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

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  3,553 Ratings  ·  134 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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Feb 01, 2011 Ray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is the first Flashman book i ever read, picked up at random in the school library. It lead me to the whole series.

Having read them all I still think that this is the best one. I love the mix of history, caddishness and non PC - which is absolutely wonderful. It is certainly not highbrow literature, just a good rollicking read.

Recommend to all.
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
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
From BBC Radio 4:
Renowned cad Sir Harry Flashman is sent terrified to the frozen wastes of the Crimea.

Riding onwards, cowardly cad Sir Harry Flashman must face the might of Imperial Russia.

Stars Angus Wright and Joss Ackland.
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
Edoardo Albert
Jan 15, 2013 Edoardo Albert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was PG Wodehouse who likened his first reading of Flashman to Keats' experience of reading Homer in Chapman's translation, although I can safely say that Flashy is unlikely to ever hold his silence, even on a peak in Darien - he'd be looking for a likely woman or an escape route. The whole point of Flashman is that, despite his being a cad, a bounder, a coward and a cheat, yet, in the madness of the Crimean War, his cowardice takes on a certain honesty. Indeed, given the fact that Flashman co ...more
Oct 23, 2012 V. rated it it was ok
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
Apr 13, 2011 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 18, 2017 Mikhail rated it really liked it
A very good book of a genre that I don't usually care much for. If you're the sort of person who enjoys military fiction, this is easily five stars. Anyway, of Fraser's many virtues as a writer, I shan't comment -- they're well known.

Instead, I'll talk a little about something more in my wheelhouse, which is how Fraser uses history. Namely, he uses it very, very well. He takes a piece of history that in the US is rather less known (the Crimean War), combines it with another piece of history that
Fuzzy Gerdes
Jun 25, 2011 Fuzzy Gerdes rated it really liked it
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
Jul 19, 2008 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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).

Raegan Butcher
May 07, 2008 Raegan Butcher rated it really liked it
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!
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
Alan Smith
Apr 05, 2013 Alan Smith rated it it was amazing
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
Philip Higgins
Feb 08, 2016 Philip Higgins rated it it was amazing
Just re-read this book thirty years after first enjoying it. It's still fantastic. In this adventure our roguish narrator accidentally leads the charge of the Light Brigade, experiences the joys of Tsarist Russia and amazingly leads a daring rebel raid (it's a long story...) Of course he finds time for gambling, rubbing shoulders with royalty and rumpy-pumpy galore.

Amid the fun there's the usual excellent historical detail. The author pulls no punches when it comes to portraying war and the less
Jul 09, 2014 Love rated it liked it
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
Simon Mcleish
Jun 01, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in January 2000.

The fourth Flashman novel tells of his involvement in the Crimean War, with the Charge of the Light Brigade as its centrepiece. Great play is made on the contrast between Tennyson's heroic poem and Flashman on the back cover ("Was there a man dismay'd? Yes, one - Flashman"). It is one of the most fun of the series, though it does have a darker side in the stupidity of the commanders at Balaclava and the Russian brutality towards their serfs.
Feb 27, 2015 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable, although after reading the first four Flashman books in a relatively short time (this book being the 4th), I'm starting to find them very formulaic. The things one learns from reading George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books (History, for one thing) make up for the same, repetitive narrative structure employed from book to book. But hey, if the books keep selling, why should the author mess with a good thing? Case in point: I'll read at least the next volume of the series: Flashman in ...more
Ian Mapp
Jun 07, 2013 Ian Mapp rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, humour
If I could give it six stars - I would.

These books are perfect - hilarious, thrilling, entertaing and educational. And despite - or maybe because of Flashman's flaws - a real humanitarian message.

Parts of the book - such as the charge itself and the mad flee from captivity have you holding your breathe. The end is thrilling, with Flashman not acting as his normal self and being all heroric and this is explained very nicely, which despite the non pc nature of these books has an inredibly strong f
Nov 18, 2014 Riley rated it liked it
From the book:

"The camp ground was littered with spent shot and rubbish and broken gear among the pools of congealed blood -- my stars, wouldn't I just like to take one of our Ministers, or street-corner orators, or blood-lusting, breakfast-scoffing papas, over such a place as the Alma hills -- not to let him see, because he'd just tut-tut and look anguished and have a good pray and not care a damn -- but to shoot him in the belly with a soft-nosed bullet and let him die screaming where he belon
Michael Pryor
Jul 18, 2011 Michael Pryor rated it really liked it
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
Jun 21, 2012 Jason Goodwin rated it it was amazing
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.
Ak-75 Harris
Jun 20, 2010 Ak-75 Harris rated it it was amazing
Can't go wrong with the Flashman Chronicles. Comedy, suspense and historical knowledge all in one read.
Mar 01, 2016 Thomas rated it really liked it
More boyish and more English than James Bond, Flashman is a public school boy romp through history and war complete with guns, battles, impossibly attractive and exotic women and its fair share of toilet humour. In short, Flashman is funny, but its a fairly one dimensional funny. The main character, Harry Flashman, is a Black Adderian coward and egotist, with the added nuance of some serious charm and sex appeal. He climbs the military ranks through the supreme talent of being in the right place ...more
Louis Shalako
Mar 04, 2011 Louis Shalako rated it really liked it
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
Nov 10, 2008 Card rated it it was amazing
this one is one to the best!
Jamie Collins
Mar 10, 2008 Jamie Collins rated it really liked it
Another fun Flashman book.
Jun 09, 2017 Pgricchi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am working my way through all of the Flashman novels of George MacDonald Fraser. Well, it is hardly work. They are all engaging works of historical fiction, vividly drawn from the military memoirs of Flashman, and narrated by him.

Flashman is a dishonorable, lying, cowardly liar, and racist; an abuser of and abused by women. His only skills are as a bedroom swordsman, an expert horseman, and the ability to land on his feet and appear a hero, after all witnesses are dead.

In "At the Charge" Flash
May 20, 2017 Mikel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best of the series.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Flashman Papers (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • 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)
  • Flashman and the Redskins (The Flashman Papers, #7)
  • Flashman and the Dragon (The Flashman Papers, #8)
  • Flashman and the Mountain of Light (The Flashman Papers, #9)
  • Flashman and the Angel of the Lord (The Flashman Papers, #10)
  • Flashman and the Tiger (The Flashman Papers, #11)

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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.” 25 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.” 4 likes
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