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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Civilians are to be controlled or disposed of. He knew it had to come to this, that this was the ghastly law of the new type of war.

In this respect the novel is a romance. It has too its moments of perverted humor, of sensitivity, of poignancy. A complex and cerebral book. The Centurions see themselves as beyond the parade ground armies of the past. Thoroughly schooled in the art of guerrilla warfare in Indochina and embittered by the incompetence of the traditional French military establishment and the amoral fickleness displayed by the revolving door of s An outstanding piece of work.

The Centurions

Please provide an email address. This is about French paratroopers and their resentment at providing France’s rearguard as its empire withered away, but it seems just as relevant to today’s wars being fought by the U.

It made a massive impression on me then. May 17, David rated it it was amazing. Each of the officers learns a different lesson from this experience, and the alpha officer, Raspeguy, later uses communist methods to indoctrinate conscripts assigned to fight with him in Algeria.


The Centurions (Lartéguy novel) – Wikipedia

They all become increasingly impatient with the hidebound, old-fashioned ideas of the men who command them, and all go off campus, go against orders, to achieve something lasting if they can. The book regained currency with the onset of the Global War on Terrorism centyrions the insurgency phase of the Iraq War. A friend has remarked that a “key weakness [in the novel] is its understanding of women. Featuring a foreword by renowned military expert Robert D.

Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. All suffer as larfeguy of war in Vietnam after the fall of Diem Bien Phu. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. They are the very opposite of the communists and Islamic fundamentalists they fight. Men who return from war are something apart. Return to Book Page. By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

In broad strokes, the story surrounds the educational process a group of French officers undergo while held prisoner by communists in Vietnam. Ask our soldiers to find a way to save the nation and they do, only to be blamed for their actions in the end.

Several of his book titles were translated into English, with the most successful being his Algerian War series: 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 larteghy as steel both in their bodies and minds. I had never heard of this book when it got selected for a book club. Lartevuy told Myke Cole he should read it, and he told me he was reading the Builders already, and I said this was better than the Builders, and he told me that was the sort of thing I shouldn’t write in public, and then I went ahead and ignored him.


For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. The links of shared experience were what mattered. As an author, I am also a harsh critic, however this book demands that it is recommended to readers.


Penguin is soon to release the sequel to this work, The Praetorians. It is a bitter indictment of a system.

If that is the case, then the book points to a basic difference between noble and base. So I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this book. An excellent book which gives a good understanding of the French military mindset during the First Vietnam War. The book, “A Savage War of Larteuy by Alistair Horne provides strong background for them, and is also an excellent companion if you want a broad and concise overview of the entire conflict from its earliest origins to the bitter end.