Author Topic: Flashman  (Read 767 times)

« on: March 12, 2018, 09:07:14 PM »

Anyone else enjoy reading about the doings of the swine Flashman? I've read about half of them now, they get a bit samey after a while even though Fraser does sometimes wrongfoot you with Harry's reactions. The last one, where hes on the run with the slave girl Cassie, was probably the one I found hardest to get through - he really is an unconscionable shit in that. But still difficult not to side with him at times. And the historical detail is never less than fascinating. Need to re-read the Bismarck one actually.

I've picked up ...the Great Game and ...the Tiger at a charity shop today so got them to go through.

Has anyone seen any of the films? I found out recently that Fraser wrote the screenplays for the 3 and 4 Musketeers, movies that I've always loved. Wondered whether the Flashman films were any cop or not.

Re: Flashman
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 10:26:28 PM »
I first saw Royal Flash (I don't think there are any other films) as a stoned college kid late one night on telly in the early nineties. It was HILARIOUS! It's also pretty good when straight - I love Ollie Reed as Bismarck and McDowell does the knockabout humour justice as Flashman. In fact I saw the film before realising it was adapted from a book; I think I got about three or four books in before I came to the same conclusion as you about their sameness.

Re: Flashman
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2018, 11:32:46 PM »
Fraser is a magnificent writer, nearly as good as Wodehouse at times.  And he is incredibly consistent: I recently read Flashman on the March, the final novel written when he was 79/80 and it shows no sign at all of a drop in quality.

Funnily enough, a criticism I have of some of the later books is that Flashy isn't enough of a shit and a coward.  It's not uncommon for Fraser to have him make excuses for his bravery.

I've read quite a few of Fraser's other novels.  Black Ajax, about bare knuckle fighting in the early 19th century and featuring Flashman's father as a character, is superb and I also enjoyed Mr American, set in Edwardian times.  It's a rather shapeless book with lots of digressions, but these are invariably absorbing, and I enjoyed reading the impassioned defence one character makes of why women should not be given the vote.  In this year of pious celebration of the suffragettes I hope someone sneaks it onto suggestion lists for women's book clubs!

Re: Flashman
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 01:40:39 PM »
Yes I've read the first few and there's no let up in quality - really one of the gems of comic fiction, but so much more. Would make great TV too, but no broadcaster would touch it.

Just noticed that the first one was published in the same year as the first Aubrey-Maturin (equally marvellous series in its own way).

Re: Flashman
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 09:02:38 PM »
That's good to know about the consistency, not got to the later novels yet.

Would be good to see a TV adaptation - there is some stuff out there like Preacher that people said were unfilmable, and other shows like Deadwood and the Sopranos that find the good in despicable characters