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2 Beaverton Mystery- A to Z

This title in other editions

Dark Voyage: A Novel


Dark Voyage: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780812967968
ISBN10: 0812967968
Condition: Standard
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Reading Group Guide

1. When he thinks he may be “blown to pieces” by a minesweepers cannon, DeHaan decides that this would be “an honorable end”-preferable to interrogation and execution in Germany. How does DeHaans notion of honor guide his actions throughout the novel? How would Kolb define honor? How would Maria Bromen?

2. How does DeHaan express remorse? Does he ever show signs of vulnerability?

3. Though brief, Patapoufs role in the novel is pivotal. How-if at all-does it alter DeHaans attitude toward his mission? Why is Fursts brisk description of Patapouf so effective?

4. Why does Furst devote his last paragraph to Maria Bromen? How has her relationship with DeHaan evolved? Do you feel you fully understand her by the end of the novel, or does she remain slightly mysterious? What does her life story reveal about the Soviet Union during World War II?

5. We learn a great deal about DeHaan: his literary interests, his fathers occupation, his taste in women, his sense of duty. What more would you like to know about him? What would we observe if Furst had narrated a few of DeHaans scenes from a different point of view-for example, Marias?

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 facet 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. At the end of an Alan Furst novel, the hero is always still alive. What becomes of Fursts heroes? Will they survive the war? Does Furst know what becomes of them? Would it be better if they were somewhere safe and sound, to live out the war in comfort? If not, why not?

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

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Eric Tegenfeldt, January 3, 2013 (view all comments by Eric Tegenfeldt)
Alan Furst has always been a favorite but I especially enjoyed the nautical setting in this novel, and the associated details which he so skillfully researches and weaves into his stories.
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Craig Ensz, April 7, 2010 (view all comments by Craig Ensz)
Suspense and history, can't get much better than that. Just like the British attempt and successes to break the German enigma codes, this spy novel takes place on a grand scale from Britain to Sweden. The Santa Rosa and her captain are on a path very dark with intrigue.
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Janet Anderson, October 9, 2007 (view all comments by Janet Anderson)
Furst is a master at portraying ordinary people who do extraordinary things in the time just before and during World War II. The Dutch Merchant Marine Captain is willing to serve, but he only gradually learns the extent of the danger to himself, his crew and his ship. Characters play minor roles in various books, and then become the protagonist in another, tying many of his thrillers together. I had to read all of them!
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(13 of 24 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Furst, Alan
Random House Trade
Furst, Alan
Historical - General
War & Military
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
May 31, 2005
Grade Level:
8 x 5.1 x .65 in .45 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
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Technothrillers

Dark Voyage: A Novel Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812967968 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "It's no secret by now that Furst is a superlative chronicler of World War II, and his new novel is a splendid addition to an accomplished body of work that includes The Polish Officer and the bestselling Blood of Victory. His mastery of the atmosphere of that era — its brusque heroes and heroines, its sudden explosions of violence, its strange black glamour — is the fruit of tireless research and an empathetic imagination. His hero this time around is a blunt Dutch sea captain, E.M. DeHaan, whose sturdy but aging merchant vessel is pressed into service on behalf of the British Navy by the exiled Dutch naval intelligence group in London. Disguising his boat as a neutral Spanish freighter, DeHaan somberly and grudgingly takes it several times into harm's way, ferrying British commandos on a North African raid, taking munitions to the beleaguered British garrison on Crete and then, most dangerous of all, on a secret mission to Sweden's Baltic coast. The marine details are so authentic the reader can smell the oil and the brine, and the characters who come aboard and into the captain's life — a valuable Polish naval officer in exile, a Jewish refugee who becomes the ship's doctor, a Russian woman journalist fleeing the Soviets, with whom DeHaan enjoys a brief and dry-eyed romance — are sketched with concise brilliance. The book casts such a spell with its exact evocations of time, place and language that one could swear Furst was a Brit writing out of his own experience in 1941 rather than an American writing today. Agent, Amanda Urban. Forecast: Furst has been rapidly developing both his skills and his reputation as a master of that still-alluring world, and this is arguably his finest performance to date, likely to confirm old admirers and win many new ones." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Mr. Furst has both a novelist's imagination and a historian's antennae for the nuances of unsteady World War II allegiances....Dark Voyage is vintage cinema already."
"Review" by , "[T]hough Furst has been producing these intelligent thrillers at a fairly steady pace, I have to confess that I still can't get enough of them....For all you aficionados of World War II thrillers, summer won't be over until you read this one."
"Review" by , "No novelist has shown greater understanding of the macro- and micropolitics of occupied and neutral Europe during World War II, or of the threads of daily life in such a vast panorama of places."
"Review" by , "[A] master of understatement, in both language and action....Furst's Dark Voyage is just that, a voyage into a dark, shadowed world where enough lies construct a truth that almost but never quite emerges into the light."
"Review" by , "[B]ristles with plot, characters and atmosphere....[It] has the ingredients of several genres...but it rises above all of them....[Furst's] novels remind us that these days a great deal of exceptionally good American writing is being done in...'popular' fiction."
"Review" by , "With profound understanding of the historic panorama, Furst subtly evokes the emotional and mental highs that resided at that time, even within the most ordinary and anonymous of citizens. Fans will not be disappinted by this spare but never terse adventure tale."
"Review" by , "[A]rtfully constructed prose....Realistic but still grand: a gripping odyssey of ordinary men in extraordinary times."
"Review" by , "Dark Voyage...has all the elements of his best books: a worldly but ultimately incorruptible main character; an electric atmosphere of threat; and a sensuous love affair....Dark Voyage is one of Furst's best books."
"Review" by , "Anchored by a suspenseful plot, a slew of particularly well-articulated major and minor characters acquire a depth not commonly found in fact-action reads....[W]ith a spare, poetic sensibility, Furst tells a nuanced personal story..."
"Review" by , "Furst lulls us into the atmosphere, allows us to imbibe his descriptions and then, in the last 50 pages, turns the screws. The denouement of Dark Voyage is both breathless and utterly relaxed....If he ever breaks a sweat, it doesn't show."
"Synopsis" by , On the eve of World War II, the captain of a tramp ship is recruited by Dutch Naval intelligence to smuggle arms and supplies past the watchful eyes of the German Navy in this tale of espionage.
"Synopsis" by , “In the first nineteen months of European war, from September 1939 to March of 1941, the island nation of Britain and her allies lost, to U-boat, air, and sea attack, to mines and maritime disaster, one thousand five hundred and ninety-six merchant vessels. It was the job of the Intelligence Division of the Royal Navy to stop it, and so, on the last day of April 1941 . . .”

May 1941. At four in the morning, a rust-streaked tramp freighter steams up the Tagus River to dock at the port of Lisbon. She is the Santa Rosa, she flies the flag of neutral Spain and is in Lisbon to load cork oak, tinned sardines, and drums of cooking oil bound for the Baltic port of Malmö.

But she is not the Santa Rosa. She is the Noordendam, a Dutch freighter. Under the command of Captain Eric DeHaan, she sails for the Intelligence Division of the British Royal Navy, and she will load detection equipment for a clandestine operation on the Swedish coast-a secret mission, a dark voyage.

A desperate voyage. One more battle in the spy wars that rage through the back alleys of the ports, from elegant hotels to abandoned piers, in lonely desert outposts, and in the souks and cafés of North Africa. A battle for survival, as the merchant ships die at sea and Britain-the last opposition to Nazi German-slowly begins to starve.

A voyage of flight, a voyage of fugitives-for every soul aboard the Noordendam. The Polish engineer, the Greek stowaway, the Jewish medical officer, the British spy, the Spaniards who fought Franco, the Germans who fought Hitler, the Dutch crew itself. There is no place for them in occupied France; they cannot go home.

From Alan Furst-whom The New York Times calls Americas preeminent spy novelist-here is an epic tale of war and espionage, of spies and fugitives, of love in secret hotel rooms, of courage in the face of impossible odds. Dark Voyage is taut with suspense and pounding with battle scenes; it is authentic, powerful, and brilliant.

From the Hardcover edition.

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