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Flashman and the Dragon

(Flashman Papers #8)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  2,994 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Harry Flashman: the unrepentant bully of Tom Brown's schooldays, now with a Victoria Cross, has three main talents - horsemanship, facility with foreign languages and fornication. A reluctant military hero, Flashman plays a key part in most of the defining military campaigns of the 19th century, despite trying his utmost to escape them all. ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 1st 1999 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (first published 1985)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  2,994 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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Ruediger Landmann
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ruediger by: Walter Rorschach
Shelves: read-2013
As much as I love this series, I have to admit that by book 8, The Flashman Papers have settled down into a very comfortable formula: Flashy agrees to join an adventure in some exotic corner of the globe, the adventure turns out to be something other than what it first appeared (usually due to treachery), Flashy is taken prisoner, Flashy is assisted by some exotic woman with an enormous carnal appetite, Flashy falls out with the woman because one betrays the other, and finally Flashy is rescued ...more
Chad Malkamaki
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first half of the book dragged for me, it was the same story all over again, which is one of the joys of the series, but this time seemed pedantic. But man, that ending the last third of the book I couldn't set it down and was cheering for our unscrupulous hero! ...more
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This time, the Victorian era anti-hero goes to China, smuggling this and that, meaning opium and guns, and falls into one of his usual adventures.

Entertaining if you like this sort of thing.
Patrick Sherriff
Flashman, keeping his pecker up for Queen and country as always... my proper review is here: ...more
Jane Jago
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Don't you just love it when you expect to enjoy a book - and you do.

I laughed until I all but wet my pants.

Go on. You know you want to....
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
The more I read the Flashman series the more impressed I get and the more I wonder at the fact that George MacDonald Fraser didn’t get a knighthood and an honorary degree for services to the understanding of English History during the Victorian Era. The man’s a genius!
“Flashman and the Dragon” is Flashman’s China adventure covering the Taiping Rebellion (the greatest loss of life in any civil war and - I believe - second only to the Second World War) and the Second China (or Opium) War. The tale
Dec 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, china, fiction
In this entry, Flashy finds himself in Hong Kong (and already knowing Chinese, for some reason) — and quickly is tricked into running guns, meets Frederick Townsend Ward, is sent to parley with the Taipings, is captured by the Imperials, and is present at the burning of the Summer Palace. Not bad for not quite a year’s work, eh?

All the praise I showered on this book when I first read it, not to mention the praise for the other volumes recently, goes here as well. Erudite, bawdy, witty and hilari
An Idler
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Had me thumbing the encyclopedia as usual. Shorter and more focused than some of the previous novels, with a surprise ending and more bawdiness than usual- essential to the plot, really.
Stephen Richter
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Once again the Flashman finds himself caught in the Victorian Imperial policies, this time in China. In the tail end Taiping Rebellion Harry Flashman is hoodwinked into the rebel camp by the lure of fast money in the opium trade. This was an audio listening experience, so it should be worth mentioning the greatness of the narrator, David Case, who is the perfect voice for the Flashman.
Phil Overeem
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone needs to read at least one (FLASHMAN is my recommendation for a single dip into the papers). But it's one long, riotous, bawdy, exciting and deeply educational novel. Trying to keep track of the Chinese geography that's covered here makes one's head spin and costs it a star--Fraser almost NEVER lets plotting get in the way of the fun.'s wonderful like the rest! ...more
Walt O'Hara
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Flashman and the Dragon (The Flashman Papers, #8) by George MacDonald Fraser Flashman and the Dragon by Georgemacdonald Fraser Flashman Papers 3-Book Collection 4 Flashman and the Dragon, Flashman on the March, Flashman and the Tiger by George MacDonald Fraser

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For the sake of 100% disclosure, I've read the entire Flashman series before, some of them two or three times, including this novel. However, I haven't visited anything by George Macdonald Fraser in the last decade (except Quartered Safe Out Here: A Harrowing Tale of World War II about five years ago). So reading Flashman and the Dragon was neither a new experience nor an unwelcome one. I haven't reviewed ANY of George MacDonald Fraser's work on Goodreads prior to this
May 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the eighth of the twelve books about mid-nineteenth-century British military conquests. Many of the historically important events and battles that helped form the British empire are recounted throughout the series by their principal character, Harry Flashman, who was present at them all. So, for example, if you've always wanted to know what the charge of the light brigade refers to, just find the correct volume and have a good read. (It's number 4 in the series.)

The plots are too silly t
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Oh dear, this is one of those books I could easily write five, six, seven pages on. “Flashman”, the first book in the series, is on a Top 1,000 Books list, but the library didn’t have it, so I gave “Flashman and the Dragon” a chance, and, after finishing it, have gone on to find and “Flashman”, book one, so this review will discuss a little about both books.

First off, I didn’t know anything about the book or author prior to reading this book, and had no expectations. I do like the historical bac
Simon Mcleish
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in October 1999.

The eighth Flashman novel follows on from the sixth, and deals with the complex situation in China in 1860. In the middle of a civil war which still amounts to one of the most bloodthirsty campaigns in military history (the Taiping Rebellion - only the Second World War had more casualties), the British undertook a major military expedition to escort Lord Elgin to Beijing (then known as Pekin) in safety, there to force the Chinese Emperor to ra
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Flashy is back and this time in China. What is fascinating about the Flashman series , repeating my thoughts from elsewhere, is that it uniquely combines a history lesson with absolute adventure, which is not something many writers can pull off. And GM Fraser does it again and again.

Here, Flashy appears in Hongkong, agrees to do some opium trading, which was all the rage at the time, for quick money, lands himself in the middle of the Taiping rebellion. Through Flashy's eyes, we see the absolut
Eva Kristin
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As many other reviewers also noticed, Macdonald Fraser has settled into a comfortable pattern when it comes to Flashman’s adventures. The thing is, it’s still a hugely enjoyable read! The language is spot on and brilliant, the research is impeccable, and Flashman is as dastadly as ever. As usual I get introduced to marvelously interesting historical characters, I get detailed knowledge of real historical events, and I get hours of entertainment.

Only one thing made me stop for a while. All of Fla
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it

something of a mixed read in this, the eighth outing of our dastardly hero.

Oh, don't get me wrong the story contains the usual breathless adventures and sexcapades we've come to expect from Flashy. GMF's historical research is, as ever, top-notch and the humour never lets up (there is a sword fight at the end that Harry narrates whilst also taking part in that had me fairly slapping my thigh) but at the same time I couldn't shake the feeling the author was painting by numbers.

The location
Rick Brindle
Jun 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This chapter in Flashy's life revolves around the second opium war, and as usual he finds himself in hot water because he can't keep away from women. But that's OK, it's why we love the rascal!
This follows GMF's very entertaining formula of a supposed coward who's actually no more so than any of us, who seems to be on hand at history's momentous occasions, and gives a very funny, very un-PC opinion on things, as well as historical figures.
A very good story, this one, but only three stars this t
Christopher Saunders
You'd think "routine" is the last word you could apply to Flashman, but Dragon qualifies. One imagines Fraser running through a checklist: momentous historical event (China’s Taiping Rebellion), lots of eccentric, real-life personages (including Yankee freebooter Frederick Thompson Ward), exotic beauties and plenty of violence, torture and exotica. But somewhere between the 10th pirate skirmish, 60th description of the Summer Palace and Flashy's 800th coupling with Empress Cixi your mind starts ...more
Anna Tan
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was a very random buy from Hong Kong, I think.
It was extremely British, and at times, rather offensive/racist/sexist.

On the plus side, I discovered I actually do have some form of pride for my ethnicity despite being Malaysian and confirmed Anglophile.

So, yeah. It was okay. Funny at times, but unfunny at others. And probably someone will call me out for being too "sensitive". *shrug*

Mike Futcher
May 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite being one of the more taut and focused Flashman adventures, Flashman and the Dragon took a little while to win me over, but by the end I found it as enchanting as any I have read. There's no point going over what I've already said ad nauseam in my other reviews; this eighth book in the series remains as thrilling an adventure, rip-roaring a comedy, rich a story and accurate a history as any of the previous seven. And Flashman is still an absolutely devious scoundrel and magnificent basta ...more
May 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, fiction, 2020
The infamous victorian scoundrel is back - this time interfering in the second opium war and the Taiping rebellion in China in 1860. As usual he ends up in the most incredible situations, by complete accident. He was supposed to smuggle opium to the Chinese, but was fooled into running guns to the Taiping instead.

The Taiping rebellion is seen as a brutal bloody mess, which by all accounts it was.

As usual, MacDonald-Fraser has done his homework, and Flashman ends up meeting with most of the peopl
Andrew Weitzel
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Flashman, hoping to make a quick buck and free run at a minister's wife, agrees to act as an interpreter on an opium trading ship bound Nanking. Instead, he winds up on a diplomatic mission to the insane Taiping Heavenly King, prisoner of a brutal warlord, and personal male concubine to the most powerful woman in Imperial China. Yet another riotously history lesson from George MacDonald Frasier. ...more
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
This was good fun, although I didn't enjoy it as much as I remember enjoying the first one. Flashman feels like a slightly guilty pleasure in the era of me too and black lives matter. Set in China during the opium wars, this is a romp through history with plenty of sex thrown in. The plot was a bit repetitive at times but it manages a thrilling ending. I get the impression the history is quite meticulous based on the many notes and appendices on historical sources. ...more
Kevin Marsh
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Flashman and the Dragon captures once again the essence of our 'hero'. Often amusing but at times horific, it was a treat to discover more about Flashmans adventures. I found the historical content particularly interesting as I know very little about China and its politics in Victorian times.
A good and recommended read.
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well it's an odd way to learn some history! The hero Flashman is a bounder, cad, womanizer, coward, LOL you name it and he runs away from it, all over the world. By inexplicable circumstances he is the hero of the British nation. In this volume he takes on the Chinese and the Taiping Rebellion. These are quite funny, 12 volumes in the series; I find I have to spread them out. ...more
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the better Flashman novels I’m my opinion. As with all of them it illuminates an almost forgotten episode in British (and Chinese) history and it is shocking and fascinating stuff. Shame it ends with a cliffhanger that was never resolved - presumably it would have segued into Flashy in the American Civil War but Fraser never got round to writing it.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: british, 20th-century
This has taught me so much about the Taiping Civil War, the Opium Wars and European motivations, and the Qing Dynasty, especially the Emperor's Summer Palace. The Lingchi sounds horrific. Flashman beds famous female historical figures once more. ...more
Luke Cullen
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another fun adventure through 19th century history.

The great thing about The Flashman series is all the little episodes of history which are almost forgotten nowadays that usually sends the reader of to Wikipedia at the end of chapters to find out more details on events or people.
Cliff Ward
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this is my favourite Flashgun adventure. I'd give it 6 stars if I could. ...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

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 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 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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Believe it or not, we're halfway through 2021! As is our tradition, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial team burrows into our data to...
98 likes · 79 comments
“Elgin himself looked ten years younger, now that he’d cast the die, but I thought exuberance had got the better of him when he strode into the saloon later, threw The Origin of Species on the table and announced:
"It’s very original, no doubt, but not for a hot evening. What I need is some trollop."
I couldn’t believe my ears, and him a church-goer, too. "Well, my lord, I dunno,” says I. "Tientsin ain’t much of a place, but I’ll see what I can drum up —"
"Michel’s been reading Doctor Thorne since Taku," cried he. "He must have finished it by now, surely! Ask him, Flashman, will you?" So I did, and had my ignorance, enlightened.”
“You must convince your chiefs that what you're telling 'em is important, which ain't difficult, since they want to believe you, having chiefs of their own to satisfy; make as much mystery of your methods as you can; hint what a thoroughgoing ruffian you can be in a good cause, but never forget that innocence shines brighter than any virtue, "Flashman? Extraordinary fellow - kicks 'em in the crotch with the heart of a child"; remember that silence frequently passes for shrewdness, and that while suppressio veri is a damned good servant, suggestio falsi is a perilous master.” 1 likes
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