The Gendarme

Book Review: The Gendarme by Mark Mustian.

I was walking through the Public Library and the cover of this book jumped out at me. It is a picture of a young woman, and only one side of her face can be seen. The title caught my eye, “The Gendarme.” [ This is because I am addicted to the movie, “The Count of Monte Cristo” starring Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce, and “the gendarmes” are mentioned a few times in this movie. I never heard that word before. ]

So the first rule of “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover”—just throw that out the window. The cover definately intrigued me.

Without giving away too much, first let me say, if you’re over 21, and like historical novels, read this book!!! There are some graphic scenes of not very pretty stuff that happens during wartime. There. You’ve been advised.

The book starts out with a 92-year-old  man, who has a brain tumor and is facing end-of-life issues, both medically and emotionally. The story is told in the first-person, as the old man, originally from Turkey, remembers things that happened a lifetime ago, during the genocide of Armenians by the Turks during the World War I timeframe. The story jumps back and forth between 1990 and 1915-ish.

What struck me was how the author seamlessly starts out telling of an old man having  dreams–which he thinks are memories–but somewhere in the story, he becomes a young man trapped in an old body–as he fights to find the woman he first fell in love with.

I read this book in three days, which is pretty quick for me with all the rest of my life swirling around me.

This would make a great movie…. Mel Gibson, are you listening?

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