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Flashman (The Flashman Papers, Book 1) Paperback – Jun 18 2015
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'Flashman is a wonderful creation, by a master storyteller. We'll forever delight in his evil antics' JEFFREY ARCHER
‘Politically incorrect, lascivious and fiendishly handsome, Flashman is the greatest ’ BORIS JOHNSON
‘Flashman is one of the great characters of modern fiction; a rogue, a lover, and always an irresistible read’ BERNARD CORNWELL
‘Flashman, Sherlock Holmes, Toad of Toad Hall, Bertie Wooster. Any writer would give his eye-teeth to have created a character as good as those. GMF was one of the greats’ CONN IGGULDEN
‘The perfect fictional creation’ TONY PARSONS
‘A first-rate historical novelist’ KINGSLEY AMIS
About the Author
George MacDonald Fraser OBE was a bestselling historical
novelist, journalist and screenwriter. Having worked on newspapers in Britain and Canada he is perhaps most famous for his series of Flashman novels and his anti-hero Harry Flashman. In addition to his novels he also wrote numerous screenplays, most notably The Three Musketeers and the James Bond film Octopussy. George MacDonald Fraser died in January 2008 at the age of 82.
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Top Customer Reviews
Fraser does a wonderful job of taking Thomas Hughes' school bully and creating a life consistent with someone who never grows out of the same type of behavior. The narrative is humorous and from a character perspective open and honest, as who would know better than Harry Flashman the cowardly actions he takes throughout his life, and the undeserved rewards which he is given. The key to the story though is that Fraser is true to the character as defined by Hughes. Although certainly a despicable character, he does have the ability to use his charm, and he has an incredible amount of luck which prevents most people from finding out his serious deficiencies of character.
One fairly minor point which detracts slightly from the overall effort is that there are a few too many references back to Hughes. It suits its purpose well at the start of the book, but becomes unnecessary and in some cases interrupts the narrative when it occurs later in the book.Read more ›
This first novel, which describes Flashman's entry into adulthood after expulsion from Rugby school for being found inhebriated in a wheelbarrow, scorches along at a tremendous pace, immersing you in the nineteenth century world, with all its blemishes and contradictions.
It will lead you to a war in Afghanistan that I would imagine 99% of readers would not have formerly known about (I certainly didn't), but you will never forget the characters he meets, most of whom actually existed. I admit to a certain wry smile when I see items on the news about Afghanistan nowadays, what with the mujahedin and the Taliban, when I think of what their ancestors did to the British Army all those years ago.
I heard George Macdonald Fraser comment recently that when this novel was originally released, certain American critics mistook it for a genuine memoir and acclaimed it as a historical find of genuine importance. In some ways this was an understandable mistake as most of the truly outrageous incidents in the book actually happened and the fictional embellishments are skillfully woven around these.
If you have not yet read any of the Flashman Papers, buy or steal a copy, give any PC sensibilities a week off and enter the wonderful world of Harry Flashman, gentleman, bounder, cad, adventurer, philanderer and studious observer of the underbelly of the Victorian world.
As for the writing, well... IMHO, Fraser is one of the best writers of the late 20th century. Nobody does battle scenes as well as he does. No one explains political motivations as well. Nobody makes history more palatable or weaves it into the story so naturally. And there are few characters as well drawn as Flashy, who is strangely likable despite his behavior.
For the record, I'm a woman, and I don't have any problem with the depiction of women in this and the other books. It's fiction, and Flashy's behavior has to be taken in the context of the times. (Frankly, if he'd behaved like, say, the wholly unbelievable folk who populated the historical travesty that was Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, I'd've been bored stiff after three pages.)
So read this first book to familiarize yourself with the character, but know that it isn't the best-written of the series. Fraser really settles in with Flashy's voice in the second book, Royal Flash, and just gets better from there!
Most recent customer reviews
Especially good because it is a newer edition containing recent author information about the background of the character. A great surprise. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Dan Osborne
Instant Flashman...I love it! I search high and low years ago for the entire series...and it was going to cost me a ton of money.Not any more... Read morePublished on May 17 2013 by Frank Dembicki
I picked up the audio version of this book at the library and found I was forced to listen to one tape after another, I just couldn't stop listening. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2004 by Kindle Customer
This is the first and the best of the Flashman series. I first read this book back in 1990 and it combines history with a good dash of humor. Read morePublished on Nov. 21 2001 by Amazon Customer
Fraser is an absolute master of historical fiction. In this, the first effort in the acclaimed "Flashman" series, Fraser is at the top of his game. Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2001 by Christopher Macias
How many of us.. with a low chuckle and under our breath murmur... "flashy"... with a smile on our faces, whilst reading the flashman series, when our hero gets into one of his... Read morePublished on May 28 2001
Having read Tom Brown's Schooldays and thoroughly enjoyed it, I was initially perturbed by the idea of Flashman being developed into an anti-hero figure. Read morePublished on May 27 2001 by Gordon Neill
In a good week, I read two books. So, over the past ten years, that makes...well you do the math. Out of all of them over the past 10 years, I have to rank "Flashman"... Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2001