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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2013
I approached this with the usual amount of scepticism accorded to any of the Flashman type successors.

Ok - it's an enjoyable enough read - BUT with several caveats.

I won't list them all here. My main disappointment was simply that whereas GMF not only made you involved
with his main character - he also informed and educated you about the historical context in which the
character was set.

This book seems to me to put the main character almost in isolation - you get no sense about why it is that
where he is involved, is an any way connected to important historical events, the details of which are sketchy
at best.

So - in summary - an OK lightweight read - but in no degree comparable to GMFs creation.

For anyone who has missed the new incarnation - the stories by Robert Brightwell - which detail the adventures of
Flashmans uncle are excellent.

If you are a GMF fan - try these (2 so far) and give this one a miss!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2013
I thought that the 'britches and bodice ripper' genre of English writing had died with George MacDonald Fraser. But the publication of "Flashman's Secret" proves that the tradition is alive and thriving. This book is not for the faint-hearted, the squeamish or those of a prudish turn of mind. From the gates of Rugby School to the foothills of the Hindu Kush, via Buckingham Palace and the brothels of Dublin, the book gallops through many forgotten and, at times, extremely murky pages of British domestic and imperial history. With its amusing insights into the immorality of the times, it is a book no man or woman will be able to put down, though I would make sure it is kept well out of reach of children!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2013
The quest to emulate George MacDonald Fraser and the Flashman series continues. Having read the original Flashman series, I have been reading the various books copying the Flashman template with varying degrees of satisfaction.
The enjoyment of Flashman partially derives from the reader being party to Flashman being a reliable witness of his unethical and lying career. The Speedicut Papers appears to be about to plagiarise the entire Flashman series for its inspiration (and,in passing,accuse Flashman of being a plagiariser !). That premise is a bit too far for me and I prefer to leave Flashman on his pedestal.
Having said that, Speedicut is a well written and enjoyable read in the style of Flashman with one exception. Whereas Flashman was a little coy with his narrative about sex, Speedicut, is almost pornographic in some parts by comparison.
I will buy the second book and see how that goes, but if it is going to be a rehash of the Flashman plots, I might just go back and reread the originals instead.
Four stars though, as it is a good read (especially if considered on a stand alone basis).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2013
I have just finished reading "The Speedicut Paper's - Flashman's Secret" & have thoroughly enjoyed it. What a page turner! One minute Speedicut is in Dublin roistering in the red light district and next, so it seems, he is being held captive & is in mortal danger in a central Asian dungeon.The narrative weaves a wonderful world that moves from fact to fiction with seamless ease. A fantastic read.I have just lent it to a friend who nearly missed his train stop as he was so absorbed by Speedicut's capers. A must for any Flashman fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2013
As a huge Flashman fan, I was a little sceptical at the idea that the man had pinched some of his stories from his old pal Speedicut, but I suppose he may well have done just that. It does go against the notion though, that F was basically very honest in his memoirs, which I liked - he behaved badly towards many, but treated us readers with respect.

If you can accept that it was Speedicut who actually had the adventures with Lola Montez though, then its a very good read. My only other critisism would be that I wasn't sure I liked the way it was written - in the form of letters from S to F. Well worth a go for Flashman fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2013
It's been years since I read a Flashman book and reading 'The Speedicut Papers' brought back just what a romping read books like this can be. The author has been very clever in his weaving of Jaspar Speedicut's story through historical and fictional plots, making many of the characters he meets already familiar. This means he can take as many outrageous literary liberties with them as Speedicut does sexual ones. Farcical, ingenious and very, very silly!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2013
The Speedicut Papers: Book 1 (1821-1848) : Flashman's SecretFor anyone who enjoyed Flashman, this is certainly one for you; and if you haven't read Flashman yet, then start with Speedicut; he will put the record right on numerous counts. He is undoubtedly of questionable character, but it is difficult not to like him.... a bit. He has also managed, in any number of ways, to provide some fascinating and amusing insights into hitherto unexplained historical events. Sometimes, the truth is even stranger than fiction, so do not assume entire flights of fancy where Speedicut is concerned. The footnotes are also fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2013
A most entertaining and stimulating book. This work is a positive gallimaufry of rumbustiousness, splendid impropriety, historical erudition and drama. Enormous fun. And it's the first of several - hurrah!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2013
I have always taken Victorian gentlemen to be straight batters, with steady eye, firm grasp and unwavering respect for ladies - Ready to sacrifice themselves for honour, the old school and Empire. The first volume of the Speedicut papers - without doubt a cut above Flashman's - have left me fascinated and appalled in equal measure. It is a book that you should buy immediately, read rapidly and then burn. As entertaining and engaging a late night read as it is, Britannia has taken too many knocks for her skirts to be so lifted in public.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2013
I enjoyed this book very much. The only problem was, you feel cheated because half of the book is reference notes. As a story teller though Christopher Joll has a style quite like GMF.
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