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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Alan Furst is internationally renowned as master of the European espionage thriller. Unfolding in September of 1939 as Hitler's Wehrmacht ravages Warsaw, The Polish Officer reveals the daring mission of a Captain in the Polish underground intelligence service.
©2000 Alan Furst; (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Insight into a dark era

I have listened to all of Furst's unabridged novels and wish there were more. All of his books are very well written, with none of idiotic, unrealistic dialogue that plagues most spy/mystery books.
If there is a better reader than George Guidall, I have not found him. One of many reasons to admire him is his ability to pronounce correctly French, Russian, Polish and other languages, instead of the Anglicized versions which are the usual and customary fare.
But most importantly, Furst affords the listener a clarifying view of one of the most shrouded and inhuman (we like to think anyway) eras in history. Europe from 1933 to 1945, described not via battles, generals or politicians, but by men and women doing what they could despite being terrified and alone. The characters are wonderful, the deviousness of the leaders horrific, and the dialogue some of the most clever, insightful, and at times funny, that I have ever read.

33 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Cookie
  • Anacortes, WA, United States
  • 08-20-12

spies as poetry

I love Alan First. But, pay close attention to the little things. As you listen there are times you want just to savour the language. For instance approx 4:30, there is a moment in the mind of a country dog as it passes a city dog and says " ...this little white fluffy thing that thinks he is a dog, the things you see when you travel...". The moment is sad , a family walking the escape the Germans and this little slice of whimsy. Furst's stories abound with these little moments that you may want to rewind. The novel is great besides, but savour the journey as well. These novels are very noir, but don't blink and miss the poetry. George Guidall gets it and will transport you in to the world of war time Europe in a way you will never forget. Enjoy.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 07-06-13

Certain historical truths only teased w/ fiction

There are certain historical truths that can only be teased out of the past with a fiction narrative build on the skeleton of the past. There are hidden truths that are exposed only with a story, with fiction, with literature. Alan Furst's war and pre-war espionage novels do that. His novels flesh out more about the people who fight, suffer and die in war than most straight academic histories can even hope to give to the reader.

You finish an Alan Furst novel tasting the blood and the smoke, body black with soot, blinded by the fiery lights, frozen by the cold, heart sick by all the death of war. Into this setting, Furst inserts little glimmers of caritas, humor, and love. He isn't prepared to make the entire world, even a world that is mewed in the machinery of war, devoid of humanity. There are flowers to smell, food to enjoy and even soft women to touch. It is sad but beautiful and that is sometimes just enough.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • TAMPA, FL, United States
  • 05-13-06

A good read

This book is well written and well narrated. If you’ve read other Furst WWII spy novels, such as Night Soldiers, then you’ll find little well placed hints that tie the stories together. Also, the author has a bit of humor in his writing that brings a healthy smile. Highly recommended, and well enjoyed.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • majkia
  • Niceville, FL USA
  • 04-14-14

Another Excellent Book in an Excellent Series

The spies in Alan Furst's Night Soldiers series aren't James Bond. They don't have incredible weapons nor do they wear designer suits. They just have their wits and their luck to try to somehow survive a landscape strewn with the remnants and horrors of war.

The violence is, if anything, understated, and the focus is on the individual, doing whatever he can to survive.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A Rewarding Journey Through History...

While telling the story of a Polish officer on assignment, the listener is treated to new insight on the struggles of a country torn apart by WWII. The historical aspect of the period makes this a thoughtful listen.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Pab
  • Albuquerque, NM, United States
  • 08-20-12

Gloomily Atmospheric Early WWII Spy Story

What made the experience of listening to The Polish Officer the most enjoyable?

Getting a real feel for the troubles of Eastern Europe during the early part of WWII. Not as familiar to Westerners as the occupation of France and the battle of Britain

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

The protagonist

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Slow paced.

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary
  • Portland, OR, United States
  • 06-29-16

My first Alan Furst novel

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Third Book in the Night Soldiers Series

What made the experience of listening to The Polish Officer the most enjoyable?

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.

Would you recommend The Polish Officer to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes if they've read the first two books in the series.

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

The main character. I couldn't tell you his name because I haven't seen it written.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listen to books continuously. I don't like to change them up until one is finished.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful