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The Reavers Hardcover – 1 Oct 2007
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Praise for The Reavers:
‘Wonderfully silly’ The Times
‘…emphatically superior nonsense.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘This is a showcase for Fraser’s undiminished skill.’
Praise for Flashman on the March:
'There is a little of Flashman in all of us – but not enough.' Evening Standard
'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
'In our crass, humourless, anaemic, politically correct age, there could be no better tonic or treat than the outrageous Flashy's bold descriptions of action in battle or bedroom. To relish George MacDonald Fraser is to rediscover the joy of reading.' Daily Telegraph
‘Everything we expect from a Flashman adventure is here: lechery, double-crossing, real people, the epic poltroonery from which Flashman emerges as saviour of the hour…my one complaint about the series – surely the great mock-historical romp of the past half-century – is that MacDonald Fraser does not add to it often enough.' Mail on Sunday
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 numeous 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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GMF himself wrote in the author's preface, "This book is nonsense. It's meant to be."
Completely over the top, a parody of a swashbuckling romance, taking the mick out of everything ancient and modern. Some people will like the style of humour, others will hate it. I found it funny enough, and the anachronisms obviously deliberate enough, that I could forgive things which usually have me knocking stars off right left and centre - such as a reference to a "Cumbrian" estate in the 16th century.
(The county of Cumbria was not created by Peter Walker until the 1970s, before that the area on the Anglo-Scottish border where the novel is set was part of the historic county of Cumberland.)
The heroine, Lady Godiva Dacre, described as "the ultimate Elizabethan knock-out" has been commanded by Good Queen Bess to leave her court, apparently because the Queen, jealous of her naturally red hair, did not want competition in the redhead department. (We're told the regal head now required industrial quantities of henna to retain its' colour.)
So Lady G has retired to her estate near the Scottish border, accompanied by her friend Kylie (yes, really) who is described as "petite, blonde and chocolate-box pretty, with those gorgeous contours common amongst saucy milkmaids and well described by the modern expression 'stacked'."
Hopefully those two quotes should give you an idea of the style of the humour. It continues in a similar preposterously anachronistic vein throughout the book as our heroines meet a cast of equally improbable and absurd characters and have a string of unlikely and absurdly anachronistic adventures.
It's more of a parody than a novel, a pastiche of a historical romance: not everyone will like it but I did, and suspect most of those who are not ashamed to admit to a silly sense of humour will likewise enjoy it.