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» » Flashman and the Redskins (The Flashman Papers)
Flashman and the Redskins (The Flashman Papers)


George MacDonald Fraser


Flashman and the Redskins (The Flashman Papers)


Literature & Fiction

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1688 kb

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1589 kb

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HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (August 2, 1999)




Genre Fiction



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Flashman and the Redskins (The Flashman Papers) by George MacDonald Fraser

George MacDonald Fraser's famous Flashman series appearing for the first time in B-format with an exciting new series style, ready to please his legions of old fans and attract armies of new ones. The Flashman Papers 1849--50 and 1875--1876 Vol. Seven What was Harry Flashman doing on the slopes of the Little Bighorn, caught between the gallant remnant of Custer's 7th Cavalry and the withering attack of Sitting Bull's Braves? He was trying to get out of the line of fire and escape yet again with his life (if not with his honour) intact after setting the American West by its ears. Here is the legendary and authentic West of the Mangas Colorado and Kit Carson, of Custer and Spotted Tail, of Crazy Horse and the Deadwood stage, gunfighters and gamblers, eccentrics, scoundrels and, of course, Indian belles, dusky beauties, enthusiastic widows and mysterious adventuresses; this seventh volume of The Flashman Papers shows the West as it really was. Terrifying!
I finished rereading "Little Big Man" and decided to re-read "Flashman and the Redskins," which covers some of the same ground in the second half of the book.[It would have been very interesting to have Flashman and Jack Crabb meet.] I've enjoyed all the Flashman books and was sorry when the author died several years ago. This novel covers events roughly twenty-five years apart - the California Gold Rush and Custer's Last Stand. Of course Flashman meets the greats and near-greats in his travels - everyone from Geronimo and Crazy Horse to Kit Carson and Custer. Flashman has no illusions about himself and honestly reports on all his misdeeds, which usually occur because he's covering his own rear end. I recommend all the Flashman novels. They're very entertaining and you'll learn a little history. My only regret in this book is that Flashman mentions his Civil War adventures when he fought for both the North AND the South and that book never got written.
Sermak Light
I love this entire series but in my opinion this one is the best.

Fraser is a wonderful writer and Flashman is by far his best character. It's easy, probably too easy, to "dismiss" Flashy as a coward and a poltroon who has more than his own share of luck. One of the things I most enjoy about Flashman and the Redskins is that this book presents the most complete view of Harry Flashman. He is indeed lucky. He is dishonest. He is cowardly. He tries very hard to avoid his duty. BUT, when the chips are down, he's there and he behaves in a pretty competent manner. He's frequently scared to death, but he functions and functions pretty well. As one of the characters in the novel observes, "he got the train through."

As an aside, the introductory pages in this book, where an aged Flashman is confronted by a book-learned expert on native Americans, may be the funniest and most engaging bit of prose I've ever read.

I highly recommend this book, but if you've not read Fraser before you really should begin with the first book in the series, "Flashaman" and work your way to this one.
I really like the Flashman character and the book series. I've read about 5 so far. I love how GFM weaves Flashy into real, historical events and in and among real, historical figures. This book was very good as far as the historical accuracy of the plot and the real-life characters (President Grant, Kit Carson, Crazy Horse and various other Indian Chiefs, General Custer, et al), but I was a bit disappointed that Flashy wasn't quite up to his usual rakish/poltroonish self. Yes, there was the one act of total treachery early on, that formed a major plot-line tying in the second half of the book later....but Flashy seemed more preoccupied with leading caravans West, taking-on adventure, getting out of jams, etc. ---i.e. sort of a normal adventure book, rather than the serial knavery I've come to enjoy. Still, a very good book though.
I thought "Flash For Freedom" was a splendid book as far as Flashman books go. And Royal Flash was very good too.
The seventh entry in the Flashman series is two books in one. The book picks up where Flash for Freedom! (Flashman) ended. It's 1849 and Flash is in New Orleans, on the run from the law. He reacquaints himself with Susie Wilnick, a local madam who is moving her brothel west to join the flood of Forty Niners heading to California. Flash marries - again - but even at great personal risk he cannot help his roving eyes...and hands and so forth.

He leaves Susie along the west (and in order to take his leave, he commits a deed that is shameful even by Harry Flashman's standards.) He then begins a wild trip across the Old West, even living with Apaches for awhile (where he weds yet again). Along the way, the reader meets many historical characters including Spotted Tail, John Joel Glanton, Mangas Coloradas, Geronimo, and Kit Carson. One of the more interesting historical bits involves Bent's Fort and its mysterious destruction. Harry was there and resolves the mystery.

As always Fraser deflates the mythology surrounding historical figures. This characteristic debunking is a bit odd because Fraser believed the mythology about his own army and his own war, the Indian 17th Division of the British Army fighting in Burma during the last months of World War Two (See his war memoir Quartered Safe Out Here: A Harrowing Tale of World War II).

Flashman manages to escape the Apaches and returns to England. In Part Two, Elspeth, his `real' English wife convinces Harry to return to the States, which introduces us to even more historical figures and eventually lands Harry right in the midst of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. I found the first part more entertaining and the ending was more than a bit of stretch.

Fraser is a marvelous story teller and as he spins out his entertaining tales one also picks up a good deal of history. The reader should exercise caution in accepting Fraser's history. His version tends to be based on older sources and he eschewed more modern works (and certainly rejected modern viewpoints). Enjoy it for what it is: well-told speculations on historical mysteries. While some will be offended by Flashman's views on women, Indians, Africans, and other people of color, in fairness, he also did not generally hold other white men in high regard, perhaps because Harry knew what a scoundrel he was himself.

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