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Publisher's Summary

Guy Crouchback, determined to get into the war, takes a commission in the Royal Corps of Halberdiers. His spirits high, he sees all the trimmings but none of the action. And his first campaign, an abortive affair on the West African coastline, ends with an escapade which seriously blots his Halberdier copybook.

Men at Arms is the first book in Waugh’s brilliant trilogy, Sword of Honour, which chronicles the fortunes of Guy Crouchback.

©1952 Evelyn Waugh (P)2015 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Men at Arms

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastic narration

Christian Rodska’s narration is excellent and voices each character very well.
The story is typical Waugh. Well meaning Catholic aristocratic introvert finds identity and worth by volunteering for the army only to find himself the victim of unsmiling fate. I’m reminded of Graham Greene as well as Brideshead Revisited. The strength of the novel lies in Waugh’s beautiful prose and vivid descriptions of times, places and characters rather than any particular sympathy for his hero.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mary Carnegie
  • 04-18-16

An old favourite well narrated

Why do I like novels by writers I wouldn’t have liked as people? Is it because I first read them in my teens 50 years ago? Christian Rodska reads the story very well, brings characters to new life in all their absurdity, and brings out the episodes of understated cruel humour. It must have been a challenge to utter some words that I have not heard for at least 40 years or used for over 50, as an ignorant child.

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  • Roo
  • 02-01-18

First of this classic trilogy

The first time I heard the sword of honour trilogy it was a heavily pared down version as a classic serial on bbc radio. (When the classic serial meant they were going to broadcast classics, alas never to be repeated for some reason).
This prompted me to read the books.
Now I have it on audio, this is a tale that can be listened to over and over and always find something new, something you missed the last time.
Brilliant.

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  • J. C. James
  • 05-29-16

Wonderful performance of a wonderful book

If you could sum up Men at Arms in three words, what would they be?

Class, loyalty, misunderstandings.

Have you listened to any of Christian Rodska’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, but I remember him from radio & T.V. He sounded completely authentic with all the many & varied accents without losing any of the drama or meaning. Really impressive!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I wanted to perpetuate it.

Any additional comments?

No.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-20-21

A Very Satisfying First of Three

Came to this after some light relief after C J Sansom's 'Tombland'. Found the listen and the novel accessible and enjoyable. Much of the dialogue calls out for dramatisation. No help is offered on the various army ranks, but this is not significant. The reading performance by Christian Rodska is more than acceptable though I found his characterisation of Apthorpe without the presence the character so often tries to impress upon all and sundry. Many laugh-out-loud moments. Pleased to have listened/read the book and the two sequels are next to enjoy. (Note; The readings are from the separate novels not the revised single volume version 'Sword of Honour'.)

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  • La Chute
  • 04-29-20

A pleasure

Book 1 of 3. A real find and a pleasure from start to finish. Beautifully written with memorable characters. The narrator is superb

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  • Adrian Devon
  • 11-09-19

Spiffin'!

Perfect reading of a Classic humorous book. And there are two more of the trilogy to which one looks forward.
Simply the best!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-29-20

Loved the narrator

Really loved the narrator, perfect pitch and tenor. Very funny at times, and will miss Abthorpe.

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  • suzanne
  • 02-07-17

Waugh's Men At Arms

Typical Waugh, whose deft hand and wonderful characterisation draw one into the web he spins to show, in a quiet, seemingly ordinary way the profound horrors and tragedies of the war