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Dark Star: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 2)…
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Dark Star: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 2) (original 1991; edition 2008)

by Alan Furst (Author)

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9651913,393 (4.03)68
Member:jmhdassen
Title:Dark Star: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 2)
Authors:Alan Furst (Author)
Info:Random House (2008), Edition: Reprint, 466 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Novel

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Dark Star by Alan Furst (1991)

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» See also 68 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
This is the second book in the Night Soldiers series that I have read and I really enjoyed it. This book follows a Polish/Russian/Jewish journalist and his recruitment into the world of spies for the Russian NKVD. This book covered a great deal of history including German-Russian relations, Jewish persecution in Germany and elsewhere in the 1930s, the start of actual war in World War II, and the culture of various places around Europe. I feel like I learned a lot of history and enjoyed a great novel in this book. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
This is the story of Szara, a Polish Jew, who works as a journalist and spy for the Russians in the years leading up to the Second World War. As one might expect, there is a complex plot with some interesting twists and some fascinating personalities. There is also a massive amount of history and it's obvious that Alan Furst has taken his subject seriously and done plenty of research into the origins of the Russian Revolution and the bizarre love-hate relationship between Hitler and Stalin in the 1930s. If I were to pick out a single part of the book for praise, it is the way Alan Furst describes the German invasion of Poland in 1939, beautifully dramatised with immaculate attention to detail.

If one is to be critical, one has to say that the middle third of the book sacrifices pace for historical exposition. The dialogue is unnatural and used to download information rather than to develop character. In places I felt I was reading a textbook rather than a novel. But the historical content is so interesting that many readers won't mind this at all.
The quality of the writing in Dark Star is superb, particularly in the early part of the book and in the final section. Furst takes us into a world of intrigue and authenticates it with astonishing attention to period detail. This book is a great read, and in places a great novel. ( )
  Jawin | Feb 11, 2018 |
Excerpts from my original review on GR (Sep 23, 09):
-Dark Star is another smart, swiftly running espionage thriller from Alan Furst, set in Europe during the doom-infested years immediately preceding WWII. The tale is the tangled adventures of Andre Szara, Soviet Pravda journalist, as he finds himself slyly recruited into the clandestine workings of the NKVD.
-Furst tells a darkly harrowing story of Szara's assignments and double-dealings in Central Europe...
-The story reads true thanks to the author's deep research and immersion in European culture and history. He describes this and his other works as "near history". I'm convinced. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Sep 17, 2017 |
One of Furst's earliest books and one of his best, I think. Much longer than most of his books, and a bit uneven near the end, but atmospheric to the core. Szara is a Pravda journalist stumbling on a secret history, and wandering Paris and Eastern Europe, in danger from all sides - Russia, German, and France. ( )
  viking2917 | Jul 21, 2016 |
During the late-1930s, Andre Szara, a Polish Jew from Russia, is a Pravda journalist who has been co-opted to spy for the Soviet NKVD intelligence service. As a journalist, he can travel most anywhere in Europe without suspicion, making it easy for him to meet with couriers and run a network of agents. His work takes him to Berlin, Paris, even Poland during the German invasion. As with typical Furst protagonists, Szara is an ordinary man who rises to the occasion and manages to do extraordinary things, not the least of which, with some luck, is surviving. There are complications -- there are always complications -- and a lot of politics mixed in with the history, and enough theorizing to have me ready to pull out some history books to see how much is authorial speculation and how much of the secret machinations really happened.

Furst is one of the best when it comes to recreating the past and putting the reader right there in time and place. The book also typically is episodic, which made it too easy to put down. His books are not pageturners for me, but they are compelling, and his characters always get under my skin. Szara became a character I cared for very much. ( )
  ShellyS | Jan 8, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Furstprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bortolussi, StefanoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375759999, Paperback)

Paris, Moscow, Berlin, and Prague, 1937. In the back alleys of nighttime Europe, war is already under way. André Szara, survivor of the Polish pogroms and the Russian civil wars and a foreign correspondent for Pravda, is co-opted by the NKVD, the Soviet secret intelligence service, and becomes a full-time spymaster in Paris. As deputy director of a Paris network, Szara finds his own star rising when he recruits an agent in Berlin who can supply crucial information. Dark Star captures not only the intrigue and danger of clandestine life but the day-to-day reality of what Soviet operatives call special work.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:15 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In the back alleys and glittering salons of Europe, there is a thin line between survival and betrayal, as Soviet NKVD agents and the Nazi Gestapo confront each other in a brilliant duel of espionage.

(summary from another edition)

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