New York, NY / Can’t get enough of the exploits of history’s most mysterious military organization? Good news — there are plenty of fictional, historical, and biographical books on the French Foreign Legion boot camp, so grab your library card or log in to your Amazon account, because we’ve got some great recommendations for you!
Published in 1924, the book is widely considered to be a fairly accurate representation of life in the French Foreign Legion boot camp, although its author, P.C. Wren, was never confirmed to have been a Legionnaire. The novel centers around the three Geste brothers: Michael, aka Beau, Digby, and John. After the disappearance of a valuable gem known as “Blue Water,” and subsequent suspicions that the Gestes may have been involved in the theft, the three enlist in the French Foreign Legion boot camp.
Although their recruit training takes place in Algeria, a locale heavily associated with real-life Legionnaires, the brothers Geste are stationed in a remote desert outpost, Fort Zinderneuf, that is entirely fictional. There, the Gestes, along with some close friends-cum-comrades, suffer at the hands of a sadistic sergeant but remain loyal to the French Foreign Legion boot camp and its motherland — a loyalty that proves to be fatal in several cases.
Beau Geste, perhaps the most well-known fictional depiction of the French Foreign Legion boot camp, has been made into three different movies as well as a BBC television serial and countless stage productions. P.C. Wren went on to write two sequels to this novel, Beau Sabreur, and Beau Ideal, as well as many more fictional accounts of life in the French Foreign Legion.
Memoirs of Life in the French Foreign Legion Boot Camp
It’s always entertaining to take a peek behind the curtain when it comes to secretive groups shrouded in mystery, so it should come as no surprise that there are many enjoyable and informative memoirs written by former Legionnaires. Get an insider’s perspective on boot camp and training, the attitude of the officers, and what makes a person join up with this elite force by checking out the following titles: