“Be there a man with soul so dead that it didn’t tingle a trifle when his ears heard mention of the Foreign Legion of France! La Legion Etrangere! The Hell Battalion! The Army of the Damned! The Stepsons of Madam Republic! The sun-bitten, war-smitten corps that has carried the Tricolor from Casablanca to Hanoi, Dahomey to Somaliland, the English Channel to Madagascar. The outfit known to French regulars as ‘cavalry on foot’ because it can march so fast and far. The Legion!”
Stories of the French Foreign Legion were a staple of the great pulp magazines of the 20th Century. The ingredients of high adventure were embedded in the unique situation of fighting men from all around the world, fleeing from the law, broken hearts or other nameless tragedies, banded together in exotic foreign lands in service to French national interests. In an earlier era, these infamous soldiers of misfortune were a symbol of romantic glory.
P. C. Wren’s oft-filmed Beau Geste was the most celebrated French Foreign Legion novel ever penned, but when it came to short stories and novelettes, Theodore Roscoe was the prince of the genre. His battle-seasoned Legionnaire, Old Thibaut Corday, has also stood the test of time, thanks to the author’s immensely imaginative storytelling skills––and the fact that he wrote about people and places he knew because he visited them.
The series ran in the pages of Argosy between 1929-39. Corday is a retired fighting man dwelling in Algiers, who spins tales of his soldiering days for any who will listen. Dubbed the “Bearded Scheherazade of the Legion,” Corday recounts, not dusty yarns of outpost forts in distant deserts, but strange stories that defy rational explanation. Defy––not for deny. For no matter how wild the tale, no matter how much the canny old Legionnaire seems to be stretching the truth, there is always a satisfying solution.
For what we hope to be the first of many audiobooks centering about this colorful character, we present Thibaut Corday’s debut story, “Better Than Bullets,” as well as “The Dance of the Seven Veils,” “An Eye for an Eye,” and the absorbing novelette, “The Death March.” They comprise a stirring introduction to this immortal character and his fellow soldiers of misfortune, Yankee Bill the Elephant and Christianity Jensen the Dane. If you think the exploits of the French Foreign Legion is old stuff, Theodore Roscoe will show you how great tales are told––if you will only lend an ear to Old Thibaut Corday as he weaves yet another eye-popping yarn of his youth....
Thibaut Corday is the perfect protagonist for audiobooks! Read with appropriate aplomb by Roy Worley.