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978-0-00-719740-8 / 9780007197408

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About the book:

There are certain authors whose very names are an absolute guarantee of quality, and George Macdonald Fraser has long been one of those. His Flashman books are much loved, and the exploits of his engaging rogue have been delighted readers for years. But is Flashman on the March up to the customary Fraser standard? After all, the number of Flashman books is now legion, and even the authors most dedicated admirers would admit that some Flashman outings (while diverting enough) have lacked the freshness of the early books. It's good to report, therefore, that Flashman on the March is almost vintage Fraser, with all the elements that have won him an ironclad following largely in place. There are, of course, two elements that make these books such fun: the vivid and pungent historical detail (always effortlessly integrated, and never self-consciously laid on as in so many historical novels, serious or otherwise); the author's refusal to be politically correct (the Flashman books have always played fast and loose with the accepted views of morality and society, and their bawdy, amoral charms are refreshing in an age in which such things are looked at askance -- even if Fraser, like Frederick Forsyth, is far better encountered in his entertaining books rather than in his more splenetic role as pundit).

Here, that least heroic possessor of a Victoria Cross, Sir Harry Flashman, finds himself catapulted into a highly dangerous assignment in Abyssinia: he is to rescue British prisoners from a demented emperor. Abyssinia (as seen through Fraser's highly colourful imagination) is a land of lethal seductresses, terrifying warriors and a jawdropping female monarch whose idea of what she should feed her lions is& unorthodox. It's up to Flashman (as so often before) to triumph over insuperable odds by the most unlikely methods. Needless to say, untrammelled sexual activity is firmly on the menu. If you're a George Macdonald Fraser fan, or a Flashman fan, what are you waiting for? --Barry Forshaw

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