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Extended Audio Sample The Polish Officer, by Alan Furst Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,768 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:
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September 1939. As Warsaw falls to Hitler’s Wehrmacht, Captain Alexander de Milja is recruited by the intelligence service of the Polish underground. His mission: to transport the national gold reserve to safety, hidden on a refugee train to Bucharest. Then, in the back alleys and black-market bistros of Paris, in the tenements of Warsaw, with partisan guerrillas in the frozen forests of the Ukraine, and at Calais Harbor during an attack by British bombers, de Milja fights in the war of the shadows in a world without rules, a world of danger, treachery, and betrayal.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One of the best novels of the year…Brilliant.”

    Robert Harris, New York Times bestselling author of Conspirata

  • “Brilliantly imagined, vividly drawn, rich with incident and detail…The Polish Officer portrays ordinary men and women caught out on the sharp edge of military intelligence operations in wartime: the partisans, saboteurs, resistance fighters and idealistic volunteers risking their lives in causes that seem lost.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “[A] riveting ‘pure’ story…Wonderfully exact…Transcends the spy novel while delivering everything any fan of le Carré could ask for.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Alan Furst [is] the most literate and inspired American writing espionage novels today.”


  • “Brilliant…You can almost hear the chained wheels of the Gestapo car on the snow, the whack of bullets in the moonlit Polish forests, the quietness of occupied Paris by night.”

    Observer (London)

  • “Clear, reticent prose…Furst’s understated narrative is insightful and convincing…Thrilling and at times inspiring.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This well-written, realistic novel by the author of A Distant War paints a vivid picture of the grayness and despair of the German occupation. Recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “Beautifully written, powerfully imagined, and riveting as pure story…The book is a triumph.”

    Charles McCarry, author of Christopher’s Ghosts

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jennifer | 2/18/2014

    " Furst has a gift for making his main characters extremely distinctive despite all operating at roughly the same time and space. Alexander de Milja, the title character of The Polish Officer is memorable indeed: aristocratic, resigned to death, and very good at being more than one person when necessary. The book involves several dramatic set-pieces (a tense and violent train journey fleeing Nazi-occupied Poland; a nighttime harbor bombing; a desperate jail break) and explores the untenable situation of Poland in World War Two, caught between the pincers of the Nazis and the Soviets. De Milja's character arc is understated and enjoyable, and the book is as usual full of fun little call-backs to his other books (I noticed this time that he blew up the ship that the hero of Dark Star was traveling on at the beginning of his book). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Trina | 2/7/2014

    " I like these Furst spy stories a lot, but didn't like this one quite as much as Night Soldiers - it seemed less resolved. But there are two things I loved about this book. (1) Some of the most admirable characters, loyal resistance fighters etc. are old or fat or look unremarkable. This made the book less romantic and more real. (2) I love the portrayal of geographic settings, towns, villages, woods, rivers. I wanted a map in this book. I'll probably end up reading all these. They are really good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kiki Sayre | 2/6/2014

    " Love Furst's understated style and palpable atmosphere. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Terry94705 | 2/1/2014

    " This book was OK, not offensive, not boring, not exciting. I was looking for a good spy series, in the mold of LeCarre, but this was not it, despite the review quotes pulled for the paperback cover. Rather than suspense, I think the author was going for a character study-- but the character, while honorable, is too opaque to be interesting. I did learn a bit (true, I hope) about the Polish situation in WWII, but one feels a bit uncertain about getting history from spy novels. "

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