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Flashman on the March (Flashman 12) [Abridged, Audiobook, CD] [Audio CD]

George MacDonald Fraser , Toby Stephens
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 Nov 2007 Flashman 12

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.

Many have marvelled at General Napier's daring 1868 expedition through the treacherous peaks and bottomless chasms of Abyssinia to rescue a small group of British citizens held captive by the mad tyrant Emperor Theodore. But the vital role of Sir Harry Flashman, V.C., in the success of this campaign has hitherto gone unrecorded.

Flashman's undeserved reputation for heroism renders him the British Army's candidate of choice when it comes to skulking behind enemy lines in Ali Baba attire. After all, who but the great amorist could contemplate navigating a land populated by hostile tribes and the loveliest (and most savage) women in Africa, from leather-clad nymphs with a penchant for torture to a voluptuous barbarian queen with a reputation for throwing disobliging guests to her pet lions?

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Abridged edition edition (19 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007199430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007199433
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 12.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 305,195 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

Amazon Review

There are certain authors whose very names are an absolute guarantee of quality, and George Macdonald Fraser has long been one of those. His Flashman books are much loved, and the exploits of his engaging rogue have been delighted readers for years. But is Flashman on the March up to the customary Fraser standard? After all, the number of Flashman books is now legion, and even the author’s most dedicated admirers would admit that some Flashman outings (while diverting enough) have lacked the freshness of the early books. It's good to report, therefore, that Flashman on the March is almost vintage Fraser, with all the elements that have won him an ironclad following largely in place. There are, of course, two elements that make these books such fun: the vivid and pungent historical detail (always effortlessly integrated, and never self-consciously laid on as in so many historical novels, serious or otherwise); the author's refusal to be politically correct (the Flashman books have always played fast and loose with the accepted views of morality and society, and their bawdy, amoral charms are refreshing in an age in which such things are looked at askance -- even if Fraser, like Frederick Forsyth, is far better encountered in his entertaining books rather than in his more splenetic role as pundit).

Here, that least heroic possessor of a Victoria Cross, Sir Harry Flashman, finds himself catapulted into a highly dangerous assignment in Abyssinia: he is to rescue British prisoners from a demented emperor. Abyssinia (as seen through Fraser's highly colourful imagination) is a land of lethal seductresses, terrifying warriors and a jawdropping female monarch whose idea of what she should feed her lions is… unorthodox. It's up to Flashman (as so often before) to triumph over insuperable odds by the most unlikely methods. Needless to say, untrammelled sexual activity is firmly on the menu. If you're a George Macdonald Fraser fan, or a Flashman fan, what are you waiting for? --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


'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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even an average Flashman destroys the competition 11 April 2005
Flashy has been around for nearly 40 years now, but with only a dozen packets of his memoirs released, new Flashman's are few and far between and as such there's immense excitement whenever Mr Fraser releases a new book.
While its fair to say that "Flashman on the March" is not up to the standard of some of the previous episodes, a book that only rates "average" in comparision to, say "Flash for Freedom" or "Flashman in the Great Game" still wipes away the competition. It follows directly on from Flashmans (still unwritten) Mexican & US Civil War misadventures. To escape (among others) Mexican revolutionaries & the French Foreign Legion Gendamerie Flashman passes himself off as the executed emperor Maximillian's best friend and escapes the America's on an Austrian warship. Unfortuanately there's a 16 year old Austrian princess on board whom Flashy "educates" prior to her wedding. This requires an even faster escape from Trieste pursued by the Austrian authorities.
"Escape" this time comes in the form of Rugby companion Speedicut who entrusts Flash with £500,000 in silver to fund General Napier's invasion of Abysinia. Napier, not believing his luck sends the "heroic" Flashy in disguise on a suicide mission into the heart of Africa with the predictable amount of genocidal African kings and equally murderous (but volumptious) women after him. What follows is typical Flashman.
As we've come to expect from George MacDonald Fraser, the historical research is second to none. What lets this books down is the obscurity of the Abysinia campaign of 1867, which was little more than a quick skirmish resulting in a handful of British casualties.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Another hilariously irreverent adventure of the arch cad, Flashy, this time set during the Abyssinian crisis of 1868, a little known mission to free British hostages from an African tyrant. It has all the usual bombast, dissembling, sneering, lasciviousness, desperation, and cowardice we've all come to love the Imperial Army's biggest cad and bounder for. But this time out, why has Fraser chosen such an obscure historical setting for his novel? One doesn't get the wonted feeling that Flashy is unwittingly and reluctantly changing the course of history, as he did in Schleswig-Holstein or India back in the old '57. And also, Fraser himself doesn't appear to be that interested in the situation, as the plot seems a little more contrived and lacklustre than usual. Still great stuff though - he hasn't lost it or anything. And there is still good reason to expect more of those spiffing Flashman papers to be deferred to the judgement of the general public in the future.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flashman Reigns Supreme 9 Aug 2005
By A Customer
Flashman is back - as bawdy, bad and bloody as ever. What a relief compared to all the do-gooders like Harry Potter. Was pleased to see that Flashman doesn't defer to political correctness as he seemed to in one of the last ventures. The world was hardly open to multiculturalism back in Flashman's time and it would be a travesty to Flashman's excellent historical renderings to pretend it was.
I also prefer Flashman as a relatively young man like in this book - he's the bad guy we'd all like to be some days, while being able to feel superior to him on most occasions. And as a young man he does it better than the ageing Flashman of later years. Can't ask more from an antihero than that.
All the usual elements are here but still described in fresh and inviting terms - the women, the girls, more girls, the cowardice, the saving of ones own skin, the sacrifice of others before onseself ..
I'd like to see him kick General Sharpe's butt but I fear the timelines overlap. Sharpe is good, but Flashman is badder and better. Hurrah for Fraser, if other authors could have the same power in their youth as he does in his Indian Summer than the literary world would be quite a different beast. Let's have another verse of Drink, Puppy, Drink ..
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Showing a clean pair of heels. 3 May 2005
By Davywavy2 VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It seems a long time now since I first read Flashman, but I'm still delighted whenever a new addition to the series appears even if I feel that the very best additions to the series are now in the past.
As observed by other reviewers, Flashman on the March is not the best Flashman book - but it is still head and shoulders above much of the competition on the market. George MacDonald Frasers' characterisation, humour, dialogue, and historical research remain in a class of their own and my feeling is that he is simply running out of potential high-adventure periods in the Victorian era in which to showcase them.
This is certainly the case with Flashman on the March. Based on General Bob Napiers Abyssinian campaign (which I had never ever heard of before but was apparently a major cause celebre in the day), Flashman finds himself (once again) fleeing from angry suitors into the arms of another deadly mission on behalf of Her Majesty's officers who believe his reputation.
The first half (or more) of the book is almost pure invention; a travelogue with Flashy and a buxon lady guide traversing southern Abyssinia on a secret mission and it is only the second half of the book (set in Mogdala during the last days of mad Emperor Theodore's reign) that the book really comes into it's own.
The tale cracks along at a fair old pace and there is no denying that Fraser remains an excellent storyteller who can engage the reader with history with little difficulty. However, to me there just felt to be something of the former Flashman greatness missing from this book. I can't put my finger on what (some reviewer I am) and anyway - since when has "Not as brilliant as the other books" been any sort of serious criticism?
Any new Flashman book is a rare treat to be savoured. I just hope we get the long-promised American Civil War memoirs next.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 17 days ago by M WEINSTOCK
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great read
Published 1 month ago by Mirandolina
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad
But not one of the best. Lacking a little humour, perhaps, but everything else is there...and yet it was still a little flat. Worth reading but no more than that. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Derick Parsons
5.0 out of 5 stars There will never be another Flashman story!!! Bayete Flashman!
I love Flashman and read his adventures over and over again, fully concurring with PG Wodehouse's 'Watcher in the sky' verdict after the 1st one was published. Read more
Published 6 months ago by pete melvets
5.0 out of 5 stars With Napier To Magdala
The Flashman books are a strange mixture of adventure, history, and social commentary. The author has found a "voice" that allows him to comment on the ferment of the 19th... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Charles Vasey
5.0 out of 5 stars A gifted storyteller
I have now read all of the Flashman Papers by GMF, and have enjoyed them all immensely - the cad lives on! A thoroughly good read, full of extremely interesting details.
Published 8 months ago by Mrs Gail S Young
5.0 out of 5 stars As always Fantastic
The last book & one of the best!!! Great history, cracking yarn & dear old Flashy at his best! GMF will be greatly missed!
Published 14 months ago by Mr Kevin Grindrod
4.0 out of 5 stars Marching to the beat of his own libidinous drum
Having completed three previous Flashman yarns, I was slightly disappointed by this installment of the fictional anti-hero's memoirs. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
4.0 out of 5 stars Flash: ah-ah: Saviour of the historical novel
Is this the best Flashman novel? No.

Is it the least good?* No.

Does GMD intrude some of his own opinions? Read more
Published 23 months ago by DR
I am a long term GMF fan and was delighted to see this book on Kindle.

As in all Flashman's adventures GMF is historically sound, and Flashman as always whilst freely... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Mr. Nicholas Perkovic
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