Books: Warrior's Error

LENA—Roger Vercel—Random House


"Distinctly not for the squeamish." Lena, by a Prix Goncourt winner (Captain Conan), is a War romance on the order of A Farewell to Arms, plus the sinister violence of plot inseparable from Balkan settings. Readers who stubbornly refuse to humor Balkan settings may call it merely macabre sex melodrama skilfully made up to pass as an indictment of war.

Opening of the story is a falsified military report by the narrator, a French officer, concerning the death of Lieutenant De Queslain in a duel with a Serbian captain. The...

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