With a horse between his thighs and a weapon in his grip, the dashing Brigadier Etienne Gerard, Colonel of the Hussars of Conflans, gallops through the Napoleonic campaigns on secret missions for his beloved Emperor and his country. He encounters danger and hair-breadth escapes but never loses his bravado, his eye for a pretty girl, his boastfulness or his enormous vanity.
Gerard is Conan Doyle’s most lovable character. At times hilarious, at times touching, these stories are amongst Conan Doyle’s most popular.
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may be best known for his Sherlock Holmes stories, but they were not his favorites. He loved the stories that promoted the chivalric ethos, even if they sometimes made fun of their heroes, as here. Gerard is a cavalry officer who is devoted to Napoleon and is incapable of seeing the world through any other lens. Rupert Degas is reliably excellent as the ego-inflated officer who fails to see the differences between French and English values, remaining fully confident through what most of us would consider the most embarrassing situations. But Degas never loses touch with the man's innate courage, grace, and devotion to his principles.
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A French Flashman - Classic!
The Voice of the hero
RD's narration is superb, really captures the character of the protagonist (and wonderfully covers the Brits too appearing in the stories). The narrator also fleshes out so well the ironies in the writing of these stories and escapades.
- Nicholas G Phillips