October 28, 2007
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Royal Flash

by George MacDonald Fraser

Flashman, the villain of Tom Brown's Schooldays and cowardly hero of the Afghan War, returns to find himself ensnared in The Prisoner of Zenda. This pleasant romp makes an interesting bookend to Stephen Frye's wonderful Revenge , though Frye is more ambitious in trying to resurrect The Count of Monte Cristo straight. MacDonald is a parody, but it's never silly and always clever.

I bought this book last year in Sydney, alarmed that I might run out of reading during the long, long trip home. I didn't; it spent a year on my stack. There's a lot of Flashman and I suppose there's no rush to run through them, but it's good to know they're waiting.