|Butler & Tanner Ltd.
|adventure, fiction, Foreign Legion, film/TV adaptation
The narrator of this story is an American called Otis Vanbrugh, who forms a friendship in childhood with the Geste boys, and with Isabel, who grows up to be John's beloved. Otis is also madly in love with her, and it is on her account that he throws himself heroically into the penal divisions of the French Foreign Legion in the middle east in order to save John for Isabel. (John himself has gone on an addle-pated but honourable rescue mission. In fact, the men in this story are all so busy rescuing each other, they seriously endanger each other at every turn!) So we're operating in the realms of High Honour here, with all the repressed misogyny masquerading as devotion, and all the similarly repressed homoeroticism that that world entails. The patronizing tone with which the Arabs are treated is enough to make you gag. Add that to the singularly patronizing attitude to women that I have already mentioned, and it was enough to make this a far less enjoyable experience... [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Wren, Percival Christopher
Percival Christopher Wren (1 November 1875 – 22 November 1941) was an English writer, mostly of adventure fiction. He is remembered best for Beau Geste, a much-filmed book of 1924, involving the French Foreign Legion in North Africa. This was one of 33 novels and short story collections that he wrote, mostly dealing with colonial soldiering in Africa.
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