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Life in the French Foreign Legion: How to Join and What to Expect When You Get There [Paperback]

Evan McGorman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2010
Forget all your preconceptions about the French Foreign Legion. Many of the legends you grew up with no longer apply, so whatever you've heard probably does not reflect the reality of service today. Evan McGorman explains in detail how to apply to get into this elite corps, what to expect if accepted, and how to make the most of the experience.

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Life in the French Foreign Legion: How to Join and What to Expect When You Get There + Diary of a Legionnaire: My Life in the French Foreign Legion
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About the Author

In 1983, Evan McGorman read a magazine article about the French Foreign Legion and was amazed to discover it still existed. For the next six years he was consumed by the romantic notion of running away to join. In 1989, after having served four years in the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, he went to France where he signed on for a five-year stint with the Legion. This is his first book. He currently resides in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know. April 20 2003
There isn't too much information out there for someone who is interested in joining the French Foreign Legion. This, however, is the perfect book for anyone interested in knowing what a man has to go through to become a member of the French Foreign Legion. The author goes through every detail from the time before he enlisted to his deployment to his dischage five years later. It doesn't go through the history of the Legion, but that's fine. That's not the purpose of the book. I recommend this book especially to those considering joining the Legion. I considered joining prior to reading this, and the book definitly helped me decide not to. Again, this is the perfect book if you wonder what life is like as a legionnaire in the mysterious French Foreign Legion. I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny! Jan. 29 2001
The thought of joining the Legion has been at the back of my mind since I was in high school. I have read every book and magazine article about it I could get my hands on. Evan McGorman's account is by far the most interesting and candid that I have found. It is mainly an account of his five years service in the Legion's parachute regiment, but he has thrown in much useful information for someone who is genuinely considering enlisting. Items such as where to join, what happens to you during the selection process, and the physical requirements demanded of a Legionnaire will all be of interest to the prospective recruit.
The main thing I got out of this immensely readable book, however, was how much like any other Western army the modern Legion is. Work details, spartan living conditions and not a lot of training seem to be the lot of a Legionnaire today. This book dispelled much of the romance I had for the Legion and managed to do what countless other works had failed: end my fantasies of absconding for a life in the Legion.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Its a great book! Oct. 5 2002
By S. Choi
After McGorman's book about the French Legion, I can honestly say now that I will NEVER join the Legion. I cannot stand that thought of spending so many hours in a day doing mindless 'corvee' or being at the mercy of some heartless caporal. I sometimes fantasized about joining, but not anymore!!
I am currently serving in the U.S Army and am stationed in Korea. Field life in Korea is difficult enough, with its terribly hot weather and its aggresive mosquitos. But I cannot imagine the pain of a raid march, where you march on through mountains for 90+ miles. Forget that!! If anyone even has the most remote sense of what marching with a 60lb ruck for miles on end is like, it is the most bone crunching experience ever. There is nothing glamorous about it.
After I finish my stint, I will leave the Army (it is still an honor and privelege to serve). But as for the Legion? Ha!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life in the French Foreign Legion Dec 12 2000
Mr McGorman has a fluent style which kept me reading from cover to cover in one night. His descriptions of the life and challenges of a Legionnaere are detailled . He starts of with the first long and boring days in the Legion and continues through training and his tours till his last days there with great tips of 'do not's' and 'do's'. He takes care of a few mysteries surrounding this elite force and sets a few heads straight. Nevertheless this book can be counted as advertisement for the Legion , and after reading it I was left wanting more. ( my whife disallowed me to join, though...!) I recommend this book highly to everyone thinking about joining the Legion, just beeing curious about this famous part of the french army or interested in one of the last adventures for men only!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life in the French Foreign Legion Jan. 12 2001
This is the best book I have read on the Legion, it was non stop intresting from beginning to end. This has everything you could possible want to know about the Legion, even information on deserting if you ever feel the need. This is a well written book that proved to be of some really good help, and something I do not regret buying. I recommend this book to people who have a passion for the military and for potential enlistees like me. Although I don't recommend that you join the Legion, anyone who wants to take a big risk, this is one adventure you shouldn't pass up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE!! July 26 2002
By A Customer
I would like to congratulate Mr McGorman for writing such an amazing book about the Foreign Legion. Since I am thinking about joining the Legion somewhere down the line , I tried to gather as much information as possible. So far I have never read a book which was so moving and truthful coming from an ex legionnare before. I emailed him and thanked him for telling the Legion for what it really is. He was kind enough to reply and answer few of my questions. I would recommend this book to anyone who is even slightly considering to join the Legion.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Pleasantly Surprised Jan. 10 2004
I bought and read McGorman's book not because I had any desire to enlist the Foreign Legion, but because I wanted to see how his enlistment compared to my own five-year hitch in the Marine Corps. I must say there are very few major differences. Naturally, we (the Marines) didn't have to learn to speak French but the mindset of the two institutions is not noticeably different. I agree with his advice too, don't do it (enlist) unless you're ready to put up with a lot of peacetime garrison nonsense (the proverbial "chicken$&#t" that Paul Fussell so aptly described). Amazingly, the Legion is far more selective than the Marine Corps about who is allowed into recruit training and then there's the added benefit of not having to deal with burden of female troops. I was also very pleasantly surprised to find that McGorman is a talented writer (the editors did a fine job too). If there were any typos or mistakes anywhere in this book, I didn't see them. Books about the Foreign Legion are usually more concerned with wowing action adventure readers with all the "zap-blat-gott-in-himmel-bayonet-in-the-guts" nonsense they crave. Thankfully, that's not the case here. McGorman is definitely not concerned with telling war stories. What the reader will find is a detailed account of what it's like to serve the Legion (circa late 1990's) and what will be required and expected of aspirants once they embark on an enlistment. All in all, I don't think a finer book about the Legion has ever been written.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Considering? Then buy this book.
This book is essential reading, whether you are considering joining the legion or are just interested in the inner workings of this organization. Read more
Published on May 4 2006 by Damianos Orfanoudakis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! A MUST have.
The only thing I didnt like was the fact that there arenty any more books like this out there. Awesomely written, any book written in this style can keep the attention of the... Read more
Published on June 2 2004 by Christopher Duncan
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on subject
Well written. A must read for anyone who is thinking of joining.
Published on Feb. 21 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative
I got this for my friend, a guy interested in reading about this elite group of men. He read it right away and couldn't put it down. Read more
Published on March 1 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars L'art de la Reddition
If you're like me, you probably think that being a French soldier consists of little more than sipping wine, demanding assistance from Washington, and waving great big rectangles... Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2003 by Charles Henry Higgensworth III
5.0 out of 5 stars Bets book on the Legion today
I just got the book and i read it almost to fast. It is the best bok i have ever read about the legion, though it lack somthing about all the other regiments, but the auther has... Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2002 by "fabtinus"
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
If you are looking for a book on life in the FFL, this is it. If you are thinking of joining, read this book. Having read it, I strongly reccomened not joining. Read more
Published on July 1 2002 by Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
If you are looking for a book on life in the FFL, this is it. If you are thinking of joining, read this book. Having read it, I strongly reccomened not joining. Read more
Published on July 1 2002 by Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE BOOK
Published on May 15 2002
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