The Flashman Papers/Flashman And The Tiger 12 Paperback – Mar 9 2006
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Flashman and the Tiger is George MacDonald Fraser's 11th chronicle of Sir Harry Flashman, a "celebrated Victorian soldier, scoundrel, amorist, and self-confessed poltroon." Written with great wit and ingenuity, the series is presented as a succession of long-lost memoirs, which Fraser is simply editing for a modern readership. Thus does he interrupt Sir Harry's voice with footnotes, appendices, and tail-gunning apologies. Indeed, Fraser, whose editorial persona is humorless and academic, seems almost embarrassed in the presence of his subject's unbridled self-love.
This time the year is 1878, and Flashman is poking his nose into some deep political intrigue for a journalist friend who's done him various unsavory favors. Our favorite swashbuckler has just returned from Paris, where he was awarded the Legion of Honor. Yet readers familiar with Flashman's saga will know this is simply one more piece of tin to add to his capacious collection--and that even as he's revered by those around him, he finds it impossible to take himself seriously. Instead he regards himself as "one of those fortunate critters who ... are simply without shame, and wouldn't know Conscience if they tripped over it in broad day."
As usual, Flashman stumbles through history like a bull in a china shop. At the end of the first section, "The Road to Charing Cross," we realize that he's delayed the onset of World War I by various wranglings with the would-be assassins of Emperor Franz Josef of Austria. The following sections put him in contact with the Prince of Wales, a procession of remarkable whores, Zulu warriors, and yet more remarkable whores. Fraser's brashly perfect prose both fuels and awakens the imagination. And in the end the reader has to wonder: which wars almost came to pass, but were averted by a half-drunk war hero with a lust for life? --Emily White --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
P.G. Wodehouse said of the first Flashman novel that it was "the goods." Three decades and 11 "packets" of Flashman papers later, Fraser's indomitable Victorian scoundrel remains one of English literature's finest comic creations. This latest installment consists of three short adventures, all taking place in the late 19th century. In the first and longest episode, Flashy attends the Congress of Berlin, crosses paths with his old enemy Bismarck and gets dragged into a complicated plot to save Austria's Emperor Franz-Josef from assassination and Europe from world war. Not all the diplomatic intrigue is scintillating, but Fraser concludes on a strong note, sending Flashy off on yet another doomed military expedition just as he thinks he's home safe at last. Comic reversal figures as well in the second story, centered on a card-cheating scandal involving the prince of Wales, the future Edward VII. The hilarious exchange at the end between Flashman and his dizzy wife, Elspeth, is reminiscent of Bertie and Jeeves in their prime. In the final, title tale, Flashy, disguised as a poor drunk, sneaks into an empty London house to stop a certain Tiger Jack Moran from his evil plot to ravish Flashy's beloved granddaughter, only to find that two men, who look like "a poet and a bailiff," have ambushed the creep already. The deed done, Flashman listens as the "poet" makes some deliciously inaccurate deductions about the scruffy, drunk derelict, our hero. Throughout, Flashman alludes to disastrous exploits not yet published (Gordon at Khartoum, Maxmillian in Mexico, etc.). Readers can only hope that Fraser will enjoy the kind of longevity and productivity that defined the distinguished career of his mentor Wodehouse, and continue with this exceptional series. (Aug.) FYI: Fraser has written the screenplays for Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers, as well as for the James Bond film Octopussy.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first two stories are very good without being particularly memorable, the first being the best of the book. Flashman deals with peace treaties, then in what is basically a repeat of the second Flashman book 'Royal Flash', finds himself kidnapped by the son of Count von Starnberg, (one of Flashy's more memorable villains)and is embroiled in a plot to assassinate the Kaiser. Telling more would give away to much of the plot, but it is worth reading. The second story involves a almost unknown in this country Victorian scandal, and you find that Flashman's wife, the beautiful Elspeth playing a central role. This is defintely enjoyable to Flashman regulars since Elspeth's usual roles are cameo's at best, but the scandal has little interst to Americans.
I defintely recommend any of the Flashman books, but you haven't read Flashman yet, I wouldn't suggest you start with this one...(perhaps "Flashman and the Great Game" or "Flashman and the Dragon" would be the best starting point, but I think you miss a lot of the flavor if you don't read them all in order...)But do yourself a favor and check out Flashman...you won't be disappointed...
A rollicking trio of yarns, and yet another worthy addition to the hoary old bugger's memoirs.
The Flashman series is a great work of historical fiction. George MacDonald Fraser always uses Flashman to tell a great story. Integrating fictional characters and situations with thoroughly researched historical facts. A kind of "Boy's Own Adventures" for grown ups and history buffs.
Flashman, the central character, is a kind of antihero, bringing a cynical, and in many ways modern, sensibility to the world of the 1900's. A self-confessed cad and coward, he often seems the most humane and reasonable character in the situations he gets himself involved in.
In this collection, Flashman finds himself part of a political crisis, escaping from one of Britain's most notorious military defeats in Africa, immersed in a social scandal involving the Prince of Wales and a game of cards, and even meets Sherlock Holmes.
This is an excellent book and essential reading for any Flashman fan. My rating of just 4 stars is not meant to imply any criticism, but is more of an indication of personal preference for the longer Flashman stories that, to my mind, really highlight the wonderful writing and story telling ability of George MacDonald Fraser.
In fact, if "The Road to Charing Cross" were the whole book (and with a different cover!), I'd give it 5 stars. As is... "The Subtleties of Baccarat" was an engaging story - and it did show a wholly unexpected side of Elspeth, - but the history involved did not interest me in the least. As for the last part, it just plain sucked. I had the feeling Fraser either got tired, or was rushing to meet a deadline. Zulu War/Rorke's Drift got a few pages, and the rest was a completely inane crossover with a Sherlock Holmes story. Most disappointing.
Most recent customer reviews
An aging Flashy proves that his incredible luck is yet still with him.
I'm a fan of Unabridged books on tape, and sometimes they can get, well, rather long. Not this gem. Read more
Once again, GMF delivers a well crafted, historically accurate, yet side-splitting Flashman adventure. Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2002 by Thomas Boyd
I really enjoy this series of books about Harry Flashman, coward, scoundrel, and unwitting hero of the glory days of the British Empire. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2001 by Frank J. Konopka
Having read the 'Tiger' episode when it was first published in the 'Daily Express' in Britain in the 70's (just prior to 'Flashman In The Great Game' coming out) I, like most other... Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2001 by David Westerby
With "Flashman and the Tiger" GM Fraser brings his "master of trechery and lechery" back in fine form. Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2001 by Lucy
It is marvelous, begad, to be able to explore a batch of new papers written by that cowardly and toad-eating poltroon, Sir Harry Flashman. Read morePublished on Dec 24 2000 by Russel E. Higgins
I was very pleased to see another Flashman book in print - Flashy is certainly my choice for historical fiction! The current offering consists of three smaller adventures. Read morePublished on Nov. 13 2000 by J. W. Johnson
As a dedicated Flashman, and indeed GMF, fan, I had to review this. However I can only echo previous comments that this one is not as good as some of the previous episodes... Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2000