Colour-Sergeant Kailash Limbu - Gurkha - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781408705377
    • Publication date:21 May 2015
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    • ISBN:9781405535892
    • Publication date:05 May 2016

Gurkha

Better to Die than Live a Coward: My Life in the Gurkhas

By Colour-Sergeant Kailash Limbu

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

In Gurkha we hear, for the first time in two hundred years of service to the British crown, the authentic voice of a Gurkha soldier. Never before has a serving Gurkha written an account of his own life.

In this Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling memoir that 'reads like a thriller', (Joanna Lumley) Colour-Sargent Kailash Limbu shares a riveting account of his life as a Gurkha soldier-marking the first time in its two-hundred-year history that a soldier of the Brigade of Gurkhas has been given permission to tell his story in his own words.


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 forty-eight hour operation. In the end, he and his men were under siege for thirty-one days - one of the longest such sieges in the whole of the Afghan campaign.

Kailash Limbu recalls the terrifying and exciting details of those thirty-one days - in which they killed an estimated one hundred 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 fifteen.

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.

'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

Biographical Notes

Colour Sergeant Kailash Limbu was born in 1981 in Khebang village, one of the most remote in the whole of Nepal. He joined the 2nd Batallion Royal Gurkha Rifles in 1999 and undertook four tours of active service in Afghanistan. He has also been on operations in Bosnia and Sierra Leone. Married with two children, he is currently serving in the UK.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349140100
  • Publication date: 05 May 2016
  • Page count: 352
  • Imprint: Abacus
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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