- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Harper; First Thus edition (30 July 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007197403
- ISBN-13: 978-0007197408
- Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Flashman on the March (The Flashman Papers, Book 11) Paperback – 30 Jul 2015
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More About the Author
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 authors 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
'Flashman is a wonderful creation, by a master storyteller. We'll forever delight in his evil antics' JEFFREY ARCHER
‘Politically incorrect, lascivious and fiendishly handsome, Flashman is the greatest ’ BORIS JOHNSON
‘Flashman is one of the great characters of modern fiction; a rogue, a lover, and always an irresistible read’ BERNARD CORNWELL
‘Flashman, Sherlock Holmes, Toad of Toad Hall, Bertie Wooster. Any writer would give his eye-teeth to have created a character as good as those. GMF was one of the greats’ CONN IGGULDEN
‘The perfect fictional creation’ TONY PARSONS
‘A first-rate historical novelist’ KINGSLEY AMISSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
'Flashman on the march' is no different from all other books in the series which means: fast-paced, and filled to the brim with MacDonald Fraser's unique mix of ludicrous humour and historical fact. Need I say that there's some delectable women in there too?
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 ..
Sir Harry is on good form - getting dragooned into taking part when all he wants to do is get home and enjoy his money, position, and his wife Elspeth; having the usual encounters with exotic and lusty women and exotic and dangerous men; almost getting killed; doing his craven and unsuccessful best to avoid risk to himself; and coming out on top with his spurious reputation further enhanced.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said for George McDonald Fraser. The author seems to be getting tired, and we have quite long passages where very little happens and what does is not very interesting. One can only wish that rather than dealing with this episode the author had given us something of the long-awaited (and loudly-demanded by the fans) account of Flashman's "service" (on both sides) in the American Civil War. We get a teaser here with a little back story of what he got up to in its aftermath but how long must we wait for the real thing?
Still it's a Flashman, and not really the worst, so three-and-a-half stars are in order.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The perfect companion for all history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKER Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
In the course of the books (Flashman on... Read more
Perhaps not as good as some others but still a ripping yarn with the usual ingredients.Published 8 months ago by PT
Most no politically correct, but for a male chauvenist and lover of good, imaginative, writing, a joy and great fun!Published 8 months ago by D Semple