Sunday, July 26, 2009

THE SPIES OF WARSAW Review and Giveaway

GIVEAWAY NOW OVER!
WINNERS ANNOUNCED SOON
THE SPIES OF WARSAW

BY ALAN FURST

ABOUT THIS BOOK

An autumn evening in 1937. A German engineer arrives at the Warsaw railway station. Tonight, he will be with his Polish mistress; tomorrow, at a workers’ bar in the city’s factory district, he will meet with the military attaché from the French embassy. Information will be exchanged for money. So begins The Spies of Warsaw, the brilliant new novel by Alan Furst, lauded by The New York Times as “America’s preeminent spy novelist.”

War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, the new military attaché, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal, and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of Warsaw. At the same time, the handsome aristocrat finds himself in a passionate love affair with a Parisian woman of Polish heritage, a lawyer for the League of Nations.

Colonel Mercier must work in the shadows, amid an extraordinary cast of venal and dangerous characters–Colonel Anton Vyborg of Polish military intelligence; the mysterious and sophisticated Dr. Lapp, senior German Abwehr officer in Warsaw; Malka and Viktor Rozen, at work for the Russian secret service; and Mercier’s brutal and vindictive opponent, Major August Voss of SS counterintelligence. And there are many more, some known to Mercier as spies, some never to be revealed.

BINGO'S REVIEW:

This is the first book I have read by Alan Furst and also a bit out of my normal genre comfort zone. However, I was pleasantly surprised as I wasn't sure I would like a period piece about war but I got caught up in this right away and thought the descriptions made me feel like I was right there in Warsaw so kept me reading.

This story takes place in Warsaw about two years before Hitler actually started World War II. The main character is Jean-Francois Mercer who works as the French embassy attache when he suddenly is drawn in as a spy. Mercer is a least likely spy, not the stereotypical spy at all. He is supposed to find out more about how Hitler will attack France and about the strength of their armored warfare. During this time, he is actually approached by Russian spys, falls in love with a lawyer from Paris, and is successful in his spying only to find out the people who gave him the job don't believe him.

During this time, Mercier is hunted by an SS agent and other dangerous spies, yet the excitement and carrying out of Mercier's tasks are what make for a plot that is, I must say, fairly predictable and yet some how satisfying. The ending is what I didn't expect as I am used to a twist or closure and this one left me guessing as to who really some of the people were and what might happen after the book ended. I guess Furst writes often in this style and so his fans are used to being left with little surprise but a lot of wondering.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alan Furst was born and raised in Manhattan. He lived in the South of France—as a Fulbright Teaching fellow at the Faculte des Lettres at the University of Montpellier, then in Seattle, where he worked for the City of Seattle Arts Commission. . He wrote for magazines—travel pieces and book reviews for Esquire, and wrote and published four novels. Returning to France, he lived in Paris, wrote a weekly column for The International Herald Tribune, and wrote his first historical espionage novel, Night Soldiers (Houghton Mifflin, 1988). This was followed by Dark Star (Houghton Mifflin,1991), The Polish Officer (Random House, 1995), The World at Night (Random House, 1996), Red Gold (Random House, 1999), Kingdom of Shadows (Random House, 2000), Blood of Victory (Random House, 2002), Dark Voyage (Random House 2004), The Foreign Correspondent (Random House 2006), and The Spies of Warsaw (Random House 2008).

All the above titles are available from Random House Trade Paperbacks, and in the United Kingdom from Orion Books. His novels have been translated into seventeen languages. In 2002, Alan Furst was featured in an advertisement for Absolut Vodka, for which he wrote the copy, in the style of his novels.


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO DOROTHY AT
PUMP UP THE VOLUME
I HAVE TWO COPIES OF THIS
FASCINATING BOOK TO GIVEAWAY.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO WIN A COPY,
HERE IS ALL YOU HAVE TO DO.

RULES:
U. S. RESIDENTS ONLY
NO P.O. BOXES, PLEASE
INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT

HOW TO ENTER:
+ONE ENTRY: JUST COMMENT BELOW ON WHY YOU WOULD WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK AND LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT

+ONE MORE ENTRY: FOLLOW MY BLOG WITH GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT IN MY LEFT HAND COLUMN. IF YOU ARE THE LUCKY 300TH FOLLOWER, A SPECIAL PRIZE FROM BINGO'S BOOK BIN WILL BE HEADING YOUR WAY!


BE SURE YOU ENTER BY 6 PM, EST, AUGUST 2

THANK YOU AND GOOD LUCK TO ALL!

58 comments:

tawnda said...

I like historical fiction!

tawnda said...

blogger follower

bridget3420 said...

I'd like to win this book because when I was younger I dreamed of being a spy. I know, most kids want to be a singer or a movie star and I was wanting to spy on people.

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

bridget3420 said...

Google friend connect follower

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

Beverly said...

It's historical fiction - is reason enough for me to read a book

beachlover20855[AT]yahoo[DOT]com

Jo-Jo said...

I want to win this one because I love historical fiction from this time period.

I'm also a follower.

joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Marie Burton said...

I would like to read this to add to my WWII collection which I would like to own.
I am already a follower.
Marieburton2004 at yahoo dot com

Neas Nuttiness said...

I want to win this one for my husband. He always complains that I don't get books for him.
Thanks

libneas[at]aol[dot]com

Neas Nuttiness said...

I'm a follower - thank you.

libneas[at]aol[dot]com

gahome2mom said...

I am interested in this book because of the educational aspects of it. Thanks. (homeschooler)

gahome2mom at gmail dot com

HODGEPODGESPV said...

i've read sever book written about this period. each time i have learned something new, that is why i want toread this book please.
spvaughan yahoo com

HODGEPODGESPV said...

i have to follow you so i can out which books i might of might not want to read.
spvaughan yahoo co

bermudaonion said...

Another great giveaway! I'd love to read this because I love spy novels. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

wheresmyrain said...

i would like to read this book becuase i always enjoy fiction with a historical element, thanks for hosting.
wheresmyrain at yahoo dot com

holdenj said...

This would go nicely with the WWII, historical fiction kick I've been on! Looks great. This would be my first Furst novel as well.

JHolden955 (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks.

Bingo said...

Thanks all for keeping up with my giveaways...yikes! Got behind and playing catch up--great for you but I'm going batty...BTW "holdenj", my
"first Furst"? Now why didn't I think of that! Thanks :D

Searcher said...

I would love to win this book because it is about a time period I love and it is written by Alan Furst.

Thanks for the chance. LooseEnds AT Snet DOT Net

Searcher said...

I am a follower!

Sue said...

I love WWII era books. This really looks like a good one. Thanks for the giveaway~

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Shawna said...

Shawna Lewis
weloveourdogs@juno.com

I read his book back in 1988 it was something soilder's and I remember really liking it so i am sure this one will be just as good if nor better :o)
Thanks for the chance to win

Shawna said...

Shawna Lewis
weloveourdogs@juno.com
I am a follower of yours

Valorie said...

I would like to win it because I love, love, love history and I am always looking for a good historical fiction novel.

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Valorie said...

I am already a follower.

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

nfmgirl said...

I've always enjoyed books about Warsaw and WWII and Hitler. Please count me in! Thanks!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I follow

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Misusedinnocence said...

I love books from this time period. Would really like to read this.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I follow.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Paula said...

Sounds like a really great read! I love reading about this time in history. I am a follower. Thanks for having the giveaway.

Beth said...

This looks fascinating! I'd love to give it a try!

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Beth said...

I'm a follower.

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Gwendolyn B. said...

I'd like to read this because I really love historical fiction and enjoy reading about this specific time period. Alan Furst is a new-to-me author, but the description sounds very good. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Alyce said...

I love reading books about World War II, so I would like to win!

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Alyce said...

I follow your blog.

DarcyO said...

This sounds great. I love spy stories.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

DarcyO said...

I follow with Google Friend Connect.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

dag888888 said...

I would like to be entered, thanks!

dag888888[at]yahoo[dot]com

dag888888 said...

I already follow!

dag888888[at]yahoo[dot]com

DCMetroreader said...

I would like to win this book b/c I enjoy boks about WWII.

Thanks for the giveaway!
Kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

DCMetroreader said...

Follower

Bookfool said...

I'd like to win this book because I love the time period.

I'm a follower on Google Reader, but I added myself to whatever that jazz is in the sidebar. Basically, I have no idea what I just got myself into. ;)

bookfoolery at yahoo dot com

Shawna said...

Shawna Lewis
we loveourdogs@juno.com

Wow this looks amazing thanks for the chance to win it ;o)

Shawna said...

Shawna Lewis
we loveourdogs@juno.com

I follow you on Google Friend

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

I would enjoy reading this book with my father. It would be a good catalyst for great conversation.

mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

ChristyJan said...

I'd like to read this book because like you, it sounds like it is out of my "normal genre comfort zone" and I need to expand my reading horizons. lol

hawkes(at)citlink.net

ChristyJan said...

I follow

hawkes(at)citlink.net

catss99 said...

I've always been interested in this time period.

amanda
catss99@yahoo.com

catss99 said...

I follow.
amanda
catss99@yahoo.com

Serena said...

this would be great for the WWII reading challenge. I've already entered on Diary of an Eccentric, so here I am doubling my chances! Sorry I missed this tour on the blogs.

I follow your blog.

savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

Kaye said...

Another great one, Karen! I'd love to read this one for the WWII challenge. It also sounds like a book hubby would read, but me first!

florida982002[at]yahoo[dot]com

Kaye said...

you know I am a follower, Tootsie of your fabulous blog. Closing in on the 300 followers. Kudos to you, my friend.


florida982002[at]yahoo[dot]com

Gwendolyn B. said...

Here's my blog post: http://aseaofbooks.blogspot.com/2009/07/not-my-giveaways.html

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Esme said...

I love WW11 novels

thanks chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

Esme said...

I follow

chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

Jake Lsewhere said...

Looks like a good book, please enter me into this drawing.

I'm also a Blogger follower.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
jake.lsewhere[at]gmail.com

Debs Desk said...

I would love to win I love books from this era. Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Debs Desk said...

I am a follower.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Rebecca N. said...

You had me at Hitler. I find that particular time in history quite interesting. Thanks for the giveaway!

Rebecca N. said...

I follow your blog on google friend!

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