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The Adventures of Gerard by Sir Arthur Conan…
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The Adventures of Gerard (1903)

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Showing 5 of 5
A very nice rediscovery, Superbly narrated by Rupert Degas ( )
  otori | Mar 30, 2017 |
I like these tales, written in the Sherlockian hiatus by Conan Doyle. We follow our hero through his exploits, some of which are taken from the memoirs of an hussar, Baron de Marbot, and others just fun stuff. I view Gerard as an ancestor of Flashman rather than Sharpe. ( )
  DinadansFriend | May 14, 2015 |
"At Waterloo, although, in a sense, I was present, I was unable to fight, and the enemy was victorious. It is not for me to say that there is a connection between these two things. You know me too well, my friends, to imagine that I would make such a claim. But it gives matter for thought, and some have drawn flattering conclusions from it."

Thus does our old friend Etienne Gerard begin his penultimate tale of adventure, reminiscing convivially about that horrible day at Waterloo. His characteristic reserve and modesty are obviously on full display, for is not humility one of the greatest traits of this very great man? Not on your life…and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I was once again struck by the ways in which Gerard is so similar in character to Harry Paget Flashman, and yet also so diametrically opposed to him. Where Flashy blunders treacherously from misadventure to misadventure in a cowardly attempt to escape danger while still managing to cover himself in glory and praise, Gerard nobly blunders from misadventure to misadventure in a valiant attempt to singlehandedly win every battle in the Napoleonic wars and manages to escape with his life despite his foolhardiness and obtuseness. Some glory adheres to him, but it’s unclear how much is truly universal in its acclaim and how much is only in his own mind. Of course, there’s usually a woman involved as well. And she is always smitten to the core by our brave and dashing hussar. Who wouldn’t be?

Conan Doyle certainly seems to have had a knack for creating memorable, even great, characters. Sherlock Holmes is of course an icon, a literary giant that has stood the test of time. I hope that Gerard does as well, for while he is certainly less well-known than his consulting detective confrere, he is no less intriguing a character. As with Holmes it is due mostly to his faults that Gerard ought to win a place in your hearts and minds. A bigger braggart and narcissist could little be imagined (Harry Paget Flashman notwithstanding), and yet he is a lovable egoist for all of that. Gerard’s heart is always in the right place and if he happens to believe that everyone (even his enemies) truly love him, is he really, perhaps, all that wrong? He is, certainly, an eminently likable old fellow.

This is sadly the last volume of Gerard’s adventures and it runs the gamut of chivalrous exploits undertaken in the name of a lady, to affairs of honour (in the name of a lady), and let’s not forget the martial exploits in the name of the Emperor which of course override all other concerns (though sometimes a lady *is* involved). It’s a pleasure to listen as the Brigadier recalls his days of glory and for all of their inherent humour (usually indiscernable to Gerard) there is also some pathos evoked by them, for it is apparent that this jovial old grognard living on half-pay and memories alone has nothing else save the planting of cabbages with which to while away his final days, for he remained loyal to his beloved emperor and his own prospects and standing faded away as the star of Napoleon itself dimmed and disappeared. This last was certainly not without some attempts by Gerard to undo the wrong done to his master, but that’s a tale you will have to hear for yourself. I urge you to do so, the Brigadier is always a genial companion. Ah, by the bye you don’t mind springing for a bottle of burgundy, do you? There’s a good fellow. ( )
  dulac3 | Apr 2, 2013 |
Another collection of humorous stories concerning the Napoleonic cavalry officer. Like the Exploits, there are also episodes of real horror and tension and Gerard is involved in historic events, the retreat from Moscow, the Battle of Waterloo and in the final story attempting to rescue the Emperor from St Helena. Cracking stuff. 5/5 ( )
  john257hopper | Dec 5, 2012 |
the continuing adventures of the blundering, pompous but successful Etienne Gerard during the Napoleonic wars. A precursor to the Flashman books in many ways, except Gerard remains a gentleman - he's just a hopeless soldier. A funny book that proves Conan-Doyle had a sense of humour with this satire/picaresque work. ( )
  Dalziel | Jan 16, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0554109239, Paperback)

"I hope that some readers may possibly be interested in these little tales of the Napoleonic soldiers to the extent of following them up to the springs from which they flow " writes the author.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:20 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Preposterously vain and yet endearing, Brigadier Gerard makes for a tremendously fun companion as he relives the adventures of his military career fighting in the Napoleonic campaigns. Crediting himself with unparalleled military prowess and irresistible powers of seduction, Gerard goes as far as to suggest that his absence from the Battle of Waterloo was the reason for Napoleon's defeat!… (more)

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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100143, 1400110963

 

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