An ongoing battle between the real and the imaginary, Guillaume Thomas, an impostor, passes himself off for something he is not in pursuit of Henriette's love. He invents himself as a general's son, but in time-frame of World War I, he must pay the price for his lie. His heroic story will travel with him around the trenches, to an almost voluntary death over a dangerous mission which leads him to the front line.
André Falcon, from the Comédie française, narrates this great war novel, initially published in 1923 to great critique of an excess of imagination. Far from this, Cocteau, who himself did voluntary service in the great war, brings the story to life with his vivid language and experience of war. Indeed, for Thomas, the lie becomes a form of poetry and suddenly we are far from the classic war stories and famous boredom endured by the soldiers described by so many authors. A treat for the ears.