`Since its creation in 1831, the French Foreign Legion has become the stuff of myth, fiction and dreams... Anyone thinking of joining up would be well advised to read this book first? - The Sun Herald


A real-life boy's own adventure, Marching With The Devil is an account of David Mason's five years in the infamous French Foreign Legion.

David Mason graduated from the Australian National University with a law degree and an honours degree. Like those around him, he could easily have settled for a life of share portfolios, good suits, new cars and big houses. But David wanted more ? he wanted a challenge, an adventure, something beyond the ordinary that would test him physically and mentally. He looked around to see what he could do. Working in an open-cut mine . . . done that. Running a marathon . . . hmm, not hard enough. Climbing Everest . . . maybe? Joining the French Foreign Legion . . . perfect!

Marching With The Devil is the gripping true story of what happened when an Australian lawyer left his comfortable existence and joined the legendary French Foreign Legion. He stayed for five years and served time in the elite Parachute Regiments. With the motto 'March or Die', the legion has a history of pain, grief and glory. David Mason takes us behind the myth to reveal exactly what happens: the adventure, the danger, the drinking, the fighting and the lies that sustain the legend.fore the final choice must be made.


`Remarkable... It's hard not to think it a shame that a man of such obvious gifts should have wasted them on the legion, just so as not to have to feel like a quitter, even if this book was the result? - The Age

`Marching with the Devil quickly turns into an insightful and honest account of an unpretentious Aussie's experiences in one of the most ramshackle and soul-destroying military organisations on Earth? - Courier Mail

`A strangely compulsive read about one man?s quest for self knowledge? - Men's Health Magazine

`Mason left a comfortable life in Australia to test himself in the crucible of the legion, and he writes about it 20 years after his service time necessary to give himself the distance and context he needed to write about an extraordinary and painful experience? - Sunday Mail Brisbane

"Children of all ages will delight in its song and story." —Charles Martin, author of Signs & Wonders

"Davey McGravy, Davey McGravy,
a name to conjure with,
to dream with by the cedar trees
out in the rainy woods."

In a misty, faraway-feeling "land of rain," Davey McGravy lives with his father and brothers, but mourns his missing mother. He follows the rhymes in his head into a forest of ferns, moss, and cedar trees where he meets animals wise and strange. A coaxing crow urges him onwards. A consoling peacock tells him that nothing is really lost. A fierce lioness frightens him. Following their voices, Davey travels deeper and deeper into the mysterious woods. Then he must find his way home, to a father who is sad but loving, and brothers who care for him no matter how they fight.

Caught between his forest-world and the world of school, shopping, and family life, Davey wanders his way through grief. With playful and evocative verse, poet David Mason delivers him back to his boyhood but leaves the mysteries of love intact. Full of humor and melancholy, Davey McGravy movingly captures the longing of a child for his lost mother.

"Across a series of poems, accompanied by early-Sendakesque etchings by artist Grant Silverstein, we meet a little boy named Davey McGravy living in the tall-treed forest with his father and brothers. A few tender verses in, we realize that Davey is caught in the mire of mourning his mother. Without invalidating the deep melancholy that has set in, Mason makes room for the mystery of life and death, inviting in the miraculous immortality of love…Only a rare poet can merge the reverence of Thoreau with the irreverence of Zorba the Greek to create something wholly unlike anything else — and that is what Mason accomplishes in Davey McGravy." —Brain Pickings

"From his first full-length narrative poem, The Country I Remember, to his extraordinary verse novel, Ludlow, David Mason's ambition to expand the realm of narrative in contemporary verse has been central to his poetic project, even as successive collections revealed him as one of the best lyric poets of his generation. The latest proof of Mason's necessity, Davey McGravy, is both a vibrant celebration of language as play and the moving tale of how a young boy discovers, through heartbreaking loss, the transformative powers of the imagination. Children of all ages will delight in its song and story." —Charles Martin, author of Signs & Wonders

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