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.More
"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)
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Frustrating but engaging!
Excellently paced - after a rather slow start. Certainly makes you understand what was going on in Spain during the Civil War - this had always been a bit of a mystery to me, between POUM, PUP, etc. (I had read the Malraux novel and never made head or tale of the divisions - also of course I didn't really care......)
Naturally - our hero Christo! A man with a soul still alive despite his many tribulations
He articulates the characters so well you really feel you know them
Certainly not laugh! Mainly rage at the sheer evil of the NKVD - first manifested when they removed the stray dog the students had sheltered (of course very minor misdeed by their standards, but indicative! - somewhat reminiscent of what happened in Catholic institutions, who patented the areas of spying and mind-control). The book also highlighted the hopelessness of the lives of people in Eastern Europe.
A very interesting book - like all Alan Furst's. The character of the American girl was very well drawn.