Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Road Past Mandalay: A Personal Narrative” as Want to Read:
The Road Past Mandalay: A Personal Narrative
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Road Past Mandalay: A Personal Narrative (Masters Autobiography Trilogy #2)

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  96 ratings  ·  10 reviews
This is the second part of John Masters' autobiography: how he fought with his Gurkha regiment during World War II until his promotion to command one of the Chindit columns behind enemy lines in Burma. Written by a bestselling novelist at the height of his powers, it is an exceptionally moving story that culminates in him having to personally shoot a number of wounded Brit ...more
Paperback, 374 pages
Published March 1979 by Bantam Books (first published August 24th 1961)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Road Past Mandalay, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Road Past Mandalay

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. ShirerBand of Brothers by Stephen E. AmbroseThe Longest Day by Cornelius RyanWith the Old Breed by Eugene B. Sledge
World War Two Non Fiction
37th out of 303 books — 242 voters
With the Old Breed by Eugene B. SledgeEscape From Davao by John D. LukacsThe Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James D. HornfischerNeptune's Inferno by James D. HornfischerGhost Soldiers by Hampton Sides
Best Books on the Pacific War
36th out of 130 books — 162 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 217)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
If you're looking for rip-roaring-blazing-WWII-action, look elsewhere.

This is John Master's second installment of his three-part memoir about his military career and what came after. This volume details his time as an entry-to-mid level Staff officer during WWII in the Iraq and Burma campaigns. Naturally, given the duties of his rank, much of this book reflects the tedium of planning and commanding troops from a battlefield headquarters.

However, that doesn't make it a tedious book. Masters was a
Somehow, the higher ranking a soldier is, the less impactful an account of war and battles he is able to write. Perhaps because high level strategy and planning do not make for as exciting reading as the foot soldier going at it hand to hand with the enemy in the trenches. Not unless the reader is also well acquainted with technical jargon of military planning. Try as he did to describe the hardships and atrocities of the war in Burma, I just could not empathize with the author's retelling of th ...more
Vikram Kadian
Dark , with dark humour in abundance, Masters gives out the stuff soldiers see and experience in war with enough simplicity to make you feel the pain and anguish and triumph of human spirit at one go. Go read.
copied and pasted KIRKUS REVIEW

A personal record of far more general interest than might be expected from the statement of its content: ""the story of how a professional officer of the old Indian Army reached some sort of maturity both as a soldier and a man"". Masters has a rare gift for story telling, and even the facts of his professional training, of the details of strategy and tactics in jungle warfare, behind enemy lines in Malaya, come alive and make absorbingly interesting reading was th
Prem Rao
If " Bugles and a Tiger" spoke of Master's early career in British India, this the second part of his autobiography covers the period of the Second World War. Masters was an officer in the Guorkha Rifles and saw action on the Burmese front against the Japanese. Towards the end of the fighting in Burma, Masters was the commander of one of the Chindit columns organised by Brig Orde Wingate. The book covers what it took to be a staff officer on the war front and how difficult it was to balance the ...more
Monty Milne
Absorbing and beautifully written - as battle narrative it is excellent, but it is far more than that. Nostalgia for a world that was passing (British India), admiration for allies and enemies alike (except for Vinegar Joe Stillwell, who gets enjoyably skewered) and fascinating insights into some key players of WW2 such as Slim and Wingate. I'm only sorry this book was sitting on my shelves for years before I finally got round to reading it.
This was the sequel to Masters' Bugles and a Tiger.
The glimpses of Second World War-era Iraq and Iran were fascinating if brief.
The material on the Burma Campaign of the Second World War was quite interesting. This book would have probably been better read after the reading of a more formal history of the Burma Campaign as Masters was writing at a time when his references were fresher in the memories of his readers.
William  Shep
One of the better autobiographical accounts of the Second World War, from the point of view of a British officer who served in some little known campaigns in Iraq and Syria as well as more well known operations in India and Burma (the once and future Myanmar).
David Hill
Masters takes us through his experiences fighting first in Syria, Iraq, and Iran then (after a stint at General Staff school) in the brutal Burma campaign leading Chindits behind Japanese lines. Superbly told.
(1961 Harper edition.)
Mark Neuer
Nov 25, 2011 Mark Neuer added it
Shelves: history
Interesting so far.
Philip Brown
Philip Brown marked it as to-read
Oct 02, 2015
Antonia marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2015
Bryn Evans
Bryn Evans marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2015
Nerosmama marked it as to-read
Sep 02, 2015
Trevor marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2015
Jlarson marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2015
James marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2015
Matthew Scott
Matthew Scott marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2015
Todd Zimmer
Todd Zimmer marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2015
Lars marked it as to-read
Jun 29, 2015
Osman marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
Ashley Brown
Ashley Brown marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2015
Tay added it
Jun 03, 2015
Stefanos marked it as to-read
May 04, 2015
Vinod Bagal
Vinod Bagal marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Defeat Into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942-1945
  • Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945
  • Quartered Safe Out Here: A Harrowing Tale of World War II
  • Clear the Bridge!: The War Patrols of the U.S.S. Tang
  • And No Birds Sang
  • Brazen Chariots
  • Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II
  • Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
  • Islands of Destiny: The Solomons Campaign and the Eclipse of the Rising Sun
  • Decision in Normandy
  • Fire In The Sky: The Air War In The South Pacific
  • A War to be Won: Fighting the Second World War
  • To Lose a Battle: France 1940
  • Up Front
  • Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa
  • Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire
  • Stalin's Folly: The Tragic First Ten Days of WWII on the Eastern Front
  • The Burma Road: The Epic Story of the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II
Masters was the son of a lieutenant-colonel whose family had a long tradition of service in the Indian Army. He was educated at Wellington and Sandhurst. On graduating from Sandhurst in 1933, he was seconded to the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (DCLI) for a year before applying to serve with the 4th Prince of Wales's Own Gurkha Rifles. He saw service on the North-West Frontier with the 2nd bat ...more
More about John Masters...

Other Books in the Series

Masters Autobiography Trilogy (3 books)
  • Bugles and a Tiger: My Life in the Gurkhas (Cassell Military Paperbacks)
  • Pilgrim Son: A Personal Odyssey
Bhowani Junction Nightrunners of Bengal (The Story-Tellers) The Deceivers Bugles and a Tiger: My Life in the Gurkhas (Cassell Military Paperbacks) The Lotus and the Wind

Share This Book