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I'm kicking off the discussion as I just finished reading it last night.

One of my favourite characters in Blackadder is Lord Flashheart, but before him came Etienne Gerard, the daring, brave, handsome and premier swords- and horseman of the French Hussars of Conflans.

I won't pretend that I'm not a fan of Conan Doyle - I love his Sherlock Holmes stories as the perfect light entertainment. Gerard is preposterous and hilarious. Some of my favourite parts in these stories are when he completely misreads or ignores other's opinions and blazes on through as though he's the absolute hero of the piece.

But I'm not going to say any more. I hope other readers will chime in with their opinions on this complete collection of Brigadier Gerard stories.

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I've never read Flashman, Sharpe or Blackadder - and I didn't see enough of the TV series - so I have no-one to compare Brigadier Gerard to (and I have only read The Hound of The Baskervilles from ACD) but I found him entertaining and diverting none the less. Not a page-turning must-find-out-what-happens next kind of book but well written and researched and interesting enough to keep me reading.

 

I wouldn't have known about this book had it not been for the Subscriber's Offer and once again I'm grateful to have been included and glad to have read the book.

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Not a page-turning must-find-out-what-happens next kind of book but well written and researched and interesting enough to keep me reading.

 

I read mostly one story at a time, and I found Gerard's adventures really quite humorous.

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I've read the first three stories and agree that they are very funny. And that is because Gerard is so ridiculous. I agree with Luna, it's not a page turner. Or rather I usually finish a whole story in one or two chunks but then have no burning desire to move onto the next...

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I'm thoroughly enjoying this - one story at a time. It's really nice to have a book you can pick up and put down again.

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Absolutely loving it! I started last week, whilst on holiday, and am just into the second half. I particularly enjoyed the fox-hunting story, but the whole premise of an English writer creating a French character whose self-regard knows no bounds is simply wonderful.

 

Highly recommended (and I am now encouraged to seek out some Sherlock Holmes, which I haven't done for about 40 years!).

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an English writer creating a French character

I believe Doyle was a Scot, and even now there are remnants of The Auld Alliance between Scotland and France evident in some loyalties. ;)

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Definitely get back into the Holmes stories - and are you watching Sherlock on BBC1?

 

Absolutely loving it! I started last week, whilst on holiday, and am just into the second half. I particularly enjoyed the fox-hunting story, but the whole premise of an English writer creating a French character whose self-regard knows no bounds is simply wonderful.

 

Highly recommended (and I am now encouraged to seek out some Sherlock Holmes, which I haven't done for about 40 years!).

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I am enjoying this book, however I find I'm getting through it a lot slower than I do most other books. As much as I like it I'm not feeling that I can't wait to pick it up again.

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Apologies for the error re ACD's birthplace. Although I can't resist mentioning that my Dad was born in Wales, but most definitely wasn't Welsh!

 

Unfortunately, we were on holiday when Holmes started on TV, so we didn't watch them. I'm sure we will catch up at some point.

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I got through it slower, too. It's definitely a 'read one story, go away and come back later' kind of book. Nothing wrong with that!

 

I am enjoying this book, however I find I'm getting through it a lot slower than I do most other books. As much as I like it I'm not feeling that I can't wait to pick it up again.

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It took me a while to get through the Complete collection, but I have finally finished.

I enjoyed the stories, and quite liked Etienne Gerard, even though he is just as contradictory a character as Doyle's more famous Sherlock Holmes.

 

In the first story Gerard is a young officer, clearly not thought to be of the sharpest brain. He is sent off on a decoy mission for Napoleon from which he is not expected to return. By not using his initiative, and much more by luck than judgement he completes his mission - to the amazement of his superior officers. He innocently betrays his own incompetence in his account of this exploit as an heroic adventure. From this story and others, in particular the Fox Hunting one, Gerard is portrayed as being rather dense, and prone to totally misinterpret the actions and conversation of others. This endears him to the reader (or irritates them) and is quite amusing.

However, it is clear from other stories that he is well respected and loved by the soldiers under him. Admittedly this is by his own account, so take with a pinch of salt, but must have an element of truth. He also survives throughout several campaigns, which couldn't be all down to luck, and advances through the ranks which, allowing for the Peter Principle, would indicate that he isn't a total idiot.

 

One little thing. As these stories were first published in Strand Magazine they would have been illustrated, and just as our image of Holmes is based on the original illustrations by Sidney Paget, I feel that our image of Brigadier Gerard, and our enjoyment of the stories, would have been enhanced by the inclusion of the William Barnes Wollen illustrations.

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I have finally got through all the stories. I have to admit that it was tough and I think I only picked the book up each time as I knew I was reading it for BGO. Whilst it wasn't a bad book at all it just didn't have that little something which makes me want to pick a book up and continue reading it.

 

I have passed it onto my dad though as I think he would enjoy it.

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