- File Size: 3180 KB
- Print Length: 355 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0486837289
- Publication Date: September 6, 2019
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07XMJJYC3
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #461,922 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$9.00|
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Beau Geste (Annotated) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 355 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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|Age Level: 13 - 18|
|Grade Level: 8 - 12|
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Third, a mystery that you cannot guess how it will play out and the reason for it. I would give it a 5 star rating except for the last part of the book which sort of drags on in the desert of N. Africa. It doesn't last long enough to get irritated but it could have been lessened. Yes, by all means it is thoroughly enjoyable.
One caution - there is a bit of racism and jingoism typical of the English Empire during this period. But if you can get past that, it is a rollicking good adventure.
Courage. Devotion. Mystery. Intrigue. Heartbreak. Action. BEAU GESTE contains all of these elements, and the story is weaved seamlessly from (primarily) John's point of view. But do be prepared: Again, because this was written in a different age, many of the words, jargon, and slogans are jarring, and very politically incorrect. One star off due to this absolutely revolting Munsey's edtion. The type setting is an eyesore and the margins literally go right into the binding. Very tricky to read. If you get the chance to obtain a different edition I very much recommend doing so; otherwise get ready for one grand adventure.
--D. Mikels, Author, The Reckoning
I liked the way the plot developed but the brothers seemed to age a lot more or maybe just matured more as the book went on. When you first meet them in Beau Geste and his band everyone comes across as if they were teenagers but within a couple of days after the disappearance of the blue water when the brothers join the legion you find out that they are all in their early 20s. The time in the legion seems longer too like almost 4 years but at the end of the story it's about half as long as that.
The one thing about the version of the book I was reading which was the one with the pictures from the 1926 film was that there were no maps. So what I did was as I followed the brothers I would go on mapquest and print a map of the area and trace their route. Then I would fold it and keep it at that point in the book. I like the fact that they kept many of the terms in the native tongue. I have word and there are these downloads free from Microsoft that you can download so that you can translate in to many different languages. Between making the maps and figuring out the translations it made the book much more adventurous for me.
I did not know much about the history of Algeria and I did not realize that the French had fought with the Arabs in Northern Africa for many generations. The Arabs are pretty stereotyped but there is the fact that the brothers learn Arabic to keep their minds sharp and this helps them down the road. I did not realize that Arabic languages were spoken all along North Africa and that it is mostly dessert. I thought that was more of the Middle East.
You will notice that all the bad guys seem to be of the same nationality either being French like Legume or Italian like Bondini as opposed to the good guys being the English and the Americans. I like the fact that the American's were Texas Rangers because I think that is how the rest of the world perceives us. Buddy and Hank might have been caricatures but they were always honest and true just like the English characters of John, Digby and Michael were proper and honorable.
The best part of the book was after the Fort at Zindernuf because you really don't see that part in the movies and you see how John, Digby, Buddy and Hank try to help each other to get to the English city of Kano in Nigeria. I really wanted to know what happened to one of the Americans but I won't give that away.
At the end of the book I thought that I had everything figured out and I would know what Michael's letter was going to say but I was pretty surprise and it made me enjoy the overall theme of the novel.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure novels about far away places.
Top international reviews
Essentially Beau Geste delivers as a classic adventure story. The tale of a stolen diamond forms the backdrop but the main focus rests upon the experiences of the main characters in the French Foreign Legion. It gives a good impression of how the English upper classes used to be with values such as honesty and personal honour being paramount. Be warned that it is a book of it's day though and descriptions other nationalities and religions may offend in these politically correct times. I think that is one of the reasons that the book is not as widely available as it once was.
The attack on Fort Zinderneuf is the thrilling climax of the story and I absolutely loved that part of the book. The characters are all believable and interesting, especially the three Geste brothers, Captain Beaujolais and Corporal Baldini. But is the villainous Sergeant Major Lejaune who steals the show with his implacability, treachery and sole redeeming feature - courage. Surely he is one of the greatest villains of his time and a fascinating character.
This book is an absolute classic that should not disappoint.
When George Lawrence is travelling through Africa from his post back home on leave, he bumps into an old friend, Henri de Beaujolais. Beaujolais recounts to Lawrence a mystery. Called to aid a Legion fort which he has been told is under attack from Arabs his force arrives to find that everyone is at their post at the fort, and there are no Arabs around. All the soldiers at the fort are dead though. Shortly beforehand there is shooting from the fort, but where is the person who did it? With dead bodies moving about in the fort, the first person to enter it disappearing, and then the fort mysteriously catching fire, can it be haunted?
From there we are taken back to what happened, all the events leading up to the mystery at the fort, and to the conclusion of the tale. Starting with the disappearance of a sapphire, this tale takes in high adventure, with loyalty and honour as its main ingredients, along with mutiny and treachery. Always a thrilling read, if you love adventure then you should devour this. With the romanticism associated with the French Foreign Legion, I have always wondered how many people over the years have run off to join its ranks due to this novel.
'Beau Geste' has the unenviable status of being a book that people know of, but which fewer and fewer have actually read. Mention its name, and the typical response is, "Oh, that's about the French Foreign Legion." And that's about it.
All of which is a shame, because 'Beau Geste' is a stylish and clever novel which merits far more attention than its one-dimensional, pub-quiz-friendly reputation would suggest. Part tale of the supposed supernatural, part mystery, part 'whodunnit', part autobiography, part romance and part war/adventure novel, 'Beau Geste' certainly ticks all of the boxes. Perhaps the book's growing obscurity is due to the fact that it is not old enough to fall under the title of a 'classic', but not new or fashionable enough to remain prominently in print.
However, those who do hunt down a copy of 'Beau Geste' will not be disappointed. Opening with the eerie discovery of a French Foreign Legion fort being 'defended' by strategically-positioned dead soldiers, which then mysteriously and spontaneously combusts, the tale immediately takes us back to an English country home and the disappearance of a priceless sapphire. It's like jumping out of John Buchan's 'Prester John' straight into Agatha Christie's 'The Adventure of The Christmas Pudding'. Wren expertly interlinks the two opening sections so that the ending cleverly explains the beginning through the words of John Geste, one of three brothers who flee to North Africa, having claimed to have stolen the jewel.
The opening chapters are excellent and genuinely engage the reader as we first encounter the 'haunted' fort from the perspective of its would-be liberators. Equally impressive is the description of the desert-warfare in the later passages which explains the high body count. However, it is as a first-person narrative of leaving England to join the French Foreign Legion that 'Beau Geste' arguably works best because of the writer's attention to detail which gives a real authenticity. P.C. Wren was a particularly private man, but his precise description of the customs and trappings of the legion leave the reader in little doubt that much of the story is based upon personal experience.
However, not everything about 'Beau Geste' hits the spot. Following the theft of the sapphire and before the conflict at the fort, Wren rather overplays the dialogue scenes. Conversations seem to ramble onwards without developing the plot as the same points (about the possible thief and possible mutineers respectively) are repeated to an almost ponderous degree. Similarly, the final few chapters seem to take the story off in directions which distract the reader away from the key plot resolution. At times, the temptation to plump for one of the numerous abridged version of the novel might be felt strongly.
Nevertheless, the actual finale is short, sharp and memorable, ensuring that the pages which follow the less-engaging extracts of the book compensate for the slowing of plot and pace. Talking of plot, this reviewer has deliberately avoided describing all but the skeleton of the story, a decision based upon respect for Wren's stylish unveiling of narrative and character.
Thus, in 'Beau Geste' we have a very good book, indeed. Perhaps not a masterpiece, but a great read which rewards the reader's trust and patience, much like a thirst-quenching drink after a hard day's desert marching.
Barty's Score: 8/10
Some attitudes and expressions have to be read, but not excused, in the context of history.
The book is a real step back into "jolly hockeysticks" language/culture that seems dated when read today - but that's the enjoyment.
A real "boys own" adventure. Would recommend highly.
And I have just viewed it in my IPAD.
This is my first visit to the book and sequels.
A very "ripping trilogy"