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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • WiseGuy74
  • Mission Viejo, CA, United States
  • 05-29-13

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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  • Andrew
  • Horseshoe Bend, AR, United States
  • 11-05-11

Boring/A Series of Vignettes/No Continuing Story

First Audible product that I have not enjoyed. Also the first I could not finish.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Daniel
  • Winthrop, ME, USA
  • 06-08-09

Slow

This story takes for ever to really develop any plot, if it ever does. I am 5+ hours into it and so far it has been very slow.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Night Soldiers

Any additional comments?

Night Soldiers is written by Alan Furst, narrated by George Guidall, an unabridged audiobook just over eighteen hours long, and book one in a series. Audible recently made available the Night Soldiers series, all of the books, at special prices. I’ve never read anything by Furst, but I absolutely love listening to anything narrated by George Guidall; he is simply tremendous. I also love espionage stories, a big fan of Mitch Rapp (Vince Flynn), Jack Ryan (Tom Clancy), Jason Bourne (Robert Ludlum). I like historical novels. So … Night Soldiers is my cup o' tea, right?<br/><br/>Wrong, sorry to say. I’ve listened, twice, to the first six chapters, each over 40 minutes of audio - and the story doesn’t seem to move forward. The main character, although likable, isn’t evoking enough from me to really care much more about him. After many chapters, the guy is still studying in Russia, hasn’t really jumped into ‘spying’ in any way other than being ’tested', nothing is really written about what is going on in Europe at the time, mid 1930s. There isn’t any real excitement or action following the death of the lead character’s brother in the first chapter … nothing at all. Well, he does have to shoot his girlfriend to prove his loyalties. But, he doesn’t seem to care! Ergo … neither do I.<br/><br/>Too bad, because I’ve been looking for a good espionage-type author to fill the shoes of some greats that have passed on - Ludlum, Flynn, Clancy as mentioned above. Those authors created some thrilling, heart thumping stories … Night Soldiers isn’t in the same league, in my opinion.<br/><br/>But, to me anyway, this is more important: If you read one book a week for your entire adult life, you are only going to enjoy a few thousand books. There are over 1,000,000 published every year - and that doesn’t include a sea of self-published books. Life is too short.<br/><br/>This series has many good reviews, and many not-so-good. Glad to know I’m not alone with a meh opinion. Listen to the free audio sample, read Amazon’s ‘Look Inside”, read more reviews. I may be all wet and you’ll think it’s the best thing you’ve ever read.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Indiana United States
  • 05-16-12

Boring

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If the story flowed better. It seemed very jagged. So much time took describing things that the story just didn't move.

Would you ever listen to anything by Alan Furst again?

Probably not.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

George is fantastic

What character would you cut from Night Soldiers?

I couldn't even keep track.

Any additional comments?

The first book (out of about 80) I just couldn't finish.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Extraordinarily good

I had heard this was a very good book and tried to read it a few times but could never get past the foreign names and strangeness of the writing. Listening to the narration instead instead of reading was a revelation. This is a wonderful book. The narration unpacks each person's way of thinking perfectly. The story is so real it is painful and joyous. I loved this book.

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Sweeping WWII story

This one really sucked me in. I enjoy historical fiction very much. While there are plenty of WWII references throughout as that is the backdrop, this is really a character driven story and moves all thought Europe and Eastern Europe and Russia. The narrator was excellent and other reviews mention his ability to capture the characters without overacting. Also pronunciation of words in many different languages was great. A grand performance!
Highly recommend if war stories are of interest.

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  • S. ALLEN
  • Kentucky, United States
  • 09-11-17

struggled

I could not hardly get through this one. I tried and tried to get into the book and couldn't. Through determination I finally finished.

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  • Story

Wonderful writing. Storyline dark and sad.

If you could sum up Night Soldiers in three words, what would they be?

Writer is amazing. Story is heroic, bitter sweet, and violent.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Night Soldiers?

The most memorable moments were when Alan Furst was able to make the reader feel the feelings of the characters.

What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

All of it.

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

The art of survival in impossible situations.

Any additional comments?

Thankfulness that I did not live in those places during those times.<br/>

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Interesting but far from entertaining

I am not sure why this book is so highly rated. It does capture a interesting period in history but I found it a little long winded and the character development is a little weak.