Bulgaria, 1934. The local fascists have just murdered the brother of Khristo Stoianev. Now Khristo is recruited into the NKVD, the Soviet secret police, for special service in the Spanish civil war.
©1988 Alan Furst; (P)2002 Recorded Books
"Furst shows a remarkable talent in his fifth novel, integrating details about the cultures of Spain, France and Eastern Europe with a fascinating story." (Publishers Weekly)
"Night Soldiers has everything the best thrillers offer, excitement, intrigue, romance, plus grown-up writing, characters that matter, and a crisp, carefully researched portrait of the period in which our own postwar world was shaped." (USA Today)
"Intelligent, ambitious, absorbing....The history is deftly incorporated; the viewpoint civilized; the characters and the settings picturesque; the adventures exciting; the writing pungent." (The New York Times)
Not much story. No plot to follow really and too much insignificant detail. The metaphor of the figs was too much for me....I love this genre and was hoping for a new author like Deighton and LeCarre. Not so much. I never have liked the Spanish Civil War. Was hoping both the socialists and the fascists would lose. Blah
An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.
That is possibly not fair, it is 'muddy' and it does 'drudge' but the subject is a molasses topic and so I guess it was always heading in that direction. It works but it deosn't grab.
Historical intrigue lovestory
George Guidall is simply the best narrator I know of. He gives you a real sense of familiarity with the characters, whether male or female, Wyoming sheriff, Cheyene Indian, Czech woman patriot, or Bulgarian spy. He provides a real sense of the feeling behind the words. He brings every character to life!
Historically interesting well written a little slow at times bogged down in details but overall story was good and gave an emotional sense of the tragedy of Eastern Europe during WWII
This book has too many characters with too little story. I gave up during part two after trying to stay interested for way too long.
I will listen to Night Soldiers again because it is rich in mood and detail. The characters, their circumstances amd motivations are complex. The story placement and structure are different and I came away thinking I had gained a new perspective on a period which in many ways seems well known. Any book that can do that deserves the highest accolades.
It covers periods, peoples and places that are not very familiar and canvasses complex emotions and motivations. Very interesting and very moving. Also the author reveals a wry sense of humour which surfaces occasionally to season the plot. The book makes you ask the question: what would you do in these circumstances?
Guidall is fantastic. His pronunciation and deep understanding of the characters lifts a great book to a higher level. His range is extraordinary - from Russian commisars, Spanish peasants to English aristocrats. Guidall really adds something. I wouldn't have enjoyed the book as much without his performance.
Trust no one, stay alive.
This was my first Alan Furst novel. I got on to him after seeing the TV series of Spies of Warsaw. I have since listened to The World at Night which I also enjoyed and will next listen to Red Gold. He is a great author.
I perceive that my middling rating for this book is largely influenced by my decision to listen to the audio edition rather than read the print edition. The first third of the book creates the setting and introduces the main characters slowly by inference and realization. For example, there are many characters that are introduced for one or two paragraphs and then never referenced again; it is only by continual reference that one realizes who are the main characters. These characters actions are inferred when another characters reflects on having witnessed an event. The scene changes frequently and without obvious breaks in the flow. I became so confused that I had to re-read entire sections from a borrowed, print copy to get back on track. The latter two-thirds of the book were more clear but I still lost the train of thought too many times.
I wish that I had decided to read only the print version. The author's writing style is excellently formatted for that mode.
This is the 'first' Alan Furst i have read, and will probably not be the last.
The rhythm and meter of the writing is pleasant to listen to, and charms the reader to follow along (regardless of weather one actually knows where the story is going).
The myriad of characters can be dizzying, and it is easy to lose track of who was who (and where).
The story begins with a young man, 17, recruited by the Russians to be indoctrinated into their expansion plans in eastern European as early as the late 1920’s. I found it interesting seeing WWII through Russian eyes and planning.
There are several, all revolving around how this young man had to watch what he said, who he said it to, and how those that didn’t were never seen again
A little more excitement at times of danger.
Seeing WWII though Russian eyes.
If you are interested in WWII, most stories are from the Western point of view - this is from our Russian"Allies". Very different approach
SOMETHING! Sorry it was funny when I typed it.
This is a very good book and rather interesting one to boot. I knew of the USSR and WWII but never in this way. The writer is brilliant and the way he weaves real history into the story is grand. I was not expecting to get so involved with the story but I did and happy for it. The Narrator was just great and made the 18 hour book rather fun even with the dark story line. Well worth adding to your libary.
José M. Batista
I have just stopped listening to this after more than four painful hours (spread over several days).As I stand now I can only say this one is a front runner for the biggest bore I've ever listened to. But maybe I'm at fault here so I don't rule out picking this up again in a distant, very far away, insomniac future.
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