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on 22 September 2015
It took me a little while to get into this book. It mainly describes what it's like to be a PMC (private military contractor) inside Iraq in the mid 2000's. Simon mostly describes his time guarding convoys through the chaotic roads of post war Iraq, dodging bullets from US troops and insurgents alike. If like me your interested in the Foreign Legion, there is around 60 pages covering a couple of deployments in Africa and flashbacks to his para reg training on Corsica. This is not told in chronicologcal order and was brief but interesting. There are also some humorous anecdotes along the way. At the end the author says he has another book in him, well I for one would like to hear more about his Northern Ireland days and the 10years he spent in the Legion.
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on 11 February 2013
i have a lot of dvd & books on the french foreign legion & this is a must have, wish i had joined the legion instead of the army.
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on 22 October 2009
I found this a hard book to put down. Low is a very good writer and at times a very good nature comes out on paper. I found his background in the Legion very interesting and the thought he came from around the corner, and yet lived such a different life is really amazing. He writes well about his time in the Legion in France training and then in Africa. His time as a greedy contractor in Iraq is honest and frank. Iraq is to him a 'stinking tub of margarine', but he does have compassion- a sense of fear for the safety of a female worker in his compound, the loss of his Japanese ex-Legion colleague, the descriptions of his crazy Iraqi companions are often touching. There are large tracts of boredom punctuated with arse clenching excitement. He never exaggerates or ever makes himself out to be brave, but describes the reality of fear and the mundanity of often missing death by inches.
The book doesn't have much of an end which is probably fair enough since at the time of writing the war was ongoing. Its a straightforward soldiers straightforward account of life in the Warzone with black humour, honesty about the fear of death and a certain decency that stays with him throughout. We're talking South London decency- kind of bloke who doesn't speak prettily, but he'll stand by you till the end if need be and wont run out on you. Well worth the read for an insight into the Legion and the world of Armourgroup inc in Iraq with all the irritation of working for a private company who treat war like businesses run any other business. They are in it for the money, thats true enough, but this guy at least hasn't sold out on what it means to be a good soldier, and thats something worth reading.
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on 1 July 2007
I read this book in four days, it was 'unputdownable', only work made me put it down. A real life account, what an adventure this blokes had. For me the best part of the book was his time spent in the Foreign Legion, where he describes his combat experiences fighting rebels in Central Africa. Along with his experiences as a hired gun in Iraq this book for me is up there with the best. Fast and furious as well as quite funny in places, read it you wont be dissapointed.
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on 7 August 2008
This is my first PMC book and a great way to start!! Written like a real 'squaddie'. Be prepared to be shocked with some of the thoughts and stories of the writer...but be prepared to laugh as well !! Simon I shake your hand.
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on 10 August 2007
This is an excellent book written by an ordinary bloke who's spent his life doing extraordinary things. The story covers Simon's life in the British Army, his years with the French Foreign Legion where he won a gallantry award and finally his employment as a hired gun guarding convoys in Iraq. Punctuated by classical military humour the narrative had me laughing out loud while my pulse raced as he describes his fight for survival during ambushes with the Legion and during insurgent attacks in Iraq where he came close to losing his life several times. A must read for anyone who wants an insight into military or mercenary life.
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on 25 July 2007
Written in a style similar to Andy McNab, this is a good insight into what life is like as a private military contractor in The University of Terrorism we have created in Iraq. The book explains both how dangerous it is to soldier in Iraq and how the author ended up there via the foreign legion. The book is both witty and also appears to be a genuine portrayal of the author and his experiences. A good read.
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on 15 June 2007
I picked up this book,which my husband had just read and much to my amazement when I started to read it I just couldn't put it down.What a brilliant author I hope he soon writes a follow up account.

It was a totally gripping book,which normally would not be my kind of reading at all,but I would recommend any-one, male or female to read it.
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on 8 October 2007
This book had me hooked from page one. Exciting stuff and seems to be quite an honest account. I've read alot of books on Iraq now and this is good 'O'. not really getting political or high brow more sort of one mans adventure out there. the Legion fighting stories in Africa are good but would have liked more of it. Good book.
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on 13 June 2007
I read this book in 2 days!! What a cracker. Having heard a lot of stories of the work Security Companies do in Iraq from a relative out there, it was good to read the "FULL" extent of their expolits from the "horses mouth". Everything in the book is true fact and nothing is left out.
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