Top positive review
A Story Collection That Reads Like a TV Series
Reviewed in the United States on November 7, 2020
The stories in this collection are filled with action, romantic dalliances, swordplay, intrigue, unexpected twists. The main character is swashbuckling, has some conceit, and a lot of bravado. I’m surprised that this collection hasn’t been turned into a tv series. The stories read like one.
Doyle’s writing is highly descriptive. Doyle is famous for Sherlock Holmes, but without Holmes these stories would earn Doyle a deservingly good reputation as a writer and storyteller who excels with the short story.
I thought the best takes involved Napoleon’s retreat. The tables have turned on the French; the occupier becomes the hunted. This heightens the danger to the exploits of Gerard.
A nice aspect to this collection is that these are adventure stories of the Napoleonic wars from the perspective of a French officer. Doyle’s choice not to to tell these tales from the perspective of an Englishman; thus, the French are not villainous and Gerard is a likable, sympathetic character. And the English attachment to fox hunting and cricket as related by Gerard is fun.