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Mission to Paris by Alan Furst
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Mission to Paris (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Alan Furst

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7105913,292 (3.68)65
Member:danhammang
Title:Mission to Paris
Authors:Alan Furst
Info:New York : Random House, c2012
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:France, Paris

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Mission to Paris by Alan Furst (2012)

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In 1938, Fredric Stahl, a daringly handsome actor from Hollywood heads to Paris to shoot his new movie, a war drama called After the War. He has a good history with the City of Love, and hopes to not only make a great film but enjoy the city that he belongs in. Yet, life is never that simple, is it? With war from Nazi Germany knocking firmly on France's thin fragile door, Paris is in a constant wave of ups and downs of morale. On the outside France seems to be run calmly by the French, but the Nazis are slowly creeping their influence into French politicians by the way of bribery and fear.

While just trying to make a movie and maybe meet a nice lady, Stahl gets caught up in the political game of the Germans, a party invite here, a favor there, seems innocent right? Or is it all a part of a scheme to use Stahl. As you read Stahl meets an array of characters to which seem to be friends, but in a country where the balance between war and peace can be tipped over by the most tiniest of pushes, one can never be so sure. You end up questioning the motives of everybody Stahl meets even up to the very end of the book.

I enjoyed this book a lot, I honestly didn't think I would just because spy novels are not really my cup of tea but when I won this in a Goodreads giveaway I figured it couldn't hurt to try it at least. I'm pleasantly surprised how much I liked it, characters were likable and each has their own interesting tale to tell, story was fast paced and never dragged on, and the ending was very satisfying. The only problem that I had was the first 15 pages, though important, weren't fun to read, they felt like I was just reading a list of titles, names, and places. It wasn't until you start following Stahl that the story drastically improves. Alan Furst created a wonderful story and I am definitely going to read some more of novels.

Just to throw one little personal quarrel, the copy I received from the giveaway, which I assume is a review copy, is literally covered in reviews of the book and the author. There are reviews on the cover, the back cover, two full pages within the book, and even on the spine. So just as a suggestion, please don't send copies like that to giveaway winners, it feels like a cheap way to manipulate you into giving it a good review. Let the book stand on it's own merits, but then again this is a personal irritation. ( )
  Wushogun | Nov 30, 2016 |
I'm a huge Alan Furst fan and this is his first novel that disappointed me. The story line was OK for the most part, but the dialogue and the atmosphere created by his narrative didn't exactly ring true. The dialogue in particular bothered me, especially early on in the story. Very "mannered" sounding, which along with the narrative attempted to create a glamorous milieu for the lead character, a famous American actor of Viennese descent.

In his previous books, you (or at least I) could sort of close my eyes and imagine the scene and the action taking place. Not so much in this one. It was still a decent read, but not one to savor. If you're just starting to read Furst, please start elsewhere. ( )
  gmmartz | Jun 21, 2016 |
Hollywood is in Paris as the Germans are marching in. The French Government is stumbling toward the Nazi Empire and Frederic Stahl -- an Austrian born American -- is starring in a movie. He has an affair with the costume designer, is bewildered by the French attitudes toward sex, and wants to save people from the Nazis as the Nazis are trying to convince Stahl to star in a German movie. A fast moving thriller set in Paris. Highly recommended. ( )
  minxcr1964 | Apr 2, 2016 |
Good read. Blew through the details of movie making and I would have liked to see more interaction w Stahl and the Germans. Also would have like more description of Constanta to Lisbon but he probably wanted to end the book. ( )
  JBreedlove | Dec 19, 2015 |
Once again Alan Furst has conjured up an absorbing novel set in pre-war Europe in 1938. This one features as its main character, Frederic Stahl, Austrian born, but now living in America. There, he has become a film star, who is then employed to make a film in Paris. He looks forward to being in a city where he had previously enjoyed living. But he soon realise that the atmosphere has changed and that there are influential French people who are manoeuvring to persuade the French to come to terms with Hitler’s Germany. He is drawn into opposition to this movement and gradually starts to work for American intelligence to gather information to show Germany’s real objectives. What follows is an enthralling journey as he tries to complete he film, stay alive as the Germans track him and to try to return to America,
  camharlow2 | Dec 14, 2015 |
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Epigraph
In the 1930s, the Nazi government of Germany, bitterly
resentful at having lost the 1914 war, determined to
destroy its traditional enemy, France. Force of arms lay
in the future, but a small bureau in the Reich Foreign
Ministry undertook operations to weaken French morale
and degrade France's will to defend herself. This strategy,
using ancient and well-proven methods, was know as
political warfare.
Dedication
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In Paris, the evenings of September are sometimes warm, excessively gentle, and, in the magic particular to that city, irresistibly seductive.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From Amazon.com: It's the late summer of 1938, Europe is about to explode, and 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 degrade France’s will to defend herself.

For their purposes, Fredric Stahl is a perfect agent of influence, and they attack him. What they don’t know is that Stahl, horrified by the Nazi war on Jews and intellectuals, has become part of an informal spy service being run out of the American embassy in Paris.

From Alan Furst, the bestselling author, often praised as the best spy novelist ever, comes a novel that’s truly hard to put down. Mission to Paris includes beautifully drawn scenes of romance and intimacy, and the novel is alive with extraordinary characters: the German Baroness von Reschke, a famous hostess deeply involved in Nazi clandestine operations; the assassins Herbert and Lothar; the Russian film actress and spy Olga Orlova; the Hungarian diplomat and spy, Count Janos Polanyi; along with the French cast of Stahl’s movie, German film producers, and the magnetic women in Stahl’s life, the socialite Kiki de Saint-Ange and the émigré Renate Steiner.

But always at the center of the novel is the city of Paris, the heart and soul of Europe -- its alleys and bistros, hotels grand and anonymous, and the Parisians, living every night as though it was their last.
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Autumn 1939. In Paris American motion picture producer Frederic Stahl is drawn into a clandestine world of foreign correspondents, exiled Spanish republicans, and spies of every sort. As a celebrity from neutral America -- who can travel across the continent freely -- Stahl could be very useful indeed.… (more)

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