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Extended Audio Sample Spies of the Balkans Audiobook, by Alan Furst Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,956 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan Furst Narrator: Daniel Gerroll Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Night Soldiers Series Release Date: June 2010 ISBN: 9781442306066
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Greece, 1940. In the port city of Salonika, with its wharves and brothels, dark alleys and Turkish mansions, a tense political drama is being played out. As Adolf Hitler plans to invade the Balkans, spies begin to circle—and Costa Zannis, a senior police official, must deal with them all. He is soon in the game, working to secure an escape route for fugitives from Nazi Berlin that is protected by German lawyers, Balkan detectives, and Hungarian gangsters—and hunted by the Gestapo. Meanwhile, as war threatens, the erotic life of the city grows passionate. For Zannis, that means a British expatriate who owns the local ballet academy, a woman from the dark side of Salonika society, and the wife of a shipping magnate.

With extraordinary historical detail and a superb cast of characters, Spies of the Balkans is a stunning novel about a man who risks everything to fight back against the world’s evil.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Unfolds like a vivid dream—One couldn’t ask for a more engrossing novel.” 

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Fans of Furst’s pitch-perfect mystery novels of Europe in World War II have savored Paris and Warsaw. They will delight in the changes of venue to Salonika and the Balkans.” 

    New York Post

  • “Sexy, episodic, and exciting—Furst is brilliant at choosing the right details that catch the brave, weary mood of life during wartime.” 

    Oregonian

  • “[Furst] weaves a wonderfully complicated plot…This is a book, written for adults, to sit down and read in one gulp.”

    Daily Beast

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bunny Maurer | 2/16/2014

    " The main character Costa Zannis is a horny guy. It's also highly improbable that one can fall in love as quickly as he did. The ending was flat; it was like someone tore out the ending pages. It just stopped. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eddie | 2/8/2014

    " Alan Furst has created another atmospheric WW11 novel. This one involves transporting Jews from Berlin to Salonika. Lots of tension is created by juxtaposing the escapees and the Nazis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne Menendez | 1/27/2014

    " Great reading. A very appealing detective and a cast of interesting characters. Espionage in northern Greece during WW2. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara Geffen | 1/27/2014

    " I really liked this Furst novel, especially the evocative settings and well drawn characters. It's still the same story, but, oh, he tells it so well. Every time, it is different, because the people don't know they are in over their heads; and the reader may think she knows how it will turn out, but is still sitting on the edge of her chair and holding her breath. See my review of Spies of Warsaw for my general views on Furst. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 1/22/2014

    " I inhaled this while on vacation this week. Another great fun Furst read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex Lewis | 1/17/2014

    " Not the best Alan Furst, but superior to just about anything else recently produced in the genre. Having visited Salonica 10 years ago, I enjoyed a trip back in time to 1940. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frank | 1/16/2014

    " Furst continues to capture the atmosphere of Europe during the second world war and weave it into intriguing tales. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne | 1/13/2014

    " Not my favorite genre but i like a good spy book from time to time. I took a quick break from the Comanche's for some lighter reading. It's WWII (not really a "light" topic), but the story (intrigue and romance) was set in Greece against the backdrop of what was happening at the time of the first Italian attack on Greece and the pre-invasion of the Balkans and Greece by Germany. I think it's well written for this type of book and would recommend it if you like this kind of thing. The clerk at the local bookstore raved about the author when i bought it. He's written a few others that i might check out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 1/12/2014

    " Just like "Casablanca" in book form! And just as awesome as everything else he's written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 12/30/2013

    " Pretty decent WW2 spy novel. Kinda petered out after 3/4ths through though and ended very abruptly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Larry Schwartz | 12/28/2013

    " And so I've made it through the Alan Furst oeuvre that's available in paperback. It's exciting stuff, I think, and occasionally pretty funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne | 10/31/2013

    " I'm a real Alan Furst fan and thoroughly enjoyed being in Greece on the cusp of WWII. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrew Lenza | 10/23/2013

    " My first foray with the author so I'm a novice to the genre. Perhaps war assembles a cast of fickly placed characters; however, I felt that so many of the personalities served as props for the geography. The author demonstrates a keen eye for detail and he is a teacher of the period. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gary | 10/22/2013

    " Author's website: alanfurst.net/main.htm "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginny | 8/7/2013

    " Enjoyed unique perspective on WWII and the many story lines and characters. It had the right amount of suspense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 8/5/2013

    " Well written, concise historical novel. Interesting characters worked into informative situation of Greece awaiting German invasion in 1940's. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Scott Brazil | 5/18/2013

    " Started to read it and really wanted to like it, but just couldn't get into it and stopped reading about 1/3 of the way through. I have been told that he has written some wonderful books and may try one of them again in the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 2/14/2013

    " Excellent WWII spy novel "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancie | 5/16/2012

    " It's always a pleasure to listen to an Alan Furst novel, especially one ready by Daniel Gerroll. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mom | 10/19/2011

    " Good story and learned about the Balkans and WWII action in that area. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebekah Pierce | 9/30/2011

    " Liked this book, but didn't find the personal aspect of the story very compelling. Interesting to see WWII from a Greek perspective, but wish the characters had been better developed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becca Jackson | 8/17/2011

    " Loved this book. It's not written like most books that tell a story with beginnings, middles and an end. It just transports you to another time and place where you experience all that these people went through and how life was lived. Very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 7/25/2011

    " Another great Furst read if you like espionage during WWII. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greensmith | 5/29/2011

    " My first Furst, but not my last!
    Well done. Although I believed it was starting slowly, there was a reason. To show how our lives and how something out of our control (or even our thoughts) can change you' re ife forever.
    Now in search for my second Furst. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 5/24/2011

    " I am very fond of Alan Furst. However, this felt like only half a novel to me. I'm not ready to call him a hack yet but he aint what he use to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 5/12/2011

    " I am somehow hooked on what Europe was like between "the wars". This spy novel takes place in Greece (Macedonia) just before Hitler begins to invade the Balkans. Interesting characters, intriguing history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 4/16/2011

    " Furst is a reliable author of intelligent but stimulating and easy-to-read thrillers that often throw light on the historical period on which he concentrates. This is no exception. Read it - as I did - as the best antidote to a transatlantic flight. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 4/9/2011

    " I like Alan Furst books - this one was pretty good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken | 4/3/2011

    " A throwback thriller set in Salonika, Greece in 1940. Excellent! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 4/1/2011

    " I enjoyed this very much. Easy to read but also insightful, gripping and compassionate. "

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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

Daniel Gerroll is an Earphones Award-winning narrator and award-winning British actor who has many Broadway productions to his credit. He studied law and philosophy at Nottingham University and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and has won an Obie Award for sustained excellence in theater.