Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Night Soldiers

Today we have to bring another substitute out of our bullpen of heroes. Today was just lacking, I tired my best to make Caesar a hero, but I just could not manage it, something about his populist politics that rubbed me the wrong way. So instead we find us a real, still alive hero to take his place on the hero podium for today.
The fellow above is one Alan Furst, and he was born February 20th, 1941 in New York City. It is not a slight to him that on his birthday he was behind the author of "The Planet of the Apes" films. I mean someone has to finish second after all, or there wasn't really a race. In spite of his grandfather's wishes, Mr. Furst decided to become a full time writer, and was not overly successful at it until the publication, in 1988 of his book entitled "Night Soldiers." It was that book that marked the beginning of his success, and it is a wonderful book. His genre is the spy novel, mostly set in World War II, and mostly in Eastern Europe. Part of the reason he is on the hero podium is that he and I admire a lot of the same authors. Eric Ambler, Issac Babel, and Joseph Roth to name a few. He is remarkable at creating an atmosphere for his "historical espionage" novels. I have read 10 of the 11 books he has written, and am just waiting for the 11th one to come out in paperback. I highly recommend him, and have even reread a couple of his books because they are just that good. So, for writing some crackerjack contemporary fiction, Alan Furst (February 20th, 1941-present), you are my (324th) hero of the day.

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