Dana's Reviews > Mission to Paris

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst
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Aug 05, 12

Read in July, 2012

Pitch-perfect Furst, in my opinion. I absolutely adore how he has, over multiple novels, defined in high-relief the Europe of the years leading up to the second world war.

Some readers have complained about the pace and lack of action in this book. I suggest that Furst has it exactly right: if one reads history, one must acknowledge that events accrued incrementally, and the ugliness accumulated almost imperceptibly. The description, in this volume, of the protagonist's long night in the Hotel Adlon--as Berlin burns on Kristallnacht--is priceless. It has an immediacy that is bracing, and that is shocking by virtue of its gradual revelation.

There is, I admit, a quietude in Furst's narrative over the last few novels. But I suggest this is a process of maturation and confidence. This novel moves with an awareness and ontological authenticity that is quite remarkable.
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