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Night Soldiers Audiobook

Night Soldiers

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Publisher's Summary

Widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel, New York Times best-selling author Alan Furst takes listeners back to the early days of World War II for a dramatic novel of intrigue and suspense.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (1266 )
5 star
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Overall
3.7 (1008 )
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Story
4.2 (999 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    charles o. peed winston salem, NC United States 06-03-16
    charles o. peed winston salem, NC United States 06-03-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "way too slow"

    This book is beautifully written, very detailed slice of life in the spanish civil war kind of thing, but I kept wanting Mitch Rapp to kill somebody, and he never even showed up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    redfox 06-02-16
    redfox 06-02-16

    too many periodicals

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic evocation of the war; minimal plot line"
    Where does Night Soldiers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was good, but not breaking into the top ranks.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    No. There wasn't really a single plot, just a number of individual characters and events on which to hang a lot of detail, from high-level intelligence operations to low-level peasants just trying to stay alive. It was rich and immersive, but I kept wondering if there was going to be a culminating event at all. (spoiler: nope)


    Which character – as performed by George Guidall – was your favorite?

    I quite liked Alexandra, just because she was so different, so distinct. Otherwise, perhaps some of the English playboys whiling away the war with champagne and gossip.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Sometimes in a war, there are no good and bad guys, just survivors.


    Any additional comments?

    I was confused about whether this was an alternate history book that I bought around the same time -- did the war end during this book? I felt like it was still all Communists and Nazis at the end, even after 1945...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R.A.H. Peachtree City, GA 06-02-16
    R.A.H. Peachtree City, GA 06-02-16 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sprawling story, superb narration"
    What made the experience of listening to Night Soldiers the most enjoyable?

    George Guidall's narration is exceptional. I've heard him read a lot of thrillers, and he's good at all of them, but he is truly in his element with this Alan Furst novel. He switches seamlessly among southern, eastern and western European accents. Amazing.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The journey of Kristo from Bulgarian youth to NKVD agent in Madrid to renegade in Paris to Allied spy in Prague seems so unlikely on its face, but it could not make more sense in Furst's telling. Kristo somehow remains true to himself and to his brothers in BF825. Furst is a great storyteller, a scholar of prewar and wartime Europe and a wonderfully literate writer.


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    Everything!


    Any additional comments?

    If you like spy novels, war novels and novels about people confronting cataclysmic change, listen to this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nyog Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 05-31-16
    nyog Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 05-31-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Plot, characters, history, everything"

    This novel is so different from almost anything I've read in the genre. Better prose than le Carre, Complex but utterly believable plot. Pacing--oh my goodness. And all this without losing the characters, in particular that of Khristo Stoianev. He is amazingly deft at weaving in the historic background, as well. And, a blessing, while his vision of the world, at least the world of this novel, is bleak, the humans in it are not so utterly without the capacity of redemption as to be unbelievable on that side of the ledger. It can seem as if hope for all but one or two humans in any given group as become literarily incorrect. Not so for this writer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gayle 01-16-15
    Gayle 01-16-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Could not get in to it."
    Would you try another book from Alan Furst and/or George Guidall?

    Maybe


    What was most disappointing about Alan Furst’s story?

    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


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Siemens Vancouver, BC 01-18-14
    B. Siemens Vancouver, BC 01-18-14 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Easier to understand in print"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 12-07-13
    Aaron 12-07-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent writer, perhaps over-reaches"

    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).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Springfield, VA, United States 09-28-13
    Joseph Springfield, VA, United States 09-28-13 Member Since 2013

    SOMETHING! Sorry it was funny when I typed it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I had no Idea what I was getting into"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Fort Jones, CA, United States 07-12-13
    Larry Fort Jones, CA, United States 07-12-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Master Storyteller"
    What made the experience of listening to Night Soldiers the most enjoyable?

    Firstly, I think George Guidall could read a Chinese phonebook and make it compelling listening. Secondly, Alan Furst is a master at character development. Also, I found the subject matter fascinating. I like when I read or listen to a book, it becomes pictorially vivid in my mind. It takes very good writing to do that for me. Alan Furst does this extremely well.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I enjoyed all the characters, because they seemed alive to me. However, following the main character was extremely enjoyable.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    On the Danube, in a rowboat with the Soviet soldier, when he encountered the grounded barge, and recognized the hull number as a significant code. I felt his excitement! I have a hundred favorite scenes in this book. I can't wait until I forget enough to justify re-reading it!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I think I'd stick with the book title, Night Soldiers.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a departure from the shoot-em-up spy books, which I also enjoy, but it loses nothing by shedding gratuitous violence. It replaces non-stop action with true intrigue, and I found it no less exciting. It would be like comparing Casablanca and Die Hard. Both great genres to be sure, but each with an exceptional cache. This was my first Furst, and I just downloaded his "Polish Officer". Can't wait to get into it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    WiseGuy74 Mission Viejo, CA, United States 05-29-13
    WiseGuy74 Mission Viejo, CA, United States 05-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good First Novel"

    This is a very well written spy novel, and very well narrated. I could be mistaken, but I think this was Furst's first novel, which is quite an achievement. Everything felt very real and authentic. The only problem I had with it, and the reason I only give four stars, is that it didn't seem to be a cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end. I guess this is ok, as long as the book keeps you interested, which this book did. But, for a spy novel, usually I expect there to be a cohesive plot, whereas this book kind of wanders around, following the main character as he travels around, until at last it just kind of ends because the war is over. That said, I really enjoyed it, and will definitely read more by this author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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