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Publisher's Summary

Many have marvelled at General Napier's daring 1868 expedition through the treacherous peaks and bottomless chasms of Abyssinia to rescue a small group of British citizens held captive by the mad tyrant Emperor Theodore. But the vital role of Sir Harry Flashman, V.C., in the success of this campaign has hitherto gone unrecorded. A master of lechery, treachery and poltroonery, Flashy's undeserved reputation for heroism renders him the British Army's candidate of choice when it comes to skulking behind enemy lines in Ali Baba attire. After all, who but the great amorist could contemplate navigating a land populated by hostile tribes and the lovliest (and most savage) women in Africa, from leather-clad nymphs with a penchant for torture to de-ballocking Amazons and a voluptuous barbarian queen with a reputation for throwing disobliging guests to her pet lions?
©2008 George MacDonald Fraser; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

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By D. on 06-26-08

Another Great Flashman!

This is a great series "Flashman". The history of the British empire told by the rogue who always comes out smelling like a rose. I recommend this to anyone that likes history and has a sense of humor.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Ian on 10-16-13

I gave in.

I don't often give in on a book. This one, this time, I did. And about 80% of the way through! On the rare occassions when I abandon a book it is usually early on but this one took hours to grind me down.

I suspect that I kept giving it the benefit of the doubt because I have enjoyed other tiles in the Flashman series.It may be because the historical background to this one is little known to me. It may be because the narration didn't strike me as well fitted. It may be because even a great author (MacDonald Fraser is quite good but definitely not great) pushes out a dud every now and then. More realisically it is a mix of all of them.

I came to this after relistening to an old Flashman favourite (F in the Great Game) and a new addition (Flashman).

The first of these is narrated by Timothy West who is perfect for the part.

The second by Rupert Penry-Jones who was startlingly adequate at the role. I was wthin a whisker of abandoning that one when it finished.

But this title is narrated by Toby Stephens whose performance was as patchy as they come. The reason West is perfect is because these are the memoirs of a man being read in his later years relating his exploits as a young man. They should be read by an old duffer and Timothy West does old duffer about a hundred times better than either of the other two. I'll be willing to bet cash money that he costs more than either of the other two but the quality is there all the way through the recording. It just sounds very very wrong to have a 12 year olds voice reading an old man story.

So I'm left up a stump now. I had intended to build a listening career on this series but now find that unless they are narrated by West I am quite likely to abandon them.

My advice is probably to either only listen to the ones narrated by West or never listen to them. Without his performance they are pretty insipid stuff.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Tom on 07-13-08

Great stuff for Flashman fans

I love George Macdonald Fraser's Flashman series. They are rollicking good reads and give a tremendously fascinating insights ito some fairly obscure corners of our history. This one - alas the last as Fraser died earlier this year(?)- is right up with the best. Terrific stuff.

I dont normally buy abridged versions but was attracted by Toby Stephens being the narrator - and he is excellent, indeed he makes the book for me, being as good as Timothy West who has been a peerless narrator in earlier books in the Flashman series.

Strongly recommended - and if you like this, read the earlier books too.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By M. J. Rafferty on 03-29-14

Why Abridged

Who was your favorite character and why?

Flashman, obviously

Have you listened to any of Toby Stephens’s other performances? How does this one compare?

He is very good

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Great Historical detail

Any additional comments?

Why have the Timothy West versions not been released in full? <br/>Toby Stephens is very good, but the fact that these are abridged is incredibly annoying. I keep feeling that I missing out on a lot of detail and tremendous dialogue. No Explanation as to why these have been cut down in size. Doubtless related to money. The listeners have been short changed.<br/><br/>I would buy more Flashman with either Stephens or Rupert Penry Jones reading them. If they were unabridged.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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By Hugh on 09-17-16

great yarn

dependably good storytelling. well narrated with the appropriate voices done for different characters. inspired me to read more flashman

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