Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst

Mission to Paris (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Alan Furst, Daniel Gerroll (Reader)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6205615,695 (3.71)63
Title:Mission to Paris
Authors:Alan Furst
Other authors:Daniel Gerroll (Reader)
Info:Simon & Schuster Audio (2012), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Historical Fiction, Espionage

Work details

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst (2012)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 63 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
As an off-and-on fan of spy novels and movies, I am both chagrined and pleased to have learned about Alan Furst a few days ago. Mission to Paris is not his latest novel, but I was attracted by the title and its reference to Paris.

The novel takes place in 1938 and 1939, when pre-World War II tension was at its peak. Hollywood movie star Fredric Stahl — through a series of intra-studio machinations involving trading the services of one star for another — ends up being assigned to do a movie in Paris for the European market. Fredric is an émigré to the United States from Vienna and, because he does not have the protection U.S. citizenship would have afforded him, he is targeted by the Nazi propaganda machine to entice him into contributing to pro-Nazi cultural causes. Fredric resists, and the Nazis do not take no for an answer, so a game of cat and mouse ensues as he finds himself more and more threatened by the course of events.

In addition to the intrigue that carries the story along, one receives several subtle lessons in WWII history that one is unlikely to have read about in the history books. Mission to Paris brought to the forefront the vulnerability in those years of émigrés to France from lands under Nazi influence or control. In the immediate lead-up to the war, Nazi agents operating in France sub rosa treated the émigrés almost as escaped criminals, and many of them, having no papers, were living in a constant state of fear of deportation or worse. The film Casablanca touches on this to some extent, but Furst manages to demonstrate how subtly the Nazis operated in this sphere even before the war had begun.

The Nazis were also behind a so-called peace movement that fostered improved relations between France and Germany but really had as its motive to bring France under German hegemony without the necessity of an invasion. They had recruited émigré aristocrats and businessmen to their cause, trying to take advantage of the level of fear of a war with Germany that gripped all of Europe at the time.

Mission to Paris weaves these issues into the action so you come away feeling doubly compensated for time invested in the book. Not only is it the fast-paced action that carries the reader along, but the book delivers an interesting historical perspective as well, and you come away with a better understanding of what it felt like to be in Paris at that crucial period.

Alan Furst's writing is unexpectedly graceful and even lyrical at times. Here is how the novel opens:

In Paris, the evenings of September are sometimes warm, excessively gentle, and, in the magic particular to that city, irresistibly seductive. The autumn of the year 1938 began in just such weather and on the terraces of the best cafés, in the famous restaurants, at the dinner parties one wished to attend, the conversation was, of necessity, lively and smart: fashion, cinema, love affaires, politics, and, yes, the possibility of war — that too had its moment.

I find it hard to resist such evocative writing and will definitely look forward to reading more of Furst's books in the near future. ( )
1 vote Poquette | Apr 23, 2015 |
Typical Alan Furst, which means exquisite historical detail, slow building tension with violence and menace lurking in the background.

Here the background is Paris in late 1938 as the city panics over the Munich crisis and then slowly resigns itslef to more tension. The Germans are busy pulling strings in the French media to get what they want, even if that means the occasional murder is necessary.

Furst's hero is an American screen actor who is seemingly sent to Paris to make a movie but who becomes part of an informal spy network run out of the American embassy. The actor himself is not aware of all the forces combining to influence him until the Nazis overplay their hand. Then he agrees to run an errand for the embassy that involves passing money to a beautiful but ruthless Russian spy. ( )
1 vote barlow304 | Feb 23, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
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.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

LibraryThing Author

Alan Furst is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
20 wanted2 pay7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.71)
1 2
2 7
2.5 5
3 40
3.5 22
4 75
4.5 7
5 23


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,864,975 books! | Top bar: Always visible