Pub. Date: 1924
Type: Fiction, Adventure Classic
Rating: Liked it ♥♡
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 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…
This book is much more than an adventure story, it has two mysteries, that end up being related. The first is “STRANGE EVENTS AT ZINDERNEUG” where, after receiving a distress call the French Legionnaires arrive find it manned by dead men. 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.
This is a very entertaining read, more than just an adventure/mystery tale it is also about loyalty and doing the right thing, or perhaps the wrong thing but for a very good reasons.
After I read the book I saw the movie Beau Geste (1939) with Gary Cooper and Ray Milland and others. I’m not a Gary Cooper fan, but the movie was pretty good. It stayed faithful, more or less to the book.
P.S.: P.C. stands for Percival Christopher. 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.