Flashman and the Seawolf

Adventures of Thomas Flashman
Narrated by: Henry Clore Harrison
Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (77 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New improved recording uploaded April 2020

Following the popularity of the memoirs of Harry Flashman, the Victorian scoundrel who got himself embroiled in many events of his age, this book introduces a new generation of the family: Thomas Flashman, whose career covers the Napoleonic and Georgian era.

This first book covers his adventures with Thomas Cochrane, one of the most extraordinary naval commanders of all time. From the brothels and gambling dens of London, through political intrigues and espionage, the action moves to the Mediterranean and the real life character of Thomas Cochrane.

This book covers the start of Cochrane's career including the most astounding single ship action of the Napoleonic war. Thomas Flashman provides a unique insight as danger stalks him like a persistent bailiff through a series of adventures that prove history really is stranger than fiction.

This is the first in a series of books stretching from 1800 to the late 1830’s, all firmly based on historical fact and often less well known but extraordinary characters and events.

©2012 Robert Brightwell (P)2016 Henlow Publishing Limited
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not quite as good as the Harry Flashman series

The original Flashman series was nothing short of superb, and you really got the sense that the author had spent at least as much time plowing through historically significant documents and determining what might have happened. The series was about the easiest possible way to absorb English political history that I can think of. It was not politically correct at all, Harry spoke as a Victorian Englishman would.

I can't rate that series highly enough, and, while the actor who read the books had a bit of a thick accent, it was authentic, or so I, as an American, believed.

I said all that to say this: This series is good, but not as good. You get the sense that Brightwell worked just as hard as Frasier did in his historical research, but I kept thinking that it just was not a person speaking in an authentic voice, but a person speaking through the politically correctness filter of the late 20th and 21st century. This impacted my enjoyment of both the story and the performance.

But, I am a Flashman addict, and I don't see as well as I used to, so I am dependent on audiobooks. And these were not unenjoyable, I just enjoyed the Frasier books more. But we will see no more from Frasier.

So, if you are a Flashman addict, you will probably want to read or listen to these books. If you are not, then it depends on how you feel about political correctness. If the "N" word offends you such that you can't read "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" then this is the series for you. If not, start with the Frasier series.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not a Flashman book in any sense

Got most of the way through this one and realized, it's dull and I'm really not learning anything either. Let's face it, it isn't possible to clone genius or wit. To execute a true pastiche of a great writer's style, is a huge talent; to combine that with an exciting and original plot line requires even great abilities. I know of no sequels or prequels by imitative writers that ever brought me any personal joy. The Bond books are labored and no fun, and just the thought of imitation Austens makes me shudder. If you're a true GMF admirer, don't even go here, you'll only be bored.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not Flashman

George Macdonald Fraser almost created his own genre with the Flashman novels which while opening up whole periods of 19th century English history made a virtue of political incorrectness. I really doubt he could enjoy the same popularity if he appeared newly on the oppressed and fractured literary scene today. I would expect to seem him vilified by the media and the touchy-feelie radical left. But whatever his sins against hyper-sensitivity, his novels were hilariously entertaining while historically accurate and educational. What I read of Thomas Flashman and the Seawolf fell into the latter category. I felt I was being led into an historical background but without any reason to linger there. Maybe other listeners will enjoy these novels more than I did.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Historical Novel

George MacDonald Fraser wrote the original Flashman series about the Victorian Harry Flashman. This is a spin-off about Thomas Flashman whose career covered the Napoleonic era. The spin-off is written by Robert Brightwell. This is a historical novel. The protagonist is placed in a historical situation that includes the real people. One of the most famous was Admiral Thomas Cochrane (1789-1872) 10th Earl of DunDonald. Captain Cochrane was a daring Royal Navy officer in the Napoleonic War. Napoleon called him “Le Loup de Mers”.

Thomas Flashman is the uncle of Harry Flashman. Thomas is a spy courier and is to take forged letters to Spain to trick the Spanish Fleet to leave the Cadiz Harbor. The ship that is to take him is the HMS Speedy captained by Thomas Cochrane.

The book is well written and full of historical details. The story is full of action and suspense. Brightwell is a good storyteller and, in my opinion, he would have been better off having this book stand on its own instead of a Flashman spin-off.

The book is eight hours long. Henry Clove Harrison does a good job narrating the book. This is my first experience with Harrison as a narrator and the author Brightwell.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent continuation of Fraser's work!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Robert Brightwell seems to be channeling George MacDonald Fraser from beyond the grave. It's perhaps slightly less bawdy, and the new Thomas Flashman isn't quite the coward his nephew turned out to be (so far, anyway), but it's a spot-on spiritual successor. I can't WAIT to listen to the rest.

What other book might you compare Flashman and the Seawolf to and why?

This fits perfectly in the Fraser series, in my humble opinion.

What about Henry Clore Harrison’s performance did you like?

I miss David Case (who narrated the original series), but Harrison does a fantastic job and I was engrossed every minute of the performance.

If you could take any character from Flashman and the Seawolf out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Cochrane. What an amazing individual. I plan on ordering his autobiography today. :)

Any additional comments?

Thank you, Mr. Brightwell, for doing such a great job not just capturing Fraser and Flashman's adventures, but carrying on the expert historical research that really brings this series alive. Can't wait to read / listen to the rest. :)

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Impossible to listen to

I have been a fan of the Flashman papers for decades and was excited to see this potential continuation of a great tradition. Indeed some of the other reviews were excellent. But I could barely sit through the first hour of this nonsense without gritting my teeth in frustration and wishing I could throw the iPad at the drooling, monotonous, uninspired narrator. I have also been in love with audiobooks since they were on tape, filling many hours of manual labor and road trips all over the country with some truly excellent performances, narrators who sucked me into the book and transported me into the middle of it. This book transported me alright, to a bathroom stall in a gas station listening to the odiferous body functions of a witless stranger. That anyone actually paid this guy to narrate anything is unbelievable. That anyone else finds this performance in any way acceptable is baffling. That I spent a good credit on this garbage is infuriating. I don't know what the story is like or if the book overall is any good, if I am to judge by the discriminating taste of the publisher, I'd venture to say no. Do yourself a favor and listen to a sample first, maybe I'm just an audiobook snob. Don't listen to me.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Better than his nephew

Any additional comments?

This has the great interest of good historical fiction without the extreme loutishness characteristic of George MacDonald Fraser's earlier "Flashman" novels. I can't wait for the next one to be voiced.

3 people found this helpful

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Great Enjoyment

Good strong story with excellent narrator. Hooked me on the follow on books. Really a great place to start. I highly recommend.

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very well told story

if you like a book with a good plot, adventure and a bit of humour this is the serries for you.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but not essential

Historically interesting but I didn't enjoy the narration it the writing. Glad the author made the attempt but not a book I would recommend.

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  • Paul Kersey
  • 02-09-20

good book poorly read

being a huge fan of flashman I was eager to try the sequels knowing it was not by GMF.
I was disappointed I'm afraid .
mainly due to the poor performance.
story was good and as I knew of Cochran it was great to hear of this unsung naval hero .
I will not be listening to the rest in the series

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-07-20

A Good Tale

A well researched and fast-paced story. Unfortunately, the narration is lacking in expression and, at times, is almost gabbled. I will try more books in this series as they are enjoyable, but could be even better with a more sympathetic narration.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Neill
  • 11-20-19

Probably the worst narrator I have listened to

I loved reading the GMF books and recently listened to the series read by Colin Mace and Timothy West and they really brought the story to life, adding to my enjoyment. Henry Clore Harrison's reading by comparison ruins a good story. His voice is generally very flat and when he tries accents it borders on the ridiculous. No consistency in the accents at all. Just 'Ello 'ello!!!l I wont be listening to the rest of the series, which is a shame because i liked Robert Brightwell's style.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • bdg
  • 06-13-19

How to kill a story with poor narration

Having just finished listening to Flashman at the charge, I was well used to a wonderful, engaging, characterful narration by Colin Mace that really drew you into the story.

I love the Harry Flashman stories and have listened to them all a number of times so seeing a new series looking at the Flashman lineage, I was excited to see how a new author had approached it.

And what I discovered was a new personal best. I’ve never given up on a book after 15 minutes of listening but there’s a first time for everything.

I’m not saying the book was is bad. Frankly I have no idea but the narration is awful. Dull, monotone and lacklustre, he’s killed any spark that the underlying story may have.

If this comes back without a dullard narrator, I’ll try again.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • stickleback
  • 06-30-17

Brilliant addition to the Flashman universe

A cracking novel that follows in the style of the more famous Harry Flashman stories.

After the initial scene setting this book really gathers pace when the action moves abroad. I've read all 6 of the books in this series & was really pleased to find that they are starting to be turned into audio versions. The mixture of historical accuracy & fiction always makes for an interesting & pleasurable story & clearly demonstrates that Robert Brightwell knows this time period and can write a good tale based on it. Thoroughly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • paul
  • 05-28-17

Not the same as original Flashy but entertaining

What made the experience of listening to Flashman and the Seawolf the most enjoyable?

Came across some historical characters I had not heard of before

What did you like best about this story?

It carefully wove the fiction and historical events together. I checked on most and the book was clearly well researched. Not as comedic as GMFs Flashman but an interesting start setting the scene for a good series hope the other books are put on audible

Have you listened to any of Henry Clore Harrison’s other performances? How does this one compare?

not listened to others

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

listened on the commute to work but could have done this in 1 or 2 sittings

Any additional comments?

Hope the rest of the series is made available soon

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • richard
  • 09-21-17

Disappointing

The reader wasn't particularly good . The author could have done so much more with what he had to work with.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-25-20

Flashman and the seawolf

Having been a great fan of The Flashman Papers, I bought this hoping it would be as good.
Unfortunately although the story was ok, it just seemed to be a weak rehash of George MacDonald Frasers work, jumping on the band wagon as it were.
I also was not overly impressed with the narrator, who just didn't sound right to me.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-19-20

A fine successor to the original Flashman

A very enjoyable read.Told with humour and lots of action with plenty of informative historical facts.Highly recommended.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • P H.
  • 04-15-20

A Poor Imitation Of The Originals

If you were expecting more of the Flashman Papers, you will be disappointed. The story telling does not skip along, it plods. Things are not helped by the narrator, who in now way conjures up the cadish nature of Flasman himself.

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  • Philip Young
  • 05-16-18

I loved this yarn. Gripping and Tue!!

I started off thinking that it was likely to be a bit dry. I’d actually been looking for the new Stockwyn novel as I love a ripping yarn. I’m so glad I gave it a chance. What an amazing adventure, hard to credit the authenticity, but not only is it true, it helps historians fill in missing gaps from Admiralty records. I’m already hooked into the series.

1 person found this helpful