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Editorial Reviews

Percival Wren's much-loved Beau Geste follows three brothers who join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, only to find themselves under the command of a real terror. In the scorching desert heat, adventures ensue. David Case's performance is in a league of its own. He plays the characters so convincingly that it sounds as if he were many actors. Case creates perfect voices and accents for each line of dialogue. Clearly, he has fun sharing Wren's story with great aplomb.

Publisher's Summary

A column of French Legionnaires finds one of their fortresses manned by dead men. It looks like one of his own troops killed the sergeant. Who could have done it?

A flashback then unravels the mystery of the three English Geste brothers. The three Geste brothers, orphaned early in life, are raised by an aunt. Their raucous youths are filled with the literature of adventure and ritualized horseplay centered around these myths and legends. So when the family's prized Blue Water sapphire turns up missing, each of the young men confesses to being the thief in order to protect the others and one by one they head off to join the French Foreign Legion. The three brothers meet up in the deserts of Africa where they fall under the command of the malevolent Sergeant Lejaune. Not content to merely be a martinet, Lejaune sets his sights on stealing the jewel, which rumor holds to be in the brothers' possession. Meanwhile, the unruly troops he commands are planning a mutiny and the marauding Tauregs pin this badly outnumbered and bitterly divided unit of Legionnaires at Fort Zinderneuf. The ensuing drama plays itself out as the French forces battle overwhelming odds. Ultimately, only a handful of men survive to discover the truth behind the Blue Water's disappearance.

A classic, rip-roaring tale of adventure!

©1993 Phoenix Recordings; (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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Outstanding Ear Candy

Lightweight? Yes. One-dimensional characters and plenty of stereotypes? Of course; it's a pop fiction product of the 1920's. Why listen to it? BECAUSE IT'S A TON OF FUN! You could do much, much, worse than a whodunnit about a jewel theft that plays out at a remote French Foreign Legion outpost.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas
  • MSU, MS, United States
  • 07-16-07

Very Good

This book is very well written and the audiobook is very well read.

The story moves along very nicely, the characters are well formed and you really get to like them all.

The ending was quite a surprise.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Legionnaire

Historical fiction at its best. Great period piece in the English tradition by Percival Christopher Wren. Enjoyed listening to the story of the "Blue Water" and the ramifications of British traditions of honor. This book provides all that many know about the French Foreign Legion. Great read as a classic.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Tovey
  • MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Canada
  • 09-11-11

great

great story, the book was read very well. It flowed like a great read should, and was over before i knew it. well worth the credit, or the money.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Sleeper

This is a fairly lightweight mystery story presented with dry humor and incredible narration. It serves as an excellent expose of life in the French Foreign Legion at some undisclosed time, probably in the last century. No great award winner, but somewhat entertaining.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Prefect Reading of a Ripping Good Yarn!

The story of Beau Geste is known from the Classic Gary Cooper movie and Snoopy's reenactments of it in the Peanuts strip, but the original novel is well worth reading. It is brilliantly-plotted, exciting, and engaging. Besides dramatic scenes, it includes many delightful turns of phrase.

So, it's a good book. But this reading is exceptional. The reader captures all the excitement and wit of the original—and perhaps intensifies them. He does the characters' voices brilliantly. (I don't even mind his version of "American" as the British heard it.) He is always perfectly clear and the pace never drags.

Warning: this is an adventure story written when attitudes toward imperialism and racial difference were not what they are today. If you cannot enjoy a good story while bracketing ideas you would not express yourself, this is not the book for you.

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Adventurous and the height of ridiculousness

While an interesting and even adventurous tale, the catalyst that drives the drama borders on the comical by today's standards of generally ethical and forthright behavior. The story also seems to make too much of the prowess and fortitude of being British save for the unfailing belief by those who possess it that such a cultural distinction makes the bearer any more durable, honest, or better than someone from a different nationality. Indeed this could be attributed to the pride the main character feels in his own and his brothers' mutual heritage more than any insidious elitism engendered by the author of the book. In other words while somewhat detracting from the genuine quality of the story it is to be assumed that the author's nationalism may be more an example of the human tendency to like and therefore take pride in that which they are most familiar.

Nonetheless it was not a bad book.

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