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Alan Furst quotes

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.

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

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.

You can't make accommodations in crucial situations and be heroic.

I read very little contemporary anything.

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

I'm basically an Upper West Side Jewish writer.

I don't inflict horrors on readers.

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

I invented the historical spy novel.

I'm not really a mass market writer.

If you can live in Paris, maybe you should.

If you're a writer, you're always working.

My novels are about the European reality, not about chases. You want chases, get somebody else's books.

Once you have your characters, they tell you what to write, you don't tell them.

The best Paris I know now is in my head.

Whether you like it or not, Paris is the beating heart of Western civilisation. It's where it all began and ended.

You write a lot of books; you hope you get better.

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.

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.