gwayle's Reviews > The Polish Officer

The Polish Officer by Alan Furst
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's review
Oct 11, 2010

it was ok
Recommended to gwayle by: George

I'm probably being a bit harsh giving it only two stars; it's probably a 2.5. I do agree with one reviewer who called the novel "mesmerizing": there is something hypnotic and appealingly atmospheric about the tale of mapmaker Captain Alexander de Milja's reluctant and daring missions on behalf of Polish intelligence in German-occupied World War II Europe. But it's also mercilessly episodic and needlessly confusing, and it doesn't even pretend to add up to much: I honestly thought my copy of the book had been accidentally cut off at the end--that, or it was one of those purposeful cliffhangers, looking forward to a lucrative sequel (no and no). I'm not all that familiar with the spy genre: perhaps this is par for the course. One thing I found hilarious is de Milja's Mikael Bloomqvist-like romantic involvement with any and all female characters--definitely an equal opportunity roll in the hay, this one. (Can we say 'wish fulfillment'?) Here is my favorite passage:
"And in bed, he tells her things?"
"No, Monsieur. Men don't tell women things in bed. Men tell women things when they are trying to get them into bed. To let women know how important they are. Once in bed, the time for telling things is over."


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