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10-19-2009, 12:49 PM #1
Flashman series! by George MacDonald Fraser
Flashman, soldier, duellist, lover, imposter, coward, cad and hero, triumphs in this first instalment of The Flashman Papers. His adventures as the reluctant secret agent in Afghanistan and his entry into the exclusive company of Lord Cardigan's Hussars culminate in his foulest hour -- his part in the historic disaster of the Retreat from Kabul. This is the story of a blackguard who enjoyed villainy for its own sake. Shameless, exciting and funny, Flashman's deplorable odyssey is observed with the cynical eye of a scoundrel who was honest only in reporting what he saw. He makes all other black sheep look respectable grey.
In this second volume of The Flashman Papers, Flashman, the archcad and toady, matches his wits, his talents for deceit and malice, and above all his speed in evasion against the most brilliant European statesman and against the most beauiful and unscrupulous adventuress of the era.
Ace of cads and unsurpassed scoundrel, Flashman is shanghaied in London and dumped on a slave ship, with an army of Amazons and then the U.S. navy in hot pursuit. Jumping ship, he becomes a slave overseer, slave runner and slave stealer. A certain "mighty fancy goddamn legal beanpole" by the name of Congressman Abraham Lincoln outwits him before he finally escapes from the slave marts of antebellum Mississippi with his very unusual Liza.
The illustrious Flashy gets up to his old tricks in another installment of The Flashman Papers.
'Forward the Light Brigade' Was there a man dismayed? Indeed there was. As the British cavalry prepared to launch themselves against the Russian guns at Balaclava, Harry Flashman was not so much dismayed as terrified. But the Crimea was only the beginning: beyond lay snowbound wastes of the Great Russian slave-empire, torture and death from relentless enemies, headlong escapes, savage tribal hordes to the right of him, passionate and beautiful females to the left of him, and finally that unknown but desperate war on the roof of the world, when India was the mighty prize and there was nothing to stop the armed might of Imperial Russia but the wavering sabre and terrified ingenuity of old Flashy himself.
What caused the Indian Mutiny? The greased cartridge, religious fanaticism, political blundering, yes -- but one hitherto unsuspected factor is now revealed in the furtive figure which fled across the Indian scene in 1857 with such frantic haste: Flashman. This chapter sees him passing through his most harrowing ordeal to his supreme triumph, with Courage, Duty and Honour toiling dispiritedly in his wake.
When Flashman, the most decorated poltroon of the Victorian age, accepted an invitation from his old enemy, Tom Brown of Rugby, to join in a friendly cricket match, he little knew that he was letting himself in for the most desperate game of his scandalous career If he had known what lay ahead, Flashman would never have taken up cricket seriously.
Here is the legendary and authentic West of the Mangas Colorado and Kit Carson, of Custer and Spotted Tail, of Crazy Horse and the Deadwood stage, gunfighters and gamblers, eccentrics, scoundrels and, of course, Indian belles, dusky beauties, enthusiastic widows and mysterious adventuresses; this seventh volume of The Flashman Papers shows the West as it really was. Terrifying!
The delightful cad Flashman stalks again, now through China's 19th-century Taiping Rebellion, in this eighth and perhaps most sparkling volume of his "memoirs." Colonel Flashman, V.C., has lost none of his dash, cunning, amorous propensity or cowardice. His adventures begin when he accompanies a consignment of "opium" (actually guns) to Canton on behalf of a British missionary. There's a deal of shrewd observation in Flashman, and a deal of solid history in his flamboyant memoirs, factors that add weight to their dazzle.
With the mighty Sikh Khalsa, the finest army ever seen in Asia, poised to invade India and sweep Britannia's ill-guarded empire into the sea, every able-bodied man was needed to defend the frontier -- and one at least had his answer ready when the Call of Duty came: 'I'll swim in blood first!' Alas, though, for poor Flashy, there was no avoiding the terrors of secret service in the debauched and intrigue-ridden Court of the Punjab, the attentions of its beautiful nymphomaniac Maharani (not that he minded that, really), the horrors of its torture chambers or the baleful influence of the Mountain of Light.
If only Flashman had got on with his dinner and ignored the handkerchief dropped by a flirtatious hussy in a Calcutta hotel... well, American history might have been different, a disastrous civil war might have been avoided, and Flash Harry himself would have been spared one of the most hair-raising adventures of his misspent life.
Now, in addition to the other famous adventures of Flash Harry contained in the Flashman Papers, come three new episodes in the career of this eminent if disreputable adventurer. The title piece touches on two of the most spectacular military actions of the century and sees Flashman pitted against one of the greatest villains of the day, and observing, with his usual jaundiced eye, two of its most famous heroes. As always with George MacDonald Fraser, Flashman's adventures are related with verve, dash and meticulous historical detail.
Celebrated Victorian bounder, cad, and lecher, Sir Harry Flashman, V.C., returns to play his (reluctant) part in the Abyssinian War of 1868 in the long-awaited twelfth installment of the critically acclaimed Flashman Papers. Flashman's undeserved reputation for heroism renders him the British Army's candidate of choice when it comes to skulking behind enemy lines in Ali Baba attire. After all, who but the great amorist could contemplate navigating a land populated by hostile tribes and the lovliest (and most savage) women in Africa, from leather-clad nymphs with a penchant for torture to de-ballocking Amazons and a voluptuous barbarian queen with a reputation for throwing disobliging guests to her pet lions?