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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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 this book when it got selected for a book club.

The first third of the book takes place in a prison camp after the fall of Dien Bien Phu. And as such both sides’ reasons and motives have faded away and their goals appear without any cover: Jan 27, Pat Dugan rated it it was amazing. The men of The Centurions are as noble and isolated as their Roman precursors. It would be difficult to establish Communism completely as long as men and women still existed, with their instincts and their passions, their beauty and their youth.

THE CENTURIONS by Jean Larteguy | Kirkus Reviews

Return to Book Page. And is surely mandatory for politicians who continue to suck their militaries into these un-winnable situations. All of them are coming unwillingly to realize that the world is changing, war is changing, and France, too, the France they have loved and fought lartegiy, is changing, shrinking, losing its grip on the far-off lands it once controlled.

It has a vivid relevance and feel even now. Yet part of the lessons learned by the Centurions in Vietnam is the importance of co-opting the general populace as efficiently as possible.


The characters speak brilliantly, in fine beautifully composed sentences. If you’re looking for a blood-and-guts, thrill-ride of an action novel, this isn’t for you, While there is some kinetic combat very, very little in fact, most of the violence is impliedthe majority of this book is a psychological battle of wills and ideology.

Larteguy is a great writer and the book has a wonderful deep structure where the suffering of the main characters as prisoners in Vietnam burnishes them as steel both in their bodies and minds.

If it’s nothing, we will lose, denturions matter the military might we employ. Since then, it has often been quoted or analyzed in works on counter-insurgency. What they had not bargained for was that something had changed in them — the methods used against them by their captors seemed inevitably the methods they in turn adopted to use against the Algerian enemy.

Cenurions the army in which I should like to fight. How many times has the story recounted in this classic novel about war been writ in the history of mankind? I first read this book nearly 50 years ago.

The Centurions

Apparently the freedoms inherent in Sexual Egalitarianism do not include Feminism I read this in college, probably I will read again, but paints a picture that resonates. The Centurions Penguin Classics Author s: In the night thoughts of one of the more appealing paratroopers: A very worthwhile book if you want to learn and think more about – counterinsurgency, – the ethics of war, – venturions, – the relationship the military and society have to one another, – the tthe of decolonization, and – the history of French warfare.

Each one emerges as sharply defined. Its key weakness, for me, is its understanding of women — and that’s all I’ll say about that. Near the end, there is an especially splendid account of a showdown with a rebel force, told with equal parts thrill and cold-blooded detachment.


It is lwrteguy with the warrior’s creed, an ethos that often has more in common with its counterpart on the enemy side than with the Christian culture it defends but which does not defend them in turn.

Nov 26, Brian centruions it really liked it.

Immediately it was hailed as a classic, a true example of the immediacy of classic status when a book carries with it such honesty and a sense of history in the making. In that work I believe the officers of this novel are brought back to France to be tried for crimes committed while combating the Algerian terrorist group. No trivia or quizzes yet.

Even the idea of war as between two clear-cut sides is not strictly correct; unless there is an incredible unifying factor, one largeguy usually pull away individuals, tribes, or factions from a guerrilla movement. Who should be drawing that line? From the Trade Paperback edition.

One of the best, most unputdownable books I’ve read in years and, along with Malaparte’s “Kaputt” centjrions I just read last year for the first timeone of the few truly indispensable books I’ve read on men, war, and violence in our time. A notorious read, if there ever was one. The narrative is a bit episodic in nature, but it is by turns hilarious, heartbreaking, and poignant. And if you don’t want to know anythingstop here. A similar thing in Algeria.