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)
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.
I enjoyed all the characters, because they seemed alive to me. However, following the main character was extremely enjoyable.
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!
I think I'd stick with the book title, Night Soldiers.
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!
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.
The interconnections of the stories as characters cross over.
In the beginning when his brother is killed
shooting down the Messerschmitt in Spain.
I switched to Amazon after they added Whispersync. I read and listen to most of the books I go through. I prefer to read but I spend 90 minutes a day in a car so I can get through a lot of audio.
Alan Furst kept coming up in my suggestions and finally decided to try one of his books. I would recommend this book to others and I will read additional Furst books.
The plot was set in Soviet controlled Europe. This was the first book I have read from the view of a character in Soviet service. I really enjoyed the plot and different historical ties in the book.
Not from Alan Furst but George Guidall is always good.
Too slow to develop with details far beyond reasonable interest - lumbering.
The escape from the burning house.
Yes, because they would omit the unnessary details.
Dry, convoluted, long-winded, inexorbly boring. Over rated at 1 star.
From word 1 you keep waiting for something to happen. Then it does, you either turn it off or fall asleep. The literary equivalent of watching paint dry. Same effect as over-medicating on prozac! That's part 1; never stuck around for parts 2 & 3
Although historical facts were accurate it seems to take for every to get to place to place. Sometimes not knowing who or where you are in the story. I have read or listened to other books of similar genre and found this to be a low point. This was my first book by this author and very well may be my last
I couldn't get past the first few hours. Too boring!
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