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Extended Audio Sample Dark Star Audiobook, by Alan Furst Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.3 out of 54.3 out of 54.3 out of 54.3 out of 54.3 out of 5 4.30 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan Furst Narrator: George Guidall Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Night Soldiers Series Release Date: March 1991 ISBN: 9781436125536
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Paris, Moscow, Berlin, and Prague, 1937. In the back alleys of nighttime Europe, war is already under way. André Szara, survivor of the Polish pogroms and the Russian civil wars and a foreign correspondent for Pravda, is co-opted by the NKVD, the Soviet secret intelligence service, and becomes a full-time spymaster in Paris. As deputy director of a Paris network, Szara finds his own star rising when he recruits an agent in Berlin who can supply crucial information.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Outclasses any spy novel I have ever read.”

    Richard Condon, author of The Manchurian Candidate

  • “A rich, deeply moving novel of suspense that is equal parts espionage thriller, European history, and love story…The time frame of the late 1930s on the Continent was once the special property of Eric Ambler and Graham Greene; Mr. Furst has ventured into their fictional territory and brought out a story that is equally original and engaging.”

    New York Times

  • “Captures the murky allegiances and moral ambiguity of Europe on the brink of war…Nothing can be like watching Casablanca for the first time. But Furst comes closer than anyone has in years.”

    Time

  • “A jewel—a gripping thriller that is also a fascinating history lesson.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “Compelling…An excellent novel of history, betrayal and, most important, survival…While the story offers enough twists and turns to satisfy the most ardent spy fan, author Alan Furst transcends genre. This is a novel with heart.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Intelligent, provocative, and gripping…Furst depicts the historical, geographic, and political context in lucid and highly readable prose…beautifully and compellingly told.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “George Guidall…delivers an outstanding performance. His mastery of multiple foreign accents seems limitless, and he handles female voices exceptionally well. His nuanced pacing and changes of tone heighten the action and characters’ emotions without overdramatization.”

    AudioFile

  • “An intriguing combination of spy story and historical novel…Entertaining, exciting, and thought-provoking reading.”

    Library Journal

  • “Kafka, Dostoyevsky, and le Carré sit up all night and talk to each other and this is what you get. It is absolutely wonderful.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J | 2/19/2014

    " At times a bit hard to read, as there is so much information to remember, but for the most part thrilling, my heart beating in my chest while I read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 2/12/2014

    " It's been a long, long time since I've finished a book, slept on it, and started over the next day. Dark Star is so thick, and rich with plot, character, and place that there was no way I could get it the first time through, and even after the second reading I could go back for more. I've been on a bit of an Alan Furst tear: Night Soldiers, The Spies of Warsaw, and Spies of the Balkans, but this one takes the cake. Deep into the heart and mind of Russian intelligence, deep into the machinations of Hitler and Stalin, as deep as you can get into the soul of the protagonist, this is a hell of a book. Most of the other reviewers go over the story, check them out, but beyond the story this is history, philosophy, poetry, and damned good writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Billymojo | 1/29/2014

    " A little choppy in spots. And perhaps slow at times. But fascinating overall. If I were interested in genres, I'd file this under historical fiction rather than spy thriller. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carroll | 1/27/2014

    " I've read a ton of Alan Furst's novels--and after reading and then listening to Dark Star, I think this one is the best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 1/19/2014

    " If you want to escape into the world of espionage, intrigue and suspense then read Dark Star. Furst tells a story filled with such vivid detail that you feel you have been transported to occupied lands in 1939. I read Dark Star during my morning commute and found myself waiting for uniformed soldiers to board the bus or stop me while I crossed the foot bridge connecting Kentucky and Ohio and ask for my papers. To avoid any spoilers, Furst ends the book in a surprising fashion that was pleasing and unexpected. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becca | 1/16/2014

    " One of the best WW2 novels I have ever read. It completely captures the uncertainty of the time and provides an interesting insight into the political intrigue in Eastern Europe. It's gritty and dark and incredibly engrossing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Al | 1/10/2014

    " A very interesting view of Europe during the time period 1937-40 through the eyes of a Soviet NKVD agent. If you enjoy reading about WWII in Europe and also like spy thrillers, you will definitely enjoy this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brandin Drake chapman | 1/10/2014

    " Loved this book! intelligent, makes you think "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michal | 12/29/2013

    " heads and shoulders above John LeCarre. The best espionage novel I've read to date. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 12/14/2013

    " My enjoyment of spy novels started with Robert Ludlum, who tells a fast-paced tale with fairly shallow characters and improbably dialogue. Alan Furst, on the other hand, is a thoughtful writer who fully develops his characters and weaves an intriguing story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lou | 12/10/2013

    " Magical realism with a Russian twist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Breezy | 12/8/2013

    " Jewish journalist turned Soviet spy in 1938 Berlin. What's not to love?! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joseph Donovan | 11/12/2013

    " Great spy / historical novel - very atmospheric "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yael | 11/1/2013

    " I've read almost all of Alan Furst's historical espionage novels, they are absolutely superb. However, Dark Star is my favorite. It's simply a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruth | 9/24/2013

    " I loved this historical spy novel set in late 1930s Europe. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tyler Collison | 9/17/2013

    " Does all the things you want an espionage novel to do. It takes off running, and Furst takes you with him through all facets of protagonist Andre Szara's network. It's a long read, but it's suspenseful through the book's final moments. You can't help but feel as though you're reading a movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas Hoffman | 5/20/2013

    " Very Interesting to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerry | 8/26/2012

    " Alan Furst is one of my most favourite authors. I love this genre and he is a master of it. He has a very easy to read writing style. I have read almost all of his books now and have enjoyed every one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joyce Scrivner | 8/17/2012

    " Spies - Germany, Russian, England - at the beginning of WWII. Kristalnicht, the invasion of Poland, terror and effort to prevent misery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Penney Kolb | 7/13/2012

    " Alan Furst at his best. As someone who would know told me, this gives a tremendously realistic picture of this kind of activity. I highly recommend it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 6/27/2012

    " This book did have some spots that were rather bland, but overall an exciting book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 6/17/2012

    " Oh my god. My new passion: Alan Furst. I must read everything he's written. This one is a brilliant evocation of between-the-wars eastern Europe, spy craft, Soviet social currents, politics, relationships, travel. It's all perfect perfect perfect. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy Potter | 2/24/2012

    " Enjoying Furst's historical approach to espionage writing. He pays close attention to the cultural and practical details of interwar Europe. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 12/11/2011

    " The best book by one of my favorites. You don't HAVE to read them in order but read them all! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Watoosa | 7/29/2011

    " I didn't think this was nearly as good as Night Soldiers, but it was still diverting and eye-opening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jodi | 6/28/2011

    " Very cool book. Not sure how he recreated a world of Russian secret service agents, but every situation in this book rang true and the characters were real. I enjoyed it a lot! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 4/27/2011

    " Russian journalist pre WWII. Nice ending, slow beginning "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adele | 4/14/2011

    " This book is COMPLICATED - and I mean that as both a compliment and a criticism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 2/26/2011

    " Great descriptions and use of language. "She was a little pudding of a woman." I love that. Dark stories with well drawn characters. Most everything is a grey area. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lou | 12/6/2010

    " Magical realism with a Russian twist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gloria | 9/10/2010

    " Love this book! 1937 traveling all over Europe, just a regular guy and Andre Szara does the right thing! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donald | 9/7/2010

    " Still marveling at Furst's ability to capture the essence of an era, a setting, a location and a character while telling an entirely believable tale of espionage, war, love and internal conflict. I'm on to the next Furst as soon as it arrives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 9/6/2010

    " Not as good as Night Soldiers, but still good enough to be one of the better writers in the genre. "

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About the Author
Author Alan FurstAlan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. He is the author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, Kingdom of Shadows, Blood of Victory, and Dark Voyage. Born in New York, he has lived for long periods in France, especially Paris. He now lives on Long Island, New York. Visit the author's website at AlanFurst.net.
About the Narrator

George Guidall, winner of eighty AudioFile Erphones Awards, has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for Excellence in Audiobook Narration. In 2014 the Audio Publishers Association presented him with the Special Achievement Award for an audiobook narrator of exceptional stature and accomplishment. During his thirty-year recording career he has recorded over 1,100 audiobooks, won multiple awards, been a mentor to many narrators, and shown by example the potential of fine storytelling. Among Guidall’s narration achievements are Crime and Punishment, The Iliad, and John Irving’s A Widow for One Year, which earned him an Audie Award for best unabridged narration of a novel, an honor he captured again for his rendition of Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True. Guidall’s forty-year acting career includes starring roles on Broadway, an Obie Award for best performance off Broadway, and frequent television appearances.