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Flashman in the Great Game [Paperback]

George MacDonald Fraser
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 May 1999

Harry Flashman: the unrepentant bully of Tom Brown’s schooldays, now with a Victoria Cross, has three main talents – horsemanship, facility with foreign languages and fornication. A reluctant military hero, Flashman plays a key part in most of the defining military campaigns of the 19th century, despite trying his utmost to escape them all.

What caused the Indian Mutiny? The greased cartridge, religious fanaticism, political blundering, yes – but one hitherto unsuspected factor is now revealed to be the furtive figure who fled across India in 1857 with such frantic haste: Flashman.

Plumbing new depths of anxious knavery in his role as secret agent extraordinaire, Flashman saw far more of the Great Mutiny than he wanted. How he survived Thugs and Tsarist agents, Eastern beauties and cabinet ministers and kept his skin intact is a mystery revealed here in this volume of The Flashman Papers.

Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; (Reissue) edition (4 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006512992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006512998
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 718,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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 films, most notably 'The Three Musketeers', 'The Four Musketeers', and the James Bond film, 'Octopussy'. George Macdonald Fraser died in January 2008 at the age of 82.

Product Description


'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

From the Back Cover

What caused the Indian Mutiny? The greased cartridge, religious fanaticism, political blundering, yes – but one hitherto unsuspected factor is now revealed in the furtive figure which fled across the Indian scene in 1857 with such frantic haste: Flashman. For Flashman, plumbing new depths of anxious knavery in his role as secret agent extraordinary, saw for more of the Great Mutiny than he wanted to. How he survived his adventures and inevitable flights from Thugs and Tsarist agents, Eastern beauties and Cabinet ministers and kept his skin intact is a mystery as remarkable as 'The Flashman Papers' themselves. Their latest chapter sees him passing through his most harrowing ordeal to his supreme triumph, with Courage, Duty and honour toiling dispiritedly in his wake.

‘He is as unfair as Lytton Strachey, considerably better informed, and much more hilarious’
C.P. SNOW, 'Financial Times'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Greased cartridges, Pandies and Makarram Khan 18 Nov 2001
Another rip-roaring adventure from the British Army's most noble cad. This adventure sees our reluctant hero caught up in the events surrounding the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58.
In a conflict notable for the sheer barbarism surrounding many of its shocking events, Flashy is at liberty to display his most dubious qualities of fear, funk, bluff and deceit. As a master of disguise (sometimes masquerading as a British officer) and armed with his consistent luck (Flashy would say bad luck) and his unfailing charm, he develops the uncanny ability to be present at almost every major event that made up the Indian Mutiny.
Whether its witnessing the first sparks of rebellion at Meerut, taking part in the ultimately horrific Siege of Cawnpore or risking his life to get a message from Lucknow to Campbell's relieving force (if this wasn't how it happened, it should have been), Flashy is there with his bowels in spasm and his innards
He manages too to meet a veritable 'Whos Who' of Victorian notables. Apart from the usual gang of Queen Victoria (Vicky), Prince Albert, Lord Palmerston (Pam), William Howard Russell and Lord Cardigan (Jim the Bear), our erstwhile warrior rubs shoulders with most of the notables of the Indian Mutiny, on both sides. On the British side he meets Sir Colin Campbell, General Wheeler, Johnny Nicholson, Major Vibart, Henry Kavanaugh, Sir James Outram, Lord Canning and Sir Hugh Rose, whilst on the rebel side he meets Nana Sahib. If you care to read about the true events surrounding the Indian Mutiny you will see these names figure prominently. History alas, was not so kind to our trembling friend Flashy.
Whilst enabling Flashman to display his usual cowardly, selfish and licentious side this conflict does enable us to glimpse a different side to Flashy too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best 11 April 2007
I have to confess that I am a real Flashman fan, I have read many and am never ever disappointed by the writing of George McDonald Fraser.

The Flashman books follow the military career of Harry Flashman (the same Flashman as the bully in Tom Browns School Days), and follow his cowardly womanising exploits as he attempts to run away from military campaign after military campaign with the most hilarious results.

The Great Game is maybe the 5th book in the series and follows Flashman across India detailing his involvement and observations during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.

All the Flashman books are extremely funny and at the same time histrically accurate with the Flashman character fitting nicely into historical events. I learnt more about this unfortunate period in history from this book than 3 years of a history degree, which seemed to involve more drinking than study.

If you are familiar with Flashman you will find that the Great Game is extremely humorous, but the humour and womanising is finely balanced and helps to raise the mood as the horrific events of the rebellion are laid down in a very graphic way before you.

This book is absolutely impelling, not only the best read in the series so far, but most definately the best book I have read for a long long time. My imagination ran wild from the start of the book to the end. Harry Flashman is simply the greatest Anti Hero ever created. As you read this book you know that really you shouldn't like Flashman, you know that he is a bully and a cheat and you know that if he was real he would be the man who desperately tries to sleep with you wife. But it is absolutely impossible not to find yourself willing him on, and dare I say it even liking him.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough and even found myself Googleing many of the characters,(all of whom you will find existed)so carried away with story I actually got.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...Just to add 31 May 2003
By A Customer
There is one thing I want to add about this book, which is as wonderful as all of Mr. MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books, and that is the amazing description of Flashy's escape from Cawnpore and the ensuing ride down river, the temple siege, the crocodiles, etc. MacDonald Fraser's account of this breathtaking escape, which would be too outlandish for a Hollywood script but is apparently true, is permanently burned in my memory.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flashman bahadur triumphs again 24 Feb 2007
By Didier TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been reading Flashman-novels off and on for some years now, and have re-read several, but this was one of the volumes I hadn't gotten around to yet, and I must say I'm mightily glad I finally did.

Flashman is his usual cowardly self, but despite his best efforts to evade danger he manages to get into the worst scrapes of the Indian Mutiny (1857-58). As ever rarely a page goes by that will not have you in stitches, but - perhaps more so than in other volumes of the series - there is also a real streak of empathy and pity here for the atrocities committed (by both sides, that is).

Are there no women then in this novel? Rest assured, Flashman womanizes galore, he's even ordered to do so by his senior commanders, which makes him coin the immortal (para)phrase 'Dulce et decorum est pro patria rogeri'... who am I to disagree?

I enjoyed this book immensily, and simply cannot wait to get started on 'Flashman and the Angel of the Lord'!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Recently read the entire series, actually devoured is probably a better word. Undoubtedly the funniest books ive ever read. The anti-hero Flashman is a character you will learn to love, and despite his vile character, he is my favourite that ive come across. The author GMF sadly passed away yesterday, 2/1/2008, news of which depressed me greatly. He will be sadly missed by all of his readers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable romp through a fictional account of a historic event
Flashman returns to India on a mission to counter Russian rebel rousing in India. He ends up going undercover and gets into various scrapes and encounters at historic battles... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Flashman amuses again
Excellent story, worked in India for a few years so brought back memories. These books are always so much fun .
Published 20 days ago by Ken Tucker
5.0 out of 5 stars Flashy on Top
This is my favourite Flashman book and possibly the best of the series. The pace is simply electric and full credit to the author who gives us what amounts to a superb potted... Read more
Published 3 months ago by P. Ronayne
5.0 out of 5 stars Ripping Yarn
Well researched, great story and well written. Highly recommended for anyone interested in a bit of history combined with some skulduggery. Not for the PC types.
Published 3 months ago by Simon Brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Flashy in India
My goodness you shouldn't read this if you're sensitive about political correctness. It's not at all politically correct but it's a hoot! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Val Pope
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest and most interesting in the series
I have now read all the Flashman books and this is the most historically interesting. The Indian mutiny is a section of history I was completely ignorant of and found very... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Flashman in The Great Game
I have never read a Flashman book before. A friend recommended it as the historical facts are accurate but wrapped up in an easy to read adventure story. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kitty C
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Ending with a twist
The deplorable but endearing rascal Flashman tangles with an old enemy & see's off a threat to the Empire. As ever the history is just fantastic!
Published 8 months ago by Mr Kevin Grindrod
5.0 out of 5 stars Flashman on form
As ever, a rollicking bawdy trip through Britain's imperial history, with Flashman's influence everywhere. Not to all tastes but great fun
Published 8 months ago by PT
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitory,drama and comedy
It's always a treat to read a Flashman novel. There's sound historical research done by the author who skilfully puts the likeable rogue/coward Flashman into the thick of the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Keith Napier
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