Reasons to be cheerful - A new Flashman book!

#1
http://www.spectator.co.uk/

Registration required 2 page article.

What makes a hero?
Harry Mount


‘Flashman’s just a monster,’ says George MacDonald Fraser. ‘He’s extremely unpleasant but he knows how to present a front to the world, and at least he’s honest about himself. But that was because he assumed that his memoirs would never be published.’

I’d just been putting to the author of the Flashman novels the theory of this magazine’s editor: that far from being a scoundrel, Flashman — the fag-roasting rotter thrown out of Rugby in Tom Brown’s Schooldays only to pop up in the great historic moments of the Victorian age — was in fact the toppest of eggs; an accidental hero who’s actually the genuine article because he at least admits to his flaws.

‘It’s usually my female readers who write and say that,’ Fraser says in his perfectly modulated Miss-Jean-Brodie-goes-to-Glasgow vowels, unflattened by 35 years as a tax exile on the Isle of Man, ‘— that he’s actually a very modest hero who makes himself out to be a coward and a cad. If that’s the way they want to see him, fair enough. But you must remember, he raped a girl in the first book; since then, he’s never needed to.’

Fraser’s 80th birthday on 2 April coincides with the publication of Flashman on the March, the 12th in the series. This time Flashman materialises in the Abyssinian War of 1868, when General Napier threaded his way through the treacherous valleys of the Horn of Africa to rescue a small group of British citizens captured by the mad tyrant Emperor Theodore.
Excellent :D
 
#4
2nd April
 
#6
Gee thanks. Released the day after I go back to the Magic Kingdom from leave..... Have to content myself with another reading of Patrick O'Brian, then.
 
E

error_unknown

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#8
Without wishing to urinate on anyone's Rice Krispies, I've read a proof copy and it isn't that great. My own opinion is that the series has lost some of it's edge in the last fifteen or twenty years: the last real cracker was 'Flashman and the Redskins', and this one feels a little like GMF was just going through the motions.

Sorry :(
 
#9
'Damn your eyes sir, and your impudence!' :D (as the great Flashy would doubtless himself say...)
 
#10
Without reading it I can t comment on this one, but I have to agree with CP as to the quality going down. The last one was so bad I lst interest about half way.

Sharpe has gone the same way, churned out with ever more implausable connections.
 
#11
An excellent read! The description of Napier's force marching on Magdala with the band playing "British Grenadiers" gets the blood going! The mad King Theodore is vividly described and Flashman's presence is convincingly eased into the history of the Abyssinian campaign.

I don't think there is a bad book in the series although Flashman and the Tiger was admittedly below par and not quite what I thought it would be - perhaps a less-than-successful experiment in merging fiction with fiction rather than with fact.

However, nothing can live up to Flashman at the Charge with Flashy painting the (incognito) Prince Whomever's arrse black, later to find himself farting his way in terror across the Balaklava battlefield!

Sharpe is of rather poor quality nowadays although the author Bernard Cornwell has produced some outstanding works in his Arthurian trilogy and his latest offering based on the Viking invasions works extremely well. I think his best is offered in a first person rather than a third person narrative.

Has anyone read the fish-head books that are inspired by or copied from Flashman? Also, for a good historical read, try Boris Akunin's Winter Queen, Leviathan and Turkish Gambit.
 
#12
Hear,hear, just finished it and couldnt agree more with the above, its a shame GMF doesnt write about Flashy's exploits in the amercian civil war, he keeps giving us little references to them.
 
#13
I've only just seen this thread otherwise I would have commented before. I read this book as soon as it came out (within 48 hours) and really enjoyed it. Worth a read over any number of other authors.

I agree with the earlier comment, Flashman and the Tiger is weaker than the rest of the series. Even so, it ain't too bad. I thought the weakness lay more with trying to fit several episodes into one book rather than GMF's more elaborate earlier works. I might change my mind upon re-reading it as I have started on the series again from book 1.

I'm amazed that so many people on ARRSE are keen on Flashy. No-one else in my unit knows what these books are. One bloke even asked me when he saw I was reading a book called Flashman: "Oh, Flashman, what are his superhero powers then?" :roll: :roll:
 
#14
Just bought the book, then accidently left it on the sodding train before I'd started it. :x
If anyone found it, can you pass it on!
 
#16
GNER I think. I was on 4 that day. I'll borrow my mates until i get it back...
book that is, not train
 
#17
Never mind the book, did anyone hear the interview with GMF on the Today programme? GMF served as an infantry soldier in Burma in WW2. He is no lover of the current regime (read his auto biography "The Light's on at Signpost" and you'll be voting for him for president!). The sleeve notes make great reading, particularly the bit about a government's duty and the deployment of the Army.

I don't have a copy, could some who does put them on here?

Ta
 
#19
tubbyboy said:
I'm amazed that so many people on ARRSE are keen on Flashy. No-one else in my unit knows what these books are. One bloke even asked me when he saw I was reading a book called Flashman: "Oh, Flashman, what are his superhero powers then?" :roll: :roll:
You need a transfer, mate.... :D

I'm hoping the naysayers are wrong, and that this one is as good as the rest. Fade from authors who establish themselves with one or two excellent reads is always disappointing; look at the trash pumped out by Wilbur Smith, after the first five or so of his paperbacks. One who never faded, though, was Patrick O'Brian. Changed, but unfaded.
 
#20
Whiskybreath said:
tubbyboy said:
I'm amazed that so many people on ARRSE are keen on Flashy. No-one else in my unit knows what these books are. One bloke even asked me when he saw I was reading a book called Flashman: "Oh, Flashman, what are his superhero powers then?" :roll: :roll:
You need a transfer, mate.... :D
Don't I fecking know it :evil:
 

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