Gorgeous East: A Novel

Gorgeous East: A Novel - Robert Girardi Robert Girardi's "Gorgeous East" is the story of three French Foreign Legionnaires: Caporal John Smith, an American theatre star; Caporal Evariste Pinard, a Canadian, and; Colonel Philippe de Noyers, a French aristocrat. These three men, who come to the legion through various means (Smith's vacation in Istanbul is one of the most entertaining parts of the novel and leads directly to his enlistment) and all wind up in the Moroccan desert pursuing a madman rebel leader known as Al Bab.The characters are all well-developed, and each has his own unique character flaws. Smith's vanity as an actor is stripped away from him in fairly short order, for example, but serves him well later in the book. de Noyer has inherited a familial disease which renders him completely insomniac, and even this serves its purpose in the desert. Pinard is a member of the Musique Principale, the Legionnaire Band, and never sees himself as anything more than an oboe player until he is thrust into a rescue mission.Trying to summarize the plot of "Gorgeous East" in a tidy paragraph would be like herding cats. Suffice to say that, while convoluted in places, this book is highly entertaining and will be enjoyed by fans of the military history genre.