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Flashman at the ChargeThis is the best Flashman by far, for my money: fast, funny, outrageous. Flashy is at the top of his game, surviving not only the Charge of the Light Brigade (and the Heavy Brigade, for that matter) but also a hashish-fuelled berserker raid to blow up two barges loaded with weapons and ammunition to prevent the "Ruskis" from taking India away from the British. I laughed until I cried at his account of farting his way through the hail of bullets and cannon at Balaclava, and I have absolutely no doubt that Count Ignatieff will surface someday like a bad penny, and probably try to kill him again :D

I'm reminded of Capt. Edmund Blackadder's attempt to get out of "the big push" during WWI by calling in a favor owed him by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, for having saved Haig's life from a pygmy Watusi woman armed with "a viciously sharp slice of mango." Heh heh. I can just picture old Flashy sticking pencils up his nose and going "Wibble."

Flashman in the Great GameClose on the heels of my favorite Flash is my least favorite, Flashman and the Great Game. It's a page-turner because there's lots going on, for sure, but Flashy's creative cowardice and ridiculous predicaments can't compensate for the rivers of blood and gruesome atrocities of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. There are still some good bits (his escort of Thomas Henry Kavanagh through the midnight streets of Lucknow is pretty damn funny), and of course the historical details are as always excellent, but even Flash seems sobered and (at least momentarily) appalled by what he's been through. This one I won't be reading again, it's just too brutal.


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Jan. 8th, 2012 09:22 am (UTC)
I've never read Flashman. He's on the to read at some point maybe pile but never made it onto the to read pile.
Jan. 8th, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, he's great fun -- a total scoundrel but he always comes up smelling like a rose. A friend of mine (history major and fan of the Victorian era) turned me on to the series; it's like a land-based -- and MUCH funnier -- Master and Commander. Amazingly historically accurate, too, even the parts that sound unbelievable: when the first volume came out in 1969, ten of the 34 reviews thought it was a real memoir :)
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