Monday, 21 August 2000

Alan Furst: The World at Night (1996)

Edition: HarperCollins, 1997
Review number: 580

A French film producer in Paris at the time of the German occupation, the only thing Jean-Luc Casson wants to do is to continue making films, in the same way that millions of other French people wanted to continue their normal lives. Despite his best efforts, he manages to get involved with the Resistance and with the German counter-Resistance, and at the same time falls in love.

A thriller about the French Resistance is nothing new, and neither is the idea of a reluctant hero, a normal person who doesn't want to get involved. Both of these aspects of the novel are very well done. Casson is a believable central character, and the Parisian background is convincing, feeling very French. It is clear that Furst is indebted to writers like Eric Ambler and Georges Simenon, but that is hardly a problem. Just to read this novel is enough to convince me that Furst is one of the best thriller authors writing today.

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