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The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  548 ratings  ·  52 reviews
In Gerard, Conan Doyle brough to life a really memorable and living character: a vain, brave French brigadier with an amusing touch of stupidity whose adventures in the Napoleaonic Wars have delighted readers ever since he first charged onto the scene.

He is brash and boastful in relating his exploits with his beloved hussars during twenty years of fighting. Berlin, Naples,
Paperback, 182 pages
Published February 1984 by Alan Sutton Publishing (first published 1896)
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What do you get if you take Flashman, remove the streak of yellow from his back and make at least some of the adventures ones entered into knowingly by the participant? Why, you get Brigadier Etienne Gerard, of course! Gerard is a creation of Arthur Conan Doyle, sadly languishing in the shadows with all of his other characters not called "Sherlock Holmes". He is a dashing hussar in Napoleon's Grande Armée who, in his old age, is recalling to the reader the adventures of his youth. The comparison ...more
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle - He Ain't Exactly No Sherlock Holmes

I'm not going to say much about this book other than this. I've always known about Arthur Conan Doyle's sense of humor and I've heard about him being a prankster and other things. His sense of humor and dry wit are on display in this book and it's wonderfully funny.

This is the tale Etienne Brigadier Gerard, Napolionic war hero and down right legend in his own mind, as he goes from miss adventure to miss
December 2010
"Save for two or three men and a score or two of women, you are the first who have ever heard the story."

Etienne Gerard, hero of France, is the kind of man who challenges a dozen men to a dozen duels (in a row, while promising to spend no more than five minutes with each so that the others are not kept waiting), only to show up late to the dueling ground because he was busy infiltrating a fortified Spanish town in order to end a siege--and then, just so he won't miss breakfast, he o
Best book I've read in a very long time, I have to say. Gerard is an absolutely appealing character and his transparently misguided narration is pretty much brilliant. It's difficult to pull off a story which has the narrator living, through his own words, in a state of enlightenment significantly lower than that of the reader, and to keep him charming-- but Conan Doyle does that, and he does that seventeen times. Everyone with even the vaguest interest in Napoleonic history, Sherlock Holmes, or ...more
George MacDonald Fraser wrote the excellent introduction to this edition of the collected Brigadier Gerard stories, in which he observed what a different sort of character is Gerard from Conan Doyle’s more famous creation, who need not be named. Gerard is French, not English; an interesting choice for a good Victorian imperialist such as Conan Doyle. And Gerard’s stories are set earlier; the conceit is that he is an old man telling tales about his time as a Hussar in Napoleon’s army. Gerard is a ...more
Brigadier Gerard is one of those people who think they're awesome - they're probably just average, but they're enthusiasm for themselves is so glowing and positive, that it's impossible not to get caught up in it. Gerard is charming, and made me smile. He's not arrogant, just full of noble intentions and sure of his importance in every situation he is involved in. You can see his mistakes a mile away, but he is blissfully unaware, and the other characters don't take him to task for them.(His blo ...more
fantastic early work by Doyle; hair-raising adventures of a French soldier, filled with secret passages, code words, split second getaways and Napoleon!

REVISION: this is actually written AFTER sherlock holmes, and it's refreshing to see what Doyle does with a new character. Gerard is a rakish french soldier who thinks as much of himself as do any of his admirers. this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to those who love pulp fiction and boy's-own adventure stories. not written for children at all, but appeal
Paul Pensom
This was a revelation. There are flashes of wit in Sherlock Holmes, but I never realised that ACD could be so funny. Gerard is a brilliant creation: a vainglorious, boastful Lothario, blessed with the talent and good fortune to find himself right at the heart of events in Napoleonic europe.

This collection of tales are a rumbustious compendium of derring-do, and as conceited as the Brigadier is, by the end of it one cannot help but love him. Why he hasn't been translated more successfully to scr
Oct 21, 2008 Cary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Conan Doyale wrote a lot of other cool books besides Sherlock Holmes. The Brigadier Gerard is a compilation of short stories about a courier and cavalryman in the personal service of Napoleon Bonaparte. Gerard is a very likeable hero. The stories are exiting and humourous with lots off brutal 18th century warfare during the Napoleonic wars. The stories concerning Wellingtons Penensular campaigns in Spain are my favorites. Trust me you will love the Brigadier. Cary
Mike Marlow
A very nice adventure story, which is Doyle's strength in my opinion. I'm still not sure if it's the military that he's mocking or if it's the French; Gerard's attitude is just a little too much to not be satirical. But still a fun read overall.
Funny. You can tell that Conan Doyle loved his creation of a pompous Frenchman, and the stories are quite fun to read. I was rooting for Gerard even as I laughed at (with?) him.
Evyta Ar
sosok Gerard ini mengingatkan saya pada si A.J. Raffles yang memiliki karakter agak mirip; mirip kenarsisannya, mudah bangga pada diri sendiri, dan eksentrik. yang membedakan, si Gerard ini kadang-kadang ceroboh dan mudah sekali tergoda pada kedudukan atau wanita. tapi sosoknya yang setia, pemberani (meskipun kadang-kadang dia takut juga bahkan sampai menangis, haha), dan pandai membawa diri, membuat kisah-kisah di buku ini menjadi semakin menarik. ada humornya juga sih, jadi ga bikin bosan deng ...more
Doyle, Arthur Conan. EXPLOITS AND ADVENTURES OF BRIGADIER GERARD. (n.d., this ed. 2001). ***. After Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes, he turned to a totally different genre – the military adventure story. These tales, seventeen of them (plus one that doesn’t fit the mold), were collected into two volumes after their publication in various periodicals under the titles: “Exploits of Brigadier Gerard,” and, “Adventures of Brigadier Gerard.” I’ve been a Doyle fan for lots of years and had neve ...more
Lee Broderick
I read this in a fuggy blur, so perhaps my judgement wasn't the best at the time.

This book was clearly a big influence on Flashman and yet also obviously within the cannon of Victorian era adventure yarns influenced by Baron Munchausen.

It consists of six short stories told in the first person by the eponymous hero, now long retired, as he looks back on his younger days. The narrator is clearly highly self-conceited, believing himself to be the bravest, strongest and cleverest of all of Napoleon'
There are plenty of books about british military. "The Sharpe series" are well known and I am going trough them with snail speed. I wanted to read something about French military and to my surprise there was a book, which took my fancy. The author is well known from his Sherlock Holmes series, but very few people know that he wrote something else. The main of the hero was dashing and swashbuckle Brigadier Gerard of the french cavalery. His exploits took us to the famous battlefields and campaign ...more
This really wasn’t my cup of tea. It was a review copy which I dutifully read but if it had been a Xmas present I probably wouldn’t have – the Flashman I got as a ‘secret Santa’ about ten years ago is still lying unread. It’s not bad – far from it – but just because a thing is well written isn’t reason enough to read it in my book. Gerard is an endearing character and is often unintentionally funny in just the same was a Sherlock Holmes is funny and it says a lot about Conan Doyle’s skill as a w ...more
Brigadier Gerard is often described as conceited, but I disagree. He approaches everything he does with gusto, and is proud of everything he participates in, and who can really fault him for that? He is willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, even if he doesn't understand what is going on, and that does lead to some Inspector Clouseau type moments, but his heart is in the right place, and if the stories are to be believed he is not undeserving of the honor he claims. He is a much more ...more
Phil Clymer
I just finished The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard and The Adventures of Gerard. Gerard is a fictional underling of Napoleon. He's a mixture between Superman and The Shell Answer Man, he modestly admits he's the best swordsman in the Empire, he is a real Boy Scout/knight in shining armor. In a series of escapades he is as likely to best his adversaries by wit as by sword. The stories are well written and fast paced. These books have been overshadowed by Sherlock! READ THEM!
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wanted to be known as more than just the creator of Sherlock Holmes & it's a shame that his historical fiction doesn't get more attention. His Brigadier Gerard is a cavalry officer in Napoleon's army, not very bright and inclined to pomposity in old age, he does possess physical courage and more than his share of good luck. Told by the Brigadier in his retirement, these war stories are as enjoyable for the voice of the narrator as they are for the exploits therein.
A li
John Walker
Very enjoyable book by the author of Sherlock Holmes. Brigadier Gerard is nothing like Holmes, bit of a braggart, vain, and not too bright; but he's always in the midst of danger and fool-hearty mission for the emperor Napoleon. The introduction of these tales is by George Macdonald Fraser, of Flashman fame, and you can see why he was picked for the introduction since there is a little Flashy in Gerard.

Highly entertaining and worth the read. Since these are tales you can easily read a couple at
I can hardly express how much I enjoyed this book, other than to say that, before I even finished the ebook version, I ordered a hardback copy of the 1896 publication for myself.

The character of Brigadier Gerard is so humorously written that I frequently paused to read a phrase out loud to whomever happened to be near me. This is not a complicated book, but it will, surprisingly, make you think and reconsider the meaning of hubris and loyalty. Go read it!
A different style for Doyle, but still intriguing. I listened to this as a free audiobook from
David Hartman
It can be a little wordy in some sections, but that's because it is sort of a documentary of the times.
I found it curiously revealing regarding the mind set of this time in history...peoples' attitudes toward government specifically.

I got this audio book free at
A great way to pass the time, when you drive for work, as I do!
This was just as good as The Lost World or Sherlock Holmes. I laughed out loud so much while reading this because Etienne Gerard is one of the best and most hilarious main characters I've ever read. It's such a shame that most people only know Doyle's Sherlock Holmes works because they are seriously missing out on this.
Good clean fun for 12 year old boys and girls who want to read about swashbuckling adventures during the Napoleonic Wars. Doyle can certainly write a good yarn. It's all a little silly, though; adults who fancy historical novels will find Flashman much richer, more historically illuminating, and racier.
Thomas Harlan
Not bad! Some derring do, some boasting, a few close shaves and choice escapes... Doyle does a nice job of giving a scathing look at his own society from the eyes of a Frenchman. I was well pleased to see Gerard, was, of course, a Gascon! Worth a read if you like swash with your buckle.
Marts  (Thinker)
The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard is a series of short stories highlighting Etienne Gerard's adventures as a French Army Hussar during the Napoleonic Wars...

The tales a quite entertaining, though I must say that this isn't a Doyle favourite for me, I definitely prefer Holmes!
Lindsay Stares
Fabulous. Gerard is a fantastic character, and the stories are highly entertaining. However, I think I gain the most amusement thinking of Conan Doyle writing in England in the 1890s about France in the 1810s, starring a character who would not be out of place in stories of the 800s.
Great, great fun by Arthur Conan Doyle -- especially considering I'd never heard of these two books of short stories (combined into one here). A French cavalry officer completely enamored of his own daring and charm, he is actually a bit of a hero despite his bragadaggio.
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Arthur Conan Doyle was born the third of ten siblings on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, was born in England of Irish descent, and his mother, born Mary Foley, was Irish. They were married in 1855.

Although he is now referred to as "Conan Doyle", the origin of this compound surname (if that is how he meant it to be understood) is uncertain. His baptism record
More about Arthur Conan Doyle...
A Study in Scarlet  (Sherlock Holmes, #1) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3) The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes, #5) The Complete Sherlock Holmes The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume II

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