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Bhowani Junction (Story-Tellers)

Bhowani Junction (Story-Tellers) [Kindle Edition]

John Masters
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Description


He organizes and controls the swift-moving, exciting narrative with the unobtrusive brilliance of a first-class military strategist. --Observer

Mr Masters s descriptions of the Indian scene are as highly coloured as ever and his narrative as exciting and dashing. --Evening Standard

Simply as gripping exotic tales, his books read splendidly still… but they deserve to be read also as a revelation to the young and a reminder to the old of a vanished world. --The Tablet

Product Description

John Masters evokes the tensions and conflicts that accompanied the birth of modern India in his classic novel Bhowani Junction. Set in the late 1940’s in the wake of partition it has become one of the great novels of India, alongside E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India and the work of Paul Scott and Salman Rushdie. In the last hectic days of the British Raj, as the British prepare to withdraw from India, Victoria has to choose between marrying a British Army officer or a Sikh, Ranjit, as she struggles to find her place in the new India that is emerging.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 664 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Souvenir Press; New edition edition (20 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,808 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Railway People 11 May 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
On the face of it, this is a ripping yarn, based around the efforts of the British at the end of the Raj to both recapture an escaped terrorist and keep a lid on the simmering unrest in the fictional railway town of Bhowani.

It is, however, much more than that: it is, in several ways, a remarkable book. Firstly, Masters writes it in three distinct voices: those of Victoria ('a chee-chee engine driver's daughter'), Rodney (a British officer) and Patrick, a railway administrator. Without in any way mangling English grammar or English spelling, Masters has ensured that when Patrick speaks the Eurasian accent is right in your ear: he has its rhythm absolutely nailed. Secondly, it subverts the whole ripping yarn genre. I don't want to say too much here, as that would spoil the story, but it doesn't end quite as you would expect it to and all along the way there are characters who are just not as they first appear: the most senior local civil servant is, it transpires, probably from the lowest of the Hindu castes; Rodney, very British and very correct and very arrogant, is quite disenchanted with the other Europeans and goes drinking in the Railway Institute where the Eurasians hang out. It's hard for us to picture now just how radical this was sixty-odd years ago in the dog days of the Empire, when Asians and Eurasians were not permitted membership of the exclusive clubs and European men who married Asian or mixed-race women could lose their jobs as a consequence.

Thirdly, and most remarkably, this novel is in a large part told from the viewpoint of the Anglo-Indian - the mixed race - community, and as a group, they are examined with a sympathy and compassion they do not, in literature, normally receive.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten classic 1 Oct 2006
In no other book I know does the sheer arousal a woman's physical presence can evoke seem so real to the reader and so potent a force in men's motives. As two men from different communities compete for her affections, both of them at times selfishly & selflessly, it appears almost as if the Anglo-Indian heroine's sexual aura plays a larger part in this small scene in India's struggle for independence than politics could ever have done. The political outcome of the story is (from Masters' viewpoint of an ex British army officer, but perhaps not according to modern PC Standards) satisfactory, but the personal conclusions leave one aching for a world in which people are in control of their own destinies. The writing is clearly 1950's but none the worse for that - who can name three modern authors with the ability to get inside a character and inside your head using simple words & pleasingly correct grammar?
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Masters - a forgotten genius 24 April 2005
John Masters is a forgotten author in many ways, which is a real shame as his writing is wonderful. He was a career army officer and many of his novels use his experiences of army life as a basis. He has a fantastic appreciation and understanding of the difficulties of life for locals and those serving in the army. His books are primarily based around army life and even if you are not a military fan, don't let this put you off. A number of novels have India as the location from the time just before the mutiny until after independence. They are brilliantly written and follow the trials and tribulations of an army family whose name is Savage. They are fiction based on fact and are very exciting reading.
I first came across John Masters when in my teens - some thirty+ years ago, I was completely enthralled. Sadly, many of his books are no longer in print, which is a real shame. Those still in print are primarily classed as military and recall his personal experiences of army life. But novels such as Nightrunners of Bengal, Bhowani Junction and The Deceivers, are fiction using actual events as a basis and I can highly recommend them - if you can manage to find them!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars kindle edition 20 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ther story is great I can't improve on anything else already said. However, beware if you buy the kindle edition, the text is terrible there are many typo's which makes reading it hard work, having to keep stopping to figure out what the word should be. Very disappointing !!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Scanned text with a lot of annoying typos. Project Gutenberg would never release something so sloppily produced, although unfortunately they don't have this title. Get the paperback instead
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately Unsatisfying 29 Jun 2010
There are good things about this book. It gives a feel for what India must have been like in 1946, it has protagonists from the British, the Indians and the so-called Anglo-Indians, and they are all dealt with reasonably sympathetically (except Communists, but the book was published in 1954 so that may be understandable). Masters is strongest when he focuses on the things he is familiar with, the working of the railway and the deployment of the Thirteenth Ghurkha Rifles.

Where Masters is less sure-footed is in his characterisations, particularly of Victoria Jones. She swings from Anglo-Indian to Indian, and back, from Patrick Taylor to Colonel Savage (via Ranjit Singh) and kills Macaulay, and all without much inner turmoil.

My problem with the novel is that it tries to be a social commentary, thriller and romance, and doesn't really succeed at being any one of these. Unfortunately this means that the characters are asked to fulfil too many roles (mouthpieces for their group, action heroes and angst ridden lovers), and consequently are reduced to little more than ciphers. I think that is why, ultimately, I found this book disappointing - it deals with important issues (the withdrawal of the British from India, and more particularly the affect on communities that have identified with a colonial power when that power pulls out) and has a strong feel for time and place, but to me the characters' responses to what was happening around and to them just weren't believable. All in all, a reasonable read, just don't expect too much.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bowani Junction
This is a work of fiction but as John Masters served in British India you feel it is close to the real India of the time. Read more
Published 26 days ago by John Woodhouse
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good yarn. Authentic detail backed up by the author's own experience in India.
Published 1 month ago by Diarmid
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a great read
A Very good story, especially to those of us old enough to remember a bit, however faintly, about the end of British rule in India. Read more
Published 2 months ago by David Salway
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story but TERRIBLE typos
Good story but TERRIBLE typos! Don't buy the kindle version - very difficult to read. Seems to be a typo on most pages.
Published 5 months ago by Brianj
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
An absolute classic. Great characters, exciting storyline and brilliant writing that evoke the period and the setting. A real page-turner
Published 8 months ago by Michael Coward
4.0 out of 5 stars A good story just post WW 2 but prior to the granting of...
A fascinating story woven around the historical events just after World War 2 in India and building towards their indepenecence, with especial recognition of the Anglo-Indians -... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Michael Peter Landon
3.0 out of 5 stars End of the Raj: John Masters' Bhowani Junction
End of the Raj: John Masters' Bhowani Junction

I read Bhowani Junction (1954) after reading the first two volumes of Masters' memoirs, Bugles and a Tiger (1956) and The... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Michael X Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Last of Bhowani
The Bhowani trilogy by John Masters pictures an India in different stages of turmoil. Probably the best is Night Runners of Bengal set around the time of the Indian Mutiny but... Read more
Published 14 months ago by John Dale
5.0 out of 5 stars post-war india
this is also about the savage family and tells the story of the breaking away from the empire in a romantic way !
Published 14 months ago by terence james hughes
4.0 out of 5 stars An experience in India
I managed to get hold of an original copy and it was in excellent condition, being over 40 years old. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Sue Scott
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