The Gendarme E–pub/Kindle

  • Hardcover
  • 294
  • The Gendarme
  • Mark Mustian
  • English
  • 16 April 2020
  • 9780399156342

Mark Mustian à 7 Read

Read The Gendarme 107 Rney to find Araxie and beg her forgiveness Mark Mustian has written a remarkable novel about the power of memory and the ability of people individually and collectively to forget Depicting how love can transcend nationalities politics and religion how racism creates divisions where none truly exist and how the human spirit fights to survive even in the face of hopelessness The Gendarme is a transcendent novel. The Gendarme FlowerWhy do you pick up a book What makes that book alluring as opposed to the one next to it Everyone has their sucker points I m a sucker for maps uniue type styles fabrics patterns shoes with no feet in them But never never ever feet with no shoes on them dishes tea kettles and tea pots partially revealed figures and the just plain pretty Since I buy lots of books there must be an awful lot of covers that peak my interest Of course you may judge a book worthy of picking up by it s cover but you don t always buy it I did touch and then buy The Gendarme by first time author Mark Mustian I had not heard anything about this novel prior to seeing it displayed in an independent bookstore but the cover is so striking shades of the National Geographic Afghan girl and so simple that I was compelled to grab it and have a look If my local chain store was stocking this title at all it was not in one of the many piles of books nor was it faced out in the new fiction section so it did not get my attentionThe gendarme is Emmett Conn Emmett is a World War I vet near the end of his life Although he s suffered from memory problems since being injured during the war that prevent him from remembering much of that experience and his life before it the war has defined his life Now strange dreams that may or may not be hidden memories from that time are intruding on his life In these dreams his status as a soldier is confused He is a gendarme escorting Armenians out of Turkey He is Ahmet Kahn and he is desperately in love with a young refugee named Araxie In Emmett s real life his relationships with his grown daughter and grandson are typically complicated and in need of repair To heal understand and forgive himself for what may have been his participation in the Armenian Genocide Emmett must extract the truth of his life from within these illusive and disturbing memories and dreams This was an excellent novel The different periods were brought off beautifully It was appealing to my love of historical fiction and the contemporary setting was successful as well and so did not suffer by comparison This is not a history of the genocide but the elements of it that are incorporated into the plot are written with enough authority to capture the level of horrors of that experience Mustian also writes movingly and believably about Emmett s two lives The book is told in the first person so our travels with Emmett could very easily have become a tiresome litany of I I I and that does not happen Emmett stays a provocative character throughout the book Not every character is as fully realized as Emmett and Araxie are but the strength of your interest in the two of them makes up for that lack Good job Mark MustianCongrats to the wily cover designer of The Gendarme You tempted me with your mad skills and it paid off big And By the way how much do you love the word gendarme anyway Don t you want to keep saying it Gendarme Great title choice That makes The Gendarme a triple threat terrific novel gorgeous cover and wonderful title PS That cover art reminded me of another recent triple threat novel The Heretic s Daughter Look here my friend They are practically twins

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Read The Gendarme 107 That Emmett has been beset by memories of events he and others have denied or purposely forgotten In Emmett's dreams he's a gendarme escorting Armenians from Turkey A young woman among them Araxie captivates and enthralls him But then the trek ends the war separates them He is injured Seven decades later as his grasp on the boundaries between past and present begins to break down Emmett sets out on a final jou. It s not a bad book It s a popular book popular fiction and I don t mean that in a bad way and as such it makes an act of history the Armenian Genocide accessible to people who don t know much or anything about itOn one level the novel functions as a mystery of one man s mind Is what Emmett is remembering real How much of what he is relating is true On another level it doesn t uite work as a love story This is because we only get Emmett s view and at times that is problematic This ties into the idea of what is real and what isn t But that ties into the uestion of how much do we trust Emmett Which makes it an interesting book if not a great one

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Read The Gendarme 107 What would you do if the love of your life and all your memories were lost only to reappear but with such shocking revelations that you wish you had never remembered Emmett Conn is an old man near the end of his life A World War I veteran he's been affected by memory loss since being injured during the war To those around him he's simply a confused man fading in and out of senility But what they don't know is. The Armenian Genocide an old man just beginning to remember a young soldier falling in love and the search for forgiveness 45 starsThis book was haunting and beautifully written this last being all the noticeable and affecting given the utter ugliness and horror that the language is often portraying Mustian brings to life with searing vividness the sualor disease and everyday violence that made up the caravans tent cities and refugee destinations of the Armenian Genocide He uses the same blunt simplicity to describe both the rape of a woman trying to save her child in wartime Turkey and the seemingly unbridgeable gap existing between a daughter and her dying father at the end of the 20th century in America There were many passages that I marked off as I read through thinking that I would choose one or two to uote in my review but now having finished the book I find myself unable to pick just a couple The Gendarme is a novel about the two very different stories that make up one man s life Emmett Conn Ahmet Khan is a man at the end of his life He s 92 years old a widower and has two daughters neither of whom he is very close to After being diagnosed with a brain tumor he starts to dream about another life during another time in another land that of a young 17 year old gendarme in charge of driving a caravan of Armenians out of Turkey and into SyriaAhmet has very few memories of anything before his early twenties when he was found by the British on a battlefield and taken to a London hospital to be treated This life that comes to him in pieces and fragments is not one that he remembers yet as the story of it begins to unfold he recognizes it as his own and hungers for the complete picture and for the self knowledge that has so long alluded him This other tale is one filled with violence confusion anger guilt and love bordering on obsession Central to it is the young woman Araxie one of Ahmet s Armenian prisoners and their meeting seems fated with both lives irreparably and irrevocably changed as a resultThrough this novel the reader is given a stark look at the Armenian Genocide and Mustian takes an incredible chance by portraying it all through the eyes of one of the perpetrator s This is a heavy responsibility and a careful balance must be achieved but the author is able to pull it off and the book as well as its message are all the stronger because of it With his choice of heroes Mustian leaves the reader conflicted from the beginning for while we are able to relate to and sympathize with elderly Emmett Conn the young Ahmet Khan is a rapist and murdererHis actions are not described in a vacuum however and as we are shown the atrocities he witnesses and commits we are also given insight into his own confusion and uestioning over why this is all taking place and what the purpose is He is not an unwilling actor and should by no means be seen as such but the truth is that he is also a young man almost a boy who seems to be swept along by the events surrounding him doing what he s been told to do accepting the reasoning behind it and not uestioning at first whether it s right or wrong As the full of Ahmet s story is revealed to Emmett he is left with the pressing and urgent need to find the woman whom he loved so profoundly and to beg her forgivenessOne criticism I can t go without mentioning is that I could never uite figure out Emmett s feeling towards and relationship with his wife Carol She remained something of an enigma to me throughout the book and although she s not actively present in either the main story or the flashbacks I thought she should have nonetheless been fully developed I m also not certain how I feel about the conclusion in the second to last chapter it brought me to tears but I think the story might have been served better and the reader left satisfied if it had been written in a different manner It would be a spoiler if I wrote anything or included my suggestionI m curious to see what the reaction to The Gendarme will be given the political tensions and continued sensitivity that surround the Armenian Genocide including even using the word genocide I think the book would make an excellent book club selection and might be further enhanced by being read alongside a non fiction account One that the author mentions is Peter Balakian s Black Dog of Fate An American Son Uncovers His Armenian Past and there is also The Burning Tigris The Armenian Genocide and America s Response by the same author both of which are highly rated I myself have not read eitherOverall I would highly recommend this book it is a well written emotionally involving and deeply moving story Mustian seeks to highlight the importance of seeking forgiveness and the necessity of remembering and he succeeds wonderfully The Gendarme is about forgiveness and guilt memory and forgetting acknowledgement and denial love and hate and the strength of the human spirit and the complexity of human beings It reinforces the undeniable truth that we can never be just one thing or one act but that we are defined by a culmination of all aspects of our character and all the actions and decisions that we make throughout our lifeIn one of the last pages a character remarks A few things remain seared so deep as to defy alteration Maybe there are some things that should be passed on that should never be forgotten p283 This is echoed in Mustian s Author s Note where he writes Remembering is living Forgetting as Ahmet Khan learns has its costs We want to know Sometimes that knowledge is painful or inconvenient or even damning But it is essential It exposes us for what we have been and can be This review is of an advanced copy format of the bookWritten on August 5 2010