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Diary of a Legionnaire: My Life in the French Foreign Legion [Paperback]

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Item description for Diary of a Legionnaire: My Life in the French Foreign Legion by Gareth Carins...

After finishing university but not ready to settle down, Gareth Carins joined the French Foreign Legion in 1996 and served for five years in their elite Parachute Regiment. He experienced at first hand the extremes of human nature, witnessing both the brutal cruelty shown by some Legionnaires in the name of tradition, to the personal sacrifices shown by others. Along the way he met many of the fascinating characters that come from all corners of the world to serve in the ranks of the Foreign Legion. Diary of a Legionnaire is a candid and eye opening insight into this mysterious army, told through Gareth's exciting and at times humorous adventures during the first eighteen months of his service, as we follow him from the brutality of basic training, to the realities of combat in the jungles of West Africa

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Item Specifications...

Pages   228
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   0.66 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2007
Publisher   Grosvenor House Publishing Limited
ISBN  190621039X  
ISBN13  9781906210397  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Military > General
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Military
4Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Biographies

Reviews - What do customers think about Diary of a Legionnaire: My Life in the French Foreign Legion?

If you like books about the Legion this is a-ok.  Jul 16, 2008
When I want to read about the Legion I want to be entertained, and educated about Legion life. This author does that and the book is very enjoyable to read. If you liked Simon Murrays tale, you will enjoy this one.
Good one - facts, no needless exaggerations  Apr 8, 2008
I liked the book. The author tends to keep to the truth, unlike
a few other attention seeking "mythomans", who thought their
rubbish experiences needed to be published.
Great read!  Apr 8, 2008
This is a very interesting book to read. It did not take me very long to finish. It is full of interesting details. It makes the reader feel almost everything the author had to go through: the physical training, the lack of sleep, the abuse, occasional boredom and routine, the adrenaline rush during the battle and everything else. My only complaint, and it is a very big complaint, is that only the first two years of the author's service is covered. The other 3 years of service are covered in just two pages of the book. We do want to know about them in every single detail! Was your editor hurrying you up?
A College Graduate in the French Foreign Legion  Mar 2, 2008
Gareth Carins' story of his life in the Foreign Legion is different than most other autobiographies in that he enters the Legion soon after graduating from an English Univeristy. Carins joins the Legion because he liked the army, walking, travelling and is looking for a little adventure. Unlike many of the classic Legion memoirs, Carins is not escaping poverty, fleeing political turmoil or running from trouble with the law. At his core, Carins is a middle class Englishmen in search of adventure.

"Diary of a Legionnaire" has all the obligatory scenes one should expect in a Legion memoir. We see him as he enters the recruiting barracks, experiences his brutal basic training on the "Farm" and then goes off to further adventures in his new Regiment. Like many of the English soldiers who write their stories, Carins enters the elite Parachute Regiment based in Corsica. As with many of the recent autobiographies, Carins also goes to Africa where he partakes in some bloody skirmishes.

The real strength of this book is that Carins is a good writer and does an excellent job of describing the day to day life of a Legionnaire. This book is filled with gritty details that anyone curious about the Legion will greatly enjoy. Legionnaire memoirs may span the decades but there is a core Legion experience that seems eternal.

The only fault I have with this book is that Carins wrote this book too soon after leaving the Legion. He does a great job on the day to day details but we learn very little about the inner person. Why does a middle class, university graduate subject himself to the rigorous discipline of the Legion for five years? If Carins likes the military and wants some adventure, why doesn't he join the Royal Marines? Carins comes across as a decent person but in the end, he is still a mystery.

In my opinion, the best Legion memoirs are all about the inner life of the Legionnaire. For me the Holy Trinity of Legion memoirs are Simon Murray's "Legionnaire", Tony Sloane's "The Naked Soldier" and Christian Jenning's "Mouthful of Rocks". All three memoirs are radically different but at the end of each book, the reader feels they know the person and root for him as he struggles to survive in some very harsh conditions. It is that personal connection between reader and Legionnaire that lifts a competent memoir into the realm of a "classic" account.

Fun After College  Mar 1, 2008
The author was looking for some adventure after graduating college.So what does a young man do?Why he joins the military.In this case the author joins the FFL looking for adventure before he has to settle down to a life on civvy street.There were some grammitical errors but this book was fast paced with good detail on the FFL.I would recommend this to those who enjoy a great read.

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