|About the Book|
Well, I finished this book last week and its still resonating with me. There is something about it - maybe the mood - that has gotten under my skin. Sure, there are plenty of books about the French Foreign Legion but none that are like this. Others I have read are a more like a journalists approach. That is - I went there and I did this and saw that.Masons book is a whole lot more. It is really a reflection on what it is like to be there. Its a lot more than the facts - its about how he feels. Yes, it is dark in places. But what gets me as a former soldier is that he captures the feeling of being a soldier, of removal from the world in which you are a citizen, to one (the Legion) in which you have become a subject and subject to the capricious forces of Non-Coms who rule every part of your life.OK, Mason is smart and he is not all that happy with what he sees around him. But, to give his credit, he does have courage and he does not give up. And another thing, Mason can write. The description and how he felt about the baby named Abdou at the quiet, dark end of the nursery, left to die of AIDS left me with tears in my eyes.Bottom line is that if you are thinking about joining any army – and particularly the French Foreign Legion, you should read this book. There are a lot of “Legion books” out there, but this one is, for me, the best. It’s got feeling, guts and hope.