Even if you have only the most passing interest in history this is one of those rare books that you should not leave un-read.
Masters recounts, in beautiful style, his passage through the RMC Sandhurst and on to becoming a subaltern in 2/4 Ghurkha Rifles on India's Northwest frontier. But this is no ordinary story about a toff fagging and hurrahing his way through life, rather it is an evocative self-study set against the backdrop of interwar Britain and India.
In his descriptions of India it becomes clear how in love Masters was with the country and the people and especially with his beloved Ghurkhas. Though this is not to suggest he expresses or represents some outdated colonial view, his love of the Ghurkhas was reciprocal and if it may at times seem paternalistic, it is in that he demonstrates the very essence of a good young officer, genuine care and very deep respect for his men.
This book is also alive with individual cameos of the Ghurkha officers and men with whom Masters served and allows the reader rare insight in to the life of an Indian Army regiment before the second world war. This book is also richly veined with humour and you are likely to find yourself frequently laughing out loud at exploits such as 'mess mountaineering'.
This book should be obligatory reading at Sandhurst as it is full of lessons for would-be officers, but is also obligatory reading for anyone with an interest in history, military or otherwise, travel or biography.