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FLASHMAN AND THE CHARGE (original 1973; edition 1986)

by George MacDonald Fraser

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8821510,042 (4.15)25
Authors:George MacDonald Fraser
Info:Plume Book (1986), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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Flashman at the Charge by George MacDonald Fraser (1973)



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Our favorite coward Harry Flashman manages to survive the Charge of the Light Brigade, imprisonment, escape and several more battles to save the British Empire, all the while coming across as a hero despite his best efforts to be otherwise. Confirming, at last, that he is a cuckold, he doesn't neglect the ladies from England to Russia to Afghanistan. Don't ever go for a sleigh ride with him. ( )
  varielle | Feb 20, 2013 |
One of the best of the Flashman books. Flashman at the charge of te LIght Brigade and as a prisoner in Russia, undertaking to beget an heir for a tough old Russian lord on the latter's married but childless daughter. ( )
  antiquary | Feb 12, 2013 |
Brilliant, funny, entertaining this one has got the works ( )
  Lordofthebooks | Sep 30, 2012 |
MacDonald Fraser set the bar to historical adventure fiction very high when he came up with the Flashman papers, purporting to be the real-life memoirs of the sneak, bully and coward who first appeared in a pious Victorian novel, Tom Brown's School days. Brilliantly researched and full of roguish hilarity, the books chronicle Flashman's inexorable rise to fame and fortune in Victoria's empire by a combination of good looks, good luck and a cynical devotion to self-preservation. ( )
  jason.goodwin | Mar 23, 2012 |
Our intrepid hero, Harry Flashman, is back for volume four 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 third volume left off; Flashman is comfortably ensconced in London society with his beautiful vacuous (and wealthy) wife Elspeth. He has structured a plan to avoid the increasing threat of hostilities between England and Russia by arranging for assignment in the Ordnance department, a largely administrative staffing.

Unfortunately, our intrepid hero has come to the attention of his superiors and largely on the strength of his Kabul fame (see the original Flashman) been assigned as military tutor to one of the Queen’s own nephews, an assignment that requires his attendance in the Crimean theater, with predictably disastrous consequences.

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 Charge of the Light Brigade. From Flash:

“You know, the advantage to being a wicked bastard is that everyone pesters the Lord on your behalf; if volume of prayers from my saintly enemies means anything, I’ll be saved when the Archbishop of Canterbury is damned. It’s a comforting thought.”

From the disaster at Balaclava, Flashy is propelled through seemingly nonstop adventure, first as a Russian prisoner of war, and then, upon escape, as a brother in arms among the barbarian hordes of the Russian steppes. Uproariously funny and entertaining, this installment is every bit the equal of its predecessors. ( )
1 vote santhony | Mar 7, 2011 |
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When the Flashman Papers, that vast personal memoir describing the adult career of the notorious bully of Tom Brown's Schooldays, came to light some years ago, it was at once evident that new and remarkable material was going to be added to Victorian history. 
The moment after Lew Nolan wheeled his horse away and disappeared over the edge of the escarpment with Raglan's message tucked away in his gauntlet, I knew I was for it.
You know, the advantage to being a wicked bastard is that everyone pesters the Lord on your behalf; if volume of prayers from my saintly enemies means anything, I'll be saved when the Archbishop of Canterbury is damned. It's a comforting thought.
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As the British cavalry prepared to launch themselves against the Russian guns at Balaclava, Harry Flashman was petrified. But the Crimea was only the beginning: beyond lay the snowbound wastes of the great Russian slave empire, torture and death, headlong escapes from relentless enemies, savage tribal hordes to the right of him, passionate females to the left of him! And finally that unknown but desperate war on the roof of the world, when India was the prize, and there was nothing to stop the armed might of Imperial Russia but the wavering sabre and terrified ingenuity of old Flashy himself.… (more)

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