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Kingdom of Shadows | [Alan Furst]

Kingdom of Shadows

In spymaster Alan Furst's most electrifying thriller to date, Hungarian aristocrat Nicholas Morath, a hugely charismatic hero, becomes embroiled in a daring and perilous effort to halt the Nazi war machine in eastern Europe.
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Publisher's Summary

In spymaster Alan Furst's most electrifying thriller to date, Hungarian aristocrat Nicholas Morath, a hugely charismatic hero, becomes embroiled in a daring and perilous effort to halt the Nazi war machine in Eastern Europe.

Morath is now part owner of an advertising agency in Paris, while his uncle, Count Janos Polanyi, is a minor diplomat stationed in Paris. Polanyi calls on Nicholas to take part in missions against the Hungarian Fascists: carrying letters or bringing individuals back across the border in the course of his business trips. As Nicholas's dinner parties, business deals, and dalliances with his mistress start to take a back seat to the escalating crisis in Europe, his tasks become more complicated, dangerous, and bewildering to him. He knows far less than the reader, who understands that his actions will have far-reaching consequences even beyond the fate of Hungary.

©2001 Alan Furst (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (103 )
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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 08-08-13
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 08-08-13

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Furst's grease between the gears of history"

    There were moments I absolutely loved this book, but then it would unravel and drop. The whole fabric of the novel was just a tad too rough. The narrative was beautiful, like all Furst novels, but it didn't have much forward momentum. Other than the jumpy, rough plot -- I loved it. You can practically fall asleep in the whole dark, smokey, Hungarian/French flavor. Furst is amazing at describing the grease between the gears of history

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Waynesville, NC, United States 11-12-12
    Robert Waynesville, NC, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2012
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    "One of Nine Alan Furst/George Guidall Masterpieces"
    What did you love best about Kingdom of Shadows?

    George Guidall's masterful interpretation and narration of a well written espionage story. George didn't just "read" the novel. With voice inflection, pauses, etc. he told me the story and made me feel that I was a participant/observer of the protagonist.


    What other book might you compare Kingdom of Shadows to and why?

    I would compare it to the other 8 Allan Furst/George Guidall books. I have been a recorded book listener for over 20 years and these Furst/Guidall novels are the best I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. I have listened to each many times over the years and used to wait with great anticipation for the next novel to be released. Then they changed narrators and that was the end of that. Couldn't even finish the tenth one (The Spies Of Warsaw).


    Any additional comments?

    I would compare Furst's writing with John LaCarre' For me Furst is more enjoyable as he just tells a "story" whereas LeCarre' includes a "message", usually critizing SIS.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 12-05-12
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 12-05-12 Member Since 2008

    jw1917

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    "More a Series of Vignettes"

    Rather than a connected story this is more a series of vignettes about Nicholas Morath, a part time Hungarian spy. The setting is Paris in the last year before the beginning of WWII.

    The book tells of Nicholas Morath's various espionage missions - some very mundane like his trip to Amsterdam and others very exciting like his trip to see the Czech fortress emplacements. In between missions, we learn about Morath's misstress, a firendship with a bartender at the Balalaika bar etc.

    There is the feeling of events spinning out of control as Hitler gobbles up more of Europe and a small coterie of Hungarian Aritocrats make futile efforts to spare their country from Hitler and the Arrow Cross boys.

    This is a very atmospheric novel, like all of Alan Furst's book, but I did not find it quite as gripping as the more coherent books like Dark Star. Parts of the books, such as when Morath is imprisoned in Romania and the efforts made to release him, are thrilling in deed and hold the reader's attention. But the parts, especially dealing with Morath's personal life and mistresses, is not so interesting.

    Neverthelss it is decent atmospheric book and it is not that long.But Furst has written better books which I would read ahead of this one. However, Furst is still the foremost writer about Europe on the eve of WWII. If you like that period and setting than Furst is a must read.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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