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BUGLES AND A TIGER A Personal Adventure [Hardcover]

John. Masters
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book by Masters, John

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Charming May 13 2004
By RJ
Format:Hardcover
This is my favorite military memoir ever. John Masters served as a young Gurkha officer in the twilight of British India shortly before World War 2.
Written in middle age, the memoir tells how Masters grew from cadet to company commander in an Indian Army Gurkha regiment. It's a universal coming of age story enlivened by exotic locales, an attractive protagonist,and and a loving eye for a way of life that was known to be ending while it was being lived.
Masters is a natural storyteller and parts of this book linger in the memory long after it is finished. Master's World War 2 years are also ably described in the sequel, " The Road Past Mandalay". Of the two, I prefer the first: some of Master's WW2 experiences were grim indeed, and the second book is less light-hearted as a consequence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars From Sandhurst to the Gurkhas...... Feb. 23 2004
Format:Hardcover
This is the story of a young officer coming into age in the dying days of the British Raj. John Masters writes with a wit and detachment that endears him to all those interested in "raj" era books. More attractive is his detailed account of life in a Gurkha regiment with a full account of the customs of the Gurkhas, their strengths(considerable as they were) and their weaknesses.
The spit and polish of the old British Indian army are brought out in full measure and so are the martial attributes of the Afghans against whom his regiment was deployed. He is full of praise for their tactical ingenuity and their harsh lifestyle against whom he was pitted so many times.
All in all I rate this book a classic and a must for any student of military history.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doorway May 1 2006
By Richard Aubrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
John Masters writes of his early life and the beginning of his career in the Indian Army, particularly a Gurkha regiment.

In this fast-moving book, he manages to explain the viewpoint of the families whose lives for generations were involved in service in India (by extension in less well-known outposts of empire, as well), explain the British regimental system, the institution of Sandhurst, a good view of pre-war India, a fabulously affectionate description of the Gurkha soldiers, and fighting on the Northwest Frontier. Those familiar with Kipling, or current events, will recognize some of the locations.

None of this strikes the reader as a lecture. If nothing else, this book will inform the reader about several subjects which will make understanding certain aspects of history and military affairs much easier.

Masters was clearly an interesting young man; observant and energetic, self-aware, and clearly competent.

The story ends with a large manuver involving several other units. After a night march over nearly impossible terrain, the battalion is in place, supple, tuned, ready. The year is 1939.

Masters' next book, "Road Past Mandalay" about his experiences fighting in Burma, follows naturally and seamlessly.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic coming of age story in British Army April 8 2008
By Richard J. White - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Author John Masters turned to fiction after a successful career in the British Empire's old Indian Army. Bugles and a Tiger recounts Master's army years up until World War 2, from military academy days at Sandhurst through service with the famed Gurkhas. The responsibilities of company command mature Masters, until he becomes ready for the greater responsibility thrust upon him in World War 2 . (See The Road Past Mandalay for that story).
Bugles and a Tiger is a warm, thought-provoking, and entertaining look back at a time and place that seem exotic by today's standards. Highly recommended for all, especially those who have an interest in history, India, or a good old-fashioned "ripping yarn".
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Sandhurst to the Gurkhas...... Feb. 23 2004
By Deepak Navnith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is the story of a young officer coming into age in the dying days of the British Raj. John Masters writes with a wit and detachment that endears him to all those interested in "raj" era books. More attractive is his detailed account of life in a Gurkha regiment with a full account of the customs of the Gurkhas, their strengths(considerable as they were) and their weaknesses.
The spit and polish of the old British Indian army are brought out in full measure and so are the martial attributes of the Afghans against whom his regiment was deployed. He is full of praise for their tactical ingenuity and their harsh lifestyle against whom he was pitted so many times.
All in all I rate this book a classic and a must for any student of military history.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Charming May 13 2004
By RJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is my favorite military memoir ever. John Masters served as a young Gurkha officer in the twilight of British India shortly before World War 2.
Written in middle age, the memoir tells how Masters grew from cadet to company commander in an Indian Army Gurkha regiment. It's a universal coming of age story enlivened by exotic locales, an attractive protagonist,and and a loving eye for a way of life that was known to be ending while it was being lived.
Masters is a natural storyteller and parts of this book linger in the memory long after it is finished. Master's World War 2 years are also ably described in the sequel, " The Road Past Mandalay". Of the two, I prefer the first: some of Master's WW2 experiences were grim indeed, and the second book is less light-hearted as a consequence.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bugles and a Tiger Dec 27 2002
By Terry Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A wonderful account of life in a Ghurka regiment, personal and lots of attention to detail, the reader is drawn to the authors authentic and colorful approach. I highly recommend this, i only wish i had known James Masters! after reading this, find a copy of the sequel" The Road Past Mandalay". wondeful stuff, about a little covered theater of WW2. In my youth had an opportunity to train with a Ghurka unit, they are all James Masters said they are and then some!
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