Thursday, September 22, 2016

Flashman and the Redskins, by George MacDonald Fraser

  • Title:  Flashman and the Redskins
  • Author:  George MacDonald Fraser
  • Borrowed from Fairfax, VA Public Library
  • Started:  9/15/2016
  • Finished: 9/22/2016
Woah -- this was an amazing book.  This must be the best in the series, I'm not sure I'll even bother to read others.

As you may recall, I had so far read books one through four in the Flashman series.  Book three, Flash for Freedom, ends with Flashy hoping to escape America (where he is wanted on a variety of charges) to get back to the UK.

Today's book, Flashman and the Redskins, is book seven in the series.  I have not read books five and six, but only because they are not available in any library around me.  Since Fraser did not write the events in the Flashman papers in order, it just so happens that where book three ends, book seven begins.

What is amazing about this book is its scope and depth.  This is really two books in one.  In the first half, the typical young Flashy is fleeing for his life, rogering women, selling slaves, and generally being the cowardly ass we all know and love.  Flashy gets married twice (once to a bordello madam, the other time to an Apache).  Flash throws in with scalp hunters, lives with the Apaches, escapes with the aid of Kit Carson, and eventually makes his was back to England as his wife.

The second half (both halves are written as full length books) is 25+ years in the future.  A now early 50's Flashman returns to American with his wife.  Through a series of events that would be preposterous if you had not read other Flashman books, Flashy ends up in the middle of the battle of the little big horn in formal evening wear.

I won't go through the entire plot, but it was extremely funny, surprisingly moving, and overall a wonderful read.  Hard to imagine any Flashman book coming close to topping this one.

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