©2000 Alan Furst; (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC
I like Alan Furst stories for the historical backgrounds portrayed. However, I found this story to be pretty dull. I quit listening to it several times, but finally decided to slog through it. Done.
I'd planned to read "A Hero of France" but several reviews were unenthusiastic and one suggested starting with "The Polish Officer" which is how I chose this book. This genre isn't a top choice for me and, while I was glad I read it, I probably won't read any more Furst. He's very good at details regarding weapons, equipment, etc. and the details of WWII resistance ploys was sort of interesting but I found the abundance of characters a little confusing for an audible book.
I have experienced Alan Furst's books through Audible. I have enjoyed all of them. Pros: Great insight into a tumultuous and significant time. Locations that are vaguely familiar are brought to life. Cons: Hard to keep the characters straight - especially when he renames them throughout the book. This book seems like he just stopped mid story.
Yes if they've read the first two books in the series.
The main character. I couldn't tell you his name because I haven't seen it written.
I listen to books continuously. I don't like to change them up until one is finished.
Tell the story
I might try Furst, but definitely with another narrator. It's hard to know how good an author or story might be, when Guidall drones from the first paragraph and never picks up. I might say this book will put you to sleep, but the slurring words (do I detect poorly fitted false teeth?) and lack of any crisp emphasis is more likely to make you tear off your earphones!
No, I like a good historical spy novel. The genre, my definition, is supposed to be intriguing. This was a new genre that could be called "A grandfather story once told, and everyone wished he would stop."
I'm amazed at the 4 and 5 stars! The voice sounds old and tired. The slurring is annoying and, not to be mean, but it's possible his teeth need adjusting.
I didn't get that far. Torture should be cut off as soon as possible.
The editor and producer should have caught the flaws here. I hold them responsible for my off and on thoughts of dropping Audible altogether. Recently, I have found that no one is paying attention to the overall products being released. I don't like sending books back; but right now I have at least 5 in my library that I should have dropped and gotten another. Unfortunately my last 3 were disappointments, and at this I'm embarrassed to add them all to my "yuck" list.
George Guidall is the master of audio narration. In novels such as Furst's, where intonation is crucial and the unspoken in dialogue is as or more important than words said aloud, Guidall is at his apex.
The Polish Officer is not just one of the finest historical novels ever written, it is a true piece of literature. Furst's earlier night soldier novels are excellent, but in his depiction of a complex slavic man confronting the cruelty and complexity not only of the entire human race but his own mind and personality, the author surpasses Hemingway early and takes the war novel to a new dimension. Makes For Whom the Bell Tolled feel overwrought and obvious.
Unlike in many of his other novels, ancillary characters are at a minimum here but supply most of the narrative's color. Poles, Russians, Frenchmen and women. Furst's most interesting characters are the nebbishy "losers" who nibble around the edges of war-torn Europe (Louis Fischfang, the screenwriter in Red Gold; S. Rosen in many of the novels, the short, fat, bald fatalistic covert agent with the shadowy past). In this novel he creates an entire small cast of interesting bit players with whom you may fall in love.
World War Two: This Time It's Personal.
If you ever listened to a performance of Albert Camus' The Stranger and enjoyed it, you will enjoy this book immensely. If not, you will still enjoy this book immensely.
Although this story follows one man during ww2, it is in some ways a series of vignettes that illuminate the horror, craziness and dreadful reality of war and of course with Alan Furst it also is filled with good and heroic people.
If you know anything of the politics of pre-WWII you can easily follow the thread of the story. While enjoyable it takes a while to immerse into the character. And the succeeding chapters jump around a bit. With easy references to other characters in previous books Furst continues his character development.
Furst tracks well with the intelligence system of pre-WWII and I thought this was going to be a more Polish military centric book. The Russian references are worthwhile but diverted me from the true threads of the book.
Maybe the evacuation of the gold from Poland.
Nope, probably the ending being unresolved.
I am skeptical of buying more in this series. None of the reviews are exactly, well, positive.
This book was a disappointment to me after Night Soldiers and Dark Star. The story, set in WWII is told in episodes, a series of stories that start and are cut off. No relationship endures; people appear and they disappear. The title, which presents the protagonist as a nameless functionary, reflects the sense of dislocation that this episodic structure creates. I suppose this is Furst's intention, to demonstrate for the reader the isolating effect of war, with constant upheaval and violence destroying every relationship and every harbor just as it materializes. I didn't really enjoy listening to it. But then, I do not think I would enjoy war, either.
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