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Flashman

The Flashman Papers, Book 1
Narrated by: Colin Mace
Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)
Non-member price: $20.28
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Publisher's Summary

Harry Flashman: the unrepentant bully of Tom Brown's schooldays, now with a Victoria Cross, has three main talents - horsemanship, facility with foreign languages and fornication. A reluctant military hero, Flashman plays a key part in most of the defining military campaigns of the nineteenth century despite trying his utmost to escape them all.

Flashman, soldier, duellist, lover, imposter, coward, cad, and hero triumphs in this first installment of The Flashman Papers. His adventures as the reluctant secret agent in Afghanistan and his entry into the exclusive company of Lord Cardigan's Hussars culminate in his foulest hour - his part in the historic disaster of the Retreat from Kabul.

This is the story of a blackguard who enjoyed villainy for its own sake. Shameless, exciting, and funny, Flashman's deplorable odyssey is observed with the cynical eye of a scoundrel who was honest only in reporting what he saw. He makes all other black sheep look respectably grey.

©2015 George MacDonald Fraser (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A ripping good yarn!!

A swashbuckling adventure that paints a picture so vivid you feel as though you are living in colonial times!

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good yarn

a good story with lots of historically interesting facts. at times the character of flashman is evil

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  • Thomas Herlofsen
  • 24-02-2019

Fun, fabulously un-PC

All the worst parts of British culture hung out to dry. Satire on par with Yes, Minister, but far more salty. Spike Lee should make this into a TV show, the perfect picture of how we became so horrible in Europe. In a time when works of art are judged by the morality of the main character this is utterly irredeemable of course; a story of the Man, British colonial superiority, a cross between James Bond and Indiana Jones. Cheerfully racist and misogynist. Great naughty fun.

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  • Andrew Little
  • 18-03-2018

What a fantastic listen

I don’t no what every body is going on about, complaining about Colin Mace. He was superb and really brought Flashman to life in my eye. Each to their own I suppose.

Great listen don’t let the other reviews put you off like it nearly made me do so glad I took a chance and it paid off

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  • Charles
  • 13-07-2015

Flashman rides forth.....

I'm a fan of the Flashman books, and loved the Timothy West-narrated versions that used to be available. Sadly, only a few titles were ever released, so I've had to wait until now to be able to hear the rest of the stories in their full unabridged versions, now with Colin Mace in the narrators chair. The story itself is classic Flashman, the cowardly bully from Tom Brown's Schooldays, charting his expulsion from school to joining the Army and his adventures in Afghanistan. It's a perfect place to start.

For the narration, Colin Mace does a good job, whilst not *quite* reaching the level of sheer caddishness that Timothy West managed to convey. Mace sounds a little "younger" when narrating, which does sit a little awkwardly to the "fact" that this is an elderly Flashie telling of his adventures. I'd also add that he has a habit of speaking a little quieterwhen not conveying speech, which can sometimes make you keep adjusting the volume to try to hear everything without it being too loud. That wouldn't be a problem for listeners at home, but if you're listening in a car like I do, it can be a bit niggly to have to do this. It's a minor thing, though.

I'll definitely be adding others from the mace-narrated collection to my library.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • PJB
  • 20-06-2015

Spoilt by Poor Narration

Would you try another book written by George MacDonald Fraser or narrated by Colin Mace?

This is one of my favourite books, full of humour, history and excitement. This recording is spoilt by bland narration. The story is told by Flashman writing at the end of his life but we get neither the cynical and knowing old man nor the passionate, excitable, terrified young one. Instead it sounds like the vicar giving a geography lecture to the Women's Institute.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Colin Mace?

The Flashman books read by Timothy West seem to have disappeared from Audible. They were infinitely superior, a real joy to listen to.

Any additional comments?

Bring back Timothy West

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel
  • 12-07-2015

Rip roaring storytelling at its best.

This is storytelling of the highest quality. Wins no awards for political correctness but scores highly for pleasure, humour and amusement.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • GORDON FRASER
  • 01-06-2017

Brilliant Fantastic a real ripper of a story

A true great autobiography of one the bravest men who made our British empire great !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Neil
  • 10-05-2017

My inner flashman...

New to the world of the mercurial Mr flashman..where have I been all this time??? grinning to myself on lonely train journeys to work on his adventures and miscomings. I am A very new fan to his ecacapes and wonder who he might tumble with or escape from next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Debs J
  • 25-01-2017

Brilliant!

excellent character, fantastic writing, great humour and you can't help but like the chap...scoundrel though he may be!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • P. Kirkbright
  • 02-08-2016

The first-person anti-Sharpe

The first hour almost stopped me listening to this before I really began. It takes a little time to get into both the story and the narrator speaks fairly swiftly.
Flashman is a bully, a coward, a racist (as is everyone in the story), a misogynist, a murderer and a rapist. He admits all these faults himself. He is certainly not a hero. He is, however, an excellent storyteller and a compelling character. The story is well-written, having the feel of an unvarnished truth told by a man who is utterly without scruple.
If you like Flashman as a person, I doubt I'd want to know you, but as an inversion of the heroic archetype he is magnificent.
It's certainly worth the listen, though you'll be uncomfortable at times. It's worth pressing on through those moments, as the whole is a well-written adventure story. But for pity's sake, wear headphones.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Grumpy Jack
  • 14-04-2019

A cracking tale...

Whether you’ve read Flashman before, it matters not, a cracking story, well read, historically accurate, it should be required reading or listening for all men!

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  • Loz
  • 05-01-2019

Should be better

The Flashman series are excellent books, lots to work with. Unfortunately the narration lets it down, and to make it worse does not play well in the car, constant volume adjustment needed.

From reading other reviews (of the Flashman series) the consensus is bring back Tim West, AND provide the books unabridged.

It’s unlikely I will listen to any other Flashman books unless the publisher up’s its game.

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  • ndg
  • 24-09-2018

Brilliant

Very funny and the way history should be told, probably closer to the reality than many history books.