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Mission to Paris by Alan Furst

Mission to Paris (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Alan Furst

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5575517,907 (3.7)61
Title:Mission to Paris
Authors:Alan Furst
Info:New York : Random House, c2012
Collections:Your library
Tags:France, Paris

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Mission to Paris by Alan Furst (2012)



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This was such a satisfying book! Interestingly enough, I found that it had a very slow start, so much so that had my commute been 10 minutes instead of 60, I quite possibly would have abandoned my introduction to Alan Furst and his teetering-on-the-edge-of-war Paris. Thank Bob my office moved to Bumfluck, Louisiana. And this is truly the only good thing about the move.

I don't have much experience with spy novels, much less books about World War II. Actually, I don't think I have any experience at all. Aside from the Mrs. Pollifax novels by Dorothy Gilman, that's about it. (and daring to compare Gilman and Furst is like comparing Bram Stoker and Charlaine Harris) But Alan Furst has changed that. This wonderfully tense tale about an actor unwittingly drawn into Hitler's world was I really want to experience more of his dark late 30's Europe.

I listened to an audio version and the narration was spot on. The accents were well delineated and the characters were each given a distinct voice. This was most enjoyable and I would recommend Mission to Paris to thriller fans everywhere. ( )
  enemyanniemae | Feb 23, 2015 |
Not sure why this was offered under the Goodreads ARC program(it was published 2 years ago) but, as always, I enjoy Alan Furst novels and Mission to Paris was no exception. Furst is a master at building pre-war atmosphere of Paris in the late 30's. ( )
  ddelmoni | Nov 5, 2014 |
Sounds like an interesting plot – It is 1938 when a Hollywood movie star travels to Paris to make a film and the Nazis want to use him for their own propaganda. Although a very descriptive Paris of that time but it becomes tedious as does the characters and the filmmaking. It just didn’t seem to flow, nor entice me to know or feel for the characters. It was an okay read from an author who has done better. ( )
  grumpydan | Sep 13, 2014 |
Mission to Paris is an atmospheric and intriguing look into World War II Paris. We follow our hero, actor Frederick Stahl through a troubled film shoot, unofficial spy craft, romances, and not-so-subtle enemy influence. Furst gives the reader a noir filled adventure that will linger on in your memories.

Free review copy. ( )
  mrmapcase | Jul 22, 2014 |
Set in 1938, Hitler has just invaded Czechoslovakia, is on the verge of doing the same to Poland, and has his eye on France. Into this cauldron comes Fredrich Stahl, a Hollywood actor of Austrian origins, who arrives in Paris on an invitation to make a movie ironically titled 'Apres La Guerre', which, in his opinion, highlights the futility of war.

The German secret service are aware of his arrival and seek to make use of his fame for their own cause, first attempting to woo and trick him into making a statement to the journalist recommending the French keep peace with Germany instead of arming themselves for war with them, and then to cajole and finally threaten him into attending a Berlin film festival.

Unbeknownst to them, his personal opinion of Nazi Germany is far from flattering, but his attempts to stay out of politics is futile and eventually he has no choice but to get involved ... as an untrained spy for his contact at the American Embassy, putting his own life in danger on multiple occasions.

As far as spy thrillers go, this is a rather gently written one. The tension mounts gradually, escalating only in the last chapter of the book. There are 2 gems in this book, in my opinion. The first is the character development of Fredrich Stahl. His character is given a multi-layered coat and as each layer is peeled off, he discards his shallow exterior to expose a brave and determined man of integrity and honor. The second gem is the manner in which the author paints a picture of cities of Berlin, Paris, Morocco and Hungary, putting a spotlight on the contrasts between the people and the atmosphere in each of these cities at the time. ( )
  cameling | Jul 21, 2014 |
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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.
First words
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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