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Flashman in the Great Game by George…

Flashman in the Great Game (original 1975; edition 2006)

by George MacDonald Fraser

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773911,948 (4.23)16
Title:Flashman in the Great Game
Authors:George MacDonald Fraser
Info:HarperCollins (2006), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Roman à Clef

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Flashman in the Great Game by George MacDonald Fraser (1975)


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Another fun adventure with our favorite despicable Flashman. In this mash up of the late stages of the Raj, there are Russian villains with designs on India and Flashy's life as well as a fetching Rani with a fondness for swings. There are many first hand accounts of this period and Fraser weaves the facts into the narrative with his usual skill. Flashman goes under disguise for most of the book passing himself off as a Pathan soldier witnessing the Great Sepoy Mutiny and all it's bloody consequences. In spite of his cowardly heart, dear Harry shows some genuine compassion, sentimentality, wisdom, and dare I say it, bravery. Quite shocking, I know. ( )
  varielle | Apr 23, 2014 |
Just what I needed that summer, mindless fun. Who was it used to swear "By the Great Harry!' At any rate, just as much fun as "Kim", and a good deal less earnest. read twice so far. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Dec 8, 2013 |
Flashman in the mutiny --predictably cowardly at times, but involved with the beautiful and dashing rebel Rani of Jhansi, who nowadays, so my Indian students tell me, is a national or at lest regional hero. I doubt they would approve of this version of her, though it is admiring in its way. Flashy (in INdian disguise) predictably almost gets blown off a cannon a a rebel by the British. ( )
  antiquary | Feb 13, 2013 |
Our intrepid hero, Harry Flashman, is back for volume five of the Flashman Papers, a narrative of the life and times of one of the most ne’er-do-well wastrels to ever grace the pages of a published autobiography.

This installment picks up where the fourth volume left off; Flashman has returned to England following his adventures in the Crimean War and the Russian Steppes only to find himself confronted by a menacing figure from his recent past, the dastardly, cold bloodedly murderous Count Ignatieff. The Count is on a supposedly diplomatic mission, but is suspected of fomenting rebellion in the British Raj. Our man Flash is dispatched to the region, for the purpose of gathering intelligence and, if the situation presents itself, assassinating the troublesome Count. All of this, of course, horrifies Flashman, as it promises to be dangerous duty.

As in the previous Flashman novels, our Harry is revealed as the premier coward and opportunist of his era; faults which he quite willingly admits and even boasts of. Much as a prior day Forrest Gump, he has a way of finding himself among the most powerful and famous personages of his era, as he takes part in the great events of the period, in this instance, the infamous Indian Mutiny of 1857.

From the first embers of rebellion at Meerut and on to Jhansi and ultimately Cawnpore and Gwalior, Flash cheats death again and again, though taking great pains to avoid danger at every turn. Despite his best efforts, he only enhances his reputation as a fearless and honorable servant of the British Crown, ultimately receiving a Victoria’s Cross and knighthood for his trouble.

Aside from uproarious fun and games, the Flashman series is set against historical events and actually serves as an educational experience, as in this case, where the events of the Indian Mutiny were not previously known to me. On to volume six of the Flashman Papers. ( )
  santhony | Apr 28, 2011 |
The recent death of George McDonald Fraser has brought a close (maybe permanent, maybe not?) to this delightful series of books. I have had the pleasure of following this series every since the release of the first book back in the sixties. The Flashman novels combine history (including substantial endnotes) with sex, action, adventure and the secret pleasure of enjoying the exploits of one of the most notoriously popular non-politically correct characters of 20th Century literature. Flashman is a womanizer, a coward, a scoundrel and a cheat, but in the novels, which are all narrated by Flashman himself, he is utterly honest with his readers. He is a man not proud of his faults, but certainly unabashed about them.

The Flashman novels could be dismissed as sensationalized light reading , but Fraser cleverly tied his character into most of the major events of the last sixty years of the nineteenth century, a Victorian Zelig or Forrest Gump. Flashman casually mentions this minor detail or that simple observation, then Fraser in his assumed role as editor of the Flashman papers meticulously explains in the endnotes how these mentions by Flashman confirm the truth of his narrative, since only if Flashman was there could he have known about this fact or that. Fraser's endnotes also round out the historic details of the narrative, giving background and elaboration to the history-as-I-lived-it tales told by Flashman. It all works wonderfully, even if you somewhat suspect that some details are being outrageously fabricated.

I very strongly recommend these books to anyone who has an interest in history and is willing to keep an open mind towards the womanizing and the language (the n-word appears quite a bit, but completely in character for Flashman). I would suggest the best way to read them is in order of publication. This doesn't follow Flashman's own life chronology, but the books published later often make reference to previous editions of the "Flashman Papers" and so is more fun for the reader to follow. ( )
  jztemple | Jul 23, 2008 |
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For the Mad White Woman of Papar River
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One of the most encouraging things about editing the first four volumes of the Flashman Papers has been the generous response from readers and students of history in many parts of the world.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Snatched by Lord Palmerston from the pleasures of Balmoral Castle and ordered to India, Harry Flashman rollicks and randies from revolt to massacre to siege to ordeals of the chamber, surrounded by the great Indian Mutiny of 1857.

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