ISBN 9780753822319,The Foreign Correspondent

The Foreign Correspondent


Furst Alan



Orion Publishing Group

Publication Year 2007

ISBN 9780753822319

ISBN-10 0753822318

Paper Back

Language (English)


Starred Review* Paris, 1939. When we heard that dateline, we used to think of Rick, Ilsa, and Sam, tinkling "As Time Goes By" in the background. Now we think of Alan Furst. His latest expatriate in Paris is a journalist, Carlo Weisz, half Italian and half Slav, working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters and finding himself drawn into the steadily more dangerous activities of the Italian Resistance. What makes Furst's world so utterly seductive is the tantalizing sliver of time he writes about: not World War II but the period just prior to its beginning in earnest, when secret agents of every stripe were huddled in Paris, and cynical individualists were facing the realization that even they stood to be trapped in the coming crossfire. But they weren't trapped quite yet, and despite the storm clouds, romance still hung in the night air: Weisz, for example, was "living on the diet imagined by every dreamer who ever went to Paris: bread, cheese, and wine"--and women, who were "a classic, and effective, addition to the diet." But politics was part of the diet, too, roughage of a kind, and gradually Weisz moves from writing the occasional antifascist article for a Resistance newspaper to taking a more active role, spurred by his desire to help his lover, living in Berlin, escape the Nazis. Furst fans will delight in identifying the various characters from earlier novels who make cameos here, but that's only a pleasant aperitif, like greeting old friends at your favorite restaurant. The real pleasure is the meal itself, and Furst serves another delicious helping of Paris suspended in a brief moment of time when everyone waited for something to happen, good or bad: "Il faut en fenir" (There must be an end to this). Fortunately, for Furst readers, not quite yet. Bill Ott