Odessa - city of Jewish gangsters, birthplace of Trotsky and ace spy Sidney Reilly, a mixture of chicken markets and Palladian architecture. The story begins on a Black Sea freighter in the winter of 1940. A.A. Serebin, poet and journalist, is on his way to Istanbul to effect the release of a former lover. The novel brings Serebin and his ...
Odessa - city of Jewish gangsters, birthplace of Trotsky and ace spy Sidney Reilly, a mixture of chicken markets and Palladian architecture. The story begins on a Black Sea freighter in the winter of 1940. A.A. Serebin, poet and journalist, is on his way to Istanbul to effect the release of a former lover. The novel brings Serebin and his protector, police officer Ascher Levitch, into contact with a foreign espionage network centred in the Russian emigre communities of Paris, Berlin and Belgrade, as well as in Odessa itself. BLOOD OF VICTORY is a panoramic novel, moving between Istanbul, Bucharest, Paris, Sofia and the Black Sea coast, involving Turkish secret police, Russian chekhists, French aristocrats, Roumanian millionaires, Polish exiles and British spies. It is Alan Furst at his uniquely brilliant best. 'Furst's ability to recreate the terrors of espionage is matchless' - Robert Harris 'Nothing can be like watching CASABLANCA for the first time, but Furst comes closer than anyone has in years' - Time
Furst is a highly acclaimed writer of WWII spy fiction. His realistic settings, characters, and plots are far removed from the James Bond genre. In this story, a Russian emigre journalist, I.A. Serebin, is recruited to Istanbul by the British Secret Service, to stop Germany from importing Romanian oil. From Bucharest to Paris, Beirut and Belgrade Serebin sets up a diversion of oil barges going down river. Furst's world is a gray, lonely and dangerous one with great authenticity and historical accuracy. Things are not black and white, and moral ambiguities exist for those fighting fascism.
Apr 12, 2008
Victory well written
What a great series. I dont know which of Alan Furst's novels set in pre WWII Europe I liked most. One is better than the next. Whether set in Paris or Berlin or Budapest, the period background is perfect, the characters believable and the hero flawed but winning. I hope there will be more from this great story teller..
Publishers Weekly, 2002-07-08 Critics who thought Furst's previous novel Kingdom of Shadows lacked a clearly linear plot will find much to praise him for in his toothsome new historical espionage thriller. The novel (named for the Romanian oil vital to the German war machine) describes a daring operation to disrupt the flow of that oil from the Ploesti fields in Romania to Germany by sinking a group of barges at a shallow point in the Danube in early 1941. The motley group attempting this maneuver barely holds together: its members include a sultry French aristocrat, hounded Russian Jews, even Serbian thugs. And while the tale features the same period details as its predecessor, and stretches from Istanbul to Bucharest with detours in Paris and London, it reaffirms the signature Slavic focus of the author's earlier books like Dark Star. This is literally personified in the novel's protagonist, the dogged Russian migr I.A. Serebin, who has to dodge every kind of secret police from the Gestapo to Stalin's NKVD (" `Why, Serge?' `Why not?' That was, Serebin thought, glib and ingenuous, but until a better two-word history of the USSR came along, it would do"). Diehard Furst fans will appreciate the recurrence of several secondary characters from Kingdom of Shadows (especially a certain heavyset Hungarian spymaster). But even newcomers will be ensnared by Furst's delicious recreations of a world sliding headlong into oblivion (wonderfully illustrated by Serebin having to drive a car off a cliff to escape with his life at the climax). Maps. Agent, Amanda Urban. (Sept. 3) Forecast: In a full-on campaign to make Furst a household name, Random House is reissuing his six earlier novels in trade paperback. Four are already out, and the last two (Dark Star and Night Soldiers) will be released at the same time as Blood of Victory. This, plus the attention Furst got for Kingdom of Shadows, could easily propel Blood of Victory onto bestseller lists. 5-city author tour.
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