For so long I've heard describing the Flashman series as "wildly funny" and the like, that I was very eager to read it. Honestly, this first novel is not funny at all. The tone is more cynical than comical, there's none of the great english satirical tradition. Oscar Wilde and P.G. Wodehouse would not be impressed.
The faux-memoire style reads more like a modern-day "denounce the hypocrisy of our society, and do it angrily" instant book than an amusing story. It's deconstructionist, rather than satirical.
It is also very difficoult to empathize with the protagonist at any point. Not so much because he is a scoundrel, but because he is so devoid of irony in narrating his debauched life. He doesn't come across as a cheeky rougue, but rather as a true sociopath.
The historical part is somewhat interesting....Continua
Fraser has created the ultimate cringeworthy cad of an anti-hero. Ruined when it was put on the big screen but the books are fantastic.