Oh, yes, gossips, it's all happening in The Reavers, a moral tale obviously conceived in some kind of fit by Flashman author George MacDonald Fraser...well, he's getting on, and was bound to crack eventually. He admits (nay, insists) that it's a crazy story for listeners who love fun for its own sake.
©2007 George MacDonald Fraser; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London UK
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"OK, but certainly not 5*"
I downloaded The Reavers on the basis of its two, existing 5 star reviews and the fact that I've loved the Flashman books in the past. How disappointing. I've only listened to an hour of the eight so far, and I'm not sure whether I'll continue. So far it's taken an awfully long time for the plot to start developing, but it is well read, and the voice characterisations are very good. It's not great on historical detail and there are some curiously modern pop culture references, but some of the humour is quite engaging.
All in all, not a five star audio book by any stretch of the imagination, but bits are quite fun.
"Made me laugh out loud"
Fabulous characters with tongue firmly wedged in cheek. If you want historical niceties this isn't for you but it is very funny.
"GMF Enjoying himself"
Really good fun and the narrator Bill Willis sticks to the accents of the book, with hysterical results. It can be a bit difficult to hear when you first get stared but the ear soon tunes in.
What a surprise. I downloaded this because it was cheap and was historical but it ended up being one of my favourites! Bill Wallis is brilliant, and if you love language, you will love this.
"Fans of GMF - do not listen to this book!"
I am afraid to say that this is an awful book. I am a great fan of GMF, especially his Flashman novels, and assumed this would be up to his usual fantastic standards. Unfortunately, despite the introductions claims that this book is merely a humourous poke at how seriously life is taken nowadays, there are just a spattering of genuinely funny moments in an otherwise slapstick mess.
The action is all over the place and the insistence of the author to write in the regional accent of the character clearly made reading it beyond the talents of the narrator. The narrator faithfully reads the text exactly as it is written, apostrophes and all, rather than naturally adopting the accent as it is intended - this renders some of the passages absolutely unintelligable. Anachronistic references to technology and pop culture only detract from the story and are just not funny.
This is the late, great authors last offering, and the positive reviews the book received are, I believe, testament to the warm affection that people held for the author rather than any actual literary merit. Sorry.
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