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Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser
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's review
Oct 29, 2008

it was amazing

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 of historical events and excellent comedic timing bring Flashman to life. He is always caught up in the midst of great events and entangled with famous (or infamous) people at any given time. In this book, we see events in Afghanistan circa 1840-42 through his eyes: the provoked murder of Captain Burnes, the rapid rise of Akbar Kahn, and the startling incompetence of Major-General Elphinstone. Flashman's antics are also invariably amusing, even at the worst of times: he unsuccessfully schemes to bed the wife of a captain during the disastrous retreat from Kabul. In the end, having survived the worst, he is acclaimed as a virtuous hero, an event that he is quick to capitalize on.

And what next for Flashman? I do not know, but I will definitely be reading the rest of this series.
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The Antiquary here be mild spoilers

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