Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst


         I didn't like this book. In general, war stories are not my cup of tea, and WWII, during which this book was set, was an evil time filled with evil men and complacent populations. Neither the story line nor the characters swept me away, and so I trudged through this book to the end by sheer will power. I cannot recommend it. However, if spy novels and WWII based tales are your cup of tea, you may be more impressed than I was.

          In 1938, as Hitler was starting to make his moves toward world domination, a movie was being shot in France. American movie star, Frederic Stahl is sent by Warner Brothers to star in this foreign film. While in France, the Germans start hectoring him, wanting to use him as part of their pro-Nazi, Pro-German propaganda process. He resists, but soon discovers there can be nasty consequences to refusing to cooperate with these people.

          He chooses, however, to offer his services to the American consulate in France, and becomes a small part of their spy network - merely a minor courier, but soon finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into the intrigue and danger. He cannot leave France till his movie is complete, unless he is willing to throw away his acting career in the US. He holds on by the skin of his teeth. After the movie finally wraps, he finds it is more difficult than he expected to get out of France. He must pull strings, and the big wigs at Warner Brothers must grease the wheels to outmaneuver the Germans trying to stop him. Even with W-B's assistance, he must take his fate into his own hands, doing unto an assassin before the assassin can do unto him in order to make it home.

          The book had some very tense moments, but mostly it was just kind of depressing. I would advise giving it a pass.

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