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Summary

In the summer of 2006, Colour-Sargeant Kailash Limbu's platoon was sent to relieve and occupy a police compound in the town of Now Zad in Helmand. He was told to prepare for a 48-hour operation.

In the end he and his men were under siege for 31 days - one of the longest such sieges in the whole of the Afghan campaign. Kailash Limbu recalls the terrifying and exciting details of those 31 days - in which they killed an estimated 100 Taliban fighters - and intersperses them with the story of his own life as a villager from the Himalayas. He grew up in a place without roads or electricity and didn't see a car until he was 15.

Kailash's descriptions of Gurkha training and rituals - including how to use the lethal Kukri knife - are eye-opening and fascinating. They combine with the story of his time in Helmand to create a unique account of one man's life as a Gurkha.

©2016 Kailash Limbu (P)2016 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"I was completely bowled over by Kailash's book and read it with a beating heart and dry mouth. I felt as though I was at his side, hearing the shells and bullets, enjoying the jokes and listening in the scary dead of night. The skill with which he has included his childhood and training is immense, always discovered with ease in the narrative: it actually felt as though I was watching, was IN a film with him. It brought me nearer than I have ever been not only to the mind of the universal soldier but to a hill boy of Nepal and a hugely impressive Gurkha. I raced through it and couldn't put it down: it reads like a thriller. If you want to know anything about the Gurkhas, read this book, and be prepared for a thrilling and dangerous trip." (Joanna Lumley)

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Ayo Gurkhali

I have read many books on the Gurkhas and this was a refreshing change to read it in a serving Gurkhas words. This is a book I will read again. I would be pleased if Kailash was to write a follow on volume.

10 people found this helpful

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Must be read to understand the dedication

Thought provoking and humbling. These men are a credit to themselves and their country. The insight through the eyes of a true warrior and a great man is fascinating. The next day you think you are having a bad day at the office, listen to the last three chapters of this book and then realise how lucky you are.

4 people found this helpful

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The Best and Most Interesting Book.

I don't normally read/listen to either autobiographical or biographical books.

I am still not sure what made me pick this one. However, the life of Colour Sergeant Kailash Limbu and his time in Afghanistan is truly interesting and full of humour.

One does not need to have an interest in the Army to appreciate the book: just curiosity. Why not try it?


3 people found this helpful

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A true hero

I am so glad this story is told.
I thank people like the author for sharing their lives and look after us and keep us safe.
A good read, a few incites into his life and journey to the Gurkhas. This book does show the human side of members of the army and how much the people in charge and the officers care about the welfare of the people in their command.

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Excellent

I really enjoyed the book, a great insight into Gurkha life. An honest and personal account that can only increase the readers respect .

1 person found this helpful

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  • MR
  • 13-08-18

Brilliant

A great insight into the Gurkas. Really interesting and gripping from start to finish. Excellent!

1 person found this helpful

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ghurka meets durka durka

great insight into who the gurkhas are and what they're all about - gutted the book finished. the taliban are a bunch of Jaaartaaaa!

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Excellent

Excellent. It had me gripped all the way through. i could not stop listening to it

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Good recollection

If you could sum up Gurkha in three words, what would they be?

Well read biopic

What was one of the most memorable moments of Gurkha?

Gaz! Great group of men.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

All of them

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Same as the book - Better to Die than Live a Coward: My Life in the Gurkhas

Any additional comments?

None

1 person found this helpful

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Get it now

Just an excellent book that is superbly well observed and written. It perfectly conveys the authors life and experiences and is written with lots of heart and soul. A Gurkha living up to the very best standards of the regiment.

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  • JK
  • 15-02-21

RECOMMEND

Interesting for people who have heard about the Gurkhas and want to learn more about these amazing soldiers. It was nice to hear the author describe Tibet and parts of his childhood. The narrator mr. Homer Topiwala was the right person for this book. Thank you Audible for making this book available to us, JK

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  • Peakbagger
  • 27-12-20

Britsh Mercenary Soldiers From Nepal

This was a very interesting and well-written book. I have always been curious about them and their training. This story is about how a person from Nepal who applies to get into the British Gurka selection leading up to becoming a Gurka. Kailash Limbu chronicles his combat against the enemy in Afghanistan.
I was hoping to find something about the Gurka fighting the Japanese during WW II, but this book is strictly a modern work. I found it interesting that as Kailash Limbu was being accepted into the Gurkas that he had received a number of marriage proposals. I assume this has something to do with the money should they die while in the Gurkas or received a retirement. I had once read that when a Gurka dies in the service of the British Crown, their family would receive $100,000.00. So there must be some motivation. And probably today it must be a larger sum.
My impression has been that they were shock troops, people who fight their way in like Army Rangers or US Marines. I could see they are a highly disciplined, highly trained, and highly reliable fighting force.
When the British send them in, the British mean business.