This photo is a couple of days old, but fits the mood of this post, Nacht und Nebel, night and fog. I’ve just finished my first beach read, Alan Furst’s new novel, “Mission to Paris”. Furst’s novels are all of a feather, but are also evocative of their period that reading the next one, which was just like the last one doesn’t seem so bad. All of his novels start in pre-World War II Europe. Some make it into the war, but never past or even to the turning of the tide. He likes the harbingers of the gathering storm.
His novels are spy novels, novels of espionage and resistance, but it is not the plotting that drives his stories. It is tableau that he paints, the table that he sets, complete with marzipan tanks and planes at a Nazi banquet that I love to read. His heroes are always more than everyday men. They are good-looking enough to attract the sad and lonely women that populate his books. They are smart and lucky enough to always evade the Nazi thugs that they face. And they are moral enough not to be seduced by the easy way out of difficult situations. He has this one brassiere in Paris, where everyone one of his many novel’s protagonists have dined. Sometimes the protagonist from the current novel sees protagonists from past ones and rereading old stories shows hints of subsequent future intrigue.
Anyway, it was a good read and I know that Harry, who is also a Furst fan, is looking forward to reading it too. Speaking of Nazis, there is an independent German film that has come to my attention. It is called “Iron Sky”. The elevator pitch goes like this: At the end of World War II, Nazis launched a rocket to the dark side of the moon. They’ve been there for seventy-five years. Now they are coming back. Here is a YouTube video of the first four minutes of this rather campy movie. It gives you its flavor.