Flashman
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Flashman (Flashman Papers #1)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  5,616 ratings  ·  541 reviews
For starters, Harry Flashman is expelled from school as a drunken bully. After seducing his father's mistress, he begins a secret life that leads from the boudoirs and bordellos of Victorian England to the erotic frontiers of her exotic Empire. Along the way he lies, cheats, steals, fights fixed duels, betrays his country and proves a coward on the battlefield.

"The refresh

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Hardcover
Published by Jenkins (first published January 1st 1969)
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Stephen
Harry Paget Flashman is NOT your typical morally-challenged but likeable scoundrel who you can’t help but love because of his sharp wit and buckets o’ charm.
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No…he’s an ASSHOLE…a big one. A rapacious, lecherous, despicable scumbag with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I’m talking such odious funtivities as:

**Having sex with his Father’s mistress, and then beating and sexually assaulting her when she refuses his subsequent advances.

**Forcibly selling his Indian concubine to a passing artillery...more
Douglas
The Flashman books (all twelve of them) would be a guilty pleasure if they were not so jam-packed with Victorian historical detail that would make them a good foundation for a history of the mid to late British Empire.

The protagonist, the classic anti-hero Harry Flashman, is a scoundrel, a bully, a coward, a liar, and a rake. And he frankly admits all of the above in this series of 'memoirs.' Flashman himself is a character from the Thomas Hughes novel, 'Tom Brown's School Days,' published in t...more
Manny
I've just been looking at the other reviews, and every guy likes Flashman. Every single one. I'm afraid I do too. What does that say about us? I often wonder why women put up with men at all.

Keely
How do we distinguish between the author and the characters he writes? There are readers who assume that if a main character does something racist or sexist, that means the author is, too. But then, characters can also transform into cockroaches, commit interplanetary genocide, and die gloriously without the author having to undergo those experiences, himself.

Even in an autobiography, the author still isn't writing himself--he's writing one biased version, crafting coherent stories and meanings...more
Raegan Butcher
Meet Harry Flashman, decorated hero of the Victorian age. He also happens to be a liar, a lecher, a bully, and a sniveling coward, and that is what makes these comic historical novels so funny.He is also gloriously un-PC, which seems to ruffle some dainty feathers these days. Great stuff.
George
The first book in what is almost certainly the finest series of historical comic novels ever written. Over the series, written over a 30 year period, Harry Flashman becomes one of Victorian England's most decorated military heros while in actuality he's its most craven coward. There's scarcely anyone of importance in history that he doesn't eventually meet. The books heavily satirize Victorian society and morality. Flashman himself is not only a coward, but is also a bully, a scoundrel, a cheat,...more
Lena
Let me begin this review by saying that my star rating has less to do with the quality of the book and more with the fact that it was a bad match for my reading tastes.

I became interested in the Flashman books after hearing them described as a much-loved series of historically accurate, comic fiction. Though title character Harry Flashman is a self-described coward and cad, he does have a certain charm as he describes how he repeatedly finds himself in the middle of one British military disaste...more
Sally
A magnificent read about an appalling man. You get a good feel for Flashman's character early on. With his unflinching and intelligent take on the people and situations surrounding him you feel very much a part of the action. It is extremely well written and a very entertaining book.

Given the current situation in Afghanistan, it's pretty poignant too. I was laughing till I snorted in public at the description of the incompetence of Major-General Elphinstone; then within moments nearly in tears a...more
Evan Leach
I am not a big historical fiction buff, but I fell head-over-heels in love with this book. The very premise is awesome: in 1857, Thomas Hughes wrote a novel based heavily on his own experiences as a schoolboy. The villain of the book is a boy called Flashman, a bully, drunkard, and general asshole. Naturally, 100 years later George MacDonald Fraser decided to write a series of historical novels starring a grown up Flashman as the “hero.” The result, at least in Fraser’s original book, was pure m...more
Louise
Flashman was picked as the February book for the NeoGAF bookclub. I thought I would like the adventures of Flashy based on the first few pages. Who wouldn't like a story that starts off with being expelled from Rugby school for drunkenness?

Unfortunately, after reading 1/3 of the book, I can't continue. Flashy is an unapologetic ass! I'm usually fine with antiheros, but this one takes it too far. Flashy's treatment of women is awful and while this could be the norm for his time and his class, it...more
Karla (Mossy Love Grotto)
Fraser took a small character in Tom Brown's Schooldays and turned him into a legend. The mock memoir set-up is very fun, and Flashman in his first outing is a real loathsome character. I didn't much like him! He's the embodiment of ugly British colonialism, raping women and doing whatever he can to get whatever he wants. But I had to keep reading about the fiendish little cad, because the scrapes he gets into and the sh!t luck that keeps him alive was far too amusing.
Victor Longshanks
I picked this book up after a mere reference to Flashman in The Bookman Histories. From what I read in the reviews it looks like just my cup of tea, and boy howdy is it.

The novel is told by Harry Flashman, the same Harry Flashman who's claim of fame is from Tom Brown's Schooldays & Tom Brown at Oxford (I had no idea of that book before this). The author decided to write some further adventures of the school bully, to hilarious results.

The story starts out right after Harry Flashman is kicked...more
Noble
I'm going to review the whole series here, instead of saying more or less the same thing for each of the books I've read.

Flashman, the character, is an asshole. Really, he doesn't have many redeeming qualities. I shall list those which come to mind:
He seems to genuinely love his wife, in his own way (he cheats on her, or tries to, pretty much constantly, but he also has ample reason to believe she does the same and knows about his own infidelities; still, his thoughts seem to go back to her more...more
Bruce
This is the first of a series of novels published beginning in 1969, all featuring Harry Flashman, a relatively minor and altogether craven character in Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown’s Schooldays. This novel somewhat comically chronicles Flashman’s exploits in the British army, primarily in Afghanistan in 1849. The book raised several issues of interest to me.

First, there is the question of genre. One might legitimately describe the book as historical fiction. And, equally, it could be viewed as a pa...more
Erica
Ok so I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would. I rather like ole Flashy and I suppose I'll read the next in the series. I wouldn't review it as "hilariously funny" as stated on the cover, but to each his own.
Simon
Sexually incontinent, self-centred, spineless and shameless - what's not to like about Harry Flashman, George McDonald Fraser's timeless comic character? This is the first book, originally published in 1969, and it began one of the greatest series of historical fiction in the English language. The Hornblowers and Sharpes have their place, but heroic types can be dreadful bores at times. Give me a promiscuous, drunken coward nine times out ten; the tenth time being when it was my hide or Flashman...more
Nate
It's rare for me to actually feel guilty for enjoying the antics of a protagonist but I had this nagging cognitive dissonance the entire time I was reading this--Harry Flashman is certainly one of the more repulsive, boorish fictional people I've rooted for. He's devoid of pretty much every trait humans find admirable and stuffed with every trait we find deplorable...I'm struggling to think of one positive thing about him. And yet, I can't deny there was a part of me that took a perverted glee i...more
Kirsten Mortensen
Okay, I'll admit it. Perhaps because I'm a gal, a couple chapters into this book I wondered if I was going to have to force myself to keep going.

Because -- as you know if you know anything about the Flashman series -- the narrator of these books is *not* a nice guy.

But something happened as I reached a quarter mark or so of the novel: I found myself hooked.

And by the time Flashy found himself in Afghanistan (the series' conceit is that Flashman was an eyewitness to a number of significant 19th...more
Laura
Sep 22, 2010 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Misfit, Virginie, Bettie, Hayes
Just arrived from Ireland through BM.

From Wikipedia:

Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC KCB KCIE (1822–1915) is a fictional character created by George MacDonald Fraser (1925–2008), but based on the character "Flashman" in Tom Brown's Schooldays (1857), a semi-autobiographical work by Thomas Hughes (1822–1896).
In Hughes' book, Flashman is the notorious bully of Rugby School who persecutes Tom Brown, and who is finally expelled for drunkenness. Twentieth century author George MacDonald Fraser had the ide...more
Sam
Sep 09, 2007 Sam rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history fans, people with a sense of humor
Shelves: fiction
I really enjoyed Flashman, but I have mixed feelings about talking about it. Flashman is satire that cuts to the bone, with a protagonist that you don't want to like, but find yourself caught up in his life regardless. I think of Harry Flashman as a kind of anti-Forrest Gump. The books are a first-person narrative, a tell-all memoir by one of England's greatest heroes. The memoirs (fictional, of course) were written in 1910 or so, when Flashman was 80 years old. 'Flashy' as his friends call him,...more
James
Flashman is the Victorian anti-hero, a true scoundrel without a shred of morality. In the first book alone, he commits pretty much every sin: drunkenness, lechery, sloth, murder, rape, cowardice, toadyism, and more besides. If he has a single redeeming feature, it is that he is utterly honest with his desires and failings. Truthfully, he is a two-dimensional character in almost every respect. Why, then, is this book so immensely entertaining?

It is because Fraser's masterful and keen descriptions...more
Douglas Dalrymple
Harry Flashman is a bad, bad person. There’s no two ways about it. But he’s an especially effective anti-hero. Not to suggest that Flashman is a work of the same caliber, but if Julien Sorel in The Red and the Black is an anti-hero for his naked ambition, he isn’t himself such an unsympathetic person. Flashman, on the other hand, ought to be wholly unsympathetic. His intentions and thoughts are never commendable. His actions are despicable. His moral failure really is absolute. And yet it’s impo...more
JS
Meh.

Honestamente fiquei desiludido com o livro, tinha altas expectativas para esta leitura e acabou por ser engraçadita e pouco mais.

A verdade é que depois de tantos livros com aventuras complexas e personagens interessantes, ler Flashman foi algo semelhante a ler o correio da manhã... Bastava pensar que havia um sacana cobarde e mentiroso e que conseguia safar-se de tudo e ainda ser visto como um herói fez-me lembrar o o Sócrates e portanto, nada que queira relembrar.

Bem, fiquei com a certeza...more
Peter Brooks
First, a warning - these are boy's books. They are unlikely to appeal to women.

If you like this sort of thing - lots of adventure, excitement and naughtiness, then these books are perfect. They're funny, clever and surprisingly historically accurate.

Of course, Flashman is a wicked, opportunistic, cowardly cad, and, if we met him, we'd probably enjoy having a few drinks with him, but we'd not want him coming to stay, particularly if we were married or had daughters.

I wish that there were more Fla...more
Dan Schwent
Another book Neil Gaiman mentioned in his blog. I liked it and thought parts were really funny. Some parts made me uncomfortable, though.
Joss
The first of the Flashman series features the eponymous hero being the last man standing after the 1st Afghan War. Of course he wasn't, but Fraser has done his homework and worked his fiction around what actually happened, including characters such as Elphinstone, Akbar Khan and Lady Sale. Written in the days before PC was invented, it is of course both racist and sexist in places, but still a rollicking good yarn that I enjoyed far more than I was expecting. I might try Flashman and the Great G...more
Becky Hoffman
I really don't know what to think of this book. I sat here for ten minutes, staring at the 'what did you think?' box and trying to figure out what to say. I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it either. I guess I'll just settle for indifferent.
Flashman is about a man who is called Flashman (his actual name escapes me right now, I want to say Harry? Oh well, everyone just calls him Flash). He is a young man who basically gets kicked out of a very prestigious school because he's a drunk and a man-w...more
Ensiform
The first of the Flashman Papers, in which our hero joins the army and serves in Afghanistan. This chronicle covers 1839-42: we see Flashy undergoing the pathetic retreat from Kabul under the dithering General Elphinstone, and unwillingly making a last stand at Piper’s Fort.

Although no stranger to Flashy’s exploits, of course, I had never actually read this, the first exploit that cemented his reputation. Here we see a Flashy that is perhaps more cowardly than in the later books; he actually bre...more
Sean
In the final analysis, Flashman does exactly what it says on the tin: Flashman is "a scoundrel, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a coward – and, oh yes, a toady." And self-aware and wry enough to be damned entertaining.

Flashy's a bastard. A consummate, grade-A bastard with few redeeming qualities. He lies to and betrays people he calls friends. He saves his own skin at the cost of others' lives. He's misogynistic as they come, he takes credit where none is due, and he has no trouble sleeping at night.

B...more
Drush76
"FLASHMAN" (1969) Book Review

Forty-one years ago, an old literary character was re-introduced to many readers, thanks to a former Scottish journalist named George MacDonald Fraser. The author took a character from a famous Victorian novel and created a series of novels that placed said character in a series of historical events throughout the middle and second half of the 19th century.

The 1857 novel, ”TOM BROWN’S SCHOOLDAYS”, told the story of a young English boy named Tom Brown and his experie...more
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UK Amazon Kindle ...: Recommend Flashman style books 22 150 Apr 01, 2014 09:31AM  
The Flashman Club: The real history behind Flashman 10 71 Sep 24, 2013 03:45AM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN Issue: What should I do? 11 34 Nov 10, 2011 12:54AM  
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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...
Royal Flash (The Flashman Papers, #2) Flashman at the Charge (Flashman Papers, #4) 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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“If anything she was a shade too plump, but she knew the ninety-seven ways of making love that the Hindus are supposed to set much store by―though mind you, it is all nonsense, for the seventy-fourth position turns out to be the same as the seventy-third, but with your fingers crossed.” 18 likes
“I recognized the handwriting, and my heart gave a skip; when I opened it I got a turn, for it began, 'To my beloved Hector,' and I thought, by God she's cheating on me, and has sent me the wrong letter by mistake. But in the second line was a reference to Achilles, and another to Ajax, so I understood she was just addressing me in terms which she accounted fitting for a martial paladin; she knew no better. It was a common custom at that time, in the more romantic females, to see their soldier husbands and sweethearts as Greek heroes, instead of the whore-mongering, drunken clowns most of them were. However, the Greek heroes were probably no better, so it was not far off the mark.” 7 likes
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