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on 6 January 2000
Basically about Flashman getting his nuts in the pickle again, and emerging with undeserved kudos.
I'm a dedicated Flashman reader, and until this one thoroughly enjoyed every one of 'em; so much so I've not only re-read them umpteen times, but also recently re-read them in chronological order, and whilst doing so have considerably increased my knowledge of Victorian history. Much of the enjoyment has been that the subject matter of each book has been interesting- until this one came along.
Unless you're American, you've probably never heard of John Brown (other than in the song, and even then it's a little known song these days). It's not a bad book as such, but an enormous shame that now the author is getting on in years he didn't write about Rorke's Drift (but this is covered a little in the latest excellent "Flashman and the Tiger") , or the Alamo, or one of a number of more interesting and better known historical episodes hinted at in earlier works in the series. I hate to say it but this is just a Flashman Formula book, a sort of "Flashman by numbers" if you will. It doesn't improve much with re-reading either, and I'm afraid that if it weren't for a few minor episodes within the story which link in to other Flashman novels, I probably wouldn't even recommend it to fellow Flashman followers. Don't let this put you off the others though, as with the slight exception of "Royal Flash" they're the most enduringly enjoyable novels I've ever read!
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on 27 April 2003
Like most of the reviewers for this title, I am also a big fan of Flashman. However, this offering is not up to GMF's usual standard.
In the first half of the book, by a series of absurd coincidences, Flashman finds himself forced into participating in the attack on Harpers Ferry, Virginia in 1859 with Ol' John Brown. It appears that the author is trying his hand at a somekinf of political farce as Flashy bounces from misfortune to misfortune, but it comes across as far fetched and messy, and Flashman is not his usual toadying cowardly self and doesn't react the way to situations that we have come to expect from our lily-livered anthero. However, it does give an interesing insight in to abolitionist politics of the time.
From the moment that John Brown's gang (and Flashy) arrive in Virginia, however, the book notches up several gears and is pure Flashman, out to save his own skin and womanising at every opportunity.
The historical context and educational value is as ever, excellent (the charactersiation of John Brown is especially excellent), and the second half of the book makes up for the first, but not the best Flashman offering.
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on 19 March 2007
The Angel of the Lord of this volume of the Flashman papers is none other than the (in?)famous John Brown, who with his raid on Harper's Ferry provided one of the major sparks to ignite the powder keg of the U.S. civil war.

It should come as no surprise to fellow-addicts that Flashman knew John Brown (and Jeb Stuart, and Lee, and a score of others), and was even present at Harper's Ferry. The how and why - needless to say: not at Flashy's own bidding - is dealt with at large in this novel, in Fraser's inimitable style: at times serious, but most of the time extremely laughable and humouristic.

Another Flashman-novel that both informs and entertains, what more could one ask for? Get it and enjoy.
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on 22 August 2012
Now I'm sure you all know that I love the Flashman Series and consider George MacDonald Fraser to be our equivalent of Dumas so it'll come as no surprise to find that I really enjoyed this book. What surprised me is how "serious" it was. Oh yes, there's still those moments of totally insane and ribald humour as our poor hero falls from one frying pan into another - quite often as a result of his own inability to control his lustful character but, and here's the meat of the matter, this is a very serious book at times. I almost felt I was reading a real history, about the situation in the United States just before the Civil War and leading up to John Brown's attack on Harper's Ferry. Poor Flashman tries his hardest to prevent the act but... even when he's being good, the fates are against him.
Once more this is a cracking read; informative and entertaining. But I'm fast running out of Flashmans... how will I ever be able to cope?
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on 8 March 2015
This is one of the best of the later Flashman novels, and very much overlooked compared to the earlier ones. I picked this novel up for the second time after an 18 year gap. I had vague memories of Harper's Ferry and the USA again, after two previous adventures in that country. Happily, the pleasure of rediscovery was at work.

MacDonald Fraser propels Flashman into the habitual misadventures we have so come to enjoy. My particular enjoyment of this novel is ignited by the quality of writing. GMF was always a fine etcher of people' their quirkiness, vitality, physical embodiment and extraordinary miscalculation of Flashman himself. In this novel, all these qualities are at their highest standard. Forget what some fans say about this novel belonging to the lesser tier of Flashman novels, it's right up there with the best.
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on 17 December 2010
For fans of Flashman this is another 'must' read. If you're new to the Flashman stories, then I strongly recommend you start with the first "Flashman" book; you'll be hooked!
Flashman and the Angel of the Lord, like the rest of the series, follows on from where our hero left off, finding himself yet again in all kinds of trouble back in the America of the late 19th Century, where one false move or sideways look at someone can get you killed! As only he can, Harry Flashman finds his way through with just enough brashness and dander to keep him one step ahead. Can't wait to get onto the next tale from our reluctant hero!Flashman and the Angel of the Lord (Flashman 09)
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on 11 April 2006
Not one of the best Flashman novels but still well worth a read -
As always our hero gets himself in the usual brand of trouble as a result of his libido and plays his part in a seminal monent in History - I enjoy Flashmans adventures in India more than his American ones but I still throughly enjoyed this book.
If you have never read a Flashman I recommend starting this series from the start and working your way through all 12 that way you'll maximise your enjoyment and ensure this loveable rogue finds a permanent place on your bookshelf. BRAVO FLASHY!!
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on 25 March 2013
I enjoyed the book, learned some history about John Brown. I give 4 stars because after reading so many of the Flashman books you cannot help but recognise the formula at work, giving the same result each time - no different to the James Bond, or Sharpe books in that respect. Obviously, the hero cannot get bumped off or you destroy the goose that lays the golden egg, so miraculous escapes are the order of the day. But so what? Onward next to Flashman and the Dragon to be entertained learning a little more history. One spinoff from reading these books is the list of real life remarkable victorian characters who are well worth following up in real biographies.
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on 24 May 2009
Judging by the relatively small number of reviews for this book and by the less than glowing comments in some of them, one can only conclude that Flashman and the Angel of the Lord is one of the less popular Flashman novels. If this is the case then it is a shame as the novel is at least as much fun as the others and without doubt one of the most interesting in terms of the period of history it explores. John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry in 1859 is an event little known outside the United States and yet it is widely agreed that this raid; incredibly daring or fantastically foolhardy depending on your perspective, was the key catalyst in bringing the States to Civil War which obviously had a huge impact on the future of that country and, by association the entire world. MacDonald Fraser brings events to life with his usual panache placing Flashy, through a series of adventures, two of which predictably involve his inability to turn down an offer of nubile female company, right at the heart of the dramatic events in Virginia 1859.

Flashman is, as usual, almost entirely driven by self-interest and yet his relationship with John Brown is particularly interesting in it reveals aspects of Flashman's personality which rarely come to the surface. The relationship is ambivalent throughout. At times he is utterly dismissive of the man, believing him to be little more than a crazed fanatic, whilst on other occasions he extols in glowing terms, his bravery, focus and particularly his skills as an orator. Moreover he ends up impulsively saving Brown's life, an act he does not quite understand himself. Clearly he has a tremendous amount of atypical respect and even fondness for him. MacDonald handles this with his usual skill and at no point does our hero become in the least sentimental or mawkish but it offers us just the merest hint that there is some compassion beneath that selfish exterior.

Another fascinating aspect of this book is the way MacDonald Fraser deals with the character of Joe, the double-agent slave who spends most of the book at Flashy's side. Readers of the previous eight Flashman novels will be used to his racism which whilst of course is par for the course in the mid-nineteenth century, still jars a little for the modern reader. Throughout the series MacDonald Fraser regularly gently challenges his hero's racist attitudes by introducing him to black characters who are able, intelligent and worthy. With Joe this is developed to an unprecedented extent. Flashman dislikes him with an intensity he usually reserves for arch-nemeses like Ignatieff and Bismarck and he does not hold back with the insults and general nastiness. However, he is acutely aware that Joe is incredibly smart and is possession of cunning and determination to rival his own. His racism is starkly exposed as the small-minded nonsense it is.

Ultimately though of course Flashman wins through in his own inimitable way and even manages one more gallop with the wonderful Mrs Popplewell on the train ride home.

A deeper book than some of the others which perhaps requires a little more work but one that is definitely worth the effort.
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on 10 February 2016
As usual, Macdonald Fraser gives a racy and amusing story-line, with the aim of explaining real historical events. I knew next to nothing about John brown and Harper's Ferry, which I now understand was a critical event in US history: I now feel I've almost been there!
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