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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even an average Flashman destroys the competition
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...
Published on 11 April 2005 by Peter Symonds

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well.......................
George MacDonald Fraser will never write a BAD book. But this one doesn't reach the heights of those before.
The problem with it isn't the research (which is faultless) but the fact that Flashman's voice, which you can't mistake and has been with us for over 30 years, is occasionally lost to GMF's voice, with its 20th century opinion. It...
Published on 5 Mar 2006 by Simon Cross


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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
This review is from: Flashman on the March (Hardcover)
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. Whereas the Crimean war featured in "Flashman at the charge" allowed Flashman to fight among the thin red line, the charge of the heavy brigade AND the charge of the light brigade all in one day, this particular campaign lacks these opportunities. The real strength of Flashman is his almost "Forest Gump" like ability to plausibly change the course of history. History has ignored the fate of the British in Abysinia.
This is vastly superior to the previous chapter in Flashman's memoirs (Flashman & the Tiger), however I'm still hopeful that two of his oft-refered to unwritten memoirs will be published soon, namely the full account of his civil war memoirs and a more detailed account of his actions in the Zulu wars. Both have far more potential than some of the recent releases.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flashman Reigns Supreme, 9 Aug 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Flashman on the March (Hardcover)
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 - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flashman on the March (Hardcover)
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars George Macdonald Fraser delivers the goods., 13 May 2007
By 
Mr. R. D. M. Kirby "Dick Kirby" (Suffolk, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Flashman on the March (Hardcover)
George Macdonald Fraser never fails to deliver the goods and 'Flashman on the March' is no exception. Even though Flashy fans know full-well that he's going to bed the beauties and, whenever danger threatens, to react with utterly sensational spinelessness, it is also quite apparent (because in every edition, the reader is informed that Flashman dies in 1915) that he's going to escape with a whole (if yellow) skin.

It makes no difference; Mr. Fraser's writing gets better with every book and this one, set in Abyssinia tests Flashman's knavery and cowardice to the hilt; he is not found wanting. The descriptive passages are wonderful, especially when the European captives of the Magdala are described: "...and a sorry lot they were, like tramps on the look-out for a hen roost; if you'd seen 'em at your gate you'd have set the dog on them."

I'm unaware if Mr. Fraser plans a further Flashman book; but I hope he will.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without doubt a 5 out of 5, 15 July 2005
By 
This review is from: Flashman on the March (Hardcover)
I have just closed the covers on this, the latest (delightful) addition, from GMF in the Flashman Papers line-up and I have to say I think this is possibly the best yet (I say 'possibly' because I feel I may have to 're-visit' Royal Flash). Yet again, the formula - and that is what it is - of loveable rogue, exquisite writing, historic context, nail biting danger, mad monarchs, romance (admittedly Flashy stlye) and a sense of 'being there' secures GMF's position as one of the best.
I do hope there are more to come to fill in the 'gaps' in Flashy's past (US Civil War and French Foreign Legion spring to mind) but if not then this is a truly great way to finish. I can't help thinking that in the past two or even three books GMF has left little 'hooks' for, perhaps, someone else to pick up from (after all GMF picked up from Tom Browns School Days). Who knows. Either way this is a 'must read' and (in my opinion) easily one of GMF's finest.
Mr MacDonald Fraser, if you read this we would love to see another (not wishing to influence you but the US Civil War would be great).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Flashy book set during an obscure historical event, 6 Mar 2006
By 
Andrew Page (Linslade, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Flashman on the March (The Flashman Papers, Book 11) (Paperback)
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old Flashy!, 7 Dec 2006
By 
This review is from: Flashman on the March (The Flashman Papers, Book 11) (Paperback)
I suppose it is obvious that I'm a big fan. I wouldn't give 5 stars to all the Flashman volumes, but this one deserves it - the story of Napier's expeditionary force in Abyssinia is so extraordinary, as the country of Abyssinia itself is, that I thoroughly enjoyed this. I accept that avid Flashman readers would recognise similar elements from previous volumes, but in my opinion that doesn't detract from the quality and sheer enjoyment of Flashman on the March.

Fraser depicts an intriguing country with people as vicious as they are beautiful. The notes he provides are comprehensive and very amusing at times, including plenty of fruity observations about Abyssinia. We have seen mad monarchs before, but they can never be boring with Flashman involved with them, copulating, drinking, fighting, being tortured, and running for his life. King Theodore is even more ghastly than Queen Ranavalona in Flashman's Lady, and his character even more inexplicable. I was shocked by the way he alternated between sincere affection and appalling violence. Queen Masteeat and her Gallas people (not to mention Masteeat's sister Uliba Wark!) are just as interesting - Flashman's observations and first-hand experience left me in awe.

Then there's Napier's campaign to subdue Theodore and free the European hostages, which unbelievably goes like clockwork with very few casualties thanks to the utter professionalism of the expeditionary force, which Theodore hadn't counted on. Fraser points out at the end that Napier and the British army, and by extension any invading Western army, were damned if they did and damned if they didn't - they would have been branded imperialists if they had stayed to govern the country, or blamed for deserting a country in need if they left. Flashy tells Napier at the end that the British goverment could have avoided the whole saga if they had afforded Theodore the respect that a king deserves, simply by responding to his letters. How apt.

This is a superb Flashman story - it has all the exotica so lacking in his US adventures, in my opinion, and a lesson for arrogant, powerful imperialists everywhere. Great stuff.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Flashman!!!, 20 April 2005
By 
This review is from: Flashman on the March (Hardcover)
This book is a huge bonus - as a previous reviewer points out, Mr Fraser is into his 80s and I didn't expect to see another full-length Flashman. Required reading of course! This one is a bit of a cross between 'Mountain Of Light' and 'Tiger' - imperial expeditions into faraway territories, with Flashy in his secret agent in disguise role. Impeccably researched, and as usual, a history lesson which entertains. Every time I read one of these books, they make me want to get on a plane and go out there and see where it all happened. My favourite moment: the bit where Flash tries to boot his lover over a waterfall to save his own skin. He hasn't treated a gal that badly since he sold Cleonie to the Navaho in 'Redskins' - I thought he was going soft. So the question is, does GMF still have in him the one everyone awaits - the US Civil War!!!???
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flashman on the march (and on the run too), 17 Mar 2007
By 
Didier (Ghent, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Flashman on the March (The Flashman Papers, Book 11) (Paperback)
Flashy (a V.C. by now, no less!) is on the march again indeed. In this installment of the Flashman papers we find him, against his will as usual, in Abyssinia, which at the time (1867-68) isn't exactly a good place to be. King Theodore is having some serious bouts of insanity and has turned loose his armies, Queen Masteeat is seeking to overtopple his throne, and caught in the midst is poor Flashy...

'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?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Capital stuff, what?, 30 Mar 2006
By 
Mr. S. J. Garrett "Redcoat" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flashman on the March (The Flashman Papers, Book 11) (Paperback)
Flashy is well up to snuff in this latest outing, with all the usual ingredients present and correct. Docked a star only for being concerned with an imperial sideshow; we all love the cheeky bastard best when he bestrides the truly pivotal events of history like the quivering, reluctant collosus he undoubtedly was (or ought to have been.
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Flashman on the March (The Flashman Papers, Book 11)
Flashman on the March (The Flashman Papers, Book 11) by George MacDonald Fraser (Paperback - 1 Feb 2006)
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