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Flashman in the Great Game Hardcover – Nov 1975

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred a Knopf; First American Edition edition (Nov. 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394498933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394498935
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 15 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,799,027 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

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 the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

THE FLASHMAN PAPERS 1856–1858
VOLUME FIVE

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'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Andy (aaamack@omantel.net.om) on 18 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
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
dissolving.
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Didier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Feb. 2007
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Joe HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
Though the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser has been in print for decades, this was the first Flashy book that I read. Ok, I've been inexcusably tardy; I've been busy.
As created by the author, the fictional Harry Flashman is an officer in the British Army during the reign of Queen Victoria. In FLASHMAN IN THE GREAT GAME, Flashy, by this time a colonel, is asked by Prime Minister Lord Palmerston to go to India to investigate unrest among sepoy troops, a potential uprising perhaps being fanned by Harry's old nemesis, Count Ignatieff of Russia. After Flashman arrives, he's forced to go underground by assuming the identity of a native enlistee in the 3rd Cavalry, Bengal Army - just in time to become embroiled in the Great Mutiny of 1857.
Despite Flashy's growing reputation for heroism among the Army and Her Majesty's government, he's actually the greatest of cowards. His only interests are staying out of harm's way and having sex with as many women as possible. He's a rascal and a bounder of the first order. For female readers, Flashman is the man Mom warned about. For male readers, he is, perhaps, Everyman at heart. The charm of his memoirs, "The Flashman Papers", from which each book of the series is an excerpt, derives from the total honesty by which Flashy readily admits to his character deficiencies. It's only through canny opportunism, unwelcome circumstances, and luck that Harry's renown for derring-do increases with each installment.
The appeal of Flashy's rascality aside, the strength of these stories is apparently the historical research that Fraser did to create the backdrop for Harry's adventures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ethan Cooper on 1 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
In FLASHMAN IN THE GREAT GAME, Flashman is in India in 1857, doing undercover work for Lord Palmerston, when the Indian Mutiny erupts. Consistent with his other Flashman novels, George McDonald Fraser shows an immense talent for comic plausibility in FitGG as he moves Flashman into the thick of the action. This time, Flash witnesses the outbreak of the rebellion at Meerut, survives the siege and massacre at Cawnpore, does his duty at the fortress at Jhansi, where the Brits have laid a siege, and watches horrified as the beautiful Rani Lakshmibai, who Flashy may have bedded, dies in battle at Gwalior.

As a Yank, the Indian Mutiny was mostly new to me, and I frequently found myself on Wikipedia, trying to learn more about the issues and events of this terrible war, where both sides behaved with great cruelty. In doing so, I gained further respect for Fraser, who communicates the information that's on Wikipedia but with flair, occasional humor, and admirable concision. In his hands, the Mutiny becomes a tale of great adventure, where Flashman becomes a surprisingly sympathetic character, who seems mean-spirited only among other Brits.

In the first 100 pages of FitGG, Fraser sets up his story and introduces his characters. Admittedly, these pages are a little slow. But, thereafter, hold onto your hat! This is an exciting and first-rate action narrative, with Flashy, really an ordinary man, illuminating history.
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