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Kingdom of Shadows: A Novel

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Kingdom of Shadows: A Novel Cover

 

 

Author Q & A

Alan Furst describes the area of his interest as “near history.” His novels are set between 1933–the date of Adolf Hitler’s ascent, with the first Stalinist purges in Moscow coming a year later–and 1945, which saw the end of the war in Europe. The history of this period is well documented. Furst uses books by journalists of the time, personal memoirs–some privately published–autobiographies (many of the prominent individuals of the period wrote them), war and political histories, and characteristic novels written during those years.

“But,” he says, “there is a lot more”–for example, period newsreels, magazines, and newspapers, as well as films and music, especially swing and jazz. “I buy old books,” Furst says, “and old maps, and I once bought, while living in Paris, the photo archive of a French stock house that served newspapers of Paris during the Occupation, all the prints marked as cleared by the German censorship.” In addition, Furst uses intelligence histories of the time, many of them by British writers.

Alan Furst has lived for long periods in Paris and in the south of France. “In Europe,” he says, “the past is still available. I remember a blue neon sign, in the Eleventh Arrondissement in Paris, that had possibly been there since the 1930s.” He recalls that on the French holiday le jour des morts (All Saints’ Day, November 1) it is customary for Parisians to go to the Père Lachaise Cemetery. “Before the collapse of Polish communism, the Polish émigrés used to gather at the tomb of Maria Walewska. They would burn rows of votive candles and play Chopin on a portable stereo. It was always raining on that day, and a dozen or so Poles would stand there, under black umbrellas, with the music playing, as a kind of silent protest against the communist regime. The spirit of this action was history alive–as though the entire past of that country, conquered again and again, was being brought back to life.”

The heroes of Alan Furst’s novels include a Bulgarian defector from the Soviet intelligence service, a foreign correspondent for Pravda, a Polish cartographer who works for the army general staff, a French producer of gangster films, and a Hungarian émigré who works with a diplomat at the Hungarian legation in Paris. “These are characters in novels,” Furst says, “but people like them existed; people like them were courageous people with ordinary lives and, when the moment came, they acted with bravery and determination. I simply make it possible for them to tell their stories.”

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375506802
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Furst, Alan
Subject:
Espionage/Intrigue
Subject:
War
Subject:
Hungarians
Subject:
World War, 1939-1945
Subject:
War & Military
Subject:
Fiction-Espionage/Intrigue
Subject:
Fiction-War & Military
Subject:
Fiction : Espionage/Intrigue
Subject:
Fiction : War & Military
Subject:
Fiction : General
Subject:
Fiction : Historical - General
Subject:
Fiction : Espionage
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
World War, 19
Subject:
Hungary
Subject:
France
Subject:
War stories
Subject:
Spy stories
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Contemporary Thrillers
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Technothrillers
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Edition Description:
Us
Publication Date:
20010101
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
239

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Military
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Technothrillers

Kingdom of Shadows: A Novel
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Product details 239 pages Random House - English 9780375506802 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , His uncle, Count Janos Polanyi, has recruited Hungarian Nicholas Morath for a secret mission on the eve of World War II.
"Synopsis" by , In spymaster Alan Furst's most electrifying thriller to date, Hungarian aristocrat Nicholas Morath—a hugely charismatic hero—becomes embroiled in a daring and perilous effort to halt the Nazi war machine in eastern Europe.

From the Hardcover edition.

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