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The Making of a Legionnaire: My Life in the French Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment [Hardcover]

Bill Parris
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 Jun 2004
Penniless, divorced and AWOL from the British forces, Bill Parris volunteered for the French Foreign Legion in the early 1980s. Unlike many British volunteers to the Legion, Bill did not desert. He endured a horrendous training regime and, despite a fear of heights (!) joined the elite Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment. He discovered how women from all over the world flock to Corsica where the Legion is based - so his R&R was almost as exhausting as the jungle warfare school he was later sent to. This is more than a war story - it is a personal journey too, as Bill comes to terms with his own inner demons. His five years' service included brutal combat in Rwanda and Chad, events that still trigger nightmares. But he emerged as a man at peace with himself, and with a story to tell.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; First Edition, First Impression edition (10 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297846167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297846161
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 16.5 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A British soldier reveals what it takes to serve in the elite French Foreign Legion --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bill Parris was born in Newcastle. He joined the RAF Regiment in the 1980s before travelling to Paris to join the French Foreign Legion. He is now re-married with two children and lives in Newcastle.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I AM UNWELL AND MAY NOT SEE MY sons grow up. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining!!! 21 Aug 2005
By A Customer
I picked up the book expecting another classic French Foriegn Legion story. Most of the book details the first eights months of Bill Paris's career in the Legion, the following 4 years are summed up in three somewhat suspicious chapters detailing combat experience in Africa. Bisaar that the Rwanda troubles began in 1990 and yet Bill was serving in the early 80's....doesn't make sense, neither the usage of GPS systems that didn't come into service until the 90's, like the American Minimi he was using and where did he find the British 66mm Rocket Launcher that the French have never had. The photographs are all professional...many labled incorrectly....are there not any personal photographs? There is no doubt that Bill spent five years in the Legion, all due respect. However, what did he do there, there seems to be a lot missing?? This is an entertaining book, to be read with a pinch of salt. Still 5 stars, one for each year in the legion! Well done Bill.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Good Read!! 16 Jun 2004
Not normally the type of book that I would read (being a fantasy/horror reader), however, due to the author being a local lad I gave it a go. I'm pleased that I did. The book is well written and is a heartfelt journey through the rigours of Foreign Legion training and beyond. Well done that man!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read 30 May 2004
A great read. You feel as if you are making the journey with the author and fighting alongside him.
Once you pick this up, leave yourself several hours to complete it. You will not be able to put it down!!
Brings the Legion kicking and screaming into 21st century. Buy it, you won`t be disappointed.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Remember things differently 17 Nov 2010
I Served with Bill at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire when he popped up after deserting from the Legion this was in late 86 and we struck up a friendship we worked in the Main Guardroom together for several months while he was awaiting his court martial for being AWOL from the RAF Regiment, having read the book am afraid that it's a good yarn but very inacurrate, just take it for what it is a something to read and find entertaining. Would like to point out that Bill was a nice, funny and decent bloke who had a lot of time for a young sprog and I liked him very much so no sour grapes in the review that I have made.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book life of a legionnaire 3 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A brilliant read, couldn't put it down, good insight in to the training and life of a legionnaire.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book. 28 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This excellent book by Bill Parris covers his initiation into the customs and mystique of the Foreign legion and his deployment into active service. Thoroughly recommended.
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