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The Complete McAuslan (McAuslan)

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  339 ratings  ·  22 reviews
George MacDonald Fraser's hilarious stories of the most disastrous soldier in the British Army are collected together for the first time in one volume. Private McAuslan, J., the Dirtiest Soldier in the World (alias the Tartan Caliban, or the Highland Division's answer to the Pekin Man) first demonstrated his unfitness for service in The General Danced at Dawn. He continued ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Skyhorse Publishing (first published February 7th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 477)
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Margaret
Possibly my favourite 3 books ever bound together in 1 volume. Fraser writes this as fiction but it is all based on his own experiences after the end of World War II, a young and inexperienced officer put in charge of a platoon of wily Scotsmen in North Africa. It takes you on an hilarious journey, escapades that will make your hair stand on end and also have you holding your sides trying to stop the pain as you laugh so much. They sailed close to the wind many, many times. I first read these bo ...more
Deb
Aug 23, 2007 Deb rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: humor, scotland, military buffs
You'll laugh your head off! Funny goings on in a kilted regiment after WWII.
Michael Hanscom
A semi-fictional (as in, just enough has been changed to avoid libel) pseudo-memoir of life in a post-World War Two Highland regiment. While titled for McAuslan, the "Dirtiest Soldier in the World," a number of the stories either don't involve McAuslan at all, or only in minor, tangential ways (though his presence throughout the book certainly makes itself known). Rather, Fraser presents a number of recollections, often funny, sometimes heartwarming, of his military days through the persona of L ...more
Sjancourtz
This is one of the funniest books ever. Fraser is the author of the Flashman books, a successful screenwriter, yada yada. But these books about Private McAuslan, the "Dirtiest Soldier in the Scottish Army", are something altogether different. My grandpa, who served in the Gordons in WWI, laughed his Scottish ass off the whole time he read these books, as did my dad, who served in WWII. Words fail me. If you want something funny, read these books.
Andrew Hill
This collection of stories describes George MacDonald Fraser's post-WWII experiences in the British army. They are universally funny, and cover a range of subjects--golf, bar-room trivia contests, the protocol of a highland regiment, crowd control in post-colonial Africa, and so on.

Aside from the author's fabulous writing and wonderful sense of humor, there is little that connects the McAuslan stories to Fraser's better known Flashman novels. Flashman's voice is almost irretrievably cynical (tho
...more
Syntactical Disruptorize
Funny, hearty tales of British Army service in a Highland regiment in the period just after World War II. It was obvious to many of Fraser's readers that the McAuslan stories were thinly fictionalized autobiography, and in the afterword, he admits this explicitly. His final recollection of a chance reunion with the Colonel of his old regiment would bring tears to anyone's eyes.
Vic Heaney
A friend lent this book to me because he knew I have enjoyed the Flashman books by the same author.

It is actually a compendium of three books about army life around the end of the Second World War. The narrator is supposed to be a fictitious green lieutenant, recently promoted from the ranks. Most of the action takes place in North Africa, mainly Libya, and one of the soldiers under Lt McNeill's command is McAuslan - the dirtiest soldier in the world. Not only dirty, but clearly a relative of Fr
...more
Josh Hamacher
An omnibus edition of the "McAuslan" series. Immensely entertaining and at times laugh-out-loud funny. Despite being marketed as fiction, the last section makes clear that the characters and stories are largely based on Fraser's real-life experiences in a Highland division immediately after World War 2. His care and concern for his troops shine through and make it all but impossible to not grow attached to them over the course of reading this.
Féarghal Mac giobúin
Absolute genius.

I've always enjoyed reading Fraser but his real life experiences are on a par with what he writes in his fiction. I wish he'd written more.

McAuslan is based on his post-war service with the Gordon Highlanders as a newly commissioned subaltern. Having come from several months of jungle combat in Burma, Fraser could have been forgiven for thinking his hard times were behind him.

His platoon, his company, in fact the entire battalion appear to be full of eccentrics, political theoris
...more
Michael Rodgers-wilson
The dirtiest soldier in the British army. an unlikely subject but the result is very funny.
Tony
LOVED all three of Fraser's McAuslan books!

They captured the flavour of soldiering perfectly.
Steve Cox
I really enjoyed reading this book and I learnt about story telling from these brilliantly constructed episodes in the life of a young officer in a Highland regiment around the end of World War Two.
Andy
Feb 07, 2015 Andy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, dns
One to read in 2015..?
David
A truly fantastic collection of stories, highly entertaining and highly enlightening.

These three books are part biography, part fiction, and wholly brilliant. Though a little anecdotal in its delivery, and with a chronology that jumps around over a four year period in an often confusing manner, Fraser makes an entire world and lifestyle come to life in a magical way.

Once again Fraser doesn't fail to dazzle, I only wish I could give it 6 stars
Jane Akshar
I think it helps reading this if you have a slight knowledge of the British Army otherwise it can be a bit incomprehensible or you miss the nuances. But a thoroughly enjoyable read none the less.
Lonestargazer
While it was not my favorite GMF novel, it was a good read . . . once I had adjusted to the Scots dialect throughout the book. Memorable characters and plenty of funny events for this tale of the post-WW2 British military.
Abra
These short stories remind me A GREAT DEAL of Kipling's short stories about rank and file soldiers serving during the Raj, in India. I enjoy the hell out of George MacDonald Fraser, but I think he owes a huge debt here.
Emmy
Got a kick out of this. I read it intermittantly over the past few months when I needed something calm and simple to clear my mind at night.
Richard Novak
Great comedy and an excellent read for anyone interested in the military or highland regiments.
Chris
My favorite memoir of all time...
Steven
Side splittingly funny.
Marianne
Marianne marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2015
Miss M
Miss M marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2015
Sharman
Sharman is currently reading it
Aug 14, 2015
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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

McAuslan (3 books)
  • The General Danced at Dawn
  • McAuslan in the Rough
  • The Sheikh And The Dustbin, And, Other Mc Auslan Stories
Flashman (The Flashman Papers, #1) 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)

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“dark, wiry soldier at the first bed was cleaning his rifle, hauling the pull-through along the barrel. ‘Not like that,’ said Bennet-Bruce. ‘Pull it straight out, not at an angle, or you’ll wear away the muzzle and your bullets will fly off squint, missing the enemy, who will seize the opportunity to unseam you, from nave to chaps.’ He tugged at the pull-through. ‘What the hell have you got on the end of this, the battalion colours?” 0 likes
“Aye, weel, here’s tae us.’ ‘Wha’s like us?’ said McGilvray. ‘Dam’ few,’ said Forbes. ‘And they’re a’ deid,’ I said, completing the ritual. ‘Aw-haw-hey,’ said Daft Bob and we drank.” 0 likes
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