This ninth volume of The Flashman Papers, faithfully edited and transcribed by Fraser, finds that Sir Harry Flashman is back in India, where his saga began.
This time, our hero is sent by Her Majesty's Secret Service to spy on the corrupt court of Lahore, on India's Northwest Frontier. Flashy's most challenging exploit yet is as politically shrewd and thoroughly lewd as ever.
©2010 Random House Audio; ©1992 George MacDonald Fraser
"Vain, lecherous Victorian soldier of fortune Harry Flashman goes to the Punjab for his ninth reprehensible yet shamelessly enjoyable adventure." (Publishers Weekly)
Flashman is a scoundrel, a rogue, a coward, and a philanderer, and I thoroughly adore him! David Case's rendition of this classic heroic villain is simply inspired. The way he renders Flashman's alarmed and yet hilariously sardonic observations in this deadpan voice is just perfect. I found myself laughing out loud at the combination of Fraser's wordcraft and Case's performance in many places.
You'll likely find this story more enjoyable if you are fond of anti-heroes, if you like dry British humor, and you have a yen for adventures. Flashman travels around the globe having wildly improbably adventures (this time in India), having sex with all the women he's physically able to, and being given credit he absolutely does not deserve for heroic feats he did his best to avoid performing.
I love, love, love this book, and all the others in the Flashman series.
Flashy is back in the saddle providing a delicious backstory to an enjoyable history lesson. David Case does a marvelous job with the male characters (his women need a bit of work). Great fun.
I am a full-time artist, intrepid traveler and a voracious reader. I discovered Audible and audio books through my son Corey, who is a narrator of several Audible books.
I cannot say enough about David Case's narration of the Flashman books. I discovered my first one a few months ago and was intrigued and then completely addicted. I am a studio artist and Flashy is my 'ear candy' when I'm working on a project.
When I finish listening to one of these books, I have a hard time returning to the 21st century. I find myself reeling around Victorian England using obscure phrases and puzzling my friends. In this case, the mountain of light is the diamond Kohinoor and the story circles loosely around the stone. Case treats us to the voices of a seven year old maharajah, his amoral maharani mama, a flock of stiff upper lipped Englishmen, a few Irish and Scots soldiers, Indian nabobs and generals,Queen Victoria, and all the riff raff that were a part of the battles for India in the 1840s.
The descriptions and scene setting are superb and I cannot believe reading these would be half as much fun as listening to Case's drawling Flashy describe the world as he sees it.
For anyone who wants to experience military history up close and personal--and the Flashman's unique take on it, these books are wonderful. There is enough ridiculous hilarity and Flashman's scrapes to balance beautifully with the gore and horror of the wars in which Flashy seems to be constantly landing. Be warned, lots of sex but more the lusty Tom Jones joyful variety than your standard steamy bodice ripper. Flashy has a way with the ladies and trouble seems to find him on a regular basis.
For a self-described coward he does manage to land in the soup and cover himself with glory five minutes later by accident--and we are along for the ride every blazing step of the way. So much fun to listen to! I'll be downloading another one tonight!
Others have written better reviews than I could ever create, so I'll only add a few cents worth here. Flashie considers himself a complete coward but. . .to us, he often seems to be doing the sensible thing. Or at least, the thing I'd be doing in that situation. I think the author has done an excellent job of capturing the standards of the time. A Victorian soldier must have felt incredible pressure to risk his life at the least opportunity, to live up to the standards he'd been taught. Flashie gives himself no credit for the many times he is brave or at least soldiers on despite his fear. So--for an anti-hero, he's often a pretty good guy. If you don't mind a little infidelity now and then. . .and now. . .and then. . .and now. . .and then.
Don't know why I had never heard of this series before reading about it in a Christopher Hitchens essay. Really and truly brilliant. Reading these is a twofer, you get a blood and guts history lesson while enjoying a comedic romp with the very callous and un p.c. Flashman.
Another home run from David Case the narrator, I don't know how he does all the different voices with such range.
"The worst reading i have ever heard"
This is one of the best Flashman books and it has been ruined by this chaps sneering down his nose in the most dreadful manner. He completely misses the point and it is unbearable.
As said in the other review Timothy West was fantastic and enhanced the Flashman stories brilliantly. If he is no longer available surely someone can do better than this....
"Come back Timothy West!!!!"
If you know and love Timothy West's readings of the Flashman books then avoid this book. The reader is completely awful and has ruined one of Flashman's best. He has a synical, hard delivery which makes Flashman seem a really hateful. Come to think of it if you haven't listened to the Timothy West's version then get it because I guarentee you'll see what I mean. TRUELY APPALLING RECORDING OF A WONDERFUL STORY
"In defence of Case!"
I have to say this reading is excellent. It may make Flashy sound a bit hateful but then again, he is! The slightly sardonic tone suits this lascivious history of empire very well.
I think that this is an excellent reading of old Flashy. Yes the drawl is at first annoying but with a little patience you realise it is very enjoyable and appropriate. Also the voicing of the other characters are excellent - the scence where Flashman enjoys the favours of the Maharani is hilarously done.
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