Monday, 19 August 2013

Book Review#18. - Flashman's Lady



Flashman’s lady proved to be another absolute gem in Macdonald Fraser’s series, this time seeing our cowardly rascal of a hero set sail for adventures in Singapore, Borneo and Madagascar.  The opening chapters concern themselves with Flashman’s prowess at cricket and the rivalry between himself and the dashing Don Solomon, who proves to be a worthy adversary in all matters from womanising to wickets.  This ultimately leading to a literal and metaphorical voyage of discovery for all concerned as they travel to the enchanting, but troubled waters of the  South Sea Islands.
I have clearly gone about the whole series in completely the wrong order, reading them as an individual book is passed on by a generous friend or  I spy a special offer at the local bookstore, but that doesn't seem to spoil my enjoyment of them and in fact 'Flashman's Lady' proved to be a fast paced and totally outlandish tale, yet strangely accurate in its historical detail.  For example this was to prove my first introduction to James Brooke, the White Rajah of Sarawak; surely one of the most interesting and exciting nineteenth century gentleman adventurers there has ever been.  This must have been a fictitious creation of Fraser's thought I, but to my surprise he isn't!  

The joy of discovering another fascinating facet of Victorian history aside, 'Flashman's Lady' proved to be one of my favourite tales in the series so far, this may of course be down to its inclusion of my beloved game of cricket, who would have thought Flashman achieved the world's first hat trick,  and thoroughly deserves its four crowns.





25 comments:

  1. I think this was one of the best of the series. I think I'll have to go back and read them again sometime soon; like visiting an old (lecherous and cowardly) friend!

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  2. I still have to get at least one of this series base on your recommendation.

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  3. I should read more Flashman. The ones I have read I have enjoyed. Might add them to a Christmas list.

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    1. I'm certainly going to be adding a couple more to mine.

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  4. Great to hear you're continuing with series and most importantly enjoying it. I've tended to become very short attention spanned over the years - I buy books and end up never reading them. Best, Dean

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    1. I have to confess that I do the same Dean, I find that I am drawn to a good cover illustration.

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  5. I really need to read these Flashman books!

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    1. I would certainly have a go at one Ray, they may not be for everyone, but they certainly tickle me.

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  6. If it has gotten your stamp of approval, it must be very good indeed.

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  7. I doubt that I can get those here at least not without paying import prices on them. They do sound like a good romp.

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    1. A fabulous romp, but how about the Kindle version?

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  8. I must check out this line of books...

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    1. I definitely think that you would enjoy them Scott.

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  9. I'm seriously embarrassed never to have ready ANY of the Flashman books. Time to rectify that quick-smart methinks.

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    1. I've only stumble onto them relatively recently, but now find them my 'go to' books if I want a bit of lighthearted fun in a historical setting.

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  10. I love Flashman and am now reading them in chronological (which isn't necessary)having just completed 'Flash for Freedom!' - which had me laughing out loud in delight.
    I can't recommend them highly enough as very funny, refeshingly politically incorrect and historically informative - great stuff!

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    1. 'Flash for Freedom' is certainly on the list, certainly all the ones that I have read to date have been an absolute delight.

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  11. You must read Flashman at the Charge ASAP if you haven't done so already. I find that you don't necessarily have to read the books in chronological order, other than reading the first book, Flashman, first in order to get familiar with the bounder's background. I envy those who are just starting to read this series of books for the first time: you have a wonderful adventure ahead of you.

    Also, be sure to read all of the footnotes at the back of the book. They contain lots of useful historical info that puts old Flashy into the historical context.

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    1. Flashman the Charge is certainly a favourite of mine to date, but I look forward to each new tale with a relish. I couldn't agree more with regards to the footnotes, I have learnt so much from Fraser's rich historical detail.

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  12. "Flashman's Lady" is one of the most enjoyable of the series, and barrels along at a cracking pace. Flashman has also turned up as a character in a couple of S.M. Stirling's alternate history stories, notably "The Peshawar Lancers" (as an ancestor of one of the main characters) and in a speaking role in the short story "The Charge of Lee's Brigade".

    "Flashman at the Charge" and "Flashman in the Great Game" are two other must-reads for any fan of the rascally coward who surrenders his way to victory for the Empire!

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    1. I couldn't agree more about the pace of the book a real belter of a read. I have a copy of the Great Game on stand by having already seen off the Charge.

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  13. Get all the best spirits and wines at Duty Free Depot!

    All the popular brand name beverages for unbelievable low prices.

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