The Road Past Mandalay

By John Masters

John Masters fought with the Gurkhas during the second world war, being promoted to command one of the Chindit columns behind enemy lines in Burma. This is the second part of his autobiography – the first, ‘Bugles and a Tiger’, describes his life as a young British officer in India – telling of his progress through jungle training in 1942 and 1943, followed by the summit of his military career with the Chindit force in Burma. As a bestselling and gifted novelist already, this is an easy read; moving, believable characters, and descriptions of people and places are second to none. The story culminates in Masters having to shoot a number of wounded British soldiers who cannot be evacuated before their position is overrun by the Japanese: it makes uncomfortable reading. It’s also a reminder that soldiers face challenging,moral dilemmas in every part of their daily lives and duties. This book has been referred to as being one of the greatest second world war frontline memoirs – a valuable addition to your library.

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