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Flashman on the March (Flashman Papers) de…
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Flashman on the March (Flashman Papers) (2005 original; edició 2006)

de George MacDonald Fraser

Sèrie: The Flashman Papers (11)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
772824,783 (3.76)12
It's 1868 and Sir Harry Flashman, V.C., arch-cad, amorist, cold-hearted soldier, and reluctant hero, is back in the 12th book in Fraser's ever-beloved Flashman Papers series.
Membre:prairiemeetsthepines
Títol:Flashman on the March (Flashman Papers)
Autors:George MacDonald Fraser
Informació:Anchor (2006), Paperback, 352 pages
Col·leccions:
Valoració:*****
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

Flashman on the March de George MacDonald Fraser (2005)

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» Mira també 12 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 8 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This is the final “Flashman” book by order of publication and the next to last in chronological sequence. I read the previous eleven installments over a relatively short period. For some reason, I allowed over five years to pass before finishing up the series with this book.

Harry Flashman, bon vivant wastrel and ne’er do well, is the protagonist in this satire of mid-19th century English society and colonialism. Published over 40 years ago, the story is as raucous and entertaining as the day it went to print. As in the previous installments, Flashman finds himself in the midst of the most historically significant events of the period, this time the British Abyssinian campaign of 1868.

As in all previous “packets”, Flashman ultimately finds himself covered in glory, despite desperately avoiding danger, by whatever means necessary. This is standard Flashman fare. If you enjoyed the previous installments, you will find little different here. ( )
  santhony | Sep 9, 2021 |
Another of Mr. Fraser's light-hearted looks at the palmy days of Empire. The footnotes often contain useful information. In this case it is a short sketch of George A. Henty, a foreign correspondent of the period, and an author whose juvenile fictions I devoured. So "those who like this sort of thing, will like this example of it very much." ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 7, 2016 |
I'd be skulking behind enemy lines, figged out like Ali Baba, risking capture by a maniac who twisted his victims' limbs off, and playing travelling salesman to a demented bitch who thought it ever so jolly to throw visitors to the lions – and not a thing to be done about it except feign eagerness with a churning stomach and a grin of glad hurrah…" (pg. 57)

Flashman on the March is a fine end to the long-running series, representing any and all of the qualities which have made the Flashman Papers my number one all-time favourite read. There is a rollicking adventure, engrossing prose, moments of pathos and stomach-churning horror, lashings of humour, meticulous historical research, stirring battle scenes and, perhaps above all, well-drawn characters. Not least the titular anti-hero Harry Flashman, in my opinion the greatest comedic character in literature (though the only thing in March's minus column is that there is an absence of Flashy's dotty wife Elspeth – who in previous books proved to be the second greatest comedic character in literature). You just never tire of hearing Flashy's un-PC musings and sly turns-of-phrase.

I'll not talk much about Flashman on the March specifically in this review, because I'll just end up recycling stuff I've said in past reviews. That's not a criticism because whilst there is often a Flashman 'formula' each book feels fresh and different. March sees us again with Flashy shanghaied into a British military campaign in Abyssinia (author George MacDonald Fraser makes a thought-provoking contrast to the then-current Iraq War in his foreword) and fleeing and fornicating his way to a happy ending, all the while commenting on the various scenarios and characters in his inimitable way. For example, the British general wants him, if worst comes to the worst, to kill the mad Abyssinian emperor Theodore – who had all the other mad monarchs he'd met beat "in the race to Alice's tea party" (pg. 203) – in order to avoid public embarrassment of a trial. We "can't have him hanging around Aldershot on a pension", you know (pg. 111).

I've already waxed lyrical about the various qualities of the Flashman novels in my reviews of the previous eleven books; on that note, I suppose all there is left to say in their credit is that I have often lamented that there is "only" twelve of the books. I could happily read another hundred. I can turn now to some of Fraser's other works – his reputedly-brilliant war memoir Quartered Safe Out Here and his self-admittedly "nonsense" novel The Reavers both sit on my shelf primed and ready to go – but to be honest I doubt there'll ever be anything else that ticks all of the criteria I look for in a good book. It's a terrible cliché, I know, but I've often got the feeling that these books could have been written just for me. I've read hundreds of books over the last few years alone and, no matter how often I reconsider it, the Flashman Papers come out top every time.

I should also (for the first time in my reviews of the Flashman books) credit where I first heard of the series. I fortuitously came across a glowing review/critique of this last book, Flashman on the March, in the Arguably compendium of writings by Christopher Hitchens and it was Hitchens' examples of Flashman's poltroonery and bastardry (not least the stuff with Uliba-Wark at the waterfall in March) which got me interested. I expected a good laugh in picking up the first Flashman book – and I got it – but never expected that I would also find such consistently incredible and engrossing adventure fiction, such dedicated historical research, so much pathos and cynicism and craft. And each book with an average of only about 300 pages, b'gad!

"You can always tell when something is coming to an end. You know, by the way events are shaping, that it can't last much longer, but you think there are still a few days or weeks to go… and that's the moment when it finishes with a sudden bang that you didn't expect. Come to think of it, that's probably true of life, or so it strikes me at the age of ninety – but I don't expect it to happen before tea. Yet one of these days the muffins will grow cold and the tea-cakes congeal as they summon the lads from belowstairs to cart the old cadaver up to the best bedroom. And if I've a moment before the light fades, I'll be able to cry, 'Sold, Starnberg and Ignatieff and Iron Eyes and Gul Shah and Charity Spring and all the rest of you bastards who tried to do for old Flashy, 'cos he's going out on his own, and be damned to you!'" (pg. 257)" ( )
  MikeFutcher | Jun 3, 2016 |
An excellent end to an excellent series. More derring do, more cowardly escapes, more poltroonish behaviour, and more absolutely accurate historical reporting. Very good but not the best Flashman ever ( )
  aadyer | Aug 23, 2011 |
After an eleventh book which, as I then pointed, had brought the series to a very satisfying closure, I launched myself in this ultimate episode of the ultimate cad with a mixture of fear and trepidation ; was it the one Flashman too many ? Straining to keep my hopes moderate, I stiffened my upper lip in anticipation of a disappointment. And then it just happened.

FLASHMAN WAS BACK.

Possibly not the best instalment in the series (to me that's Flashman at the Charge), Flashman on the March could easily rank third or fourth best. Undoubtedly it is the same old formula of coward, immoral Flashy running away from trouble and into more of the same. Once more he is dragooned in a dangerous mission, survives dangers innumerable through sheer luck and outstanding knavery, meets barmy indigenous rulers and comes out as a hero through misunderstanding. Once more he beds many, strange and perilous women; once more he is threatened with bizarre torture and saved at the last moment (twice!). And of course once more there is wit, heavy appendices, and name-dropping.
Perhaps this is bad, and we should look for more in a book than comfort and routine, in fact it is widely acknowledged that we should look for the very contrary. In many respects it is like an old vice, familiar and gripping more than its objective merits entitles it to to be.

Something has changed, though: the age of the writer. Flashman and the Redskins was when Flash grew older, Flashman and the Tiger when he grew old ; Flashman on the march is the very end (somewhat out of continuity), and Fraser, I am quite certain, knew it on some level. It is in many ways an old man's book, bitter-sweet, nostalgic and filled with regrets. Old Flashman's musings about his impending death, after all he'd survived, are downright disturbing in context.

So yeah...

FLASHMAN IS GONE.

The withdrawal will be hard. But at least he left on a high note. ( )
3 vota Kuiperdolin | May 15, 2011 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 8 (següent | mostra-les totes)
When Fraser first ushered his Homeric duffer onto the stage, P. G. Wodehouse was tempted into a rare comment, saying, "If ever there was a time when I felt that 'watcher-of-the-skies-when-a-new-planet' stuff, it was when I read the first Flashman."

Well, just as Wodehouse could have quoted the whole of that Keats poem with ease, one imagines that Flashman (or his creator) knows better in the 12th and latest novel, Flashman on the March, when he remarks that the British government is caught "between Scylla and t'other thing." This is Wooster to the life, half remembering something from the schoolroom until corrected by Jeeves. As Bertie ruefully phrases it, never learning from his mistakes, it is just when you are stepping high and confident that Fate waits behind the door with a stuffed eelskin.
afegit per SnootyBaronet | editaVanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens
 

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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
George MacDonald Fraserautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
D'Achille, GinoAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Keeble, JonathanNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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For Kath,
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My spirits were rising as we set off down the bank, the birds were carolling, there was a perfumed breeze blowing from the water, we were within a few miles of journey's end, I was absolutely humming 'Drink, Puppy, Drink,' the larks and snails were no doubt on their respective wings and thorns, God was in his heaven, and on the verge of the jungle, not twenty yards away, a white-robed helmeted lancer was sitting his horse, watching us.
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Wikipedia en anglès (2)

It's 1868 and Sir Harry Flashman, V.C., arch-cad, amorist, cold-hearted soldier, and reluctant hero, is back in the 12th book in Fraser's ever-beloved Flashman Papers series.

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