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Going Commando – Mark Time

From the back cover, “'A cover to cover laughathon' --Soldier Magazine” - It most certainly is not!

What it is though, is a well written diary account of a young lad growing up as he completes basic Royal Marine training.

It would be easy to dismiss this book as a ‘me too’. Let’s face it; there are plenty of books regarding military basic training out there. But this is one unique guy, baring his soul to the world. He’s telling it as it happened to him; he’s admitting all his own faults and naiveties and showing us how he made it through some pretty tough training. We see a young boy morph into a royal Marine, via his own young and innocent eyes.

Right from opening the package and seeing the mock Brasso logo on the cover, through to the very last page, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. It isn’t a laugh-out loud read, though it does have some humour, but mostly it’s a sincere story that shares the highs and lows of the author’s personal journey through his training. It’s Mark Time’s story, it’s unique to him. Anyone who has been through this training will be able to relate to it, and it will no doubt jog memories and bring things long forgotten flooding back. Anyone who hasn’t been through it will understand because you are left in no doubt as to the roller coaster of emotions, the painful physical exertions and the new friendships forged as experienced by the author.

Unlike many autobiographies of this type, this one isn’t written as a “look at me, how good am I” ego trip; this one is written with style and humility. The book is also traditionally (not vanity or self) published and I think that also shows; I only spotted one spelling mistake.

At the time of writing this review the book has over one hundred and fifty 5 star ratings on Amazon, and after a brief recce of these, it appears that the author has had the good grace to respond to all of them; if only to thank people for their review.

I’ll rate this book at 4 anchors. It was a good read and kept my interest all the way through, though I suspect that there’s an amount of rose tinted spectacles present in places.

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