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Flashman: A Novel Paperback – August 1, 1984
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
From Bond I've learned how to play baccarat, how to pull an Aston Martin out of a skid, and how to climb through a tunnel of scorching hot metal.
I have never in my life had to do any of these things.
On the other hand, from Flashman I've learned lessons I use every day of my life:
* When the trouble starts, keep your head down, or better yet, in a totally different country.
* Never be afraid to accept credit for something good you did. That goes double for something good you didn't.
* Never volunteer.
* Wine, women, and song? To hell with the song.
* There's no shame in living as a coward. Beats dying as a hero.
* Always have an escape plan. If not, steal someone else's.
Game, set, match: Flashy.
The first of eleven books in the series, Flashman: From the Flashman papers, 1839-1842 recounts Harry Paget Flashman's adventures as a young adult, primarily his participation in the First Afghan War. The book presents certain thematic elements that recur delightfully throughout the series: Flashman's propensity for finding himself at the center of major historical events, brushing shoulders with important historical figures like the Duke of Wellington and Queen Victoria; his uncanny luck in getting out of the stickiest situations imaginable while getting credit for heroic deeds not his own; and his unbridled hedonism.
Flashman is a talented equestrian and linguist. His positive characteristics end there. By any objective measure he is a deplorable human being. Flashman is a coward, a lecher, and a libertine; and yet, oddly, most readers will wind up liking him. Some have compared him to James Bond, but that would be an insult to 007, who was after all a decent guy.
This contradiction is hard to explain. How can we like a guy who has a deplorable character and yet always seems to come out on top? Perhaps he appeals to the irresponsible freedom-loving id in all of us. There is a part of us that envies someone who can sin often, get away with it, and never feel burdened by a guilty conscience.Read more ›
Fraser certainly knows how to write a great satirical historical fiction. I have no idea about the Afghan war and for all its worth I would believe Flashman's papers as the truth. Fraser writes it that well. Flashman confesses to being a coward and a scoundrel and impressively is hailed as heroic, brave and loyal. This itself seems to bring truth to his story. It is so fantastical and detailed that one may believe his words by the end of half the novel.
I being from the lot of India's black n***** savages am quite impressed by the perspective of the Englishman - a soldier and a gentleman. His description of that era is accurate in its disgust. The action, in bed and battle, is a very telling account of a foreigner in a hellish land (hell for the Englishman, home for some others).
It starts off with Flashman's disgrace and elimination from school. He has a flash of an idea to take it easy in a cozy regiment. Depending on his dad's fortune he gets the colours and can't help continue being a scoundrel. He is then further disgraced by getting orders to go to India to assist the East India Company. Here the story keeps getting funnier, interesting and irresistible. His adventures in India seem to bring him glory whether he keeps going worse or not. Hailed for learning the native tongue he is rewarded by an assignment to Afghanistan. Poor fellow is a victim of his own success.
Soon the Afghan chapters turn rapidly as you breeze through his adventures with the Gilzais and Ghazis and Kabulis. He turns every misadventure into glory without lifting a finger. It's as if an angel of scoundrels watches over him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was among the funniest novels I read. Harry Flashman is a great scoundrel with no morals, many lusts, and a surfeit if cowardice. A joy.Published 13 days ago by Laurence Goldstein
For those who want an easy introduction to a vast swath of history, read "Flashman" and all the follow-ups--and the footnotes. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Richard J. Gibson
This is an incredibly witty book. I can't wait to read the entire series.Published 1 month ago by Bargain Hunter
Tom Brown may have kept his self-respect, but Flashman had all the fun.Published 1 month ago by Carnifex
Interesting concept with a less than admirable protagonist but lagged at times.Published 1 month ago by STEPHEN M. MURPHY
The history is authentic.. the story is fast moving and fun to read. Placing a fictional character in a history lesson is interesting.Published 2 months ago by Stuart C. Nottingham Sr.
Hilarious. Nothing not to like here. This is parody brought to its peak.Published 2 months ago by Willow Wolf