Ben Oliver

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Royal Flash

…in my experience the course of history is as often settled by someone’s having a belly-ache, or not sleeping well, or a sailor getting drunk, or some aristocratic harlot waggling her backside.
02 May 2017

The second in the series of The Flashman Papers, where a self-proclaimed cad and bounder recounts tales from his life. In this book Flashy gets embroiled in a plot to stand-in for a supposedly ill prince due to his astonishing resemblance to the monarch. Along the way he encounters Lola Montez & Otto Von Bismarck among others.

Much like its prequel this is a novel of surprising ambition told through an intimate and narrow lens. Again, it’s perhaps an acquired taste and Fraser isn’t exactly Tolstoy but I was drawn in by the twisted sense of humour and the candid, unapologetic tone of the protagonist.