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Mission to Paris

(Night Soldiers #12)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  6,553 Ratings  ·  1,115 Reviews
It is the late summer of 1938, Europe is about to explode, the Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl is on his way to Paris to make a movie for Paramount France. The Nazis know he’s coming—a secret bureau within the Reich Foreign Ministry has for years been waging political warfare against France, using bribery, intimidation, and corrupt newspapers to weaken French morale and ...more
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Random House
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Shelly No. The main characters are different. I've been reading them out of order and it hasn't ruined the experience for me.

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Will Byrnes
One of the things we enjoy most about spy stories is when a non-pro gets caught up in international intrigue. Richard Hannay in The Thirty Nine Steps (The film, of course. Yes, I know he was an intel-guy in the book) and Roger Thornhill

Robert Donat as Hannay in Hitchcock’s classic

in North by Northwest pop immediately to mind. While our everyman in Mission to Paris may not exactly be just anyone, Frederic Stahl, a B-list movie star in Paris for a shoot, is, by virtue of his profession, a person
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
2.5 stars
This is a bland treatment of an intriguing plot idea. Fredric Stahl is an American movie star with Austrian roots. In the fall of 1938, he goes to Paris for a film shoot. The Nazis railroad him into serving as propaganda to boost their image.

Furst spends the first 200 pages or so introducing an endless array of new characters, treating us to boring descriptions of various films, and taking us through tedious days on the movie set with Stahl and the film crew. The last 50 pages are more
Furst again mines well that sweet spot for personal moral drama: in the face of the impending Nazi domination of Europe in the late 30’s, what would you, an ordinary person, do to contribute to countering the threat?

In this case, the “ordinary” person takes the form of Fredric Stahl, a Hollywood movie star on location in Paris in 1938 to make a film, ironically about Foreign Legionnaires making their way home after World War 1. He soon becomes a target to become a player in the Nazi propaganda
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Καλοδουλεμένοι χαρακτήρες, αρκετά ιστορικά στοιχεία για τημ κυριαρχία του Χίτλερ στην Ευρώπη, αλλά τόσο μα τόσο κουραστική και αργή πλοκή. Δεν μου προξένησε κανένα συναίσθημα το βιβλίο διαβάζοντάς το. Κρίμα
Julie Christine
Jeepers, what a tough review to write. It's that 3-star curse: "I liked it just fine, thank you, Ma'am." My literary passions were neither inflamed nor offended, but I was happily entertained. And sometimes that's all I need from a read: an escape.

And if it comes in a package of sublimely crafted settings that conjure from history's clouds the darkening heart of 1938-39 Europe, with characters rendered as precisely as wood-block prints ("He was about fifty, Stahl guessed, with the thickening bo
May 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I’ve been spying on (pun intended) Alan Furst’s delicious looking WW2 noir fiction for quite some time now. The front covers with the old black and white photographs of dark alleys and stairwells of old Europe look irresistible to me. It instantly reminds me of the classic black & white Noir film, the Third Man, which is one of my favorite films.

This new book, Mission to Paris, is the twelfth in Furst’s Night Soldiers series which all follow separate plots concerning different characters an
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
I am a huge Alan Furst fan. I look forward to all of his new books with great anticipation and am always rewarded with a great read. That is why this book is a big disappointment. It has many of the same elements of Furst's previous novels, including the Paris bistro with the bullet hole in the wall. However, it is painfully slow, almost plotless with terribly undeveloped characters who utter inane lines. Alan, did you really write this book? I don't believe it!
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it

It's the late 1930s and Warner Brothers sends Austrian-born Hollywood actor Frederic Stahl to Paris to star in a movie. During this time Hitler is waging a propaganda and intimidation campaign across Europe, meant to expand Germany's power without war.

To this end Hitler's minions plan to rope in the popular, well-known Stahl - have him hobnob and be photographed with Nazis and so on - to make it seem that Stahl agrees with Hitler's philosophy. Stahl resists these tactics and wants to just make
Read Mission to Paris and it was vintage Furst with a return to the non-pro agent (an Austrian-American actor) like in Blood of Victory or Dark Voyage. Of the two more recent ones, I loved the Warsaw novel but the Balkans one was less interesting for some reason; this one was excellent and while Dark Star is still Furst supreme and one of the best ever pre-WW2 novels I've read, this is top tier; a lot of predictability true but still very enjoyable as character and atmosphere rather than action ...more
Alex Cantone
Mission to Paris is the twelfth spy thriller by American author / journalist Alan Furst. The scene is Paris, on the eve of World War II. Hollywood actor Frederic Stahl (born Franz Stalka, in Vienna) has been sent to Paris by Jack Warner to play the lead role in a European production. From the outset he is drawn into intrigue from Nazi sympathizers, wanting to exploit his celebrity status. Between filming he is coerced into flying to Berlin as guest judge of a German mountain film festival, where ...more
Lance Charnes
Jun 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of unfiltered cigarettes, Paris Match and Claude Rains
Mission to Paris is an Alan Furst production, which should, by now, tell you everything you need to know about it: interwar European intrigue, a morally compromised milieu, atmospheric settings sketched with the lightest touch, buckets of research made to look effortless. His novels take place in a world in which cocktail parties and dinners happen every night, every man has at least one mistress, and the main characters smoke Gauloises and say smart things and have a je ne sais quoi you might e ...more
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In the years just before WWII broke out in Europe, Warner Bros. loans movie star and leading man Frederic Stahl to a Parisian film studio. Born in Vienna, Stahl speaks English, French, and German. He becomes a reluctant messenger to power brokers in Berlin as the Nazis prepare to unleash their plan. He's a kind of double agent, because the Germans think he's working for them.
Mission to Paris is more of a love story than a spy thriller, perhaps because its main character is more lover than spy. H
Lewis Weinstein
Another excellent story, set mostly in 1938 Paris, with some scenes in Berlin and some in a Hungarian palace. Furst describes vicious and thorough Nazi political espionage efforts to demoralize France and convince them of the futility of fighting. Needless to say, it worked. When the Nazis invaded, France gave up after 5 weeks.

The story is told around the making of a movie, a plot device Furst has used before, and one which works well here. My only complaint is the wrap-up at the end, which I t
L Fleisig
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
"When Paris sneezes, Europe catches cold." Prince Metternich
It is autumn 1938 and the German government has decided to make Paris sneeze violently as it carries on its preparations for war. Determined to avenge the ignominy of Versailles, the German Foreign Ministry seeks to destabilize the already fragile French Third Republic by co-opting willing and unwilling fifth columnists to do their bidding. It was a cold war designed to soften the French before the onslaught of the real war that everyon
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Hurray for Hollywood

In “Mission to Paris” Furst writes a story of an actor, Fredric Stahl, who goes to Paris in 1938 to star in a film and slowly gets lured into taking sides between Germany, his old homeland, and the rest of Europe. Even before he arrives both Germany and France are subtly vying for his loyalty. Though he left Germany for America many years ago he’d still been sucked into World War I working as a desk clerk. The more he explores the Paris of 1938 the more he begins to loathe th
Jun 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
“Without giving up anything on the plane of justice, yield nothing on the plane of freedom”
― Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death: Essays


This is my first introduction (other than by reputation) to Alan Furst, and while the novel was interesting and well-researched from a historical perspective -- it just wasn't a great spy thriller. Perhaps, I was hoping Mission to Paris would be grittier, but it seems like Furst was more interested in telling this pre-WWII spy novel in the tone and s
Alexander McNabb
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoy Alan Furst's books for their atmospherics and tremendous sense of time and place. They're great escapes, often set across stunning swathes of wartime Europe and when they hit the sweet spot, they can be spine-tinglingly realistic and gripping.

I'll not summarise the plot, there are plenty of plot summaries around. I'll just get straight onto the experience if you don't mind.

This was an easy enough read, generally delivered on the grimy sepia vignettes but seemed somewhat aimless. It meand
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ενδιαφέρον στην αρχή , ανιαρό στη μέση και με αρκετή αγωνία πια στο τέλος.... για δυαρι πήγαινε αλλα το έσωσε το ενδιαφέρον τελος... κ η νύχτα των Κρυσταλλων
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Read all of Alan Furst's earlier books. Liked the earlier novels a lot. Immensely, to be honest. Finally someone writing about the period with subtlety and insight. But the last couple--and especially this one--were disappointing. "Mission to Paris" often reads like Harlequin romance schtick aimed at male readers (no, and that ain't me, as you might guess). The protagonist, an Austrian-Slovenian-born actor who now takes the name "Stahl," is never in serious jeopardy, in fact, if it can be believ ...more
Tim Pendry

Another solid thriller from Alan Furst, a cut above the average. The characterisation is one stage improved on 'Spies of the Balkans' and the sexual relationships vastly so.

Furst is good at creating believable heroes - not so much likeable as manly and with existential integrity. His Austrian-turned-Hollywood star Frederic Stahl is in that mould. His woman are also well drawn.

The book is not subtle politically. Furst's history is accurately researched even if the Nazis are all straight out of Ne
Jul 10, 2012 rated it liked it
normally i really like furst's spy novels, but this one took way too long to get going, and was basically pretty boring. it took until page 200 of a 255 page book, before any real espionage went on. prior to that, there was way too much time spent in building up the character of the main protagonist, a famous american actor, in france to film a movie, who eventually ( and i do mean eventually, gets dragged into the spying game. a very disappointing book.
Annie Oosterwyk
I enjoyed my first experience with Alan Furst's writing. The story was well told, the characters were engaging and the writing was quite beautiful. I appreciated the clever and at times humorous dialogue and would share it with those sitting next to me. Always a good sign. I also reached for Google a lot, and that's a great sign- lifelong learning!
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: between-the-wars
I think if you’re going to start reading Alan Furst novels (and if you haven’t, why not?), you could do no better than start here. Though, as this is so good, maybe it would be better to start elsewhere and save this pleasure? Hard to decide how to recommend it best. It really is a summation of all his strengths, all his subtitles. The perfect place to start, the perfect place to carry on from.

A deceptively simple story - all the best are - and American movie star, Frederic Stahl agrees, at his
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, f

Frederic Stahl, a Hollywood film star, travels from Beverly Hills to the boulevards of Paris. It is a dangerous, difficult, seductive time: Europe is about to explode, and the Parisians are living every night as though it were their last. As filming progresses, Stahl is drawn into a clandestine world of foreign correspondents, embassy officials, and spies of every sort. His engagements take him from the bistros of Paris to the back alleys of Morocco; from a Hungarian castle
Judith Starkston
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Set in 1938 in Paris, this spy thriller reveals an interesting chapter in history. America had no CIA or equivalent intelligence agency. Roosevelt had the foresight to realize he had to prepare for the inevitable war, so he used his extensive personal relationships to collect intelligence on the Nazis and funded this work with private donors. Frederic Stahl, the main character of Mission to Paris, is a movie star with no training in being a spy, but while in Paris making a movie he becomes one. ...more
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Furst’s books are billed as World War II historical thrillers. The “thriller” label is a bit of a stretch, which is not a knock. His books are character driven and “cerebral” tales, rather than one heart thumping chase scene or shoot-out after another. Furst’s protagonists are on the fringe of the war, battling Nazi Germany one day at a time, against incredible odds, staying just one step ahead of apprehension and are not your stereotypical heroes.

Mission To Paris, the author’s 12th novel, follo
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spy story and Alan Furst Fans
Alan Furst is one of my favorite authors. He is head and shoulders above anyone writing spy novels today possibly excepting John Le Carre'. As I've said in previous reviews, he has taken the spy novel to the level of contemporary literature. This effort is no exception.

The protagonist, Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl, born in Vienna but now a permanent resident of the U.S. is sent to Paris in late 1938 to make a movie for Paramount Studios on loan from Warner Bros. Upon arriving in Paris he is
Jim Leffert
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cue the deep fog enveloping the dreary docks in a Balkan or Turkish port, listen for the clinking of wine glasses in Paris, and take note of the menacing shadows of Nazi ambitions reaching over Europe—Alan Furst is back with a new World War II era novel! In each of these books, a "regular"person, who is neither a professional spy nor a soldier, responds to the Nazi menace by risking his life in a clandestine operation.

There is a formulaic quality to these books—the hero will undergo danger, hav
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Mission to Paris, is the twelfth installment of Alan Furst's Night Soldiers series. A series that began 24 years ago and continues with the same vigor and intelligence. I have read them all and still continue to marvel at how each one, generally with a completely new cast of characters, although some appear multiple times, generates the same level of intense interest for me. Furst's books are, as I said in my review of Spies of the Balkans, "variations on a theme, Hitler's War looms and in vario ...more
Craig Pittman
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
To say that Alan Furst writes spy novels is misleading. What he writes are novels about how ordinary men and women responded to the greatest crisis to confront Western civilization in the 20th century, namely the rise of fascism in Europe. His heroes are ship's captains, mapmakers, writers, soldiers, who are pressed into service as spies and saboteurs. This book features his most unlikely hero to date, a Hollywood movie star named Fredric Stahl. Stahl, born in Austria, is now being sent to Paris ...more
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Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick - Mission to Paris by Alan Furst 1 9 Mar 05, 2015 11:20AM  
Historical Myster...: Night Soldiers by Alan Furst 1 27 Apr 03, 2013 01:28PM  
  • Lehrter Station (John Russell, #5)
  • Istanbul Passage
  • Prague Fatale (Bernard Gunther, #8)
  • The Arms Maker of Berlin
  • An American Spy (The Tourist, #3)
  • A Foreign Country (Thomas Kell, #1)
  • A Game of Lies (Hannah Vogel, #3)
  • The Miernik Dossier (Paul Christopher #1)
  • Jack 1939
  • Flight From Berlin
  • Murder at the Lanterne Rouge (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #12)
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

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 Foreign Correspondent (Night Soldiers, #9)
  • The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers, #10)

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“Home at that moment was a starless night, a steady wind, not a human to be seen.” 5 likes
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