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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
I love everything this author writes. His descriptions and characters are completely believable.Published 1 day ago by Dolphin Totem
WARNING: MILD SPOILERS
In "Dark Voyage", Alan Furst returns with another installment of his (very) loosely-connected tales of World War II intrique. Read more
Really enjoyed what I think was Furst's initial foray into maritime aspects of the war. As usual, very believable with several different "mini" stories woven together. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ranger's Dad
I've read almost all the books in the series and this one stands out as one of the bestPublished 1 month ago by Scott Van Wagenen
The author really paints the picture as it had to be during the war years in Europe. The subtleties are intense and really create the feelings that must have pervaded all involved... Read morePublished 2 months ago by John Allan Barnes
As other reviewers have noted, I would recommend anyone to begin reading Furst with a different title (I suggest The Polish Officer), instead of Dark Voyage. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lingering Librarian
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It felt as if I was "in" the book with the characters. Recommend it very highly to anybody interested in the WW11 period.Published 2 months ago by Klat Samir R
As a former naval officer, I associated with Dehaan which made the reading of the novel all of our enjoyable.Published 3 months ago by Daisy Millard
Beautifully written, tense with suspense, war action but more then finely drawn characters and locations. Read morePublished 3 months ago by David Bannister