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The Foreign Correspondent (Night Soldiers #9)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,064 Ratings  ·  287 Reviews
Even before the outbreak of World War II, hundreds of Italian intellectuals and journalists fled to Paris to escape Mussolini's tyranny. As they formed resistance groups and founded clandestine newspapers, spies from nations friendly and hostile moved freely in their midst. Alan Furst's spy novel The Foreign Correspondent is set in this perilous period of transition. Title ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by Random House
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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
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."
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
Feb 09, 2015 Anna rated it liked it
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
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
Jun 17, 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:-(
Aug 10, 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
Oct 24, 2013 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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 memoir.

Anyway, not on my top-shelf of Furst's novels, but it was a good Night Soldier's addition that focused on the period
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
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 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
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
Dick Reynolds
Apr 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
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
Jun 15, 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
Aug 16, 2014 Massimo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La vita che scivola giorno dopo giorno non è più la stessa per chi decide che il mondo non gira nel verso giusto.
1938: Carlo Weisz è uno stimato giornalista, che vive a Parigi e viaggia in tutta l'Europa per coprire i principali avvenimenti come inviato per conto di un'importante testata inglese e che non perde occasione per essere a Berlino e incontrarsi con l'amante tedesca moglie di un alto ufficiale dell'esercito di Hitler. Apparentemente, tutto meno che un eroe.
Ma Carlo Weisz è anche un r
Feb 27, 2014 Stuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionage
This was a better book than the last one I read by Alan Furst (Spies of the Balkans, which was somewhat bland). Like most of his books, it takes place in Europe as events move inexorably towards the Second World War. He creates the terrible atmosphere of that time, the sense of despair, frustration and fear, via the experiences of a group of anti-Fascist Italian émigrés in Paris who do their best to create (in Paris) a monthly anti-government newspaper called Liberazione for distribution in Ital ...more
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.

Sara Grace
Feb 19, 2016 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.
Brian Hinchcliffe
The author delivers a valuable combination of war based story telling and insight into human nature using a concentrated writing style that Is appealing and revealing.

Quote from Kolb to Weisz page 165

" We are a traditional service , and we operate on the classic assumptions. Which means we concentrate on the three C's: Crown , Capital and Clergy. THat's where the influence is, that's how a state changes sides, when the leader, King, premiere, whatever he calls himself, and the big money -captain
Nancy Ellis
Sep 27, 2014 Nancy Ellis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reminiscent of film noir, this is a dark story of intrigue and resistance in Berlin, Mussolini's Italy, and Paris immediately prior to WW2. Carlo Weisz, an Italian emigre himself, becomes, as the result of murder, the publisher of an Italian antifascist newspaper in Paris where many Italian emigres are trying to save their country. Carlo also happens to be a correspondent for Reuters, so he is able to travel across Europe, including Berlin, where his girlfriend is about to be arrested. Working w ...more
Another amazing historical spy novel, this time it's the Italian resistance in Paris in 1938. The emigres publish a newspaper critical of Mussolini, and Mussolini's secret police murder the editor (this is in the first chapter, not a spoiler). Carlo Weisz, AP reporter, takes over as editor, and is then recruited by British intelligence. His reporting, and spying, take him to Spain, Germany, Italy and all over France. Among the many things that are incredible about these books is the depiction of ...more
Jan 07, 2014 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give The Foreign Correspondent 4 stars not because of the plot, which was not so "thrilling" (and I love thrillers) but because of the richness in character and historical detail of a doomed WWII past in Europe, where ordinary folks practiced espionage by day, and sat down to dine with their families in the evening.

Furst loves his stuff! And for that I love him! Check this quote out from page 5:

"The chauffeur was watching his side-view mirror. "Il galletto," he said. Yes, the cockerel, so th
My favorite part of this was the time/setting - reading about Europe on the cusp of war and what that meant for the different countries/cultures/nationalities. It's not something I know much about, but was a good follow-up to The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl: How Two Brave Scientists Battled Typhus and Sabotaged the Nazis, much of which also took place during that same time and covered similar themes of displacement and cultural destruction.
Neil Pierson
Reasonably entertaining story about a regular guy who is drawn into mildly subversive activities that become life-threatening.

Interesting for its portrait of Europe on the eve of World War II and for its low-key characters. Even the professional spies are hardly dashing or glamorous; they just go about their jobs competently. It's refreshing to read about characters who don't know whether they're the targets of Mussolini's secret police or life's hard knocks, don't have a gun and wouldn't know h
Jeremy Hornik
Nice, atmospheric. Ending kind of sappy... felt like a cop out.
Jun 20, 2014 Jodie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had been wanting to read a book by Alan Furst. I had heard they were good...spy thrillers, but more intellectual than some others. Although I tend to like the more action filled spy novels, I do like to read this type also. I found there to be no real intrigue or really interesting clandestine activity in this book, but the story was enjoyable. I agree with some of the other reviewers that the ending was kind of odd and anti-climatic. Even though I didn't love this book, I would try another to ...more
Pat Haber
Carlo Weitz is an Italian journalist, working for Reuters, living in Paris, pre WWII. He has left Italy because of the rise of Mussolini and Fascism.
Like all of Alan Furst's protagonists, Carlo is charming, successful and romantic. The romantic interest is a woman in Berlin.
I love Alan Furst's books, sometimes better to listen to than read, as he writes beautifully; his descriptions just flow and he creates a lovely mood. I was, however, disappointed in this book, it just didn't seem to go anywh
1938, Paris. Two powerful entities – one Italian and one Austrian - shake hands tipping the world into its ‘Second World’ War. Hope is dwindling while uncertainly certifies itself into the hearts and minds of citizens. Beneath the fuming approach of the inevitable is a war aged not by soldiers with guns, but with journalists and typewriters.

One such soldier is Carlo Weiz. An Italian immigrant seduced by the ideology of antifascism who has pledged to fight from within the security of Paris. Aft
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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 13 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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