who works as engineer in an armaments company Germany, but who also develops a taste for Warsaw honey and promptly falls into the honey trap. By indirect route that leads to a one-sided vendetta against Mercier of which he is the unknowing target. Mercier falls in lust early in the book, but later finds himself fully in love while he continues to troll for secrets and potential agents. His work leads him into several adventures in which the risks of failure range from embarrassing to deadly.

Furst brilliantly recreates the atmosphere of pre-war days - the end of happiness and hope. Mercier's attempts for even a brief mental respite from the looming NAZI threat are futile; the reminders everywhere.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Fleisig VINE VOICE on June 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John LeCarre, "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold"

As its title suggests, there are more than a few spies in Alan Furst's latest novel "The Spies of Warsaw." None of them are priests, none are saints and none strive for martyrdom. What we find are a willing and unwilling collection of French, Polish, German, and Russian operatives in pre-WWII Poland. The result is a typically good Furst novel, one rich in atmospherics and character development but free of comic-book style heroics and world-saving, death-defying stunts or car chases.

Set in Warsaw, the character at the center of "The Spies of Warsaw" is Colonel Mercier. A career soldier and veteran of The Great War, Mercier is France's Military Attaché to Poland. It is 1937 and Mercier, not unlike the professional diplomats, military figures, and other assorted characters that he deals with, is aware that another war is not very far away. Mercier's real job function is that of chief intelligence officer. As the story opens he is simply gathering information on German armament programs. As the story progresses Mercier focuses on German tank building, strategy, and deployment.

Furst comes from a line of writers that can be traced back to both Graham Greene and Eric Ambler. Like Ambler (and unlike LeCarre for example) Furst often takes an unassuming, or unwitting civilian and immerses him in a world of mystery and intrigue in pre-World War II Europe. Furst's strong point has always been how he sets the scene. His atmospherics are tremendous. His descriptions of the streets of Warsaw, Berlin or Paris and the atmosphere of those cities reek of authenticity. Similarly, Furst has a keen eye for the inner life of his protagonists.
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