Nancy Day's Reviews > Night Soldiers

Night Soldiers by Alan Furst
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Sep 16, 2012

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Read from September 02 to 16, 2012

This seems to be an excellent spy novel - very well written, sets a deep, dark but not overpowering tone, good characterizations and a solid plot. However, I am ashamed to say that I am giving up on it about 40% through. I've checked it out from the library, and there's no way I can get it read by the due date (Kindle loan, so can't renew). It takes FOREVER for me to read it, because the names are all Russian, Bulgarian, Spanish, etc., so not easy for this Anglo to remember, and there are tons of them. Plus, it's during the Spanish Civil War, which of course is an interesting time. But I know little about it, and the author assumes his readers have a solid understanding of names, places, events. I've enjoyed the book to an extent, it's extremely well done, but just too much work for something that's supposed to be a pleasurable pastime.

I've heard Alan Furst referred to as a worthy successor to John le Carre - I've read quite a few le Carre novels and got totally immerse in them. Finished every one in a short period of time. So yes, Furst is an excellent writer, obviously knows his history and understands political intrigue. But I need a dumbed-down version. I'm not an intellectual slouch - have a PhD for goodness sake. Seems that few other reviewers share my sentiments, though, so maybe my brain cells are just dying off . . .
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