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Flashman and the Mountain of Light

(Flashman Papers #9)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  3,264 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Coward, scoundrel, lover and cheat, but there is no better man to go into the jungle with. Join Flashman in his adventures as he survives fearful ordeals and outlandish perils across the four corners of the world.

The British Empire needs a man to satisfy insatiable lust and indulge in ungentlemanly acts – fortunately it has Harry Flashman. And with the mighty Sikh army poi
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 18th 2015 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (first published March 27th 1990)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  3,264 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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Jane Jago
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Aside from the obvious attraction of such a very unheroic hero, the sheer fun, the pace of the storytelling, and the excellence of the writing there's no reason to read this book!

IMHO George MacDonald Fraser is right up there.

Give it a go if you want some proper entertainment
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm slowly working my way through George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman series in chronological order (rather than order of publication), and so have came to Flashman and the Mountain of Light.

You probably don’t need me to tell you that Flashman is a racist, scoundrel, bully, cad and coward, however thankfully Flashy is also an engaging storyteller who has the happy knack of being an active participant in the middle of momentous historical events.

Flashman and the Mountain of Light is another epic,
Jul 24, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite Flashman, but any Flashy is better than none.
May 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Who knew that Sikh history could be full of sex drugs and rock & roll.
A ripping yarn. Sped through it in two days, licked my chops, and wanted to reach for the next episode. This is the third in the series I've read, and once again I'm in awe of the depth of GMF's scholarship and ability to insert Flashy plausibly into the most implausible circumstances. I'd read some other accounts peripheral to this book, most notably The Man Who Would Be King: The First American in Afghanistan by Ben Mcintyre, but otherwise remained more or less blissfully ignorant of the main ...more
Raegan Butcher
May 18, 2008 rated it liked it
If any criticism can be leveled at the Flashman books it is that they are heavily formulaic. Each novel invariably features Flashman going undercover in an exotic foreign land, wearing some sort of native garb, bedding a wild variety of women, escaping with his life from some of the most memorable Victorian era battles, disasters and massacres. As such, this is a solid, if unspectacular entry in the series featuring more sex and palace intrigue than usual.
Jesse Toldness
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to be honest, this is quite possibly my favorite of the Flashman books so far. The only possible criticism here is that the supporting players, the lascivious Jeendan, the mad Americans Gardner and Harlan, old Goolab Singh, and the setting, full of Grand War and Ancient Treasures and Deep Treachery, almost threatens to overshadow old Flashy, who is in a land so crooked that it's all Our Harry can do just to keep up.

Rollicking good read anyway.
Stephen Richter
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Harry Flashman gets roped in to India in 1845, just in time to witness yet another attempt to kick out the English. George MacDonald Fraser uses real event, this time the First Anglo-Sikh War. Of course there is a women in power for Flashman to hook up with, along with in maid in waiting. All the while trying to stay as far away from the fighting as possible, only to have the war sneak up on him. Another fine audio edition of a Flashman novel narrated by the brillant David Case.
வானதி வானதி
Why Flashman is so much fun to read? Probably because he is such a scoundrel who will sell his mother to save his hide and will boast about it as well? or is it because he is so much charming in his villainy that it is irresistible (to the ladies, anyway!) Here he is fresh from his ordeals in Madagascar and lands in the middle of the First Anglo-Sikh war and all the intrigues it involved. The old hands from the Afghan war are here, Broadfoot, Havelock, Sale etc with some more newer ones ready to ...more
Edoardo Albert
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm rereading the Flashman novels in chronological order (the first time round I read them in writing order). So it's interesting to read this one, dealing with Flashie's misadventures in the First Anglo-Sikh War in 1845/46, as the fourth novel in the series whereas before I read it as the ninth.

I do think it doesn't quite have the freshness and verve of the early Flashman novels, nor their capacity to surprise. In the first novels, Flashman really was a cad and a scoundrel but by the time Fras
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, fiction
With this volume, we find Flashy in the Punjab in 1845, witnessing and spying in the first Sikh War (or Rebellion, if you look at it from the British view). Reading so much Cornwell for the past year made me forget just how good Fraser is. Cornwell is good, certainly --- but this is highly detailed, thoroughly researched historical fiction, managing to be both more of a dramatic page-turner and more erudite than any Sharpe book. I’ve commented before on Flashy’s growing heroism, and nowhere is i ...more
Oct 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Though not the greatest in the Flashman series, it is definitely a worthwhile read. Once again Fraser's craven hero(stolen from Tom Brown's School Days) finds himself in the soup during the Sikh wars. He lies, cowers, begs, toadies, and fornicates his way to glory.

The Flashman series kicks English colonialism and heroism firmly in the nads. Not a bad history lesson either.
Sep 25, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a number of the Flashman series books, and decided to pick this one only because it concerns India. Has some decent amount of historical information as most of the books do. I may want to read a history of the Koh-i-noor after reading this novel. ...more
Apr 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faux-history
Flashman is for the ages, as pointed out in this book. He is always at a pivotal point in history and helps make the turn, unwillingly and anadvertantly. The bad boy as man continues to make the best of reads in accurate historical settings. Don't miss Flashman. ...more
Sep 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
For some unknown reason I take great pleasure in reading Flashman on long train journies. I guess tales of cowardice in the Victorian age make the mundane trip go quicker. Sadly I only have a few more to go.
Bernard Dogon
Nov 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Kicks ass, rollicking good read about an English officer who's a total bastard yet always lands with his ass in the butter... very funny, raunchy and educational, as the author always portrays him crucial historical events that changed history. ...more
In which Flashman is remarkably brave much to his own suprise.
Jan 21, 2008 rated it liked it
I didn't like this Flashman as much as the others I've read, because it contains a lot of military history--very much the schoolboy read, complete with gyrating Oriental orgies. Ahem. ...more
Dec 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Delightfully politically incorrect and more than a little naughty, I highly recommend this for the less-than-easily-offended among you.
Mike Futcher
May 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"I won't pretend that I've ever needed leave to bolt. I hadn't been given the precious gift of life to cast it away in back alleys, brawling on behalf of fat rajas and randy widows, and I was going like a startled fawn and rejoicing in my youth…" (pg. 180)

Another great Flashman adventure – one of the best. We've had Flashman the scoundrel before, Flashman the lecherous, Flashman the lucky, Flashman the hilarious. This was all of those things and yet it was also something new: it was Flashman doi
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
More episodic in style than previous novels in the series, here Flashy becomes entwined in the events of the first Sikh war as tensions boil over, and deceitful plans come to fruition, among the Khalsa and the rulers of the Punjab. That the British (in the form of the East India Company or "John Company"), Flashman included, are merely pawns in a Punjabi power struggle gives Flashy a huge canvas on which to play to his strengths of rotten cowardice and deceit with exciting consequences.
His loya
Ellen Marsh
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
The cowardly Harry Flashman (the biggest bully from the 1857 novel Tom Brown's School Days) is a delight and disaster all at once, and George MacDonald Fraser certainly captured the times and places in which Harry lived, loved, fornicated, cowered, and swaggered in turn.

The men in my family are far bigger fans of the Flashman Papers series than I am, but there's no one like Harry to provide the perfect British slang, turn of phrase, or cutting observations on the foibles of the politicians, mili
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is my second time with this book, many years apart. Don’t know how much to believe but in his usual style, it is entertaining and bawdy. George Fraser comes across as a racist and imperialist but then you overlook his bent since he seems to dish it equally across the spectrum - British and Indian alike. The saga of the post Ranjit Singh era is quite fascinating. That it went to pot so quickly after he passed away just reinforces what a strong ruler he was for Punjab, with all his eccentrici ...more
Feb 05, 2021 rated it liked it
This is not the best of the Flashman series but is still a decent read. In this “episode” Flashman plays a major part in the little-known First Sikh War of 1846 in the Punjab. Again, gaining knowledge of a slice of little-known Victorian military history is the real benefit of reading an always involving if fairly predictable account of the (somewhat!) cowardly hero’s escapades as he is sent as an agent to Lahore and a voracious Maharani and various Sikh traitors and other duplicitous figures en ...more
Joseph Lockhart
May 23, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: flashman
This is the fourth Flashman book in the series (chronologically, which is how they should be read) and the best so far, by far. I'd give it five stars since I've given the first three in the series four stars, except for the fact it's just not in the league with really great five-star books like GWTW, Shogun, War and Peace, etc. They should have a ten-star system. To me, a three-star rating is mediocre, and this book is definitely not mediocre. A really good read against the backdrop of the Firs ...more
Mark McTague
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another ripping good yarn from Fraser, one imbued with the author's well-researched background to the characters and settings of the story. What stays in memory, however, is the unsentimental view of human nature and the sordid underside of history presented through Flashman's eyes. What redeems his character is his unsparing honesty, not least of all regarding himself and his own weaknesses. A good read, as they say. ...more
John Aitchison
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Came back to Flashman when I happened upon the books in our local library and decided to bone up on aspects of British Victorian history in what must be the most entertaining way I know.
I'm somewhat surprised, and also gratified, that the majority of readers who have reviewed the Flashman papers appear to accept the use of words that some circles nowadays regard as offensive.
Gave this one 4 stars because I thought Flashy spent too much time doing what he had to do for the British Empire!
Kenneth Timmerman
My wife and I love ALL the Flashman novels. Can't get enough of them! My recommendation: start with #1 (Flashman), and read them in chronological order through the travails of the British empire in Afghanistan, India & Indonesia, the slave trade in Africa, pre-bellum America, John Brown's revolt, and on and on. ...more
Bill McFadyen
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read the Flashman books through the 1980/90s and enjoyed the history and the outrageous actions of Tom Brown’s old bully.
The history is still interesting but the skirmishing behaviour of Harry have a very dated feel to them.
However George MacDonald Fraser is a fine storyteller and this romp through the Sikh wars of 1845 / 46 is very entertaining and in its own way a top rate historical novel.
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2020, audiobook
The framing story is set very late in Flashmans life, but the action takes place in 1845, during the first sikh war. He manages to get tangled up in more famous bedsheets, and historical battles, despite his most ardent wish to escape danger and go home to his beloved wife. In te meantime he manages to get engaged to a Maharani and gets hold of the Koh-i-Noor diamond.
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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 Dragon (The Flashman Papers, #8)
  • Flashman and the Angel of the Lord (The Flashman Papers, #10)
  • Flashman and the Tiger (The Flashman Papers, #11)

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