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A decent follow-up to 'The World At Night', 'Red Gold' continues the saga of Jean Casson's struggle to survive both morally and physically in Nazi occupied and collaborating France.
I prefer Furst's novels that center on Eastern European characters ('the Polish Officer', 'Dark Star', 'Night Soldiers') instead of French, but it is hard to deny that even though it isn't a major Furst novel, it is still a highly readable one. Using Jean Casson allows Furst to explore the world of those French collaborators, profiteers, and elites of Pétain's France who refused to see the German occupiers for what they were. Furst clearly demarks the fragmented France that was left after Germany's invasion and the Vichy collaboration.
This novel should be read closely with 'A World at Night'. Like I wrote about that novel, even though I find this to be a minor Furst novel, it is context that matters. Most spy novelists don't approach the art or the skill of a minor Furst novel. So enjoy.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
This latest Furst is another great, atmospheric story of Europe during World War II -- the ordinary and not-so-ordinary human beings who lived every day through terrible times, doing what they thought they had to do just to survive but also to make the world better. Furst takes the reader back into a world we can only imagine now, and brings it completely to life. The grubby details of daily life under totalitarian regimes (in this case, Paris during the Occupation)are very real in Furst's telling, as is the nature of heroism -- ordinary people impelled, for their own reasons, to brave acts of resistance, sabotage, and espionage. George Guidall's reading heightens the atmosphere and brings the characters to life -- his dry, wry, world-weary tone is just perfect for Furst's works, and his adept characterizations help us visualize these people.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Red Gold the most enjoyable?
George Guidall does not read this book he acts and interprets with seemingly effortless clarity and deftness. It helps if one has read the previous volume, but is not essential. The atmosphere Furst creates is sometimes uncomfortably real, nail biting and tense.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Red Gold?
The skill full plotting is a joy to hear, with sudden reversals, deaths unexpected and a satisfying resolution.
What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Guidall is a master! Yes, really. No other reader that I have heard brings such effective characterisation; he is male, female and a child, by turns. Most of all his seamless phrasing really allows the listener to relax in the hands of a master; he can scan the longest sentence for the natural rise and fall - no tacked-on unexpected phrases or premature sentence conclusions. He is the best I know - and I know plenty!
Any additional comments?
Furst tends to put in more sex scenes than I would like - they are well handled, but occasionally I find myself saying out loud, "Oh do get on!"