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The Foreign Correspondent (Night Soldiers #9)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  3,395 Ratings  ·  317 Reviews
The greatest living writer of espionage fiction (Houston Chronicle) returns with his most suspenseful and stylish novel yet, in which an international news correspondent's secret life leads him to become a target for assassination.
Paperback, Large Print, 447 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Large Print Press (first published May 30th 2006)
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Jun 05, 2013 Darwin8u rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
“A fat man with a Nazi party pin in his lapel played Cole Porter on a white piano.”
― Alan Furst, The Foreign Correspondent


A nice solid Furst novel. I took a small pause from reading Furst because his books had started to all be blending in together (maybe by design), but 'The Foreign Correspondent' was like a well-timed nosh. The story was tight and well-paced, there was an interesting memoir-within-a-novel that worked rather well since the protagonist in the novel was the ghost-writer of the m
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
"This is a war, and, in war, sometimes you lose, sometimes you win, and, sometimes, when you think you've lost, you've won."
Will Byrnes
I found this book very disappointing. I snatched it from a bookshelf at home, thinking it was the book that provided the basis for Hitchcock’s 1940 film, “Foreign Correspondent.“ Oops. It is a 1930’s spy novel all right, but one published in 2006 by highly regarded writer Alan Furst. Ok. No big deal. It could still be pretty good, right? I have enjoyed more than a few books that transport one back to the time and place, capturing a certain feel. I was still hoping for Hitchcockian adventure. Ala ...more
Stars-wise, this is either a strong 3 or a weak 4. Normally, I would rate Alan Furst's novels more highly, and this one was a solid 4-star up until the last 50 pages or so. I think the problem I had was that the author doesn't seem to flesh out the last part of the story enough. Furst gives us a lovely build-up, but when his protagonist is in the most danger, he (the author) rushes through to the end.

Still, I was entertained. All the usual elements were there: exiles and refugees, Stalinist age
Jun 23, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, italy, spy, germany
In the world of Alan Furst the clock is set to either just before the start of or just after the start of the Second World War. He excels at presenting that sick feeling in the pit of the stomach that things are likely to get much worse ... and soon.

The Foreign Correspondent is the story of Reuters foreign correspondent Carlo Weisz, from Trieste, who now lives in Paris working for Reuters, and in his spare time editing an anti-fascist publication called Liberazione, which is attracting the unwel
Lewis Weinstein
... an excellent portrayal of anti-fascist resistance, in this case against Mussolini. Furst's place descriptions, as always, are superb. The plot is satisfyingly complex, and the ending is appropriately ambiguous - the lives Furst explores never have clear demarcations.
Michael Klein
I picked this book up because I was so taken with the first Furst book I read, "The Spies of Warsaw." Also, Furst is considered a master of the historical spy novel, and he is writing about the time period I am writing about. More or less. So why not sit back and watch a master at work?

I found "The Foreign Correspondent" to be slightly disappointing, particularly when held up to "Warsaw."

The problem I think I had with this novel was that we never really got to know enough about the main characte
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This turned out to be really yummy. Good "cloak and dagger" stuff, but with nary a cloak nor a dagger in sight. Italian emigres living in Paris put together newspapers to be smuggled into Italy, where Mussolini has control of the information flow.
This was much quieter than a lot of spy/war novels. Instead of the fast-paced action, it depicts what life was like in Europe immediately before WWII began in earnest. Everyone was tense, knowing war was coming, but not knowing what they should do or h
Jul 30, 2007 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you, Susan, for turning me on to this well-told spy story. I have to believe that Furst is among the best in this genre. The setting--Europe in the 30’s, in the throes of fascism--is so fateful and Furst’s knowledge of the era is impressive. He gave his characters enough life to care about them, too, which I don’t imagine is always the case with stories of this sort. I have to say I also came away with a greater appreciation for historical fiction, in general. It’s such a painless and effe ...more
Jan 24, 2015 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: series
I think the motto for this book has to be "Il faut en finir" -- roughly, this can't go on.
This story takes place toward the end of 1938 through the summer of 1939' it follows the experiences of Carlo Weisz and his fellow refugees from the Mussolini regime in Paris. Carlo is in an extremely unique position as a journalist working for the Reuters News Service in Paris, miles above pretty insubstantial jobs his colleagues have -- he is the only one in the emigre group that is able to pursue his pro
Jun 06, 2012 Merilee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fun thriller listened to in the car. This one narrated by Alfred Molina, who does a great job with all the accents, except for pronouncing Madchen Maadchen:-(
The Foreign Correspondent opens with an assassination. The reader sees it unfold through the eyes of its mastermind: a shadowy figure seated at the back of a luxury sedan, the silver medal of the Italian Fascist Party pinned to his lapel. With icy satisfaction he watches his victim enter a Paris hotel on a rainy evening in 1938, where a gunman bearing a silencer-tipped Beretta is waiting. Yet there is no mystery to this murder. It is intended as a direct, chilling message to the community of Ita ...more
Dick Reynolds
Mar 10, 2013 Dick Reynolds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel by Alan Furst spans the period from December 1938 to July 1939 and takes place in Italy, Berlin, but mostly in Paris.
The central character is Carlo Weisz, an Italian émigré whose day job is a foreign correspondent for the Reuters bureau in Paris. But his writing talents also have him working at odd hours as editor and occasional contributor to a clandestine newspaper that is part of the resistance against Mussolini's fascist government. He’s also the ghostwriter on behalf of Colone
Meticulously researched, painstakingly detailed historical portrait of the Italian resistance (esp in France) during WWII: I learned more about the war reading this than I ever did in a history class in school- this is the kind of book that induces one to look up every reference and, along the way, learn about aspects of history it may never have occurred to one to ask about. Such as: the existence of King Zog I, self-proclaimed King of Albania and only Muslim king in all of Europe; the plight o ...more
Jul 09, 2012 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad, but not really satisfying. Spy fiction gives a writer an opportunity to challenge readers' preconceived notions of right and wrong. Many of LeCarre's books do that. Foreign Correspondent does not. Its basic moral premise is that Fascists and Nazis are bad. That was pretty much resolved by the time I was born (and I am old).

Spy fiction also gives an opportunity for action. Aside from a brief passage in the Spanish Civil War, the book's only action has the protagonist hit from behind (the
Mark Fine
May 28, 2015 Mark Fine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel was quite a revelation with its focus resting on events between the two great wars. As the storm clouds of World War II are looming we are there via Alan Furst’s pen, experiencing the noir-like, uneasy last hurrah of a free Paris (including a brief dalliance with the film world); to soon fall under the grip of the jackbooted Nazi hordes. In the meantime anxiety builds as loyalties are split. The Communists metastasize their subversive ways in their quest for power as the sinister forc ...more
Rob Kitchin
Aug 12, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alan Furst’s stories are thrillers with a small t. They grab and pull you along, but the storytelling is subtle and deep, avoiding melodrama and high tension plotting that often characterise capital T thrillers. They are sumptuous meals of carefully blended tastes, rather than the zip of junk food. And so it is with The Foreign Correspondent. As with all Furst novels, the prose is excellent, the narrative is well structured and textured, and his characters are complex, living multi-dimensional l ...more
Jul 30, 2009 Map rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrific book! I've had this for a while but finally got around to reading it on my iPhone, thanks to forgetting another book for the subway. Alan Furst recreates the sense of despair, terror, menace, and claustrophobia of a group of antifascist emigres in Paris in the months leading to the invasion of Poland and the start of World War II. The main character, an Italian journalist at the center of the group named Carlo, was intriguing and intelligent, and his fears, hopes, and passion for the br ...more
Oct 20, 2016 Shelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn't call Furst's World War II-era spy novels page turners, but they are addictive. In this one, Carlo Weisz is an Italian ex-pat living in Paris, working as a journalist for the Reuters news service, and secretly writing and editing an anti-fascist newspaper distributed covertly in Italy. As if that isn't enough, the Italian secret police are trying to put an end to the underground newspaper and British Intelligence has plans for him. Even the Paris police are interested him and his fello ...more
Jul 05, 2016 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back on dry land with book №9 in the "Night Soldiers" series. This time we follow in the footsteps of Carlo Weiss, a correspondent with the Reuters News Agency. An exile from Trieste in Italy, he is now based in Paris. With the aid of others he is involved with the running of an underground anti-fascist news publication. This publication is part of the initial resistance to Mussolini. The timescale leads the reader through the times just before, and just after, Italy made their pact with Nazi Ge ...more
Jun 13, 2008 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As my first foray into espionage thrillers, I was excited to see what was ahead -- would it be military-focused and procedural (ala Tom Clancy?) I hoped not. I wanted something more akin to Patricia Highsmith. I wanted brooding, the anti-hero, classic European sights, twisting plot, dark and light characters.

I definitely got that -- and more: history, pre-WWII, insights into the political machineries that Hollywood-produced movies self-centeredly miss.

As a fan of fantasy books, with their self-p
Sara Grace
Sep 05, 2007 Sara Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara Grace by: NPR
Shelves: favorites
Beautifully written. The ending felt a little anti-climatic, and the plot progressed much slower than you might expect for a political intrigue novel. Certainly worth reading.

Now that a few months have passed I should comment that this book has aged well. I refer to it often and remember it fondly.
Feb 17, 2009 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, for the characters, the plot, the time period. Got a feel for the pre-2nd world war in Europe and the stress of the life of a foreign correspondent. Yes, I know it is a novel, but Furst writes "first"-rate fiction. Pure plot and character, little sex or violence, just a good yarn, well told.

Jeremy Hornik
Nice, atmospheric. Ending kind of sappy... felt like a cop out.
Aug 22, 2009 Janice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book was well researched, detailed, and highly engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of history, drama, and romance.
Feb 13, 2017 Alec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a magical book about the Italian emigres of France as Europe descended into WWII. Like many of Furst's other books, there is a sepia quality to the story which makes it feel simultaneously old and polished. One of the things I like about Furst's books is that he doesn't really romanticize the time, but helps the reader feel some of the grit, tension, and fear of the era. This book is no different, bouncing between Spain, Paris, Berlin, and Italy while tracking the intertwined stories of ...more
I’ve heard good things about Alan Furst’s spy novels. They’re set almost exclusively in the pre-WWII “rise of fascism” era or during WWII itself and contain immersive detail about the events, politics, and general life of the time period. I like spy novels. I like WWII history. From the sounds of things, it should be just the type of thing to float my boat. Or trip my trigger. Or tickle my pickle. Take your pick. So when I selected The Foreign Correspondent (Furst’s 2006 entry in his Night Solid ...more
Oct 13, 2016 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the ninth book I've read in Alan Furst's "Night Soldiers" series.
This is also the ninth book in the series. That is coincidence. I have not read them in order. To me, Europe just prior to WWII, is a fascinating period in history and Furst captures it well. The stories are probably not as brutal as the era really was, but they're frightening enough.

This time the story follows an Italian foreign correspondent working for Reuters as he covers the civil war in Spain, pre-war France, NAZI G
As much as I love reading Alan Furst's novels, I am not sure what to think of The Foreign Correspondent (2006). At times it wants to be a spy novel, and at other times a romance novel, and at still other times a novel reporting great moments in history. The story mostly takes place in Paris (a few scenes take place in Spain, Nazi Germany and Italy) in 1938-1939 and surrounds a clandestine newspaper that fights fascism in Italy as Mussolini's ties with Hitler strengthens. After a murder/suicide i ...more
Abe Frank
So when this ended I felt it was really thin, underdeveloped even in terms of tension, which should be its strongest suit. Then I found out it was an abridged edition, which sort of explains that issue. I still don't think it gives enough feel for its place and time--again, one of the key components for a novel like this--but I can't in good conscience give it 2 stars when who knows what pleasures were censored to me.
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Alan Furst is widely recognized as the current master of the historical spy novel. Born in New York, he has lived for long periods in France, especially Paris. He now lives on Long Island.

Night Soldiers novels
* Night Soldiers (1988)
* Dark Star (1991)
* The Polish Officer (1995)
* The World at Night (1996)
* Red Gold (1999)
* Kingdom of Shadows (2000)
* Blood of Victory (2003)
* Dark Voyage (2004)
* The F
More about Alan Furst...

Other Books in the Series

Night Soldiers (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Night Soldiers (Night Soldiers, #1)
  • Dark Star (Night Soldiers, #2)
  • The Polish Officer (Night Soldiers, #3)
  • The World at Night (Night Soldiers, #4)
  • Red Gold (Night Soldiers, #5)
  • Kingdom of Shadows (Night Soldiers, #6)
  • Blood of Victory (Night Soldiers, #7)
  • Dark Voyage (Night Soldiers, #8)
  • The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers, #10)
  • Spies of the Balkans (Night Soldiers, #11)

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“A fat man with a Nazi party pin in his lapel played Cole Porter on a white piano.” 0 likes
“spies and journalists were fated to go through life together, and it was sometimes hard to tell one from the other. Their jobs weren’t all that different: they talked to politicians, developed sources in government bureaux, and dug around for secrets.” 0 likes
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