Julie Christine's Reviews > Mission to Paris

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst
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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 body of a former athlete and a heavy boyish face. He might be cast as a guest at one of Jay Gatsby's parties, scotch in hand, flirting with a debutante.") and a quietly simmering plot, well, Bob's your uncle and I'm your girl.

My hesitation to wax more enthusiastic is that I've been gobsmacked by Alan Furst's novels. The characters smoldered, the plots stole the breath, the thriller in "historical thriller" sent the spine a-tingle. It feels as if Furst approached Mission to Paris with tenderness and affection, both for his beloved City of Lights and for his Cary Grant-inspired leading man, Frederic Stahl. The soft-focus lighting on the characters and setting may have smoothed the sharp edge of tension found in his earlier works.

This is cinema-ready, just like its stars, character actors, and picture-postcard settings. Settle in with a big bowl of buttered popcorn and enjoy the show.

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Reading Progress

April 13, 2012 – Shelved
October 6, 2012 – Started Reading
October 9, 2012 –
page 75
October 10, 2012 –
page 138
54.12% "My expectations were pretty low going into this book, so I'm enjoying it more than I expected. Definitely not up to Furst's usual high calibre prose or character development, but a good lark."
October 10, 2012 – Shelved as: france-french-theme-setting
October 10, 2012 – Shelved as: war-conflict
October 10, 2012 – Shelved as: mystery-crime-thriller
October 10, 2012 – Shelved as: european-setting-multiple-countries
October 10, 2012 – Shelved as: read-2012
October 10, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Julie Christine Two stars? Two and a half? Three? Four for interesting female characters and atmosphere; two for plot execution and male lead...

message 2: by B0nnie (new) - added it

B0nnie I hate it when a book's parts give it say, both a 5 and 1 star rating potential - and yes I end that problem with a 3 star rating!

Michael Glad to see I have something to look foreward to. Have enjoyed all but one of the previous 11 in the Night Soldiers set, most at 4 star level and a few at 3 stars. For recommendations, I try to pick one or two of the best, maybe The Polish Officer for example.

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