Another hilariously irreverent adventure of the arch cad, Flashy, this time set during the Abyssinian crisis of 1868, a little known mission to free British hostages from an African tyrant. It has all the usual bombast, dissembling, sneering, lasciviousness, desperation, and cowardice we've all come to love the Imperial Army's biggest cad and bounder for. But this time out, why has Fraser chosen such an obscure historical setting for his novel? One doesn't get the wonted feeling that Flashy is unwittingly and reluctantly changing the course of history, as he did in Schleswig-Holstein or India back in the old '57. And also, Fraser himself doesn't appear to be that interested in the situation, as the plot seems a little more contrived and lacklustre than usual. Still great stuff though - he hasn't lost it or anything. And there is still good reason to expect more of those spiffing Flashman papers to be deferred to the judgement of the general public in the future.
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