The Gendarme

Mark T. Mustian, Putnam/Amy Einhorn, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-399-15634-2
Mustian's debut novel is a meditation on memory in which the dreams of a former Turkish soldier contain the truth of his past. Emmett Conn is 92 and living in Georgia when he begins dreaming of his youth and his involvement in the Armenian diaspora. After 70 years of amnesia caused by his WWI injuries, Emmett's past returns with a vengeance following surgery for a brain tumor. Emmett knows he fought the British at Gallipoli, was wounded, and was cared for by a nurse, Carol, whom he married and accompanied back to the U.S. But in his violent dreams, he relives his actions as a Turkish gendarme in the forced death march of thousands of Armenians into Syria. Emmett recalls snippets of his murderous and rapacious acts but also of his obsession with a beautiful young Armenian girl, Araxie. His dream life leads him to one conclusion: he must find Araxie and beg her forgiveness. Mustian's staccato prose, an attempt to emulate Emmett's skittish and elusive dreams, works sometimes better than others, but the novel effectively captures the human capacity for survival and redemption. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-425-24296-4
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-43869-5
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-44269-2
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