Have you ever wondered what it was really like in the Victorian age? How the heroes of the "Charge of the Light Brigade" and "Last stand at Rorke's Drift", to name a few epic events in British military history, really behaved when they weren't fighting for Queen, country and the honor of their regiment while keeping a stiff upper lip? Well, meet Flashman: scoundrel, cad, drunkard, incompetent, coward, anti-hero and (even for those times, but even more so now) totally politically incorrect. And those are his good qualities. At the first sign of danger and/or trouble, his instinct is always to run like hell to save his own skin and the devil take the hindmost. Mothers & fathers, keep your daughters (and husbands your wives) as far away from him as possible, because he chases after anything in a skirt and uses every trick in the book (and a few out of it) to get laid. The Flashman Papers are his memoirs, and he "tells it like it is", sparing no punches. And you really can learn a lot about history from him, for while trying to keep his skin intact, he manages to land smack in the middle of some of the most famous historical events (Flashy was there at the charge of the Light Brigade, at the retreat from Kabul in 1842, at Custer's defeat at Little Big Horn to name just a few) and rubs elbows with some of the most famous people of that era: Raglan, Queen Victoria, Lincoln, Custer, Kit Carson - to name just a few. For example, in "Flashman", you get a historically accurate look at how the British got kicked out of Afghanistan in 1842 during the First Afghan War (Bush take notice: "history is a mirror of the past/and a lesson for the present" as an old Persian proverb goes). So, read "Flashman", the first novel in the series about the adventures of Harry Flashman, as he lies, steals and wenches his way through the Victorian age. Anyway, having read this book I'm still not sure what to think about Flashman: if I like to hate, or hate to like him. What I do know is this: I want to read the next adventure of the Flashman Papers! So I've ordered the next couple of books in this series. The only reason I gave this book only four stars, is because this series can only get better!
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