The military cult classic with resonance to the wars in Iraq and Vietnam—now back in print When The Centurions was first published in. The military cult classic with resonance to the wars in Iraq and Vietnam – now back in print. When The Centurions was first published in , readers were. Jean Larteguy (the pen name of Jean Pierre Lucien Osty, ) spent time in prison in Spain in , the year I was born. He then joined.

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Kaplan Translated by Xan Fielding Category: It has the solidity of experience and the substance of a history told by participants.

The Centurions is the first of two books by Jean Larteguy that follows a platoon of French paratroopers the sequel, which I’ve ordered, is The Praetori I had never heard of centuirons book when it got selected for a book club. I do not know if this is a translation issue; too much of the characters sentences are either wooden or outright improbable.

This philosophy is hardly mitigated by the duplicity which the French government inflicts time and time again against the Centurion, first in Vietnam, then in Egypt, and finally in Algiers.

The Centurions by Jean Larteguy

Aussaresses wrote an account of his service entitled, “Battle of the Casbah”. Here are resonant echoes of European literature going all the way back centuriond The Latteguy of Roland and the Crusades, if not to the Iliad — and little of the light mockery that appears as early as Orlando Furioso and Don Quixote a hundred years later or the black comedy of antiwar literature in the 20th century. The Centurions Author s: Retrieved April 29, I am conscious of the fact that I read this larrteguy 60 years after its events.


Apr 03, Dan rated it it was amazing. In the old lartegiy the Chinese used to bind their women’s feet to make them smaller; that was the fashion; it must have had some religious or erotic significance. One reason this book is so interesting is because of its attention from the contemporary American military because of the similarity of the struggles – Vietnam still looms large, of course, but also the bonds between combat troops, the separation of a warrior culture from civilians, and the long grinding struggle of military occupation, which to Engaging and psychologically tense depiction of French soldiers, centurions, from the prison camps after Dien Bien Phu to the guerrilla wars of Algeria.

The Bowed Bookshelf: The Centurions by Jean Lartéguy translated by Xan Fielding

The former is necessarily tied to a time and place in history, the latter appears to be timeless. Anyone, especially those who don’t think we have a problem with Islamofascists. The Centurions have more in common with their terrorist counterparts than the average citizen they’re supposed to protect. It is a good look at a time in history that seems long ago and far away, but it is not. Lartegyu voices several times over the moral superiority of France, as evinced in how its men allow the women of A complex and cerebral book.

The lands, languages, uniforms, and personalities were different—but the themes and emotions were constant.

A friend has remarked that a “key weakness [in the novel] is its understanding of women. An insight into war and its effects on those who do the fighting.

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A book like this casts a spell. Looking for More Great Reads? From the Trade Paperback edition. The other would be the real one, composed entirely of young enthusiasts in camouflage battledress, who would not be put on display but from whom.

Well known for being on the short list of David Petraeus’ favorite books, as well as providing literary justification for torture, rape and murder by military forces in order to combat against the western world’s new enemies.

The book also somewhat suffers for ccenturions a large cast of characters that I found difficult to keep straight. There was a problem adding your email address.

Apparently the freedoms inherent in Sexual Egalitarianism do not include Feminism I’m looking forward to reading the next book, which I would never have guessed before I started this one. Its key weakness, for me, is its understanding of women — and that’s all I’ll say about that.


It is a bitter indictment of a system. He remained there for nine months and larteeguy time in a Francoist jail before joining the Free French Forces as an officer in the 1st Commando Group 1er groupe de commandos. The story is convincing, and what’s more, it has purpose. Later, their tactics are deniable by higher ups in the French military, leaving the soldiers to bear the brunt of saving Algiers’ Kasbah.