BEAU GESTE BOOK
Beau Geste book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. French Legionnaires find one of their fortresses manned by dead men. Wh. Beau Geste is an adventure novel by P. C. Wren, which details the adventures of three English Throughout the book and adventures, Beau's behaviour is true to France and the Legion, and he dies at his post. Digby, Hank and Buddy arrive. resourceone.info: Beau Geste (): Percival Christopher Wren: Books.
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Beau Geste [P. C. Wren] on resourceone.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Find the complete Beau Geste book series by P.C. Wren. Great deals on one book or all books in the series. Free US shipping on orders over $ Title: Beau Geste Author: Percival Christopher Wren * A Project Gutenberg of She was reading a book and her back was towards Lawrence, whose heart.
About this Item: John Murray, First Edition. Ships from the UK. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory GRP More information about this seller Contact this seller 1. Former Library book. More information about this seller Contact this seller 2. Published by Perma Book, NY Books from the Crypt N. Potomac, MD, U. Perma Book, NY, Mass Market Paperback. Very Good.
Cover art is uncredited. Edgewear; creasing; minor soiling; name on first page in pen. Seller Inventory ND More information about this seller Contact this seller 3. Published by Permabooks, New York Permabooks, New York, First Printing. First printing, November , stated; Permabook number M; cover price 35 cents. The book is square and unmarked; spine is uncreased though slightly edgeworn; wraps smooth; sleeve protected.
Seller Inventory More information about this seller Contact this seller 4. Published by Perma Books Perma Books, Dust Jacket Condition: No Dustjacket.
Mass Market Paperback No Statement of later printing on the copyright page. Tight sound unmarked copy in Good to Very Good condition. Perma Book P No Signature. More information about this seller Contact this seller 5. Published by Editorial Juventud Editorial Juventud, Muy Bien. Seller Inventory A More information about this seller Contact this seller 6. Published by Permabooks Permabooks, First Thus. Very slight wear to spine edges, light wear to tips, crease near bottom front tip. Good copy.
Mass Market Good. More information about this seller Contact this seller 7. Published by Ediciones Orbis, S. Ediciones Orbis, S. Como nuevo. More information about this seller Contact this seller 8. Published by Ediciones Forum, S. Ediciones Forum, S. More information about this seller Contact this seller 9. Amereon Ltd Availability: Beau Geste Progress English Author s: Oxford University Press Availability: John Murray Availability: John Murray Publishers Ltd Availability: Stokes Pub Co Availability: Independently Published Availability: Beau Geste: Large Print Author s: Munsey's Availability: Easyread Comfort Edition Author s: Readhowyouwant Availability: Easyread Edition Author s: Easyread Large Bold Edition Author s: Easyread Large Edition Author s: Easyread Super Large 18pt Edition Author s: Easyread Super Large 20pt Edition Author s: Easyread Super Large 24pt Edition Author s: Kessinger Pub Availability: Villains abound, whether jewel-hungry scoundrels, a commander so sadistic that he had to flee even the notorious Belgian Congo, mutineers suspicious of betrayal, or stereotypical bloodthirsty Arabs of the ululating and sword-waving variety.
Just as the cruel Lejaune--reluctantly backed by the three Geste brothers and a few more friends, who hate their commander's unjust and savage ways but hate rising against the apparently glorious "Tri-coloure" even more--likely is about to order the mutineers shot, Tuaregs swarm over the horizon, and all must defend the desert outpost against the hordes.
Whenever a legionnaire is shot, the wily Lejaune props the dead or dying man at the parapet with rifle pointed outward in bluff, until finally Beau is hit, and then Well, but we of course know all this, don't we? Indeed, the foreknowledge from the movie makes it difficult, really, for the reader to envisage exactly how the original reader would have experienced the opening flashback mystery. Before we learn of the supposed jewel theft in England, after all, we see a relief column reach a lonely desert fort to find its besiegers driven off, its garrison all eerily dead at the posts These are interesting puzzles, and I wish I could have done justice to Wren's work by recapturing the first response that must have been intended.
The book does start rather slowly, though. The opening pages of third-person narrative belong to a British officer in the Nigerian Civil Service--again, God bless Empire, apparently--who from an old friend in the French military hears the tale of coming upon the fort and its mysteries. The presentation is somewhat cutesy, with an ebullient Frenchman being played off against a phlegmatic Englishman who punctuates the former's Gallic extravagance with laconic little quips and s slang, for example, and the mostly-monologue telling seems to go forever.
Tension is heightened, though, when Beaujolais reveals that the peaceful dead man is one whom they both knew In any event, once the opening tale closes, the rest of the book is John Geste's first-person narrative giving the backstory of the Geste brothers and their childhood in Brandon Abbas, the disappearance of the jewel, and the brothers' Foreign Legion adventures, right up through Beaujolais' discovery of the fort and its burning, and beyond--to escape across thousands of miles of desert with a pair of hickish but experienced and loyal American comrades in arms.
John's tale begins with a jesting, superior sort of style that occasionally wears a tad thin, but the farther we go, the better it gets. The notion of facing death at the hands of mutineers, a ruthless commander, or torturing Arabs can be faced down with a stiff upper lip, eh, what? At the end, of course, there will be marriages, with both John and Lawrence returning to merrie olde England--Sir Hector fortunately has died of well-deserved cholera, so Patricia is free once more--but I confess that these don't interest me as much as the months and months of travails in the Sahara.
Now, elephant-in-the-room-wise, I suppose I at least should comment a little further on the worldview of the novel. On the one hand, as Brian Stableford notes in the Afterword of my edition, not everything is about race and class here--there are good Europeans and bad ones, the unrefined Americans are noble in their honesty and simplicity, and the sedentary rather than raiding Arabs often are rather decent Clearly in Wren's picture of the world, white Europeans--namely the English, especially the upper-class English and, perhaps, the country-cousin Americans--are the best, and Arabs and black Africans are the worst, and even other European lands fit into this twentieth-century Great Chain of Being, with the amusing French being a hair lower on the scale than the laudable and complacent English, the plodding Germans being a bit lower still, then sneaky South Europeans such as the Italians, and so on.
An occasional racial epithet occurs most casually on occasion, and the portrayal of the Jewish pawnbroker is not necessarily the least slanted piece of writing, shall we say. Such sociopolitical artifacts of the time of writing are to be expected, though, so the reader who understands what a different world was should not be too shocked, or even appalled, no matter how appalling some sentiments would be today.
More lastingly, the action of Beau Geste , as action, is exciting, as are the intrigues and double-dealings and subplots of the ruffians who menace the amiably joking brothers. What truly lasts here is Wren's investigation of duty: Loyalty here is a matter of honor, for it is loyalty to what is right and good rather than selfish Feb 01, Calzean rated it really liked it Shelves: I remember as a child watching Beau Geste, the ghostly dead men on the fort parapets and the viking fortress.
Wren had penned covering a stolen gemstone, the French Foreign Legion, mutiny, self sacrifice, loyalty and a happy ending. Some very dated language and views but the English men are all gentlemen and that is all that mattered in those days. Apr 06, Lora rated it really liked it Shelves: Rousing tale of grim deeds and satirical heroic characters. A real page turner, and while not a completely happy ending, it wrapped up well.
Glad I finally read it.
Side note: Jan 29, Helena Jole rated it liked it. Classic British tale of mystery and run-away-and-join-the-Foreign-Legion adventure. It was a good read, though it did drag in places, and I absolutely hated the ending. Or not the ending so much, but the bit right before the ending. I first encountered this book at my grandmother's house when I was maybe 10 or so.
One bedroom had a big deep closet with a bookshelf full of old Superman, Lone Ranger, and Uncle Scrooge comic books. We used to spend hours in that closet every time we visited. There Classic British tale of mystery and run-away-and-join-the-Foreign-Legion adventure.
There was also a copy of Beau Geste--plain hardcover, unassuming--I don't know why I even picked it up in the first place. We found the book baffling. I knew how to pronounce "Beau" by that time, but "Geste" was a mystery.
I remember flipping through the first chapter and not being able to make heads or tails of it, but we were amused by the British spelling of "pyjamas" and the line, "Then bid him not die, on pain of death, till I have questioned him!
I recently thought of the book and decided to download it for my kindle. After years of disparaging the book for being "boring" based on the impenetrable first pages I figured I should give it a fair shake.
The plot centers around two mysteries: It is a little dense at first, and the first section is quite different from the rest of the book. I found Major de Beaujolais's language rather difficult in places. But that part isn't very long, and then you get into the story of the three Geste boys and the action picks up. The style is quite readable and parts of it are even funny. Michael, with raised hand, solemnly uttered the beautiful words, " Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, if God won't have you the devil must ," and, applying a match to the pyre, shoved the long-ship late French battleship well out into the middle of the lily-pond.
As the story unfolded I was pretty sure how things were going to turn out, but parts of it were still a revelation. And then there was that whole "wandering around in the desert" bit which made me want to throw the book against the wall which you can't really do, with a kindle. The book is a bit dated, and has some less-than-complimentary descriptions of certain ethnic groups.
And the Americans' dialect is embarrassingly ridiculous. But it's a good strong story. I got the ebook from mobileread. I was happy with it except for the fact that all the dashes come out as hyphens, which is confusing and annoying, but fortunately it's not dash-heavy so it didn't hamper my enjoyment excessively.
There's also one point where Isobel's name is misspelled in Digby's letter, and I kept wondering if that was supposed to be a clue. It's not. I had to pause in the middle of this book to read The Goose Girl for book club, but I was interested enough to come back to it when I was done.
I don't know that I would ever go back and read it again but I might recommend it to someone who was interested in historical adventure stories. And I might check out one of the movies some day. I loved the movie with Gary Cooper that I saw as a kid and have since rediscovered it on DVD and watch it periodically. The book did not disappoint although the beginning dragged on a little and although I knew what was going on having seen the movie I feel it would be a bit unintelligible for someone reading this for the first time and not knowing the story.
The story is "the" classic story of the French Foreign Legion. The idealized notion in boys of "running away" to join the Foreign Legion was still a fanciful daydream for boys when I was young. This story is the epitomy of that as well as the ideals of honor and chivalry. The story revolves around the relationship of 3 inseparable brothers, Michael Beau , Digby his twin , and John Geste.
Aunt Patricia's ne'er do well husband, Hector is never home as he galavants around the world on hunting trips and chasing women and spending the family fortune.
The fortune is epitomized in their famous "Blue Water" Sapphire which has been appraised at 30, pounds. The "Blue Water" is stolen one evening and only 8 people were present at the time who could have stolen it: Shortly thereafter Beau leaves a letter stating that he stole the "Blue Water" and disappears, followed shortly by Digby and then John all professing to have stolen the famous Sapphire.
They all end up joining the French Foreign Legion. Their adventures in the Legion make up the latter part of the book and it is where the story really takes off. There are battles, treachery, heroes and villains and I agree with many others who have read this book that this is a classic adventure written for boys or the boy in all of us.
It's a romance, a mystery, and an adventure classic. The mystery of the disappearane of the "Blue Water" sapphire does not get answered until the very last page but you are so taken up in the story that it is almost an afterthought to put the finishing touches on this entertaining tale. BTW the edition I read is attached here and I do not recommend this edition if you can find a better one.
The printing is very small and even with glasses it was a chore at times to read more than a few pages at a time.
When I was a girl, boys would talk about running away to join the Foreign Legion. I have a feeling this book, or maybe the movies made based on it are where they got this idea. The dramatic story of the French Foreign Legion, where men hid from the law or a woman - but never from death! Call me naive, but I had my doubts about if there really was a French Foreign Legion. Not only was I wrong about it existing, it still exists, they even have a website: Whatever your origins, nationality or relig When I was a girl, boys would talk about running away to join the Foreign Legion.
Whatever your origins, nationality or religion might be, whatever qualifications you may or may not have, whatever your social or professional status might be, whether you are married or single, the French Foreign Legion offers you a chance to start a new life One of the men has a note on him saying he stole the "Blue Water", the note is signed "Beau Geste". That is the second mystery and for that we go back in time and learn about the Geste brothers, Beau, Digby and John.
All were present when the sapphire was stolen and all confessed and ran away to join the French Foreign Legion. Adventures ensue. I'm not a Gary Cooper fan, but the movie was pretty good. It stayed faithful, more or less to the book. There is some speculation that Percival Christopher was actually in the Foreign Legion, based in part by how accurate his descriptions of Legion life were but there is no proof of this.
There are two sequels to this book "Beau Sabreur" and "Beau Ideal". Both have good reviews but I haven't read them. Aug 20, Wade Grassman rated it it was amazing Shelves: The text was so filled with typos it was difficult to determine whether I was reading French which I neither speak nor read or some horrendous spelling typo errors.
Frankly, it the copy was so bad that it really diminished my enjoyment of the story. On its own the story is terrific!
It was all that I could ask for. Being as familiar with the story as I am, the novel still held surprises for me. May 31, Robert Hays rated it it was amazing. I have the good fortune to have access to a great collection of classics from my late father-in-law's s and '40s library. Beau Geste is one of the books I was a long time getting to, and that's a shame. What a read! I know it was made into a movie--maybe more than once, I'm not sure--and so if you watch classic movies you may have seen it.
With an exotic setting that features the French Foreign Legion, how could it fail?
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But I promise that if the opening scene of Beau Geste doesn't grab you, I have the good fortune to have access to a great collection of classics from my late father-in-law's s and '40s library. But I promise that if the opening scene of Beau Geste doesn't grab you, you are hopeless as a reader of clever adventure stories. I have seen each of the film versions of this, including Marty Feldman's "Last Remake But, I had never read the book before. It is very much a s romantic adventure, and the model for many a Fr.
Foreign Legion book and film made since then. And the basic story is a classic. Apr 12, Viktoriya rated it did not like it Shelves: This book was recommended to me by someone who read it as a teenager. I can see the appeal this book would have on a boy that age. All that heroism, adventures, running away from home, the mystery of a stolen jewel.
Reading it at my "old" age I didn't really see all that appeal. I think this book would have benefited from a better editor.
I can't tell you how many times I was about to give up reading this book. Sep 04, Ann rated it it was amazing. Amazing story! The beginning is a bit confusing and you have to allow time to get into the flow of the language and the old-fashioned style of the story. But once you do - wow! Lejaune are characters you will never forget. I understand the movie version with Gary Cooper was quite good, although the idea of Gary Cooper playing a 20 year old English gentleman is a bit of a stretch!
Bought this book after being addicted to the tv series back in the 80's and falling in love with Benedict Taylor! Loved the book Obviously lost over the years and this particular edition can't be purchased now.
Mar 14, Gordon Jones rated it it was amazing.
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Great book, very sad though. One of the best books I've ever read. It made me laugh, cry, and feel for all the characters like no other book. An must read for anyone who loves the classics. Nov 01, Matthew rated it liked it.
Beau Geste by Wren, First Edition
In the case of popular novels written before the twentieth century, we often see the works as stiff and stilted. In the case of popular novels written from this point on, we end up seeing the books as stodgy and starchy.
Why this change, we may ask? I think it partly reflects changes in education. Before the twentieth century, education was less universal, so both the authors and their readership were more likely to be aristocratic, genteel or at least well off, and their education would have been more classical in nature. From the twentieth century onwards, education spread to the masses and became less literary and classical.
One effect of this is that writers shifted their emphasis.
Previously writers had been more concerned with displaying learning, hence the more stilted prose, with its focus on classical allusions and attempts at style. After education became more common and more modern, the writers were more likely to come from varied backgrounds, and needed to appeal to a more varied audience.
Gone were the constant allusions to obscure Greek legends. In place of displays of learning came displays of knowledge, with writers more keen to show their knowledge of how a machine gun worked or how German panzer divisions operated, rather than how Troy was sacked or how Caligula died.
However, not all writers during either period fell into these traps, and it was possible for popular writers to produce prose that was not difficult to read. There is the comparatively artless prose of writers such as Agatha Christie who put the focus on plot ingenuity rather than unnecessarily detailed dumping of learning or knowledge onto the reader. More importantly, there are the popular writers who simply knew how to tell a rattlingly good story, and these writers have acquired a timeless quality that makes them accessible to future generations.
A Book With Mystery, Romance and Desert Derring-Do
Where then does PC Wren sit in this? Wren is a writer who is closer in spirit to those accessible popular writers just named.
While Beau Geste opens frustratingly with a section of overly-long sentences that weary the reader, Wren soon settles down into telling a good story. Admittedly Wren sometimes over-eggs the pudding with rather too many twists and turnings, but the early sections of Beau Geste remain quite riveting as we wait for a solution to the opening mysteries that is then deferred until the end of the novel.
Why then is Beau Geste not as well-known as the works by the other enduring writers that I have named? There are reasons for this that I will go into after a quick summation of the story. The book opens with an intriguing mystery.
French soldiers arrive at a fort in the middle of the Saharan desert that appears to have survived an Arab attack. Mysteriously, they receive no greeting from the soldiers lining every parapet. On entering the fort, they discover that this is because they are all dead. Somebody has been lining up the bodies of the soldiers to make it look like more of them are alive in order to fool the Arabs into believing that there is a larger force than is the case.
However, nobody appears to be alive, and the officer has been bayoneted, clearly by one of his own men. Soon afterwards a trumpeter vanishes and the fort catches fire. One of the dead men appears to be Beau Geste, and on his body they find a confession that he stole the Blue Water jewel from Lady Brandon.
We are left to chew on these mysteries as the setting moves to the home of Lady Brandon some years earlier, where we are introduced to our heroes, the three Geste brothers. They and various other young guests are staying with their aunt at the time when the Blue Water jewel is missing. As suspicion falls on everyone present, the three brothers one by one decide to abscond and join the Foreign Legion, each handsomely claiming to be the real thief.
Again, this mystery is left hanging as we follow the fortunes of the three brothers in the Foreign Legion. Unfortunately, their ill-advised joking about the jewel theft causes many of their comrades to genuinely believe that one of them possesses it.
During a planned mutiny, Beau and John the narrator are thrown into a dilemma since they risk being killed by either the mutineers or the brutal Lejaune the officer in charge , as both sides believe that they can use the mutiny to get their hands on the jewel.This is a grand adventure filled with self sacrifice, loyalty and love.
Frankly, it the copy was so bad that it really diminished my enjoyment of the story. Create a Want BookSleuth Can't remember the title or the author of a book? The story itself is marvelous. The Foreign Legion Omnibus: