This is the second book of Mark’s memories as a bootneck.
I have to say upfront that I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as his first.
Mark has moved on and is now a fully fledged Royal Marine out on his tours of duty. He tells his story in a writing style that I find a cross between Jeremy Clarkson and Tom Sharpe. Mark’s writing seems to have changed, possibly matured, since the first book, and in doing so I can’t help feel that it has lost a little ‘something’. That said Mark is clearly a talented writer with the ability of getting his point clearly across. He has a wonderful repertoire of similes and a brilliantly descriptive way with words.
Once again, Mark is being open and honest with the reader and is showing us a fair picture of him, ‘warts and all’ in his time a Royal Marine. The book’s not just about the good times showing Mark at his best, it also shows him in not such a good light at times. It’s this honesty that holds the reader’s attention, because there is some of all of us within these 300 pages. (Yes, 300 pages in my copy, not 244 as Amazon currently states.) Come on, who amongst us hasn’t done something insanely stupid under the influence of alcohol?
I can’t say I found the book a laugh a minute, though at times I did find myself sniggering out loud. I also found myself cringing at parts, such as the excision of the skull zit, but mostly what I got from this book was of a young man being not quite sure of himself in the big wide world: outwardly brimming with confidence, inwardly full of self doubt. – Like many of us at a young age.
The other point that shines clearly through is the camaraderie between Royal Marines. Often the relationships are fleeting, but the bond of brotherhood is there, and they look out for each other.
I now have the third episode to read and I’m looking forward to it.
Having rated the previous (first) book at 4 anchors, in all fairness I can only rate this one at 3½ anchors.