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Flashman's Lady Paperback – April 1, 1988

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'If ever there was a time when I felt that watcher-of-the-skies-when-a-new-planet stuff, it was when I read the first Flashman.' PG Wodehouse 'Next to the coming of the new Messiah, the most welcome appearance one can imagine is the new Flashman book from George MacDonald Fraser.' Time Out 'As well as providing a fine assortment of treats, George MacDonald Fraser is a marvellous reporter and a first-rate historical novelist.' Kingsley Amis, Sunday Telegraph 'Flashman is one of the best comic fictional characters of our times.' Listener --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

The author of the famous Flashman Papers and the Private McAuslan stories, George MacDonald Fraser has worked on newspapers in Britain and Canada. In addition to his novels he has also written numerous screenplays, most notably The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers, and the James Bond film, Octopussy. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Flashman
  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (April 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452264898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452264892
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd A. Conway on July 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
The author brings several worlds to vivid life, in this novel that links several stories into a seamless whole. I personally think that Frasier missed his calling: he should have been a sportswriter. The cricket game, with poor idiot Elspeth as the prize, is told so well that I've re-read it several times. Each of the worlds he creates, Frasier fills with such colorful characters that they are three-dimensional. The cricket game brings us Deadlius Tighe, esq., a classic scoundrel; Singapore is personified in Catchick Moses; and British imperial/missionary zeal in James Brooke. (The depiction of Brooke inspired me to read everything that I could find on this fighting seaman and colonizer.) Best of all is a villan equal to Flashy himself: Sulemann Usman. The novel gives the reader the wide world, and does it in such a way as to make it seem real, as in the eyes of a 19th century mind. A keeper that brings genuine enjoyment with every re-reading. -Lloyd A. Conway
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Joe TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
In the 1966 screen adaptation of A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) advises his daughter Meg (Susannah York):

"If (God) suffers us to come to such a case that there is no escaping, then we may stand to our tackle as best we can. And, yes Meg, then we can clamor like champions, if we have the spittle for it. But it's God's part, not our own, to bring ourselves to such a pass. Our natural business lies in escaping."

One of the most endearing qualities of author George MacDonald Fraser's anti-heroic protagonist, Harry Flashman, is his natural cowardice, which he freely admits with a certain degree of pride. Flashy is an expert at escaping; More would have been impressed.

In that volume of his memoirs entitled FLASHMAN'S LADY, Flashy is still young in the mid-1840s. His talent for a prudent and precipitous departure has yet to mature, as evidenced by his delayed response when beset by thugs in a dodgy section of Singapore:

"I'm not proud of what happened in the next moment. Of course, I was very young and thoughtless, and my great days of instant flight and evasion were still ahead of me, but even so, with ... my native cowardice to boot, my reaction was inexcusable ... in my youthful folly and ignorance, I absolutely stood there gaping ..."

The larger portion of this book's plot involves the kidnapping of Flashy's beautiful but scatterbrained wife, Elspeth, by a certain Don Solomon Haslam, a moneyed and mannered member of English high society who's not what he seems. Harry's determination to stay out of harm's way is severely taxed as he pursues Elspeth's rescue into the pirate-infested interior of Borneo, and later into Madagascar, where Flashy finds himself the slave of that island's mad and despotic queen, Ranavalona.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on July 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Harry Flashman - despicable poltroon or modest unreliable narrator, depending on your literary whim - shows himself eclipsed by a bolder rogue and a genuine hero in the first half of this too-long novel. The bolder rogue kidnaps Harry's wife, and the genuine hero, the authentic White Rajah of Sarawak, rescues her... almost.

By far the most entertaining portion of this sixth Flashman novel is the first quarter, which features a hilarious account of cricket as played in Jolly Old England in the middle of the 19th C. Harry, naturally, is a cricket phenom, whose skill is exceeded only by his skullduggery. Then Harry find himself once more en route to hellish adventures in the colonies. His travelogue description of Singapore is worth the price of a ticket there, and in Singapore, he encounters James Brooke, the White Rajah, the Hotspur character who overshadows him for another quarter of the text.

The second half of the book is effectively another novel, one that seems thin and anticlimactic after the first. Harry gets himself imprisoned in the clutches of a madwoman-queen. Finally he escapes. Ho hum. But another side of our Flashman is revealed; he actually risks his skin to save his addlepated little wifey. How will we ever be certain again that he's as much of a coward as he boasts?

Author GM Fraser introduces an innovation in this volume; part of the story is told by Mrs. Flashman, in the form of pages from her diary. She's not the narrator her husband is.

Except for the cricket chapters, this is a less amusing Flash than the others I've read. If you're plowing your way through the life story of England's most meretricious hero, you have every right to skip an episode now and then.

The more I think about it tonight, the more uncomfortable I find myself getting over the question of whether one should laugh or vomit at Harry's racism and sexism. I begin to think I'm obliged to do both, or else give the series up.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ensiform on February 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Flashy - after, incidentally, pulling a hat trick on the three most celebrated cricketers of his time - accepts a "friendly" wager in a single-wicket match against Don Solomon, a foreign-born Eton-educated socialite. The tie score results in he and Elspeth accompanying Solomon on a cruise to the Far East, where Solomon's true colors are revealed, and he absconds with Elspeth. Flashman must fight, however unwillingly, to get her back - until they both end up in the hands of the bloodthirsty queen of Madagascar, Ranavalona I. This is a fine entry in the series, possibly a little more heavy on the humor this time around than the adventure. The first half of the book is all cricket and social intrigue; a more thorough look at Madagascar might have been in order, tho' perhaps Fraser was dealing with limited intelligence on that subject. Another minor quibble: At the book's opening, our hero is caught in a damned-if-he-does-damned-if-he-don't trap that pushed him again into adventure (lose the cricket match and see Elspeth go on a cruise with Solomon, or win and be beaten by crooked bookies?). And, as in Flash For Freedom, the dilemma that prompted him into action, when he returns (in that case, cheating at cards), is completely forgotten. I would have liked to see some closure in the matter of the threatening bookie, at least. All that aside, this is, of course, another witty, well-researched adventure. Bravo!
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