Alan Furst Quotes

http://www.neoquotes.com/images/alan-furst/alan-furst-quote-1.jpg

'The Levanter' features some of the strongest action scenes to be found in Ambler - who can, in some of his fiction, stay in one place for a whole novel.
— Alan Furst

facebook-icon whatsapp-icon twitter-icon email-icon

A book must have moral purpose to be any good. Why, I don't know.

Alan Furst

Anthony Powell taught me to write; he has such brilliant control of the mechanics of the novel.

Alan Furst

Fast-paced from start to finish, 'The Honourable Schoolboy' is fired by le Carre's conviction regarding evil done and its consequences.

Alan Furst

For John le Carre, it was always who's betraying who: the hall-of-mirrors kind of thing. When you go back to the '30s, it's a case of good vs. evil, and no kidding. When I have a hero who believes France and Britain are on the right side, a reader is not going to question that.

Alan Furst

For me, Anthony Powell is a religion. I read 'A Dance to the Music of Time' every few years.

Alan Furst

For something that's supposed to be secret, there is a lot of intelligence history. Every time I read one book, two more are published.

Alan Furst

French women will always look up at a man, even if he is four inches shorter than she is.

Alan Furst

Good people don't spend their time being good. Good people want to spend their time mowing the lawn and playing with the dog. But bad people spend all their time being bad. It is all they think about.

Alan Furst

Graham Greene's work must be included in any survey of top-rank spy novels, and 'Our Man in Havana' may be his best.

Alan Furst

I am a historian. I do a lot of research, and I try to get it right.

Alan Furst

I am there to entertain. I call my work high escape fiction; it's high, it's good - but it's escape, and I have no delusions about that. I have no ambition to be a serious writer, whatever that means.

Alan Furst

I basically wrote five books with 'Night Soldiers,' called them novellas, and came in with a 600-page manuscript.

Alan Furst

I chose a time in the century which had the greatest moments for novels - the late '30s and World War II.

Alan Furst

I could not spend the rest of my life sitting in Brazil writing down who called whom uncle and aunt.

Alan Furst

I don't inflict horrors on readers. In my research, I've uncovered truly terrible documentations of cruelty and torture, but I leave that offstage. I always pull back and let the reader imagine the details. We all know to one degree or another the horrors of war.

Alan Furst

I don't just want my books to be about the '30s and '40s. I want them to read as if they had been written then. I think of them as '40s novels, written in the conservative narrative past.

Alan Furst

I don't really write plots. I use history as the engine that drives everything.

Alan Furst

I don't work Sunday any more... The Sabbath is a very reasonable idea. Otherwise, you work yourself to death.

Alan Furst

I expect that my readers have been to Europe, I expect them to have some feeling for a foreign language, I expect them to have read books - there are a lot of people like that! That's my audience.

Alan Furst

I figured I would always be a candidate for man of the year in the virtue-is-its-own-reward category. What that did was force me to concentrate on the work.

Alan Furst

I grew up reading genre writers, and to the degree that Eric Ambler and Graham Greene are genre writers, I'm a genre writer.

Alan Furst

I had a publishing history of murder mysteries.

Alan Furst

I had the experience of a monk copying documents, applying myself assiduously to my work. And I thought whatever happened, happened - this is just what I do in my life.

Alan Furst

I have a very serious censorship office inside my head; it censors things that I could tell you that you would never forget, and I don't want to be the person to stick that in your brain.

Alan Furst

I invented the historical spy novel.

Alan Furst

I just became what I call an 'anti-fascist novelist.' There is no word that covers both the fascists and the Communists, which mean different things to people, but of course they're the same: they're tyranny states.

Alan Furst

I knew I was a writer; I wanted to be a writer, but I didn't know what to write.

Alan Furst

I like to say I sit alone in my room, and I fight the language. I am wildly obsessive. I can't let something go if I think it's wrong.

Alan Furst

I look for the dark story, where something secret was done. I read and read and pick up the trail of a true story. I use nothing but true stories. They are so much better than phony ones.

Alan Furst

I love Paris for the million reasons that everybody loves the city. It's an incredibly romantic and beautiful place.

Alan Furst

I love the combination of the words 'spies' and 'Balkans.' It's like meat and potatoes.

Alan Furst

I love the gray areas, but I like the gray areas as considered by bright, educated, courageous people.

Alan Furst

I never got any training in how to write novels as an English major at Oberlin, but I got some great training for writing novels from anthropology and from Margaret Mead.

Alan Furst

I never wanted to be a Cold War novelist.

Alan Furst

I read very little contemporary anything.

Alan Furst

I read very little contemporary anything... I don't think I read what other people read, but then why would I, considering what I do?

Alan Furst

I spend my life writing fiction, so reading fiction isn't much of an escape. That's not always true, but I don't read much contemporary fiction.

Alan Furst

I started out when I was 29 - too young to write novels. I was broke. I was on unemployment insurance. I was supposed to be writing a Ph.D. dissertation, so I had a typewriter and a lot of paper.

Alan Furst

I started writing in my 20s. I just wanted to write, but I didn't have anything to write about, so in the beginning, I wrote entertainments - mainly murder mysteries.

Alan Furst

I think I honestly invented my own genre, the historical spy novel.

Alan Furst

I was going to be the best failed novelist in Paris. That was certainly not the worst thing in the world that one could be.

Alan Furst

I was raised on John Dann MacDonald's Travis McGee series. Something about this genre - hard-boiled-private-eye-with-heart-of-gold - never failed to take me away from whatever difficulties haunted my daily world to a wonderful land where I was no more than an enthralled spectator.

Alan Furst

I would have loved to have another 10 Eric Ambler books.

Alan Furst

I write about the period 1933-42, and I read books written during those years: books by foreign correspondents of the time, histories of the time written contemporaneously or just afterwards, autobiographies and biographies of people who were there, present-day histories of the period, and novels written during those times.

Alan Furst

I write what I call 'novels of consolation' for people who are bright and sophisticated.

Alan Furst

I wrote out little mysteries in longhand, and my mother typed them out on an old Remington.

Alan Furst

I wrote three mysteries and then a contemporary spy novel that was unbelievably derivative - completely based on 'The Conversation,' the movie with Gene Hackman. Amazingly, the character in the book looks exactly like... Gene Hackman.

Alan Furst

I'd never been in a police state. I didn't know what it was. I knew that it was, in the general way that people know that two and two is four, but it had no emotional value for me until I found myself in the middle of it.

Alan Furst

I'm basically an Upper West Side Jewish writer.

Alan Furst

'The Levanter' features some of the strongest action scenes to be found in Ambler - who can, in some of his fiction, stay in one place for a whole novel.

Alan Furst