This morning I’m at local Starbucks trying to crank out a long overdue post. After suffering through a recent blogging as well as reading slump, I haven’t posted anything for over a month. Well, time to change that. And what better way to get blogging again but with a quick review of Alan Furst’s novel The Foreign Correspondent. Think about it, if a person haven’t been blogging much lately, why not get back in the swing of things by talking about a novel that’s light, smart and reasonably entertaining. Enter The Foreign Correspondent.
The Foreign Correspondent is the fourth novel by Alan Furst I’ve read this year. Some of you might remember from one of my earlier posts, that all of Furst’s novels I’ve encountered so far share a number of common elements. The Foreign Correspondent is no exception. Set in Furst’s favorite city of Paris in 1938, it follows the adventures of Carlo Weisz, an Italian exile living in Paris. A foreign correspondent by trade, while covering battles in the Spanish Civil War he finds himself recalled to Paris to serve as editor for one of the City of Light’s many underground Italian newspapers. Right after becoming editor of the clandestine publication Liberazione, Weisz draws the attention of host of shadowy international players including the British and Italian secret services, French State Police and a small but formidable cell of the anti-Nazi German covert dissidents. Even though he’s an anti-Fascist committed to battling Mussolini, Hitler, Franco and their many agents, he nevertheless finds himself as a somewhat reluctant pawn in the struggle against European totalitarianism. Those attempting to enlist his assistance also includes his lover, a beautiful and aristocratic German noblewoman who’s secretly working against the Nazis and trying to stay one step ahead of the Gestapo.
Like I said earlier, Furst’s novels are light and fast-paced, but at the same time smart and entertaining. They’re also perfect for my Pan-European Lives series because the action takes place across Europe spanning multiple countries. (In this particular novel by Furst, while set mostly in Paris there’s also side trips to Spain, Germany and Czechoslovakia.) With that in mind I’m quite smitten by them. They’re the perfect books to read on the bus after a long and trying day. I’ve also found myself on more than one occasion engrossed in one of Furst’s novels while lying in bed at night. But I think it’s significant that even though his novels share similar themes and parameters they haven’t felt cookie-cutter or predictable. If anything, I’ve found them considerably addictive. So get used to seeing more novels by Alan Furst featured on this blog.