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Beau Geste
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Beau Geste

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,371 ratings  ·  93 reviews
French Legionnaires find one of their fortresses manned by dead men. Who could have done it? A flashback unravels the mystery of the three English Geste brothers. A classic, rip-roaring tale of adventure.
Hardcover, 367 pages
Published December 12th 1976 by Buccaneer Books (first published 1924)
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Jim
I've read that a classic is a book that is never finished saying what it has to say. I further define one by it being a great story hidden behind awful, dated writing that has been butchered by Hollywood, & forced upon too-young souls by sadistic English teachers. This book escaped half of the usual criteria.

First & foremost, not one of my sadistic English teachers (I went to a prestigious prep school & had many.) ever forced me to read this book, thankfully. It's taken me years to g...more
K.
Reread Dec 2012, loved again.
---
What a fabulous book!! I am SO enjoying building up my reactionary library (see article pasted in below).

Beau Geste was an ultimate boy/man book (to be much enjoyed by women who love real men too:). While I have to admit that there wasn't, perhaps, anything mind-blowingly profound in this book (except maybe that it's so very different from the messages found in most more modern lit), there were a few things I thought made this book one I want the little men I'm...more
Mike (the Paladin)
This is one of those books I've been meaning to read since...well since i was a kid. Gary Cooper is Beau Geste for me. I'll say this...that old movie isn't too far from the book and it captures the book's adventure.

Told from the beginning by a Frenchman (who of course gets the "compliment" that he's like an Englishman) telling the spooky, frightening, foreshadowing/climactic tale of Fort Zinderneuf. He lead the relief column to the fort which he found unfallen with it's gates closed and locked.....more
Jacqueline
Is this book why I named my son Beau? I don't know but I'm pretty sure it was in the back of my mind when it came time to name him. :-) I read this when I was around 13 to 15. I loved it and am planning to read it to my boys as soon as I think they can tolerate the language. A great adventure story with the French Foreign Legion. What could be better? It's not a perfectly crafted novel but is wonderful anyway.
♥Beleza★✰
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 relig
...more
Helena Jole
Classic British tale of mystery and run-away-and-join-the-Foreign-Legion adventure. It was a good read, though it did drag in places, and I absolutely hated the ending. Or not the ending so much, but the bit right before the ending.

I first encountered this book at my grandmother's house when I was maybe 10 or so. One bedroom had a big deep closet with a bookshelf full of old Superman, Lone Ranger, and Uncle Scrooge comic books. We used to spend hours in that closet every time we visited. There...more
Hal Johnson
Beau Geste is pretty much the perfect book. It's more or less about some jewel thieves who flee to the French Foreign Legion to escape capture. Once in the middle of the desert, they find that a psychotic and sadistic commandant wants them dead so he can claim the jewel; a cabal of Mediterranean-types wants them dead so they can claim the jewel; the other Legionnaires want them dead so they can murder the psychotic commandant our heroes our too noble to mutiny against; and the Bedouins want them...more
Wade Grassman
Let me say that I am a huge fan of old adventure movies, one of my favourites has been Beau Geste (’39 with Gary Cooper, Robert Preston and Ray Milland). The source book has been on the “Get to read list” for a very long time, thanks to my wife’s thoughtful gift of a Nook last Christmas, I’ve been slowly popping off some of the classics on that list.

If you have a Nook or a Kindle, I would advise you don’t get the lowest price version of this classic. The text was so filled with typos it was dif...more
Jc
I have seen each of the film versions of this, including Marty Feldman's "Last Remake...," at least 3 times each (NOTE: don't bother with the 1966 Doug McClure/Leslie Nielsen/Telly Savalas version!!; the 1926 & 1939 versions are both must see). But, I had never read the book before. It is very much a 1920s romantic adventure, and the model for many a Fr.Foreign Legion book and film made since then. Don't expect a modern novel, but if you have fun with The Saint and other adventure/mystery bo...more
Robert Hays
I have the good fortune to have access to a great collection of classics from my late father-in-law's 1930s and '40s library. Beau Geste is one of the books I was a long time getting to, and that's a shame. What a read! I know it was made into a movie--maybe more than once, I'm not sure--and so if you watch classic movies you may have seen it. With an exotic setting that features the French Foreign Legion, how could it fail? But I promise that if the opening scene of Beau Geste doesn't grab you,...more
Ann
Amazing story! The beginning is a bit confusing and you have to allow time to get into the flow of the language and the old-fashioned style of the story. But once you do - wow! Brothers Beau, Digby, and John and their friends Hank and Buddy and of course Sgt. Lejaune are characters you will never forget. I understand the 1939 movie version with Gary Cooper was quite good, although the idea of Gary Cooper playing a 20 year old English gentleman is a bit of a stretch!
Viktoriya
This book was recommended to me by someone who read it as a teenager. I can see the appeal this book would have on a boy that age. All that heroism, adventures, running away from home, the mystery of a stolen jewel. Reading it at my "old" age I didn't really see all that appeal. I think this book would have benefited from a better editor. I can't tell you how many times I was about to give up reading this book.
[G]
An immensely readable popular novel from the 1920s, unfortunately marred by contemporary reflexive anti-semitism & xenophobia. If one can ignore these elements & focus on the story, what emerges is a very gripping tale of the Foreign Legion. Starting with a mystery of the desert, flashing back to the youth of the narrator & his 2 elder brothers in England, this tale is funny & tense & moving in turns. It's a testament of Wren's ability that he can make the somewhat incredible...more
Manny
When people talk about running away and joining the Foreign Legion, they're probably referring to this book, even if they don't know they are. Stirring British Empire stiff-upper-lip stuff. There is a fantastic scene near the end which I often think of.
C Mac
hello

OH where
is Max Perkins when you need him

wordy slog
adventure story

far too much dead space
nothing nothing is happening

does not age well

see the Gary Cooper movie
its much better than the book

yours truly
mac
Jenna
Sep 04, 2007 Jenna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: favoritebooks
One of the best books I've ever read. It made me laugh, cry, and feel for all the characters like no other book. An must read for anyone who loves the classics
Stephen
At age ten I read the classic comic and recall the disappearance of the Blue Water sapphire and how "Beau" then left for the Foreign Legion taking the blame for a crime no one seriously suspected him of. I forgot his surname was Geste. What he did was certainly a beau geste. Sixty years later I caught up to the book, prompted actually by goodreads. Enjoyable, certainly, but O.Henry might have done the whole story as well in twenty pages . I found doings in the Foreign Legion dragged a bit. I bet...more
Joseph
Truly the greatest book I have ever read. I should also state that Beau Sabreur and Beau Ideal, along with Beau Geste, should all be considered one story. This story taught me so much in my early childhood and teens that I have no idea what I would be like if I had never read these books. The pure romance, the realistic battle scenes, the explosive resolution to wrenching mysteries, all with the immaculately crafted literature itself makes out to be pure art. If you only read 3 books in your lif...more
Herman Labuschagne
This is one of the most outstanding adventure novels of all time. My grandmother urged me in the strongest terms over the span of years. When I finally took the book from her library at the age of about 13 I went cartwheeling trough time and space to land headlong in a world of infuriating flies, insufferable heat and and raging sand storms.

Surrounded by mystery and intrigued, I lived in the world of Beau Geste for days, not wanting at all to return to the real world. Everything was real about...more
Alexandra
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jemima Pett
I decided to re-read my copy of Beau Geste on a hot sultry day in July. I remember a rip-roaring tale of derring-do, and that is exactly what I found - again. What I also found is that I have an abridged version for 12-15 year-olds. I probably first read it at age 14. This was particularly instructive for me, since I was looking at guidelines for books for 12-15 year olds on a readers website, and thought, well, this wouldn't pass. Different age, different standards.

Beau Geste is the sort of bo...more
Gabriel C.
There is a rip-roaring adventure story in here somewhere, but unfortunately it totally bogs down in the obstinate idiocy of sheltered aristocratic children, in the overdetail and monotony of the plot of the mutiny, et cetera. As one might expect, there is both casual and endemic racism and classism throughout. It's surprising to me, actually, that the racism isn't more all-pervading. I'm not making an apology--the racism has its first real shock with the dirty Jewish pawnbroker and then hits its...more
Matti Karjalainen
Englantilaisen Percival Christopher Wrenin kirjoittama "Saharan sissit" (WSOY, 1960 - lyhennetty painos) ilmestyi alun perin vuonna 1924, ja on tullut sittemmmin tutuksi useampana elokuvaversiona.

Michael "Beau" Geste ja hänen veljensä joutuvat liittymään Ranskan muukalaislegioonaan, koska heidän vanhan sukulaistätinsä omistama kallisarvoinen Sinitähti-jalokivi on varastettu epämääräisissä olosuhteissa. Afrikan hehkuvan aurigon alla sitten taistellaan arabiheimoja vastaan ja kohdataan myös legioo...more
Wren
Ever since John joined the foreign legion I found the book rather slow at times or hard to get through. However, the death of Michael and the death of Hank both touched me. I truly admired Buddy for his hope and loyalty to Hank - that he would actually go back into the desert in the hope of finding him with his blind faith that Hank was 'ondestructible.' Pure friendship.
The end of the book - Michael's letter to his aunt and the resolution of the mystery resulted in me crying. And crying. That so...more
Luxor
Apasionante y divertida. Un clásico de la novela de aventuras con todos sus ingredientes. Robos, viajes a lugares exóticos, misterios, honor, lealtad, grandes amores...Pero algunas peculiaridades la hacen destacar sobre otras novelas del mismo género. A saber.
Su peculiar estructura dividida en dos partes, siendo la primera el desenlace de la historia y la segunda su comienzo. Hay diversos cambios de narrador, que incluso nos llegan a contar lo mismo pero bajo otros puntos de vista (curiosamente...more
Jenna
Funny, intelligent wit, and adventure. An unusual story of friendship and brotherhood. A daring exploit of the Geste's from England to France, and to South Africa associating with Foreign French Legion.

Lady Brandon, displayed to her dinner guest the "Blue Water" sapphire the finest gem was given to her on her wedding day by Sir Hector Brandon. When the light was out the legendary gem was gone within seconds, and later on the Geste's brothers are vanished too.

Beau Geste wrote that he stole the Bl...more
Jennifer
Decided to re-read this after loving it, oh, 35 years ago? I was surprised to find that I remembered the plot quite well! Probably in my high school enthusiasm, I would have given it 5 stars - it didn't thrill me quite so much this time around but it's still a good yarn.
Kris
After a very slow and rocky start, this book really takes off and is quite the adventure tale. A few racial slurs, standard for the time, but I've read worse, in that regard. Surprisingly enjoyable tale!
John (J.J.) Sheahan
Possibly the first book that made me cry. I still remember my friend, completely bewildered, as I did not/could not explain what was going on. Thirteen year old boys don't cry over books!
Becca brown
Best book in the Whole World ... And I read A lot. I also Highly recommend the Sequels to this book (Beau Sabuer and Beau Ideal), they are fantastic and add a ton of more info about the first one and secrets that you don't know after reading the first.
If you read the First book (Beau Geste) you absolutely MUST read the others also.
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443003
Percival Christopher Wren (1 November 1875[1] – 22 November 1941) was a British 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, and its sequels, Beau Sabreur and Beau Ideal.

Born as plain Percy Wren, in Deptford, South London, England, Percy was the son of a schoolmaster. His literary influenc...more
More about P.C. Wren...
Beau Sabreur Beau Ideal Good Gestes: Stories of Beau Geste, His Brothers, and Certain of Their Comrades in the French Foreign Legion Soldiers of Misfortune The Foreign Legion Omnibus: Beau Geste, Beau Sabreur, and Beau Ideal

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