Remembering John Masters book 'Bugles and the Tiger'

M G Singh By M G Singh, 16th Mar 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Biography

john Masters autobiographical novel is a gem about Indians and worth reading for a man or woman who wishes to know about the Raj

A Classic by John Masters

John Masters was a rare breed of Anglo-Indians who wrote about India. He was a man with golden pen. Kushwant Singh the noted India writer says about John Masters ‘EM Forester understood India while John Masters understood Indians’.
John master lived in India and was born here. His father was a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Indian army and John masters also followed suite. He was educated at Sandhurst and was commissioned in 1933. John Masters spent a fair amount of time with the Kings Own Gurkha rifles and served with them in the North West frontier. His book Bugles and the Tiger is an account of his life during that period.

Sometimes, I wonder where this beautiful book has been hiding. It is a fabulous account of a young officer attached to a Gurkha regiment in the wild North West frontier where the watch word of the Muslims tribes was Jihad at all times. The Book makes fascinating reading and in my opinion is one of those rare books that one must read.
Masters autobiographical account recounts his passing out from the Military college at Sandhurst and his joining 2/4 Gurkha Rifles on India's Northwest frontier. The strain of the book brings out the love of John Masters for India, the country people and the Gurkhas. It is clear from the book that the Gurkhas loved him as well.

This book creates a vivid picture of a Gurkha regiment and the interaction between the common soldier and the British officer. In fact it gives a rare insight into military life.
I first read this book as a cadet at the Air Force Academy on the recommendation of my Instructor. The book surprised me and I have read it 3 times after that. The book is a joy to read and even if you are not a soldier it makes excellent reading. John Masters is intoxicating and once you have read this book you will want to read his other books. He was a master of prose and all India should be proud of him. John Master passed away in 1983, leaving behind a rich heritage of excellent books.


Anglo-Indian Writer, Gurkhas, Indian Army, John Masters, Nw Frontier

Meet the author

author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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author avatar Mikey.
16th Mar 2012 (#)

Great page Madan, I enjoy reading all your pages, well done.

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author avatar M G Singh
19th Mar 2012 (#)

Thank you Mikey

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author avatar Delicia Powers
17th Mar 2012 (#)

Thanks for this very well done book review Madan...

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author avatar M G Singh
19th Mar 2012 (#)

you are a gem to comment

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author avatar Buzz
17th Mar 2012 (#)

You're an excellent writer, Madan. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar M G Singh
19th Mar 2012 (#)

Thanks Buzz

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author avatar Martin Masters
21st Dec 2013 (#)

Thank you for the kind words and respect for my father. It is good to know he is well-remembered.

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author avatar James Kautz
16th Nov 2015 (#)

To Martin Masters; Recently I digested the book, Bugles and A
Tiger. Your dad had great adventures. The last half of chpt 17 was like it was written five years ago. The NW Frontier fighting against the Pathans sounded very recent and the methodologies and ROE mirror the problems of the modern soldier in conflict again in the Frontier against the same enemy.
History often does repeat it's self.
Great Book

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