Alan Furst


Gripping works of history recommended a master of the espionage tale.



Alan Furst Since the 1988 publication of Night Soldiers, Alan Furst has proven himself one of our era's masters of the dark and seductive literary art, the espionage tale. In novels like The Spies of the Balkans, Furst creates tales of daring and double-dealing in World War II Europe that yield incisive portraits of human nature under pressure. Here, the author shares three books that open windows on his love of history.


Books by Alan Furst






Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris

By Graham Robb


"I'm a huge Graham Robb fan, he's an historical geographer, which is what I would have been if I hadn't started writing novels. Graham Robb has an extraordinary grasp of why nations, and cities, are what they are--their complex history, weather, language, geography and--surely in the case of the French!--their wondrously elaborate eccentricities. He can also be wildly funny, and I'm not kidding--the reader will laugh out loud, and for a long time."







Dark Harbor

By Nathan Ward


"This is the true history, the back-story reality, of the Brando film "On the Waterfront," essentially the tale of the mobsters who ran the New York docks in the 1940s. "Dark Harbor" is a superb evocation, a re-creation done with scrupulous research, of the thugs, the longshoremen, and the brave souls--like "Terry Malloy" in the film-- who rose up and fought the mob."






Koestler: The Literary Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic

By Michael Scammell


"Arthur Koestler, one of the greatest literary voices of the mid-century, author of "Darkness at Noon," was a complicated individual, and Michael Scammell's biography is a careful examination of the man and his times. Adventure isn't really the right word, there's no way Koestler should have still been alive by the 1950s. But he was, despite a very dark side to his personality, which is gracefully handled by his biographer."


Gripping history by a leading agent of the espionage tale.

by Jeepgerhard on ‎08-20-2010 09:23 AM

i've enjoyed Alan Furst's books and look forward to paperback of "Spies of Balkans"; ADORED Graham Robb's "Parisians" and his history of France, including its bicycle lore and his bicycle theory.


April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."