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on 30 March 2007
'Flashman and the Tiger' actually contains three stories:

In 'The road to Charing Cross' (some 200 pages) Flashman meets the son of his old chum Rudi Starnberg (from 'Royal Flash') and is coerced into a cunning plot to assasinate the Emperor Franz-Jozef. 'The subleties of baccarat' (60 pages) has very little action but centers on a card game in which one of the participants cheated...or did he? There's a nice twist at the end with a starring role for Elspeth. And finally, in 'Flashman and the Tiger' (45 pages) our unlikely hero has to confront the (in)famous Jack 'Tiger' Moran.

Flashman himself is his usual cowardly self, and fires off one-liners that'll have you laughing no end, but I agree with earlier reviewers that this is perhaps one of the lesser Flashman-novels. Some characters (think of Sherlock Holmes) seem to thrive best in short stories, I find that Flashman doesn't.

However, I cannot help but repeat (ad nauseam, if I look at my reviews of other Flashman-novels) that this is still prime entertainment, and even if I live to Flashman's own ripe age (allegedly he died when he was over 90 years old) I will always remember him, galloping away - and not always on horseback, mind you - to boldly go where no poltroon has gone before!
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on 12 January 2013
I love Flashman and I read the books over and over again including this one. The first story which is about a plot to kill the Austro-Hungarian Emperor is vintage stuff - a cracking read, well referenced as usual, and (as usual) a history lesson in itself, with Flashy as his perfidious best and the (as usual) wonderful pen portraits of historical personages. After a wonderful swordfight (which conjures up visions of Rathbone, Flynn, Power etc), it unfortunately loses steam and wonders off into an interminable and needless orgy in Vienna which, quite frankly, is superfluous to the book's requirements. Apart from that, great stuff. He departs from his usual formula in the second tale, 'The Subtleties of Baccarat': There are no sword fights, hair raising escapes, mountains of gnashing corpses, voluptuous temptresses, and all the other elements of a typical Flashman chronicle. Again it's based on a real event, a card scandal in an aristocratic house, and the social ruin of one of the elite, where Lady Flashman plays a leading role. Different but great.
The third story is a peach and I can't fault any of it, from the carnage of Ishandlwhana, complete with a breakneck escape and some sharpshooting worthy of a Spaghetti Western, to the end when a senile Flashy inserts himself into a Sherlock Holmes story and then finds his beloved great-granddaughter is a chip off the old block, steeped in the same wickedness as himself.
Everyone should read Flashman and it should be compulsory at school!
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on 11 April 2000
I hate to sound a dissenting note, but I have to say that I feel that this is the most disappointing "Flashman" so far. The storylines are basically carried by the research, and the zest and even malice that were such refreshing features of the earlier books have largely gone. Another irritating point is the constant reference back to previous books in the series throughout the first section of this book, almost on a rota basis. Finally, there are several inconsistencies with some of the previous books (EG: Rudi von Starnberg has changed from being a Hungarian in "Royal Flash" to a Prussian in this book). I regret to say that this book feels like the author is going through the motions, and if any potential new Flashman readers are out there they would be better advised to start off with one of the four or five earliest books in the series, which were truly excellent.
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on 30 November 2000
I was very disappointed in this book. After waiting 5 years since the last one and expecting a comprehensive account of the victorian scoundrel's shirking at Rorke's drift and Islandawanha imagine my disappointment to find that not only is that episode in the shortest of the three stories in this book but the Zulu campaign is dealt with very briefly, covering less than 10 pages, the rest of it being taken up with an encounter with characters from another victorian series. This is all very clever but not what I'd expected and not very interesting.
The main story is set in the 1880's and deals with a European crisis, drawing on elements from Royal Flash, interesting enough but not good enough for the first Flashman book for 5 years. Overall, I'd expected better. Maybe I'll get something better in another 5 years.
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on 14 October 2000
As an avid Flashman fan I was gagging for this, after G M Fraser's 5 year hiatus. But, rather than another rollicking breakneck adventure through another moment of high Victorian drama, Flashman and the Tiger was simply a rather pedestrian amble.
The novel's subjects were either rather obscure or bitty. The final strand, concerning a famous but totally fictional Victorian detective, was very disappointing and completely spoiled the usual "well, it could have happened" historical accuracy.
I really hope Mr Fraser can find time to get to his promised American Civil War novel next, otherwise the Flashman series is in danger of petering out with a whimper.
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on 11 January 2010
Were Sir Harry Flashman alive today he would doubtless be labelled a sociopath. Entirely self-centred, without conscience or care for others, he is a fascinating and entertaining character. His handsome looks ands silver tongue, his assiduous brown-nosing of his military and social superiors, and above all his fantastic good luck, bring him promotion, fame, honours and wealth in the course of a long and colourful career. In his incredibly readable "memoirs" (Fraser maintains the fiction that he is but their "editor") Flashman recounts his experiences in an open and trenchant manner. If it happened between 1840 and 1900, and is in the history books, Flashman was there. His views on the great people and great events of the Nineteenth Century are a joy to read.
In this book we do not have a narrative of one episode, but several shorter ones. They are as entertaining and informative as ever, but have a faint air of being "filler" and of going over old ground. One does not get one's teeth into the people and situations as one usually can. Nonetheless the book is well worth reading. The high spot for me was the brief encounter when Flashman crosses paths with Sherlock Holmes under most unusual circumstances. The great detective does not emerge with his reputation enhanced.
This book might be more suited to Flashman devotees (of which I am one) - newcomers might like to start the series elsewhere, preferably with the first novel, simply titled "Flashman". The death of the author has sadly robbed us of future Flashman volumes but there are plenty to read and re-read.
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on 21 February 2007
I really love the Flashman novels, I own all of them including this one and was lucky enough to meet George MacDonald Fraser in 2005. However, I have to say this one is not one of his best.

The three stories in this volume are interesting enough but dont grab me, they do add a bit more to the character of Flashman but it was soo frustrating to have Flashman actually in the Zulu wars for the first time that I am aware of and yet we see so little of it. Normally in his other great books set in India or Afghanistan there is a lot of historical detail and a bigger context. This time it felt like just a glimpse of a great possibility.

Still a fan though, read it and see what you think.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 June 2011
For a long time people had expounded the brilliance of the flashman and the books are damn fine to read, i don't think it needs me or anyone else to write a review saying about the high quality of the writing and characters... but for me the real brilliance comes to the fore when the book is read by the likes of Rupert Penry-Jones or Toby Stephens or Jonathan Keeble.
I love to listen to the Flashman books on audio format when im on holiday, the only issue i have is to make sure i dont start talking like a Victorian cad whilst going to the bar to get a drink.

If you love the books and have not tried the audio format yet do so, i promise you its a whole new way to experience the world of Flashman, and if you are new to the Man...go on..you will love him.
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on 10 September 2004
If you've not read and Flashman books then don't buy this one first. But you'll end up buying it anyway, once you've read the others. Because let's face it, once you've read the other 10 or so books you'd pay anything to read another. They are so good.
It seems it has been put together from older stuff just to get something out. I hope this doesn't mean Mr McDonald Fraser is too old to write any new ones but I suspect it probably is. Damned shame.
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on 27 December 2004
As an avid reader of the Flashman Papers, I have to confess to a great disappointment with this title.
Flashman's adventures now appear far too formulaic - he does the same things, meets the same type of people, suffers the same results. Only the places & names change.
The Road to Charing Cross is too much like Royal Flash, and the escape-from-the-jaws-of-death-in-the-duel is too fantastic for credulity.
'Baccarat' would be a nice sub-plot in a proper Flashman novel.
Only in 'Tiger' do we see the real Flashman shine through. Alas, this is far too brief a glimpse.
News of a new Flashman novel in the new year is welcome - I would hate my favourite fictional character to have gone out with a whimper.
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