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Bhowani Junction (Story-Tellers) Paperback – 24 May 2001

4.2 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Souvenir Press Ltd; New Ed edition (24 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0285636049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0285636040
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 2.7 x 12.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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

About the Author

John Masters was a general in the British Army and served on the North-West frontier.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started reading John Masters books more than fifty years a'go. He never disappointed me Though I did avoid Bhowani junction at the time looked like too much of a lovey dovy love story, "Boring!" Not so!, it is a really good story set around India's approaching independence. I particularly liked the way he dealt with the three main characters. Each person having his own slant on the Main plot. It helped having read other books of the main series, Rodney Savage,Lt col Rodney Savage this time, knowing India's history through Rodney s eyes. Don' t want to go on this time, I really enjoyed the book even though there was a fair amount of nooky in it.
A long time ago I read Road past Mandalay a Story about the Chindits fighting their way through the jungles of Burma during the second world war, John Masters was a Brigadier during that campaign, he was in command I think. I was a soldier training under all sorts of difficult conditions, what the Chindits did was to make my training days a piece of cake. Really enjoyed that book and would read it again only it's not yet published in Kindle, much easier to read, I suppose I will have to buy the hard back edition.Meanwhile I will have to make do with "Far far the Mountain peak" Missed it last time.
Forgot to mention that John Masters was born in India, spent a lot of his time their and is uniquely qualified to write his books, see one of his first,Bugles and a tiger written when he was serving as a Subaltern with the Gurkha's Sorry looks like a sales pitch don't it. Not so , just like his books and looking forward to reading those others I haven't read
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