Books: The Conquering French

THE BLUE HUSSAR (243 pp.)—Roger Nlmler—Julian Messner ($3.75).

A sound British critic has called 28-year-old Roger Nimier "one of the most brilliant writers in France," but there must be a lot of shocked Frenchmen who wish he had never learned to write. At 20, in 1945, Nimier joined the French 2nd Hussar Regiment and wound up in Germany at war's end. Five years later, in The Blue Hussar, he described French troops in action and occupation with a bite and candor that made most U.S. war novelists seem like self-pitying recruits. Now, even in a tasteless and jazzed-up translation, it is a...

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