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Red Gold
Alan Furst
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Red Gold (Night Soldiers #5)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,438 ratings  ·  104 reviews
If you enjoy mysteries set against the rich background of World War II Europe (Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy and the fine French series by J. Robert Janes are prime examples), you should also know about Alan Furst. He began by writing such excellent, original books as Dark Star and Night Soldiers, all set in Eastern Europe. The locale then moved to Paris for The World...more
Published (first published March 23rd 1999)
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Worth reading after World at Night, but the book has some real weaknesses. The plot is careless thrown together, far too many deus ex machina's -- (that should be Dei ex..., of course; but hey...) -- Jean-Claude gets arrested; a door mysteriously opens... poof! he walks out into the night..., etc. And no resolution at the end -- Furst keepiing his options open for the next book(s).... and what's with the anachronism of Casson buying and reading, in 1941/42, "a tattered copy" of Braudel's Mediter...more
Brad Lyerla
RED GOLD is Furst's sequel to WORLD AT NIGHT. Jean Paul Casson, former film producer before the Nazi occupation, is in hiding from the Gestapo. He barely survives by selling his old clothes to pay the rent for the seedy Parisian hotels where he just manages to exist. Casson is a deeply sympathetic character. As he evades the Germans, he nurses a broken heart over a lost love that nearly drove him to a break down before the war.

Then he is contacted by operatives for De Gaulle's loyalist party. He...more
Dick Reynolds
It’s Autumn 1941 and we’re back in Paris again as the World War II menace continues to grow. Jean Casson, once a well-to-do film producer and now a target of the Gestapo, is drawn into a mission of running guns to combat units of the French Communist Party.
I was mildly disappointed with this book. I’ve read several other novels by Alan Furst which have their settings in Europe during WWII but this one didn’t have the exciting events like the ones portrayed in the others. It seems like Furst ha...more
Ken Mueller
BOOK REVIEW: Alan Furst's RED GOLD & Louis-Ferdinand Celine
The latest novel I've read from historical spy writer (his appelate, not mine) Alan Furst started out slower than usual. RED GOLD is Furst's only sequel and picks up the story of film producer Jean Casson after he has jumped ship on way to London and freedom and swims back to Occupied France "for love, not patriotism" he later confides to a flic who has run him in for questioning. As usual Furst delineates the normal people who get d...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in February 2001.

Following on from The World at Night, Red Gold continues to chronicle the exploits of Hugh Casson, one time film producer, as he becomes reluctantly involved with the various anti-German factions of occupied Paris. While definitely wanting the Germans ruling France, Casson is not a hero and probably would have kept his head down and stayed far away from de Gaullists, disgruntled Vichy Regime secret service and certainly the Communists if circ...more
Robert Farwell
A decent follow-up to 'The World At Night', 'Red Gold' continues the saga of Jean Casson's struggle to survive both morally and physically in Nazi occupied and collaborating France.

I prefer Furst's novels that center on Eastern European characters ('the Polish Officer', 'Dark Star', 'Night Soldiers') instead of French, but it is hard to deny that even though it isn't a major Furst novel, it is still a highly readable one. Using Jean Casson allows Furst to explore the world of those French collab...more
My third experience reading Furst confirms what I wrote about the first two: as in Blood of Victory, we have low-level people here--a French ex-film producer turned not-so reluctant Resistance organizer; the anarchist who has friends and enemies everywhere; the Communist fixer; the Jewish Resistance cell; the Paris-occupying Nazi with the sexual fantasies; etc. No one in this book is going to single-handedly change the war; and, just like in Blood of Victory the plot largely consists of one-or-t...more
If you read enough of Furst's novels, you will come to recognize many of the details that the author relies on to add realism and depth to his works. Once you realize that he relies on the same details in more than one book, the size of the Furst universe (which otherwise seems vast, interesting, and mysterious) shrinks, which is somewhat disappointing. To take one example, Brasserie Heininger and its famous bullet-marked mirror (and back story of assasination in the WC) makes an appearance in a...more
Jun 22, 2009 Leslie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: spy novel lovers, WW2 freaks, historical fiction addicts, maybe even film noir fans
Recommended to Leslie by: John Barth
episodic, casablancesque love story, great French Resistance spy story, intriguing characters, killer ending
Another in Furst's series on partisan activities in World War II Europe. Incremental but important efforts, undertaken at huge personal costs. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. My problem is that this book seemed too formulaic, i.e., too similar in style to the one other in the series which I've read. Excellent background writing, lots of tension, good guys win some and lose some, plus we all secretly know the ending. I'm going to try one more in this series, but if my feelings remain...more
This mystery "Red Gold" follows "The World at Night", set in 1940. It is a year later (October 1941. ) The Occupation is underway and the main character John Casson has assumed a new identity. He is hiding from the Gestapo, living on a few francs during the "darkest hour" of the war when the Germans have decisive momentum. The political motives of the characters Casson meets become murky. It becomes difficult to know whether they are as they say, or double agents with other agendas. Casson becom...more
Cover endorsements by William Boyd, Nelson DeMille and Charles McCarry (one of which compares Furst to Eric Ambler and John LeCarre) are a shorthand summary for why Furst is a strong contributor to the spy fiction genre. If his plots are not quite as memorable as McCarry and Ambler in particular, his command of detail is amazing. "Red Gold," another story set in the WWII era in Europe about which Furst always writes, reads almost too convincingly to be fiction, with innumerable small details mak...more
Not Alan Furst's finest outing. Like many of his other works, this is a slim volume heavy on the atmosphere and light on resolution. However, he is much spread-out with his POV then in most other volumes. Iguess the idea is to give a broader feel for the movements of the awakening French Communist Resistance, but that fact that several of the narrative threads are so very tenuously connected left my wanting a clearer picture.

There was a point where one of these side-thread characters is serving...more
The main setting is France, Paris based in particular although the action extends to a number of places. Opinions on what is to happen vary and sometimes a common enemy can unite some who are normally enemies, or at least big odds. Petain and the Vichy government is what is at the moment. DeGaulle is the other major French opinion force. Plenty feel the Petain group is merely collaboration with the Germans who are very definitely already here and in the ruling position. The Commnunist party is h...more
Another good Furst book. I had several hours in the Atlanta airport after finishing my work for the week that gave me plenty of time to finish this book. Furst continues his formula of setting his books in Paris during or before WW2. In this book his main character is another unlikely spy who did not set out to spy, but found his circumstances leading him into it. This book is set in Paris several months before and after the Japenese attack of Pearl Harbor. The Germans are not the only bad guys...more
Nov 14, 2010 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spy story and historical fiction fans
In this excellent story, the reader is re-introduced to Jean Casson, the movie producer from The World at Night. In the previous book he jumped into the water from an English escape boat to rejoin his lover Citrine. Ironically, she disappeared and eventually married someone else. As a result, penniless and friendless, Casson is back in Paris, hunted as an fugitive by the Gestapo.

He gets involved with a group of Vichy officers who want to resist the Germans and try to enlist the Communists as all...more
Oct 27, 2011 Anne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anne by: Dad
Red Gold continues the story of Parisian director Jean-Claude Casson in occupied France during World War II. It is not a true sequel to The World at Night as Casson is no longer the main character. Before, readers were shown only his point of view as he struggled to stay out of the path of war and espionage, ultimately failing. In Red Gold, Casson serves as a thread tying together various storylines and brief scenes of the lives involved in the Resistance movement. Some of the other characters i...more
Richard H.

Is the knock on the door at the end of the book Jean Marin’s lover or the long eluded final hand of the assassin?

This tale of the twisted life of Jean Marin takes us through the workings of the many faceted underground resistance during the WWII German occupation of France. It details the need for that most necessary union of odd bed-fellows to clandestinely fight a common cause, the Nazis.

It is clear from the start that Jean Claude Marin, a former film director, now in a no-man’s limbo of the...more
A pacy espionage thriller sent in wartime France that brings home the many faces of resistance and throws light on the ruthlessness of the communist resistance groups and how firmly they were directed from Moscow. Clearly, there is at least one sequel otherwise the ending is both abrupt and unsatisfactory. Dare I say that the plot and structure is somewhat formulaic and so there are few real surprises. Great episodes such as driving the ancient truck loaded with machine guns from Marseilles to P...more
This is the fifth volume in Furst's "Night Soldiers" series, although most of the series need not be read in the order published: only the book before this one, The World at Night, and this book, Red Gold, relate directly as a sequential pair. For those that wish the read the books in sequence, The World at Night precedes this, and Kingdom of Shadows follows.

(In this story, the visit to Brasserie Heininger takes place starting on page 230.)

After reading Night Soldiers and not really getting into it, but still respecting the amount of craft that Furst brought to it, I decided to skip ahead a few in the series and see if he hammered out the storytelling aspects. I did not find this to be the case. Everything I said in my review of Night Soldiers is true of this one -- I found it easy to respect, but eventually lost interest long before it was over. Furst absolutely masterfully recreates the mood of occupied Paris and then fails to p...more
I read this after finishing Night Soldiers and was somewhat disappointed. The book lacks the magical energy of Night Soldiers and goes on for many pages describing Jean Casson's struggle to survive in occupied Paris, selling his clothes and looking for odd jobs. A few other characters are introduced, but none of them are as interesting as the wonderful clowns and villains in Night Soldiers. Casson gets involved in selling weapons to the communist resistance, but the transaction is incredibly eas...more
Mark Durst
I'll pick this one as my nominal Alan Furst book to review. They're all pretty similar, though not a series in the sense of continuing characters or a single story.

He writes about Europe during the run-up to World War II. One gets a great deal of detail about the period, without a lot of preachy background. His protagonists are always positive characters; but they're not superheroes or historically important characters.

As with Patrick O'Brien's books, the main issue is the formulaic nature of th...more
Alan Furst is an author that is tough to categorize. He certainly does not write mysteries. It would be hard to characterize his work as a thriller. And it is not historical fiction because it is not tied to historical characters or historical events.
"Red Gold" is a noir novel set in early wartime Paris. I found it to be a little bit of hard work because he throws so many characters at you. They appear on the stage, don't really interact with the people you think are the "main characters" and t...more
Tom Johnson
book number five - all were satisfying to read - superb endings - never leaves me flinging the book at the wall (or at least the urge to fling) -
As usual, atmosphere well done and the insights into the various tensions between the French nationalists, communists, resistance fighters and those just trying to live their lives was also interesting and opened doors for me, but I found the storyline itself to be a bit boring.
Mark Robertson
If you wonder what it was like living in occupied Paris in 1941 - 1942, read this book. The central character is a one-time film producer who returns to a city that he knows is dangerous to him because he loves a woman. He's caught up in a world of espionage where once-bitter enemies are looking for ways to work together against the occupying power while at the same time positioning themselves to make a play for power once the Germans are eventually expelled from France. Furst seems to effortles...more
I spend a lot of time fighting for the French resistance... IN MY MIND. So, this book was right up my alley. I liked the depiction of the streets of Nazi occupied Paris and the ruthlessness of the communist resistance. Furst wrote about a million of these "night soldier" books and I've read three. While they are well-written and suspenseful, they all blend together, which means I recommend you only read one and then move on because there are important books you must read. Of the ones I read, I l...more
Bill Cohn
Red Gold continues the story from The World at Night. The ending begs for a third installment, but then Furst's world is a little opaque and never decisive.
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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
More about Alan Furst...
Night Soldiers (Night Soldiers, #1) Mission to Paris (Night Soldiers, #12) The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers, #10) The World at Night (Night Soldiers, #4) Spies of the Balkans (Night Soldiers, #11)

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