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The Gendarme Hardcover – September 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of Hell and A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
"One reads this masterful work thinking all the while of its literary cousinsThe Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes, Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, Snow by Orhan Pamuk. Books such as these, novels like The Gendarme, writers like Mr. Mustian, keep our world afloat amidst the tempests of history. Humanity would no longer recognize itself, its enduring passions and cruelties and triumphs, without them."
Bob Shacochis, National Book Awardwinning author of Easy in the Islands and Swimming in the Volcano
"I love this book. The haunting lesson from this gifted writer is that even the legacy of war cannot triumph over the human spirit. Where there is love and humanity, the human spirit triumphs. Read it."
Sandra Dallas, New York Times bestselling author of Prayers for Sale
"The Gendarme does what few have the courage to do: haunted by memories of war crimes he committed under another name, he turns and enters his nightmare to find the woman who was his enemy then and now, decades later, is still his first great love. Mark Mustian shows the reader what the face of history looks like without the makeup. Mainly, though, he paints an unforgettable portrait of the human spirit at its bravest and most resilient."
David Kirby, member of the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors, NEA and Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, and author of The HaHa
"Ahmet Khan's spiritual transition to Emmet Cohn is emotionally resonant. This is an important and unique journey told with compassion and a stirring sense of humanity."
"Why are war stories so often truly love stories? Because, as Mustian proves in The Gendarme, love in the face of war gives testimony that love endures our savagery, our violence, our hatred. In this powerful retelling of the horrible crimes committed against Armenians at the beginning of World War I, The Gendarme is a beautiful, haunting tale of survival and resilience."
Julianna Baggott, author of The Miss America Family and The Madam
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
THE GENDARME is a novel about the two very different stories that make up one man's life. Emmett Conn (Ahmet Khan) is a man at the end of his life. He's 92-years-old, a widower, and has two daughters, neither of whom he is very close to. After being diagnosed with a brain tumor, he starts to dream about another life during another time in another land: that of a young 17-year-old gendarme in charge of driving a caravan of Armenians out of Turkey and into Syria.
Ahmet has very few memories of anything before his early twenties, when he was found by the British on a battlefield and taken to a London hospital to be treated. This life that comes to him in pieces and fragments is not one that he remembers, yet as the story of it begins to unfold, he recognizes it as his own and hungers for the complete picture and for the self-knowledge that has so long alluded him. This other tale is one filled with violence, confusion, anger, guilt, and love bordering on obsession.Read more ›
Alternating between Wadesboro, Georgia in the 1990's and Turkey and Syria 75 years earlier we are given two narratives delivered by the same man at different stages in his life. Emmett Conn (Ahmet Khan) is currently 92 years old and suffering from a terminal brain tumor that has triggered vivid dreams of events buried in his subconscious since he suffered a head injury in WW1. His recollections of the brutality involved in the forced march of Armenians from Turkey to Syria appear, to this reader, to be shockingly authentic however, his memories of Araxie (she of the mismatched eyes) and their bittersweet love teeters on the brink of preposterous and puts me in mind of some old "bodice-rippers" in which the heroine is raped by the hero, falls madly in love and follows him to the ends of the earth. Emmett's dreams too are suspect because not only do they recall the past in sequence, but his brutality seems to replay as less callous and barbaric than his cohorts like Mustafa.Read more ›
In 1990, Emmett Conn is a 92 year old Turkish-American man, who is recovering from surgery for a brain tumor. In Georgia, to his family and friends he seems confused or senile. However, what has happened to Emmett is that after his surgery he is experiencing vivid dreams of World War I events he had previously or purposely forgotten. Memories that were lost, perhaps due to a war injury, have now returned some 70 years later.
The novel goes back and forth in time to when Emmett was a Turkish Gendarme who brought Armenians from Turkey in a death march to Syria.
"The original two thousand deportees have dwindled now to three hundred, many of these suffering from dysentery. A number of the guards are gone, too, leaving only three gendarmes, including myself to prod our group on its way. Our progress has been slower than before, maybe six or seven miles per day. At this pace it will take four or five days to reach our destination. Food is scarce, water even scarcer. The dead and dying increase daily. At the current rate of loss, only fifty or so of the deportees might actually make it to Aleppo."
Araxie is a lovely Armenian girl that Emmett becomes obsessed with and tries to protect. In his dreams he is reunited with his captive who he thought of as the love of his life. He is desperate to find her, and to beg her forgiveness for his sins of the past.
MY THOUGHTS - Even though this story is a work of fiction, I feel like I was given a painful lesson in history. Sadly, Armenian Genocide is a subject that I knew nothing about.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found the novel thought provoking at a very personal level, what it means to be family, and our limits to accept the failings of our loved ones. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Carolyn Turner
Interesting historical novel as told by an aging murderous gendarme responsible for many deaths during the Ottoman Enpire's deportation of the Christian minority. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Beautifully written and difficult to digest. I'm so glad that I did. The whole book is a journey and worth the travel.Published 9 months ago by Sally Kaufmann
I am an avid reader and this is one of my favorite books ever. It stays in your mind long after read. Wish the author had many other books.Published 9 months ago by Amelia Lopez M
This wonderful book was required reading at my grandson's college. Clearly, they have good leaderhship. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Elizabeth Howe
I have read many books about the horrors of the Armenian genocide, and looked over the reviews of The Gendarme highlighting the tragic history of the Armenian deportation, which... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Ashik Rabia
I read it because it was the only book about the Armenian genocide told from the viewpoint of the Turkish perpetrators. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Edmond Megerian
The Gendarme by Mark T. Mustian is a novel about the Armenian genocide of 1915. The events take place during World War I, when the Turks deported Armenians into Syria – an... Read morePublished on December 16, 2013 by Man of La Book