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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
35


on 28 December 2014
I suspect this will turn out to be only the first chapter of a life well lived. It takes a particular sort of person to travel thousands of miles to join the national armed forces of another nation, albeit one which has an affinity with his own country of Canada. That said, the name suggests a long journey by his fore fathers, from Norway perhaps, to the far west of a huge new country, where they have carved out a life and put down roots, and this is the kind of adventure tale which almost belongs to another era. The book is well written, by a clearly bright, articulate, tough and resolute man - who doesn't sugar coat it, but equally doesn't Rambo it up for the Walter Mitty crowd. Action is interpersed with the reality of soldiering - the difficulty of separation from loved ones, the realities of training, making yourself as comfortable as possible in a pretty grim situation, and backing your mates 100%. The description of earning his coveted green beret will be valuable to anyone thinking of joining, and ensure no-one turns up with false expectations. Having done his time - he left after 4 years, and returned to his home country, to start the next chapter of his life - in maritime security. That will make a good read too, when he gets around to it.

The book is occasionally critical of his interaction with the British army, but the anecdotes feel authentic, and the incident with the 66, which another reviewer has taken issue with, seems to me unlikely to be fabricated, given how unsensationalised the balance of the book is.

Recommended - a good read.
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on 20 July 2013
Didn't want to jump on the bandwagon by awarding 5 stars but anything less would be unfair.No frills but plenty of thrills on Jake's life as a Royal Marine,lots of stories and info on his training which I always find fascinating and great insights to the War in Afghanistan and how the Corps operate.A great down to earth book and a nice alternative angle from a Commonwealth soldier serving in Britain's armed forces.
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on 18 December 2013
Another good personal account of a soldiers experience in joining The Royal Marines, his training and experience in Afghanistan.
I have learnt an awful lot about the conditions our soldiers have to endure out there, and also some of the crass decisions made by the MOD and the government. It is also revealing comparing what the Americans kit was compared with ours!!
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on 12 May 2013
I really enjoyed this book. The author comes across as a tenacious, intelligent and skilled Marine, it is easy to have empathy with this guy. The story is a familiar one to anyone who enjoys this type of tale, the early life, the training, the first deployment etc, but it is well put together and moves along at a nice pace while remaining rich with excellent detail.
Being Canadian, and attempting to sustain a relationship with a girl still there, the author was able to make an already challenging career even more difficult for himself, but his "smile in the face of adversity" approach allows him to press on regardless. Lots of nice humour, great detail and written with the pride and skill befitting a Royal Marine. Highly recommended.
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on 16 September 2013
This is an excellent book...Vividly describing how tough it is to pass out from Royal Marine Training.... I managed it, just, some thirty five years before the author, and although some things have changed...It isn't any easier than in my day.

I can thoroughly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys military books, and if you are considering a career in the Marines...Don't be frightened off...Yes, it is hard, but when you first put that green lid on you will realise that it was all worthwhile.
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on 12 May 2014
this guy sets out from Canada on his own and joins a foreign fighting force that deals out some of the hardest training . He also goes through the mind numbing crap of being woken after only having two hours sleep for a locker inspection just to watch some NCO tip yours and the rest of the guys who share your quarters out onto the floor and then being told to 'repack it . But after all is said and done he realised this is part of that making of a Royal Marine Commando .
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on 27 November 2013
Brilliant . Read it in two hits , was still reading at 0500 hrs , just had to turn to the next page and the next , I know a few Royals this guy aint firing the oxen gun , Read and enjoy
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on 20 February 2016
Very good
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on 16 September 2014
Good book.
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on 9 February 2015
A first class read highly recommended.
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