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Flashman And The Mountain Of Light (Flashman Papers) Hardcover – March 27, 1991


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Product Details

  • Series: Flashman Papers
  • Hardcover: 365 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st American ed edition (March 27, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679400710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679400714
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,607,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fraser's Flashman yarns are a guilty pleasure: shamelessly enjoyable, yet utterly reprehensible, like a diet of chocolate creams. Harry Flashman--and this is the ninth volume of his exploits, complete, like the others, with its very real scholarly apparatus of notes and sources--is vain, cowardly, a hypocrite and a sexist lecher. Yet such is the zest and skill with which Fraser relates his adventures that the reader is seldom aware of being thoroughly manipulated into a sneaking admiration for this Victorian soldier of fortune who always finds himself in the thick of things, whether in India, Africa or at Custer's Last Stand; the books are allegedly parts of his memoirs. This time the scene is the Punjab as the outnumbered British forces face a formidable Sikh army. Behind the scenes are a glamorous but corrupt maharani (who is bedded by Flashman), her son and various devious pretenders. Flashman, who speaks the lingo, is acting as secret agent on behalf of the British but somehow always gets involved in battles he seeks to avoid. The atmosphere is colorful in the extreme, the battle scenes are splendidly rendered and some decidedly odd British commanders are deftly sketched. Flashman ultimately emerges with the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond, which he is seen in a delicious prologue discussing with an elderly Queen Victoria. For Flashman fanciers, this is one of his best; for others, an ideal introduction.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

'The Flashman Papers do what all great sagas do - winning new admirers along the way but never, ever betraying old ones. It is an immense achievement.' Sunday Telegraph 'Not so much a march as a full-blooded charge, fortified by the usual lashings of salty sex, meticulously choreographed battle scenes and hilariously spineless acts of self preservation by Flashman.' Sunday Times 'Not only are the Flashman books extremely funny, but they give meticulous care to authenticity. You can, between the guffaws, learn from them.' Washington Post 'A first-rate historical novelist' Kingsley Amis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Well researched and footnoted, fabulous historical fiction.
Dr. Scott C. Irwin
Flashman and the Mountain of Light is a galloping good read, as Flashy would say, and is recommended to anyone who wants to laugh and learn at the same time.
K. C. Prushankin
My intent is to read the rest of the Flashman series by reading the non-American books first.
John A. Lefcourte

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dan Diamond on January 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
Reading this series in chronological order has been tricky, thanks to Fraser's skipping about history. Still, having already read "Flashman", "Royal Flash", and "Flashman's Lady", I saw a change in the "Mountain of Light": Flashy gets a little backbone.
The book itself focuses on a largely forgotten episode in British India, between the Afghan withdrawal in 1842 and the Great Mutiny in the 1850s. This time, Flashman is called into service just as the 80,000-strong Sikh army, the Khalsa, appears ready to sweep down on the English and drive them out once and for all. Flashman is drawn into behind-the-scenes subterfuge that take him from the Sikh royal court to the middle of bloody battlefields. To say much more would spoil the living history that Fraser's created.
However, I find it interesting to note a change in Flashman's character. The first novel, "Flashman", remains my favorite because the young character flees from every battle, and it is only through luck and chicanery that he rises to his fame. Never fear; Flashman still lies to save his hide and jumps on every woman he can get, but I finished "The Mountain of Light" feeling that Flashy had done a pretty good service--which he will tell you in the book. Maybe this is due to Fraser. While the book is the 4th chronologically, it's Fraser's 10th book about his alter ego. Having known the character for so long, maybe Flashman's done a little growing up.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Douglas S. Wood on August 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
In George MacDonald Fraser's 'Flashman and the Mountain of Light', our man Flashy sees Queen Vicky holding the Koh-I-Noor diamond and flashes back to India - more precisely, the Punjab where he arrives just in time for the first Anglo Sikh War (1845-46), not to suggest that Flashman had a hand in the war or anything.

The reader meets some of the most colorful figures ever to occupy the historical stage - as Flashman says "there were some damned odd fellows about in the earlies" - many of whom have just about slipped into the obscuring mists of time before Frasser rescued them. There's the White Mughal Alexander Haughton Campbell Gardner, the Queen Mother Maharani Jeendan (ohh, what a mother!), British 'agent' George Broadfoot and more. Flashman even meets up with a couple of fellows who are bigger cowards than he - Lal Singh and Tej Singh.

Fraser also takes the reader through the war in some detail, especially the battles at Ferozeshah and Sobraon. If anything the battle scenes last too long, but that will be a matter of taste for the individual reader.

Along the way, Harry engages in some rather disturbing behavior, which other reviewers have suggested indicate a degree of bravery heretofore undetected. Bosh! While Flashy isn't always the quivering mass of jelly we have come to expect, any actions suggestive of courage are simply acts of self-preservation. And anyway, Flashy gets his just reward for such behavior in the end.

Highest Flashman recommendation.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John A. Lefcourte VINE VOICE on January 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
The Flashman series, for those not familiar with it, features a thoroughly despicable, cowardly, womanizing rogue who blunders through history, managing to be present at most of the significant events of the Nineteenth Century. Fraser's historical research is detailed and complete and he manages to teach history in a very entertaining manner. "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." The research that goes into these books is formidable. Flashman manages to participate in the Charge of the Light Brigade, the Sikh Uprising, England's invasion of Afghanistan, John Brown's taking of Harpers Ferry, Custer's Last Stand, etc. While I have not read all of the books in the series, my conclusion, to date, is that Fraser is much better at presenting British History than he is at presenting American History. Perhaps it is my being less familiar with British History, as an American, although I was an History major in college and did study Indian History. The characters seem more colorful, the plots more complicated, the intrigues more convoluted. My intent is to read the rest of the Flashman series by reading the non-American books first.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 1997
Format: Paperback
MacDonald Fraser excels at evolking the atmosphere of India at the time of the Raj. 'Flashman and the Mountain of Light' is Flashy at his best (or worst!) and the goings-on in the court of Lahore have to be read to be believed.
More mature writing and the setting of the North-West Frontier make this even better than 'Flashman' and 'Flashman in the Great Game'.
For the literati this book's theme is the corrupting influence of power and the difference between heros and villains. For the rest of us, Flashy gives us a good laugh.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jack Purcell on September 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Neither has historical fiction. Harry Flashman is both. By now you are probably joining me in wishing Harry Flashman was here today. I'd vote for him to President.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David C. Peters on August 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
After reading Royal Flash and Flashman's Lady, I was beginning to think that I as over Flashy, as those books didnt move me in quite the same way the Flashman Papers and the Dragon did.

However, this tale of debauchery and adventure redeemed good ole Flashy in my eyes. Actually, I have been beginning to suspect that Flashy isnt as big a coward as he plays himself to be. His aim appears steady and his sword arm sure when ever he is in a pinch.

The only draw back is that if you are not careful to remember the meanings of all the native lingo, you'll bound to get lost.
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