THE PARIS DROP by Alan Furst


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Spy nonsense: about five minutes' worth of genuine plot played more-or-less as parody and larded with mannered prose, dim jokes, and self-indulgent digressions. Narrator Roger Levin, a has-been Chinese-restaurant owner, is hired by his Long Island parents to deliver $104,000 in synagogue fund-raising cash to a mysterious pro-Israel group in Paris called IDF. And Roger's crazy Uncle Manny--just before he disappears in a South Bronx shootout--gives Roger a ring to deliver likewise. So when Roger gets to Paris, he's naturally suspicious--but nonetheless he gets shot at and chased and bamboozle-seduced by two femme fatales (one steals the ring), all this before exposing the Big Secret: the ring contains a synthetic chocolate invented by Uncle Manny. Everyone's after this priceless stuff, of course, including the CIA and the Arabs, and there are the usual complications and revealed identities--a thin and silly scenario that Furst attempts to fill out with kinky sex, drug fun (""Marijuana is fucky, cocaine is sucky, but hashish just leaves you sitting there. . .""), kamikaze metaphors (""Paris, like a crotch, smells simultaneously terrible and wonderful""), and the juvenile narrator's narcissistic musings. True, there are some hints, amid the incessant cutesiness, of a writer who might have the fight words if he had something to say; but for the time being--arch and amateurish.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Doubleday