Reissued in the terrific new cover style KINGDOM OF SHADOWS has already sold almost 25,000 copies in paperback A top-notch novel from an exceptionally talented writer Alan Furst receives exceptional reviews: 'Furst's ability to recreate the terrors of espionage is matchless' Robert Harris 'In my estimation KINGDOM OF SHADOWS is a masterpiece. Furst is here writing at the height of his powers, confident of his style, tone and content' Irish Times 'Alan Furst has produced an espionage thriller which is haunting, elegiac and seductive. It is suffused with forlorn hopes, risktaking and heartbreak. It wanted it to go on and on... A masterwork' Literary Review 'Furst's atmospheric recreations of prewar Paris, Budapest and the Carpathians induce laments for fallen grandeurs and reveries for forgotten beauties' Observer 'It is Furst's detailed grasp of history, in particular the murky Hungarian politics of the Thirties, which gives this novel its distinction' Sunday Telegraph 'Furst's exceptionally good thriller...This novel is as good as a John le Carre, but with a richer ambience of "old" Europe' Sunday Times
Alan Furst has lived for long periods in France, especially in Paris, and has travelled as a journalist in Eastern Europe and Russia. He has written extensively for Esquire and the International Herald Tribune.
Furst has earned deserved acclaim for his lapidary espionage novels (The World at Night, Red Gold), set just before World War II. His noir heroes navigate a world of betrayed promises and lost friends, seeking to derail Nazi lackeys and only half believing in their own chance of success or survival. A welcome addition to Furst's opus, Kingdom is all mood and nuance, set in a drowning world of moral entropy: "They have created a cheap, soiled, empty world, and now wehave the pleasure of living in it," says one character. The protagonist, Nicholas Morath, is dragged into futile delaying actions in Eastern Europe and France, while Hitler's minions gobble up countries without resistance. "You're not a virgin," exclaims his uncle. "Youhave to get your hands dirty whether you like the idea or not. Try and forgive the world for being what it is." An exceptional piece of writing, with engaging characters and moments of sharp, unexpected violence, this is recommended for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/00.]DDavid Keymer, California State Univ., Stanislaus Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
The desperation of "stateless" people trying to escape the Nazi redrawing of the European map in the late 1930s pervades Furst's (Night Soldiers; Red Gold, etc.) marvelous sixth espionage thriller. On a rainy night in 1938, the train from Budapest pulls into Paris bearing Nicholas Morath, a playboy Hungarian expatriate and sometime spy for his uncle, a wealthy Hungarian diplomat based in the French capital. Morath, a veteran hero of the Great War and a Parisian for many years, now finds himself forced to rely on former enemies to try to rescue Eastern European fugitives displaced by Hitler's aggression. His eclectic circle includes a Russian gangster, a pair of destitute but affable near-tramps, and a smooth-talking SS officer. Smuggling forged passports, military intelligence documents and cash through imminent war zones, Morath time and again returns in thankless triumph to the glittering salons of Paris. Furst expertly weaves Morath's apparently unconnected assignments into the web of a crucial 11th-hour international conspiracy to topple Hitler before all-out war engulfs Europe again, counterbalancing scenes of fascist-inspired chaos with the sounds, smells and anxieties of a world dancing on the edge of apocalypse. The novel is more than just a cloak-and-dagger thrill ride; it is a time machine, transporting readers directly into the dread period just before Europe plunged into its great Wagnerian gtterdmmerung. This is Furst's best book since The Polish Officer, and in it he proves himself once again a master of literary espionage. (Jan. 19) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
'Alan Furst's spy fiction is serious, even solemn: a good but never light read.' - Literary Review.'Furst's tales...are infused with the melancholy romanticism of CASABLANCA, and also a touch of Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon.' - Scotsman'Throughout, the author's delight in the process of espionage shines through.' - TLS