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Night Soldiers


Night Soldiers Cover



Reading Group Guide

1. How does Alan Furst use the crosscurrents of local jealousies and feuds at the start of Night Soldiers as a means of animating the plot?

2. Discuss Khristos experience at the training school in Moscow. How does it prepare him for a later career in the NKVD?

3. A decade after the action of Night Soldiers ends, what would you expect Khristo, Ilya Goldman, and Faye Berns to be doing?

4. Alan Furst has called Night Soldiers a “panoramic spy novel.” What do you think he means by this description?

5. Examine the character of Robert Eidenbaugh. In what ways does he represent the values of America in the 1940s?

6. Critics praise Fursts ability to re-create the atmosphere of World War II—era Europe. What elements of description make the setting come alive? How can you account for the fact that the settings seem authentic even though you probably have no firsthand knowledge of the times and places he writes about?

7. Fursts novels have been described as “historical novels,” and as “spy novels.” He calls them “historical spy novels.” Some critics have insisted that they are, simply, novels. How does his work compare with other spy novels youve read? What does he do that is the same? Different? If you owned a bookstore, in what section would you display his books?

8. Furst is often praised for his minor characters, which have been described as “sketched out in a few strokes.” Do you have a favorite in this book? Characters in his books often take part in the action for a few pages and then disappear. What do you think becomes of them? How do you know?

9. Consider Fursts use of suspense in Night Soldiers. How does he build suspense? Discuss different methods he uses in the novel.

10. Love affairs are always prominent in Fursts novels, and “love in time of war” is a recurring theme. What role does the love affair play in Night Soldiers?

Product Details

Furst, Alan
Random House Trade
Furst, Alan
New York
World war, 1939-1945
Historical - General
Historical fiction
War stories
World War, 19
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Number:
1st Trade Paper ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
July 9, 2002
Grade Level:
8 x 5.2 x 1.03 in .75 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Military
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Night Soldiers Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Random House Trade - English 9780375760006 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Intelligent and absorbing....An unusual viewpoint, solid research and unobtrusively elegant writing make this pure pleasure to read."
"Review" by , "Intelligent, ambitious, absorbing....The history is deftly incorporated; the viewpoint civilized; the characters and the settings picturesque; the adventures exciting; the writing pungent."
"Review" by , "Evocative, moving....Furst shows a remarkable talent, integrating details about the cultures of Spain, France and Eastern Europe with a fascinating story of the constantly changing, constantly unpredictable events of that world at war."
"Review" by , "Night Soldiers has everything the best thrillers offer — excitement, intrigue, romance — plus grown-up writing, characters that matter, and a crisp, carefully researched portrait of the period in which our own postwar world was shaped."
"Review" by , "The conventions are familiar, but Furst's talent for creating thumbnail sketches of his players, the attention he pays to detail — what his characters eat and wear and read, the way the weather mocks or complements the dire circumstances — makes everything seem newly minted. It's those other books and movies depicting wartime intrigue that feel clichéd, never mind that they came first. Furst writes with the vividness of an originator....A great entertainer, Furst would probably be considered our finest practicing historical novelist if he weren't writing espionage novels."
"Review" by , "A spy novel, a war story, an adventure, a survivor's tale — Night Soldiers is all this and more."
"Review" by , "An engaging writer and Esquire contributor, Furst deploys communists, fascists, and American naifs in Europe's theater of war and supports the action and romance with well-researched detail."
"Review" by , "Night Soldiers is an atmospheric journey through turbulent lands at a turbulent time, not so much a thriller as it is a panoramic, historical adventure."
"Review" by , "One of the very best novels ever written about the inner world of Soviet intelligence....This fine novel, in effect the memoir so many did not live to write for themselves, is a triumph of historical imagination."
"Review" by , "Furst's ability to recreate the terrors of espionage is matchless."
"Synopsis" by , Night Soldiers masterfully re-creates the European world of 1934-1945: the struggle between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia for Eastern Europe, the last desperate gaiety of the beau monde in 1937 Paris, and the guerrilla operations with the French underground in 1944.
"Synopsis" by , Night Soldiers is the first of Alan Furst's highly acclaimed novels recreating the atmosphere and tension of the worlds of espionage and resistance in Europe in the 1930s and World War II.
"Synopsis" by , US
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