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Posts Tagged ‘George MacDonald Fraser’

Adventures in Bookland: Flashman’s Lady by George MacDonald Fraser

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Another favourite of mine in the incomparable Flashman series, this volume bowled your attentive reader over by Flashman’s role in codifying the game of cricket – first hat trick ever bowled – and introducing me to some of the great early characters of the game. Then it won me over completely by including extracts from the diary of Elspeth, Flashie’s golden tressed, air head wife, forever puzzling our hero with the question of whether she is as unfaithful to Flashie as he is to her. Throw in South Seas pirates, the extraordinary James Brooks, the White Rajah of Sarawak, whose exploits would beggar credulity if they were not actually true, and mad Queen Ravalona of Madagascar, whose brutality really does beggar belief, and you have all the elements for classic Flashman. It is.

Adventures in Bookland: Royal Flash by George MacDonald Fraser

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

All the Flashman books are good but this might possibly be the very best of a remarkable bunch (although Flashman at the Charge and Flashman’s Lady run it close by my reading). But with Otto von Bismarck as the villain and the extraordinary Lola Montez as the lust interest, and with a plot that plays homage and tribute to The Prisoner of Zenda, this is as good as historical fiction gets.

Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Certainly the funniest and quite possibly the best historical fiction novel ever.

Adventures in Bookland: Flashman at the Charge by George MacDonald Fraser

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Flashman at the Charge

Flashman at the Charge

It was PG Wodehouse who likened his first reading of Flashman to Keats’ experience of reading Homer in Chapman’s translation, although I can safely say that Flashy is unlikely to ever hold his silence, even on a peak in Darien – he’d be looking for a likely woman or an escape route. The whole point of Flashman is that, despite his being a cad, a bounder, a coward and a cheat, yet, in the madness of the Crimean War, his cowardice takes on a certain honesty. Indeed, given the fact that Flashman contrives to take part in the charges of both the Heavy and the Light brigades – the latter with his bowels erupting in a fanfare of farts – there is a case for calling him the bravest man there: one who knows fear and yet still carries on. Thankfully, just when it seems like Flashy might be turning into a proper hero, he does something truly appalling and the reader breaths a huge sigh of relief.