Ben Oliver

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She knew the ninety-seven ways of making love that the Hindus are supposed to set much store by―though mind you, it is all nonsense, for the seventy-fourth position turns out to be the same as the seventy-third, but with your fingers crossed.
25 September 2016

A self-proclaimed cad and poltroon recounts his life in a series of novels, The Flashman Papers. In this first instalment, Flashman finds himself in Afghanistan, and ultimately becomes the hero of the Battle of Jellalabad (1842) by accident.

I’ll keep it short - if you have a warped sense of humour or were dropped as a child, have a look at the Flashman papers. The character tells his awful tales in such a deadpan, matter of fact way one can’t help but laugh.

Interestingly, behind the pulpy prose lies a surprisingly well researched historical novel. Where many authors choose to flesh out their story to provide great depth (and perhaps show off their research prowess…), Fraser chooses to funnel everything through the eyes of Flashman. Instead of the big picture, we get snippets of historical events. It’s not for everyone perhaps, but it’s like nothing else you’ll ever read.