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The Foreign Correspondent

(Night Soldiers #9)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  4,082 ratings  ·  387 reviews
From Alan Furst, whom The New York Times calls “America’s preeminent spy novelist,” comes an epic story of romantic love, love of country, and love of freedom–the story of a secret war fought in elegant hotel bars and first-class railway cars, in the mountains of Spain and the backstreets of Berlin. It is an inspiring, thrilling saga of everyday people forced by their hear ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published May 30th 2006)
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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  4,082 ratings  ·  387 reviews

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Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
“A fat man with a Nazi party pin in his lapel played Cole Porter on a white piano.”
― Alan Furst, The Foreign Correspondent


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 m
Will Byrnes
Mar 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
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 *of House Targaryen*
"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
Lewis Weinstein
... an excellent portrayal of anti-fascist resistance, in this case against Mussolini. Furst's place descriptions, as always, are superb. The plot is satisfyingly complex, and the ending is appropriately ambiguous - the lives Furst explores never have clear demarcations.
Patrick Sherriff
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spies-like-us
I enjoyed this adventure through Paris on the eve of the Second World War, partly because of all the references to newspaper journalism as a force for good, partly for its portrait of emigres' lives that don't seem so dissimilar from my own as an expat in a foreign land, and partly because the age we live in feels a lot like a prelude to disaster and it's inspiring to feel that people of conscience in a previous age could make a difference, if at great personal cost. Oh, and did I mention that t ...more
Michael Klein
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy, germany, fiction, italy
In the world of Alan Furst the clock is set to either just before the start of or just after the start of the Second World War. He excels at presenting that sick feeling in the pit of the stomach that things are likely to get much worse ... and soon.

The Foreign Correspondent is the story of Reuters foreign correspondent Carlo Weisz, from Trieste, who now lives in Paris working for Reuters, and in his spare time editing an anti-fascist publication called Liberazione, which is attracting the unwel
In times of trouble I have been known to turn often to the exquisite narrations of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith reading the Rivers of London series in order to take my mind off things, but it turns out that when it all goes to shit Alfred Molina will do as well. Alan Furst is very concerned with what's going on with everyone's breasts, but otherwise this was a good little story about journalists fighting fascism.
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
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
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:-(
Ellie Midwood
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What I love the most about Furst’s books is the fact that his characters are not some superhumans but ordinary people who do extraordinary things in times when most would choose to keep their heads down to protect their lives. In “The Foreign Correspondent,” Furst introduces us to Carlo Weisz, an émigré living in Paris - a Reuters correspondent and one of the contributors to Liberazione, an antifascist newspaper directed against Mussolini and his regime. However, fascist Italy’s power spreads mu ...more
Mal Warwick
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Late 1938 in Europe was a time of dislocation and growing fear. In Germany, Kristallnacht signaled the end of hope for any Jew smart enough to understand its implications. Austria and Czechoslovakia were  now part of the German Reich, adding to the flow of refugees. In Spain, Generalissimo Franco and his German and Italian allies were squashing the last remnants of resistance by the Republic. Mussolini's Italy wavered between the neutrality urged by Britain and France and what would become the P ...more
Sam Reaves
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alan Furst's series about espionage in Europe in the late thirties, set in Paris (and points east) and featuring a multi-national ensemble cast, is an extended hommage to the Eric Ambler tradition of spy novels: atmospheric, understated, worldly-wise. The series evokes the dread and fatalism of the period, the waning days of peace with fascism on a seemingly unstoppable march.
In this one, Carlo Weisz, an Italian journalist working for Reuters in Paris, is running an anti-fascist Italian newspape
Jessie Kennedy
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
The story was just not that thrilling, once again, gratuitous breast describing and the author wrote sex scenes like he was really embarrassed about it. One nice example: "Back in his room, he fell asleep and found her in his dreams - the first time they'd made love...when the dreams awoke him, he found himself again inspired, and then, in the darkness, lived those moments once more".
Genevieve Brassard
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5: I was hoping to like this book so I could read other titles by that author (liked the setting and premise) but the casual misogyny annoyed me :-( Life is too short and there are too many books out there 😉
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
I've only read one other of Alan Furst's novels but I found that one to be a much better read. I just couldn't get into The Foreign Correspondent. The author didn't make me care about the main character so I wasn't invested in his story.
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Dick Reynolds
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Not bad, but not really satisfying. Spy fiction gives a writer an opportunity to challenge readers' preconceived notions of right and wrong. Many of LeCarre's books do that. Foreign Correspondent does not. Its basic moral premise is that Fascists and Nazis are bad. That was pretty much resolved by the time I was born (and I am old).

Spy fiction also gives an opportunity for action. Aside from a brief passage in the Spanish Civil War, the book's only action has the protagonist hit from behind (the
Mark Fine
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Rob Kitchin
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wouldn't call Furst's World War II-era spy novels page turners, but they are addictive. In this one, Carlo Weisz is an Italian ex-pat living in Paris, working as a journalist for the Reuters news service, and secretly writing and editing an anti-fascist newspaper distributed covertly in Italy. As if that isn't enough, the Italian secret police are trying to put an end to the underground newspaper and British Intelligence has plans for him. Even the Paris police are interested him and his fello ...more
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Furst is a master. This is a superbly crafted, supple and spare, fiction of an Italian emigrant working for the Italian resistance in Paris in 1939. The resistance here is one of information, not military action. Carlo Weisz is a journalist working as a stringer for Reuters, and, after the assassination of its editor, the editor for Liberazione, an anti-fascist newspaper. His colleagues are like-minded exiles but amateur journalists and amateur operatives. They are challenged by Mussolini’s secr ...more
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back on dry land with book №9 in the "Night Soldiers" series. This time we follow in the footsteps of Carlo Weiss, a correspondent with the Reuters News Agency. An exile from Trieste in Italy, he is now based in Paris. With the aid of others he is involved with the running of an underground anti-fascist news publication. This publication is part of the initial resistance to Mussolini. The timescale leads the reader through the times just before, and just after, Italy made their pact with Nazi Ge ...more
Jun 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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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

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 Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers, #10)
  • Spies of the Balkans (Night Soldiers, #11)
“Diplomats tell lies to journalists and then believe what they read.” 0 likes
“A fat man with a Nazi party pin in his lapel played Cole Porter on a white piano.” 0 likes
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