Mr American is a swashbuckling romp of a novel. Mark Franklin came from the American West to Edwardian England with two long-barrelled .44s in his baggage and a fortune in silver in the bank. Where he had got it and what he was looking for no one could guess, although they wondered -- at Scotland Yard, in City offices, in the glittering theatreland of the West End, in the highest circles of Society (even King Edward was puzzled) and in the humble pub at Castle Lancing.
Tall dark and dangerous, soft spoken and alone, with London at his feet and a dark shadow in his past, he was a mystery to all of them, rustics and royalty, squires and suffragettes, the women who loved him and the men who feared and hated him. He came from a far frontier in another world, yet he was by no means a stranger! even old General Flashman, who knew men and mischief better than most, never guessed the whole truth about Mr American.
©1998 George MacDonald Fraser; (P)2010 Random House
J. Jason Gale
This work upset my world for days. It quietly drew me in at first. I thought 'it has no plot at all' -- an accessory well concealed in amongst the ornate language that had already ensnared me beyond any hope of escape. I found it all irresistibly beguiling.
I was there, in Castle Lancing, England, living a gentry's life of leisure. And 'who's the antagonist' I wondered. But it didn't matter: I was hooked and couldn't stop listening except at gunpoint.
And in the end I was heartbroken that it was all over. I will listen to this one again.
PS: The landscape is littered with antagonists: witting and otherwise.
By accident my previous read had been Brideshead Revisited, which was another Edwardian story of aristocratic manners. It was good but I liked this story better. It combined many genres and gave a great historical account of what it was like in 1909-1914 England through the eyes of a reformed gunfighter from Colorado. There were many stories within stories and when it seemed it might be going flat in tone (it's 23 hours) General Harry Flashman walks in and picks things right up again. A great listen and David Case did another fine job. Plus the ending was touching. George Fraser really is a first class writer.
Mr. America peaked my interest at first, and I thought it would have takes some different directions than it took. The narrator was great, and certainly added to the book. The plot took several naps and it seemed as if the writer was struggling to fill the page. The condensed version may have been better in this case. I did stay with it and am not sorry I did. It is one of those books you can listen to on a long ride, and if you are distracted and miss some of it you will not loose the gist of the story. Aauh go ahead and get it.
I tried, and stuck with almost half way, but couldn't do it.
Events just seem to happen to the protagonist, who is passively thrown into one remarkable situation after another.
I think David Case is a very good narrator, I've probably listened to hundreds of hours of his narration. However.....I really don't like the american accent he does for the main character, I can't get past it, it's really off.
I usually like when the current history of the time is blended into literature, but here, it's very awkwardly done.
MacDonald Fraser paints a vivid and compelling picture of Edwardian England through the eyes of an American gun slinger who struck it rich. The narration is superb and the performance is highly entertaining.
Right now having just listened to it it is my favourite, although for obvious reasons there are many books as good and some better - but few as enjoyable as a listening/reading experience.
I derived pleasure from every chapter. The story is very engaging and the characters fully formed and likeable. George MacDonald Fraser tells his story with such ease and skill that I was drawn happily along from moment to moment. I found many thought-provoking observations and the historical setting was perfectly formed. Having read the Flashman novels I was expecting something more in the same riotous style, but although this novel is set almost in the same historical period it is a level above Flashman.This is one of those rare things - an interesting story well-told that does not patronise the reader nor treat him as a consumer.
This is a very good performance. Mr Case's usual speaking voice irritates me but once he moves into character the suspension of disbelief takes over and the various personalities come to life. Nice job.
Highly recommended if you enjoy good literature.
After enjoying the Flashman novels, I decided to try this one. Sir Harry shows up in a cameo, but the story is neither amusing nor exciting, on the whole. It reads like a compilation of a bunch of Flashman ideas, stitched together in a rush and patched together with some anecdotes about an American visitor to England. David Case is great as usual...
Maybe. The narator was great and to see if I missed anything.
He did great voices for each individual.
History enthusiast with military and legal background.
As the descendant of people who left the British Isles this book spoke to me. I liked the characters, but more than that, I liked who it showed the evolution of American culture. The British Culture my forefathers left was rigid and not worth emulating. America for all of its simplicity and "awe shuckness" is a wonderful place that has much less pretense than Britain. This book paints the differences between the self made millionaires of America and the poor upper crust of Britain in the 1900s.
The setting is 1909 or so England.
I loved this book. Never knew what to expect so it kept me listening to it through to the next morning... Love the main character who was a polite solid quiet cowboy(his background) becoming a gentleman in British society.
The women he meets is a good tale in itself. But of course the story does not end there!
I would call this book a "Page Turner", so engrossing.
I had a chuckle from the "Flashman" books which I read previously. This book has an appearance of the "Flashman" character.
I am a heavy listener to audio books as my first choice, I have listened to over 4,000 of them. I would rank this book in the top 5% for being such an engaging tale and gripping. After the ending, this book is quite thought provoking.
If you liked this book, I recommend that you might also read "The Sea Wolf" by Jack London
performed by Frank Muller. "The Sea Wolf" is a gripping story not the typical read. It too was a "page turner" for me.
I highly recommend that you give this book a try. This book I will probably listen to it again.
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