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Flash for Freedom! (The Flashman Papers, #3)
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Flash for Freedom! (Flashman Papers #3)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  2,581 ratings  ·  97 reviews
When a dirty-dealing card game forces Flashy to flee London, he lands on a boat bound for America, only to discover that it is really a slave ship headed for Africa, and then New Orleans. Before this American odyssey ends, our man Flash will meet up with an interesting cast of characters, including an African king, a hothouse madam who can make magnolias bloom, and a certa ...more
Trade Paperback, 281 pages
Published August 1st 1985 by Plume (first published 1971)
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Evan Leach
Perhaps, dear reader, you finished The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn and said “that was pretty good, but what really would have put this book over the top is if they replaced Huck with a borderline sociopath (sporting a full set of whiskers):

img: Flashman

Well, George MacDonald Fraser has answered your prayers with the third entry in the Flashman series. This book covers a lot of territory, with the protagonist zipping all over three continents over the course of just over 350 pages, but the bulk of the stor
...more
Michael Hołda (Holda)
Historical fiction of Englishman, soldier, traveler, talented linguist& charming scoundrel who visits africa in journey back home. Though as texas slave dealer he have to find his way back through pre- Civil War ameircan states first. After plot of politicts in England. He finds himself friend of slaves and Abraham Lincoln too, who helps him in court. Unjust,treacherous,cowardice and with greate luck, Harry Flashman expeienced in first afgan War(read first book)always gets back to his wealth ...more
Ensiform
Accused (falsely, amazingly enough) of cheating in a friendly game of cards, Flashy injures the accuser in a rage. His reputation damaged, Flash joins a ship’s crew until the scandal cools down --- only to realize to his horror (his own neck being on the line, of course) that it’s a slave ship. Here begin Flashy’s adventures on the high seas and America, where at various times he is dragooned and bluffs his way into nearly every role concerning the slave trade: buyer, trader, seller, driver on a ...more
Tom Meyer
If you combined Edmund Blackadder's ethics, James Bond's way with the ladies, and Forest Gump's ability to be present at history's great moments -- and dressed him up in a handsome 19th century uniform with dashing facial hair -- you'd have Flashman.

This is by far my favorite of the series thus far. As much fun as Flashy's lechery and treachery are, the scene-stealer in this one is Abraham Lincoln. It's an insightful and not terribly flattering portrayal of the great man that -- were it not for
...more
V.
Fraser really revels in his un-PC approach to the telling of these stories but this one is particularly hard on a sensitive 21st century soul like myself.

While he has created a reasonable context for Flashman, both a realistic portrayal of the times and a particularly selfish hero, just seeing nigger, coon and relentless references to black people looking like monkeys used so freely and without judgement is hard to take at times, especially the callous way slaves are dealt with at sea. And yet i
...more
Olethros
-Repaso humorístico de realidades históricas incómodas pero ciertas.-

Género. Novela (y a su malévola manera, casi, sólo casi, Novela Histórica).

Lo que nos cuenta. La carrera política de nuestro truhán favorito termina antes de empezar cuando le hacen pasar por tramposo durante una partida de cartas totalmente casual e intrascendente pero en la que juegan personas importantes y en la que reacciona a la acusación de forma casi homicida. Harry es embarcado inmediatamente para que abandone Inglaterr
...more
Marko
The third Flashman novel is relatively dark in comparison to the two that came before it. The novel's plot revolves around Flashman trying to avoid getting in personal danger, spiced with false identities and surprise twists and turns along the way - basic Flashman, you could say. The darkness is largely due to the subject matter: slavery and slave trade. Flashman is tricked into becoming part of a slave trade ship's crew and while he does not mind the promise of good pay, he is afraid of being ...more
Jamie
In this installment Flashman works as a crewmember on a slave ship traveling from Europe to Africa and then on to New Orleans, where he ends up working for the underground railroad assisting runaway slaves to escape to the north. Of course, his participation in both these occupations is involuntary and since they both involve personal danger he isn't well pleased with either of them.

This book was very good, perhaps my favorite so far, but it did have me cringing in places. I avoided reading it i
...more
Charlotte
Wow. I learned a lot about the slave trade during the 1840's. I wasn't happy with what I learned. My heart hurt many times over for the pain they suffered. However, Flashman managed to get himself in and out of trouble and save a slave in the process. He also managed to make me laugh because he was such a cad. He introduced me to a side of Abe Lincoln that I hope really did exist. He used the derogatory word Nigger over and over again but that was to be expected because that was the term used fo ...more
Charles
Before anyone jumps down my throat, I know a lot of people who love Frazer's Flash books. Plenty of them are discerning readers. So this less than stellar review is strictly my opinion. But, for me, it wasn't funny and I really hated the main character, although that was at least in part the point. He's a coward. I read it because I'd heard from many people about how good the books were. I'll never read another. Life is too short.

The best thing about this book was the cover, which was more barba
...more
David
Flash for Freedom! is a very difficult book to review because there are two things going on, and both of these functioning at very different levels.

Firstly, as a Satire.
The problem with Flash For Freedom as satire and/or a comic novel is the subject matter does not entirely support the genres at this time. Illegal slavers, slavery in the US, and Flash's typical cowardice. Freedom never is entirely funny because of this. The social commentary is there and the view is politically correct but one
...more
Christian Schwoerke
As it was lying at hand when I finished Royal Flash, this novel was started almost immediately. I think it a better novel than Royal Flash, as the story involved less of the romantic action of the swashbuckler and instead borrowed more from the picaresque tradition, though many of the scrapes that Flashman found himself in were not of his own making. But, as with the traditional picaro, or trickster, Flashman was able time and again to find means to turn the tables, or at least come out alive. O ...more
Rosiep32
"FLASH FOR FREEDOM!" was not perfect. Its description of the Underground Railroad was historically incorrect. Most of the African-American characters were poorly conceived, with the exception of two that happened to be light-skinned. And the novel’s second half seemed to be marred by uneven pacing. Fortunately, the virtues outweighed the flaws. Fraser did an excellent job of creating semi-humorous story from the grim topic of slavery. The story had its share of drama and action. It provided a de ...more
Muthuprakash Ravindran
Flashman continues his infamous adventures in the land of the free now and before getting there engages in a bit of slave trade himself, get chased by a group of Amazons of the Dahomey coast and lands in N'Awleans with the Captain of the slave ship, slightly more sociopath than Flashman himself. Kidnapped by the underground railroad and assuming a dead man's identity, Flashman manages to become a plantation overseer, murder accomplice and much more before returning to the mouth of Mississippi.

F
...more
Ethan Cramer
Rare is the historical novel in which the protagonist is not an enlightened herald of 20th or 21st century humanism and liberalism amongst the backwards masses. Flashman had long proved himself the scoundrel in the two volumes before this, but it is in this book, which gives us a portrayal of illegal slave trading in the 1840's, that it really hits home. Flashman's callous, uncaring attitude towards the notion of slavery is a far more digestible and realistic paradigm than, say, the rebel who no ...more
Ben Farnell
Another rip-roaring adventure for dastardly anti-hero Flashman. However if you're racially sensitive you might want to give this a miss. Use of the N-Bomb is prolific which to our modern sensibilities can be troubling, as is the the whole attitude towards ethnicity. But this is a humorous story about slave trading and wobbles so far over both sides of the fine line that represents decency that unless you are willing to accept that it intentionally reflects attitudes of the time, that even the be ...more
Card
another great one on the series. love the flashman. he is up to his neck in trouble and blamming everyone else as usual. he is so much fun to follow.
Ian Mapp
I am reading these in the order published, rather than the chronological order of the books. This is another winner - following the same format as flashman 1 and 2 - although for the first half of the book, the papers have been edited by a prudish woman who has removed any blashpheming or swearing. Not sure what the point of that is.

The story is excellent. Flash meets up with the person who he tricked during the duel that made his mark in the world in book one. This is during a country house gam
...more
Jtp
Flash for Freedom is equal parts history and hilarity, generated by the misadventures of rakish, cowardly Harry Flashman of the 11th Hussars. Flashman is Bond's cowardly brother. He gets all the babes and all the adventures, but with knees knocking the entire way. He is forced to take a passage on a slave ship, with a psychopathic latin spouting Captain, is almost gutted by the fierce Amazon bodyguards of King Gezo ("if you believe that even the worst of young women has charms, you are in error" ...more
Alex Sarll
You can tell this was a tricky one; even 40 years ago, when some of Flashy's vices (his distinctly old-fashioned thoughts on consent, for instance) wouldn't be such a problem for the general reader, having the Victorian age's most unjustly decorated cad spend a period as a slave trader was liable to seem rather beyond the pale. And yet, given he's been established as a terrible bully, wouldn't it be meat and drink to him? Fraser needs to twist the plot into some fairly tight knots to get through ...more
Ruth
C1971: FWFTB: Dahomey, Mississippi, slave, pontoon, charm, cowardice. I adore the Flashman stories. They are trashy, unbelievable, interesting, historical and great fun. It takes place in a time when the Empire was great and traditional values such as courage and courtesy were equally prized.
I loves Flashman’s description of himself "The main thing was, it would be a quiet life. As you know, in spite of the published catalogue of my career—Victoria Cross, general rank, eleven campaigns, and all
...more
James
I'm generally not a series reader, which is one of the many reasons why I'm ill-suited for children's librarianship. Another reason would be my taste for dirty, violent and and obnoxious books like Flash for Freedom! Like my patrons, when I do read a series book, it's because I want to recapture a pleasure, to have a comfortable, predictable experience. And, like those patrons, when it's too comfortable and predictable, I blame the author for giving me what I wanted. There really is no pleasing ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in August 1999.

By the third volume of 'the Flashman papers', George MacDonald Fraser has settled down into the style and mannerisms that mark the rest of the series to date. Indeed, from this point on there is an air of interchangeability about the novels.

The chronology of Royal Flash and Flash for Freedom leaves a gap of six or seven years (between parts one and two of Royal Flash), which will be filled in by later volumes in the series. The events of Flash
...more
Steven
An ill-advised card game with Benjamin Disraeli turns Flashman into an unwilling officer aboard a slave ship bound for West Africa. From there we get a tour of the Middle Passage, a run-in with a Yankee patrol ship, and a top-to-bottom exploration of the antebellum American South, with Flashman an unwilling participant in the Underground Railroad, an increasingly willing plantation overseer, and finally a slave himself. George MacDonald Fraser's taste for provocation is at its edgiest here: the ...more
Benjamin
I used to keep a running list of things that are almost always funny. Cars that gradually fall apart during the course of a movie, for instance, so that by the end the characters are driving down the road without doors, are funny. I think that there is probably also a list of things that can never be made funny. I think that slavery falls into that category. I understand that lots of offensive things, when presented well and properly rejected, can be funny, but I think you are going to fail when ...more
Max
The best satire is fearless in its attack and unapologetic for its lack of mercy. Flash for Freedom is Fraser at his best with the character of the Flashman witnessing America's struggle with slavery and Britain's complicit role in the middle passage. Flashman finds himself shipped out of country for a spell, surprisingly aboard a slave ship, and he in turn becomes slave merchant, slave driver, slave himself, runaway, and barely escaping with his life and manhood intact. Flashman himself is a do ...more
Strey
I found the third Flashman 'packet very much "up to snuff" as he might have said!!

The earlier part of the book - dealing with the operation of slave ships & the voyage itself - was more 'challenging' than one might expect from an intentionally humourous yarn, when looked at through 'modern' eyes. But the ability to shock the reader & describe things 'as they were' without pulling punches, unlike so much 'soft' HF that seems to currently be written, is one of the features of GMF's writing
...more
Zeke Chase
Rating: 9.5 / 10

When I heard that Abraham Lincoln appeared in this novel, I figured he'd be hunting vampires. It turns out he was some sort of slavery abolitionist.

Said no reviewer ever.

Why, because this is actually an intellectual piece of historical fiction. And I absolutely loved it.

This is the Flashman I was wanting when I began this series, this was the Flashman I expected with high expectations when the series was described to me, and this was the Flashman that blew me away with how good
...more
George
The great rascal and cad, Harry Flashman, finds himself running from the law, in rare innocence (comparatively) this time and straight into the hell of the slave trade. This is part of the fabulous comic series of novels centering around one of Victorian England's most decorated heros and its greatest coward, Harry Flashman. These books satirize the Victorian era, and most especially its moral hyprocracy and what better subject for this than the slave trade?

Flashman runs for cover in fear of pr
...more
Fuzzy Gerdes
Flash for Freedom! is the third of George MacDonald Fraser's novels about the anti-hero Flashman. I've written before about my mixed feelings towards Flashman and his general loathsome-ness. Here, Flashman gets caught up in the Atlantic slave trade and his main concern is not moral concern about slavery, but about the trade's illegality in 1848 and getting caught.

It's obvious that Frasier researches the historical settings of these novels with care (these are adventure stories with footnotes) an
...more
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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)
  • Flashman at the Charge (Flashman Papers, #4)
  • 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)
Flashman (The Flashman Papers, #1) Royal Flash (The Flashman Papers, #2) Flashman at the Charge (Flashman Papers, #4) Flashman in the Great Game (The Flashman Papers, #5) Flashman's Lady (The Flashman Papers, #6)

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