Flashman at the Charge (Flashman Papers, #4)
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Flashman at the Charge (Flashman Papers #4)

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  2,381 ratings  ·  100 reviews
The fourth volume of memoirs in which Harry Flashman confronts destiny with Lord Cardigan and the Light Brigade. Part of the FLASHMAN series, comprising FLASHMAN, ROYAL FLASH and FLASH FOR FREEDOM, which explores the successful though scandalous later career of the bully in TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL DAYS.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 4th 1999 by Harper Collins (first published January 28th 1973)
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Best Historical Mystery
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Community Reviews

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Jan-Maat
As everybody knows, there are only two types of people in the world, those who share your sense of humour and those who don't. I had expected this book to be funny, or at least humorous, and maybe it was a mistake reading it when I was sober, but in any case through reading this book I established that the author and I aren't kin by humour.

It is divided into three awkward, distinct parts, staring with a plot sequence set during the Crimean War with Flashman taking part in the Charge of the Light...more
Evan Leach
George MacDonald Fraser’s agent believed Flashman at the Charge to be the best of the Flashman novels, and it’s an awfully good selection. This fourth Flashman book has it all: gripping suspense, hilarious (and raunchy) humor, and well-researched historical elements that make the story as informative as it is entertaining. While personally I would put the first and third Flashman novels ahead of this one in pride of place, this is definitely one of the stronger entries in a series full of excell...more
Tamara
This was pretty fun, but i'm disappointed that dear old Flashman seems to be softening up somewhat. The particular charm of the first book was that he truly is a true scumbag, but ends up a hero because he's a member of an enterprise so corrupt, incompetent and immoral that lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, raping and betraying his way through it is a natural course of action. You end up feeling sympathy neither for Flashman nor for the British Empire, but do gain a certain satisfaction from...more
V.
This is probably the best of the series so far, but I’ve been a bit disappointed with these books and no change here.

This one starts quite slow, lots of build up in England to set up how Flash ends up in the Crimea. Almost a bedroom farce at times and about as funny.

Once he gets to the Crimea, there’s a lot of detail (and I mean A LOT) on that particular conflict, from how the soldiers behaved, how they acted, the geography, the politics, the way messages were sent from one platoon to another, t...more
Alan Smith
Just about all of George MacDonald Fraser's "Flashman" books are magnificently entertaining, and really you can safely pick up any of them and be assured of a great read. Fraser's cowardly, lecherous, cynical anti-hero seems to have been present at just about every significant event in 19th century history, usually looking for a place to hide trembling in terror or get it on with some beautiful, willing woman. However, he is not entirely without virtues - his total honesty about his own shortcom...more
Fuzzy Gerdes
OK, I'm going to stop protesting about how disturbed I am by Flashman and all of his terrible, terrible behavior, because obviously something is keeping me reading the series. I can't tell if Fraser has toned down Flashman's terribleness, or if I'm just getting used to him. Flashman at the Charge finds our (anti-)hero in the Crimean war and eventually at the battle immortalized in Tennyson's The Charge of the Light Brigade. And when I say immortalized, you know of course that I mean I'd heard of...more
Paul
One of the most magnificent cad/bounder scenes in literary history takes place during an "escape by sleigh" scene. Bravissimo, you despicable wretch!

And, as always for the Flashman books, a very well drawn look at a place and time: Russia, in this case.

Additional goodness: the Charge of the Light Brigade section was quite thrilling. It's hard to adequately portray chaos in prose, but this was well done. My favorite Flashman book to date (I've read the 1st four).

Zuberino
Approaching my Russian reading from an unusual but no less entertaining angle, this time it's the turn of the one and only Flashman to stampede through the vast and benighted lands of Mother Russia. Within the first 10 pages of this book (the fourth in the series), the phrase that started to, erm, flash repeatedly through my head was "sui generis". That's the scale of GMF's achievement, here and in the rest of the series, although by all accounts he was a reactionary bastard, and just how much I...more
Louis Shalako
I bought the book decades ago. For many years I could never decide if it was 'real' or not. George Macdonald Fraser was a well-educated gentleman who as I recall, was in the Border Regiment, 17th Infantry Division. ('The Black Cats.') The whole package was so convincing, that even though it was clearly labeled 'fiction,' I honestly believed that he did that for safety reasons.
Harry Flashman is the bully 'Flashy' from 'Tom Brown's School Days,' and a self-described 'bully, a cad and a boor.' He i...more
Michael Pryor
One of the best Flashmans I've read. The charge of the Light Brigade, Russia, Afghanistan, bandits, and nefarious plots. Flashy is up to his neck, trying to survive, ready to betray anyone, surrender anything, doublecross anyone to save his own hide - and he still ends up a hero. Astonishingly well researched, these books are a mile of fun.
Jason Goodwin
As usual, pitch perfect recreation of the 19th century - this one spiced by a sojourn at a Hetman's country house, and a hilariously bad-mannered escape by sleigh, with cossacks in pursuit. The military stuff - down to Flashman's involvement in three major engagements in one day, including the Charge of the Light Brigade - is stupendous.
Raegan Butcher
Harry Flashman turns up in Balaclava and get himself mixed up in the Charge of the Light Brigade! Another excellent blend of humor and history. These books are the greatest!
Ak-75 Harris
Can't go wrong with the Flashman Chronicles. Comedy, suspense and historical knowledge all in one read.
Love
Flashman at the Charge is the fourth book in the Flashman series. This time he takes part in the Crimean War including the battle of Balaclava, gets captured and spends time as a prisoner in Russia and gets dragged along through Central Asia for a failed Russian invasion of British India, they never get farther than Tajikistan.

I’m a bit split about this book, I found the retelling of the battle of Balaclava to be mostly confusing and hard to follow, yet I loved the later parts of the book where...more
Card
this one is one to the best!
Jamie
Another fun Flashman book.
Ensiform
Flash signs on to munitions duty as the Crimean War begins to heat up, never suspecting that one day he will unwillingly take part in Colin Campbell’s stand and Scarlett’s charge uphill of the Heavy Brigade, not to mention the infamous charge of the Light Brigade... And then be captured, become an unwilling spy and resistance fighter, and of course bed a Russian noble’s beautiful daughter... All in a day’s work for old Flashy, of course, who would rather be at home.

I have little to say about thi...more
James
This is a worthy iteration of the Flashy brand, which I still adore, so I'm not sure why I got stuck for almost a month (ironically, at what should ostensibly be the most exciting episode in the narrative, The Charge of the Light Brigade). In this volume, execrable but immensely likeable Harry Flashman, coward and cad's cad, finds himself dispatched to the Crimea and an unwilling participant in the the aforesaid doomed sortie immortalized by Tennyson. Unlike the rest of the Six Hundred, though,...more
Michele
This 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 d...more
Erin
i read this one on the recommendation of a customer back when i still worked at a bookstore... we'd been discussing great books and i'd mentioned i love the russians. he emphatically determined i should read something from the flashman papers series and selected this one -- flashman at the charge. he even bought it for me.

i wondered why this one sparked his enthusiasm so strongly, and recently decided to read it. it's fun, kind of swashbuckling read... there's war and action and humor and lewdn...more
James
I really enjoy all of the Flashman books. The historical detail and the irreverence just seem to suck me in and it doesn't hurt that they are full of action and sex. Most of all I enjoy reading something from the perspective of a Victorian gentleman soldier, with all of his experience and prejuduce. It's just very interesting and offers a viewpoint that you can't really find in novels from the time, since they are normally from the point of view of a lady or a civilian.

This one I know is one of...more
Strey
The fourth 'packet' & the best yet! George MacDonald Fraser manages to set the scene, put things into historical context & get things off to a cracking pace in the space most other authors have just about named their characters... or they would take the whole of book one of a trilogy to achieve the same!

We're into the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' and out the other side before we know it...and the story doesn't let up until the very last page. A geographical & historical Smorgasbord...more
Zeke Chase
Rating: 8.1 / 10

Throughout the Flashman series thus far, there has been constant foreshadowing as to Flashman's campaign in the Crimea. He's as well known in England for the Crimea as for Afghanistan, and finally, in the fourth book, we get to the Crimean War and his shenanigans therein. Unfortunately, much of this seems forced.

(Mild spoilers:)

I typical Flashy fashion, we begin in pre-war England, with some barhopping misadventures and a comic back and forth with his “empty headed trollop” of a...more
russell barnes
The problem with Flashman (other than the fact GMF was as awful a misogynist you imagine - but ignore), is some of the books a perfect wholes in tales, structure and derring-do, and others are a mish-mash of seemingly a number of stories. Flashman at the Charge falls into the latter category, and along with Royal Flash is one I've always struggled with.

Strangely though, I like all three segments of the book - Crimea/Russia/Middle East - it's just each could've made a bigger and better tale on t...more
Bill
After the first one, this is my favorite of the series thus far, as Flashman finds himself on the Crimea and is (of course) caught up in the Charge of the Light Brigade. His description of that event, equal parts comedy and horror, is worth the price of admission all by itself. But that's really only the beginning. I'd say more, but it would be nothing but spoilers...
Wendell Mckay
George Macdonald Fraser's rather unique hero (the obnoxious bully of Thomas Hughes' pious Victorian classic TOM BROWN'S SCHOOLDAYS, reborn as a dashing, lustful paladin of the British Empire who's secretly one of the most cowardly scoundrels available in literature) had perhaps his best and most interesting outing in this 1973 novel. Forced through a ridiculous set of circumstances to join British forces in the Crimean War, Flashman survives the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava and Russi...more
Arvind Natrajan
What is Flashman's role in the Charge Of The Light Brigade? What is he doing at the Thin Red Line? This book is excellently researched and it tells the story behind the story of the Crimean War. A must read for all fans of the Victorian scoundrel Flashman ...
Gerhardt Himmelmann
Another solid Flashman installment; great fun and I loved every bit of it! It's difficult to say too much without providing spoilers, but I enjoyed this one more and more as it went along. If there's a downside, I feel it tends to wrap up rather fast, but this is characteristic of these novels. There was also a confrontation that I felt went unresolved, but perhaps that's saved for another entry in the series?

I think that the degree to which you'll enjoy this depends entirely on your feelings t...more
Glen
Wonderful wit ... The most highly decorated soldier in the Victorian army and the biggest coward ... The film Royal Flash may look slightly dated today but was representative of the wit in this type of book ...
Jest
Flashman in Russia!

One of the things I really love about the Flashman novels is how they stir up an interest in a historical period which I know very little about. In this case I think Yakub Beg and Izzat Kutebar sort of steal the show from what should have been pretty exciting stuff in the Crimea but it's all great reading just the same.

Favourite moments include Flashy catching his wife with Lord Cardigan and the escape-by-sleigh-pursued-by-wolves.

As always, Flashman is the most perfect anti-...more
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14220
He is best known for his Flashman series of historical novels, purportedly written by Harry Flashman, a fictional coward and bully originally created by Thomas Hughes in Tom Brown's School Days. The novels are presented as "packets" of memoirs written by the nonagenarian Flashman, who looks back on his days as a hero of the British Army during the 19th century. The series begins with Flashman, and...more
More about George MacDonald Fraser...
Flashman (The Flashman Papers, #1) Royal Flash (The Flashman Papers, #2) Flash for Freedom! (The Flashman Papers, #3) Flashman in the Great Game (The Flashman Papers, #5) Flashman's Lady (The Flashman Papers, #6)

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“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.” 19 likes
“I know my Easts and Tom Brown, you see, and they're never happy unless their morality is being tried in the furnace and they can feel they are doing the right Christian thing and never mind the consequences to anyone else.” 2 likes
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