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Flashman (The Flashman Papers, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

George MacDonald Fraser
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Coward, scoundrel, lover and cheat, but there is no better man to go into the jungle with. Join Flashman in his adventures as he survives fearful ordeals and outlandish perils across the four corners of the world.

Expelled from Rugby for drunkenness, and none too welcome at home after seducing his father’s mistress, the young Flashman embarks on a military career with Lord Cardigan’s Hussars.

En route to Afghanistan, our hero hones his skills as a soldier, duellist, imposter, coward and amorist (mastering all 97 ways of Hindu love-making during a brief sojourn in Calcutta), before being pressed into reluctant service as a secret agent. His Afghan adventures culminate in a starring role in that great historic disaster, the Retreat from Kabul.

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'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

Book Description

Flashman and the Great Game takes our man into the world of Kim, as he spies for the British, dallies with a luscious maharani and - despite spectacular acts of spinelessness - not only survives the bloodbath of the Indian Mutiny but emerges with a Victoria Cross and a knighthood.Impossible to put down and some of the greatest comic writing of the last 100 years.

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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best 19 Feb. 2003
A friend of mine last year had to spend some time in the delightful town of Kabul. Prior to his departure I managed to secure a copy of this book for him; I hoped that he would see the funny side of me giving him a story which involved one of the greatest military defeats ever retreating from the very place he was being sent to.
I knew though that I was also giving him the start of the most enjoyable series of books I had ever read, and that if he gleaned even half as much enjoyment from it as I had, then he would have his stay brightened considerably.
For those of you who have never heard of Harry Flashman before, he is the bully and cad from Tom Brown's Schooldays (and incidentally the only character worth remembering amongst the various hypocritical do-gooding manly little Christians that are otherwise described). The story starts where his exit from Rugby in Tom Brown had ended, his being expelled for drunkenness. He consequently joins the army, not with a view to doing any valuable service but as an occupation he could loaf and skive to his hearts content (not that much has changed at Horse Guards since). With a constant eye for the ladies his tale makes an interesting one (especially as he was such a nasty piece of work) even before he was posted to Afghanistan. When he arrives in India we discover, as he does, that he has a talent for horse-riding and languages as well as with the ladies, and so makes an interesting correspondent for us as readers, as he can be shifted to wherever the action is with relative ease. The fact that when the author does so he tends to either be chasing skirt, or running away like the coward he is (directly into trouble more often than not), again makes the whole thing more interesting.
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A1, 100%, top-hole read 10 Sept. 2004
By Splossy
The first and possibly best of the Flashman tales. If you've not read and Flashman books then you've not lived. You've certainly not read anything like them. He's the original anti-hero. You've no doubt watched heroic action films and thought "why doesn't he just shoot the guy in the back right now and run for it?...I would" - well Flashman would too and a whole lot worse, if it gets him off the hook or into bed with his many lovers.
It's a unique blend of historical research, incredible adventures, philandering, thieving, bullying and above all - brilliant story-telling shot through with a breath of refreshing cynicism. Utterly brilliant stuff. I just wish George McDonald Fraser could write some more.
One caveat - GMF tells it like it is. If people in 1820 used a certain word for slaves then he uses it too. If you are a bit PC you might not like it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belly laughs and bad behaviour aplenty 17 Dec. 2007
I'm sure I'm not the only reviewer to point this out: Flashman does not do "PC". It's the early 19th century, and they didn't even call police PCs back then. So if you're offended by fairly ripe and unflinching use of derogatory terms for women, the lower classes and every race apart from the English, give Flashman a miss. You won't like him.

Get past that, and you've made friends with one of the most engaging cowards and bastards ever committed to paper. Flashman has a yellow streak a mile wide, a lascivious streak at least a kilometre wider than that, and the most undeserved reputation for gallantry since David stole Bathsheba. Start the series with this book: if you're not hooked by page 10, I recommend Thomas a Kempis "The Imitation of Christ" and a sense of humour injection.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Addictive! 30 Nov. 2005
I originally bought this as part of my husbands Christmas box, and couldn't resist having a read of the first few pages. Well, that was it, I was totally hooked! I did a bit of lying of my own to stay in and finish the book (I read it in a weekend!). My husband gave me a few funny looks when I was laughing at Flashman getting into a fix, and wheedling himself out of it! I'm gald I looked beyond the 'Boy's Own' adventure type image, and now I'm looking forward to reading the rest!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The First Flashy Tale 21 April 2008
This is the first of the Flashman novels, it begins with the title character being expelled from school for drunken behaviour and follows him as he joins the army and gets sent to India and then Afghanistan. Here Flashy is involved in the disastrous British military retreat from Kabul, yet he somehow manages to come out with flying colours - as ever.

If you've read other Flasman novels before, this is typical of them all. Flashy is up to all his usaul tricks and misdemeanors, whilst still somehow coming out appearing to be a great hero It's as enjoyable as ever and very easy to read but I didn't find it amazingly gripping as I have done with some books.

On the whole I think this book is thoroughly worth reading as are all the Flashman novels that i've read, just don't expect it to blow you away.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top hole! 10 Jun. 2005
By ND1234
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best rip-roaring, belly-laughing, non-PC, wench-bedding, wondrous tales ever. The Flashman series is simply superb OTT entertainment.
Flashman thrashes, roars, cheats, and romps his way through the book. He puts so much effort into being the lazy cad that you can't help but like him - bounder that he is.<PGet this and put some fun into your reading!
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