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The Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst
  

The Spies of Warsaw

Historical Fiction   Action Adventure / Spy   Historical Fiction   Literary Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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This is a great novel of spies and espionage in Warsaw just before the start of World War II. With Furst doing what he does best there is plenty of action, betrayal and intrigue along with the inevitable romance thrown in to the mix too. A gripping and suspense-filled story that has now been made into a TV mini-series starring David Tennant and Janet Montgomery.

If you like Alan Furst you might also like to read books by Dan Fesperman, Martin Cruz Smith and Robert Wilson.

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Synopsis

The Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst

On a cool October evening in 1937, German engineer and secret agent Herr Edvard Uhl arrives in Warsaw. He suppresses a chill of fear. Tonight, he will be with his mistress; tomorrow, he will be at a bar, where he will meet with a French military attache. Information will be exchanged for money. War is coming to Europe. And although bombs and bullets have yet to fly, French and German operatives are already caught in a deadly espionage battle. In a war of intelligence and subterfuge, no spy can help being drawn into the murky world of abduction, betrayal and intrigue.

Reviews

Furst is a former journalist whose books are intelligent, realistic and full of historical knowledge and understanding. They have plenty of sex, steam trains and drama, too -- Peter Hitchens MAIL ON SUNDAY Furst writes mordantly and precisely about the drabness and the excitement of spying and the book slowly draws you into his finely drawn world CATHOLIC HERALD


About the Author

Alan Furst

Alan Furst is widely recognised as the master of the historical spy novel. Now translated into eighteen languages, he is the author of fourteen novels including MIDNIGHT IN EUROPE, SPIES OF THE BALKANS - a TV Book Club choice - THE SPIES OF WARSAW, which became a BBC mini-series starring David Tennant and THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT. Born in New York, he lived for many years in Paris, and now lives on Long Island.

Below is a Q & A with this author.

Who's your favourite author?
I've got a lot of favourites, but my favourite favourite is Anthony Powell – his insight and technical magic are just beyond good. He is for me a real pleasure. I grew up with John Steinbeck and especially Bernard Malamud, I also like Von Rezzori (not all of it, but most), Joseph Roth, Primo Levi, Eric Ambler, of course, some Graham Greene, Mary Renault as a historical novelist, and I must include George MacDonald Fraser.

What's the first book you remember reading?
I can't remember whether it was The Wind in the Willows, Babar or something else. I remember Ratty and Moley, and Celeste – I can also remember reading "boys' books" which were hand-me-downs from the 1940s.

Where do you live? And why?
Sag Harbor, New York, six miles from the ocean, where the beaches are deserted for most of the year and the dog can run. It's beautiful here, but my heart's in Paris, so I go there when I'm able.

Where do you write?
I write in a converted 1930s garage with French doors and an old brick floor, looking out onto a garden.

Typewriter, word processor or pen?
Typewriter, a Lexmark personal wheelwriter, descendant of the mighty IBM Selectric.

Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, then refugee country (see Isaac Bashevis Singer and Bernard Malamud), now celebrated.

How many brothers and sisters do you have? Is anyone else in your family a writer?
No brothers and no sisters, I was a very late-in-life kid. We have no writers in the family; we were not well educated. It was pretty much high school and that was it.

Did you enjoy school? What is your most vivid memory of your school years?
I didn't like school much. I liked a few teachers and liked my friends, who taught me what I needed to know and told me what to read.

Did you always want to be an author? If not, what did you originally want to be and when and why did you change your mind? I've been a writer since the age of nine, never anything else, really. I changed my mind with a thunderclap about what to write after four books. I started as a poet – very serious about that; wrote a novel which I thought was a potboiler but wasn't. It didn't boil the pot and was estimably, to my astonishment, published.

What were the first pieces of writing that you produced? e.g. short stories, school magazine etc. My first writing was for school newspapers, then for a literary magazine in college, although actually I wrote stuff for myself earlier. I wrote non-fiction to survive, for Esquire and for International Herald Tribune amongst others. I also wrote ad copy to survive in my twenties and that was really good for me – it had to be right – and fast.

What jobs did you have before you started writing?
All the dust-jacket jobs: factory worker (summers in high school and college), fruit-picker, hay-bale bucker, taxi driver in New York, like that.

How do you write each novel, i.e. do you block out the narrative first, take each page at a time, create the central character, build a cast of characters?
I try to block out the novels, although I'm never successful. My outlines last 60 pages if I'm lucky, and after that it's up to my characters. Thank God for them, they know what needs to be done, and how to have a good time when they're not doing it.

What is a typical writing day?
Up at 5.30, work till noon or I've reached 500 words, two pages, whichever is first. Just like Ernest Hemingway said to do.

Have you started your next book? Can you tell us a little bit about it?
The new book is well under way: The Foreign Correspondent, about Italian anti-fascist émigrés in Paris in 1939 and the clandestine press.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th December 2012

Author

Alan Furst

More books by Alan Furst
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

alanfurst.net/index.htm

Publisher

Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Paperback
368 pages

Categories

Historical Fiction
Action Adventure / Spy
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Espionage & spy thriller

ISBN

9781780222202

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