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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Brown gets the Flashman treatment....
John Brown's body may very well lie a-moulderin' in his grave but his image will forever march on now that it has received the Flashman treatment. I found this episode of our favourite Victorian soldier's memoirs particularly appealing as, for once, Flashy admits a liking, even admiration, for someone not cast from the same mold as himself.
As might be expected,...
Published on 11 Jun 1999

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strictly for diehard Flashman fans only.
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...
Published on 6 Jan 2000


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strictly for diehard Flashman fans only., 6 Jan 2000
By A Customer
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not Flashman at his best, 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Plodding Flash!, 18 April 2014
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Flashman and the Angel of the Lord (The Flashman Papers, Book 9) (Paperback)
I have always had a soft spot for old Flash ever since he gave that smug Tom Brown’s ass a right royal roasting during those happy Rugby school days. I do worry about having a hidden sadistic side to my character! His liberal attitude towards short cuts in cross country races also seemed very sensible! My impressions were gleaned from the early seventies TV series which had the excellent Iain Cuthbertson as the headmaster Arnold who dispensed the cane with relish, much to the annoyance of Mary Whitehouse. Ahh......happy days! I will confess to never having read the original book by Thomas Hughes! Flashman and his antics were the most abiding memory. He did the sort of things I might think about but would never dare do. Clever old George MacDonald Fraser recognised Flash’s dubious appeal and went on to write a hilarious series of books about his misadventures after rugby school. Flash is a wonderful literary creation. When he is not keeping busy with the fair sex he is trying to leg it in the opposite direction of trouble. Sadly for Flash, trouble has a habit of unerringly finding him, and of course it does in “Flashman and the Angel of the Lord”.

George MacDonald Fraser had an encyclopaedic knowledge of history. One of the joys of his books is the way in which you can learn more of famous historical events. In this one he picks up on the John Brown raid at Harper’s ferry just before the American Civil War. Fraser had already used American history in his amusing romp “Flashman and the Redskins”. That one featured Custer’s last stand, which is well known even to British readers. The problem with this book is that the John Brown affair is far less well known. Few people today would even know that famous song about the old abolitionist! The book also moves at a much slower pace than what we are accustomed to in the series. This book never matches the exhilarating romps we had in imperial Russia, Afghanistan and Madagascar. There is not the same sense of fun we had in “Royal Flash”, Fraser’s homage to Hope’s “The Prisoner of Zenda”. The book does have some typical Flashy moments and references to past adventures, but it gets mired down in an interminably plodding pace. There is far too much downtime and not enough action to hold the attention. It is the only book in the series that I have struggled to finish, but that said even a poor Flashman book is better than so many others. Perhaps it was another attempt by Fraser to write a book more appealing to the American market. Difficult given that Flash is so quintessentially English! I am in agreement with many of the other reviewers. The only book I have read in the Flashman series so far that I cannot recommend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Flashman tale., 26 Dec 2007
By 
B. J. Madeley - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This novel sees lifelong cad, Harry Flashman caught up in the raid by JOhn Brown on Harpers Ferry in the build up to the American Civil War. This is the tenth installment in the life of Flashy by George MacDonald Fraser, which finds the "hero" upto all his usual tricks, trouble and adventures.

The book is as much fun as the Flashman tales usual are and is an enjoyable read. However this is certainly not the best Flashman novel that has ever been written, it seems to take an age for Flashy to actually meet John Brown due to a series of ridiculous and unfortunate events (even compared to normal). This novel does feel as though the author might have been running out of ideas and it comes across as though Fraser was desperately trying to stretch the story out.

This is a dissapointment overall, Flashman and the Angel of the Lord is not in the same league as the previous tales of Sir Harry and should therefore not put you off reading other novels by this author (maybe just don't read this one).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Brown gets the Flashman treatment...., 11 Jun 1999
By A Customer
John Brown's body may very well lie a-moulderin' in his grave but his image will forever march on now that it has received the Flashman treatment. I found this episode of our favourite Victorian soldier's memoirs particularly appealing as, for once, Flashy admits a liking, even admiration, for someone not cast from the same mold as himself.
As might be expected, all the salient facts of the ill fated raid on Harper's Ferry are presented, apparently a masterpiece of military planning by H Flashman Esq wasted by John Brown's failure to grasp the opportunity given to him. You want to know the detials? Read the book!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prime entertainment, in the best Flashman tradition, 19 Mar 2007
By 
Didier (Ghent, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Flashman and the Angel of the Lord (The Flashman Papers, Book 9) (Paperback)
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flashman Never fails to Entertain, 11 April 2006
By 
James Connolly "Oi Oi Thats Your Lot" (Falkirk, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flashman and the Angel of the Lord (The Flashman Papers, Book 9) (Paperback)
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peerless historical fiction as always, 24 May 2009
This review is from: Flashman and the Angel of the Lord (The Flashman Papers, Book 9) (Paperback)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 27 Jun 2014
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Not the best Flashman, though most of the ingredients are there. Possibly it lacks a little humour. Anyway, it was enjoyable with being top-notch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 24 Feb 2014
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Perhaps not the very best Flashman but still a very enjoyable yarn. There is a point when Flashy just gets on and fights because there is nothing left, quite a change.
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Flashman and the Angel of the Lord (The Flashman Papers, Book 9)
Flashman and the Angel of the Lord (The Flashman Papers, Book 9) by George MacDonald Fraser (Paperback - 6 Feb 2006)
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