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Old 6 October 2015, 18:26
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Gunk Gunk is offline
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The Flashman Series is perhaps the most politically incorrect yet historically correct novel series ever written. A true guilty pleasure, I laugh out loud as I read Sir Harry Flashman’s adventures.

Flashman is a womanizing coward and general knave. He continually seeks to avoid dangerous duties and ends up out of the frying pan and into the fire. His career takes him in the midst of pretty much every major battle Queen Victoria’s empire engages in.

The first book “Flashman” starts with him getting kicked out of school for drunkenness, in the army and then service in Afghanistan during the slaughter of the retreat from Kabul. Harry Flashman isn’t real but he is surrounded by true to life historical characters. In some respects Flashman is the perfect tour guide through Victorian era wars.

Some Harry Flashman quotes:

"...then I cursed and prayed a bit, invoking the God in whom I believe only in moments of real despair to intervene on my behalf"

"I'd like to run south again down africa with a fair wind. In a private yacht, with my youth, half a dozen Parisian whores, the finest of food and drink, and perhaps a German band. Aye, it's a man's life."

"I had her stripped, seized, and mounted in the twinkling of my mind's eye"

“It’s a great thing, prayer. Nobody answers, but at least it stops you from thinking.”

Harry’s friend discussing his new son: “Flashman the way young Harry went after the Nurses tits,proved he is your son”

“if need be – bristle up the courage of the cornered rat, put on a bold front, and to hell with them. Bluff my boy – bluff, shift and lie for the sake of your neck and the honour of Old England."

I highly recommend these books.
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Old 6 October 2015, 19:40
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My dad loved the Flashman books. The exact opposite of Sharpe.
"The real problem was being able to stick it out, to sit in an office under the orders of a wee man in a dark gray suit and look out of the window and recall the bush country, the waving palms, the smell of sweat and cordite, the grunts of the men hauling jeeps over the river crossings, the copper-tasting fears just before the attack, and the wild, cruel joy of being alive afterward. To remember, and then go back to the ledgers and the commuter train, that was impossible. He knew he would eat his heart out if it ever came to that."

- "The Dogs of War" by Frederick Forsyth
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Old 7 October 2015, 01:02
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RhodieBKK RhodieBKK is offline
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Excellent historical series based upon sound scholarly historical knowledge that are extremely funny and completely un-PC.
Flashman the first novel is based upon the first British Afghan War of 1842 and is one of the best primer's of that debacle.
Using the works of Eyre, Sale, Burnes and Macrory it has only recently been superseded by Dalrymple's excellent Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan.

George MacDonald Fraser fought in Burma during WWII as an ordinary soldier and then promoted from the ranks to an officer.
His memoir Quartered Safe Out Here is described by the eminent military historian, John Keegan, ‘There is no doubt that is one of the great personal memoirs of the Second World War’.

Following on from his time in the Border Regiment his Complete McAuslan is also worth reading. A lightly disguised fictional account of his time as an officer in the Gordon Highlanders.
Best described here:
"George MacDonald Fraser’s hilarious stories of the most disastrous soldier in the British Army – collected together for the first time in one volume.

Private McAuslan, J., the Dirtiest Soldier in the Word (alias the Tartan Caliban, or the Highland Division’s answer to the Pekin Man) first demonstrated his unfitness for service in The General Danced at Dawn. He continued his disorderly advance, losing, soiling or destroying his equipment, through the pages of McAuslan in the Rough. The final volume, The Sheikh and the Dustbin, pursues the career of the great incompetent as he shambles across North African and Scotland, swinging his right arm in time with his right leg and tripping over his untied laces.
His admirers know him as court-martial defendant, ghost-catcher, star-crossed lover and golf caddie extraordinary. Whether map-reading his erratic way through the Sahara by night or confronting Arab rioters, McAuslan’s talent for catastrophe is guaranteed. Now, for the first time, the inimitable McAuslan stories are collected together in one glorious volume."
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Old 7 October 2015, 13:03
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Excellent series. Thanks for the reminder to read them again.
Hey homo, its me -- Andy/SOTB
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Old 8 October 2015, 21:57
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I really like the audiobook editions too. The reader does an amazing job.
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Old 29 December 2016, 14:13
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I'm going to get the first one through an interlibrary loan, I can't recall ever hearing of this character, but came across an article in The Economist that said some of his attributes would serve foreign correspondents well. Flashman seems to be somebody who is both humorous and despicable at the same time.

Here's the link to the piece, not too long and covers the essence of Harry Flashman pretty well, I think.

I thought this paragraph relating Flashman's deeds while imprisoned during the 2nd Opium War really paints a picture of who the guy is:

Speaking multiple languages often saved his skin. Locked up during the Second Opium War, he was the only British prisoner who understood that their Chinese jailer planned to execute one of them. Asked to translate, he lied that the jailer planned to send one of them with a message to the British and French forces besieging the town. Eager for freedom, a soldier who was blackmailing Flashman pushed to the front—and was conveniently beheaded.
"This is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who!"
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Old 29 December 2016, 16:17
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Husker19D30 Husker19D30 is offline
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Sounds a little like Brigadier Gerard...
"History is the fiction we invent to persuade ourselves that events are knowable and that life has order and direction. That's why events are always reinterpreted when values change. We need new versions of history to allow for our current prejudices." -Bill Watterson
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