George V. Reilly

Review: The Heart's Invisible Furies

Title: The Heart's Invisible Furies
Author: John Boyne
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Hogarth
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 592
Keywords: fiction, gay, irish
Reading period: 30 October, 2018

Before I begin to describe The Heart's Invisible Furies with abundant spoilers, let me say two things. Despite what I describe below, the book is very funny, as Cyril recounts his frequent fuckups. You would never know, from reading the back cover or the excerpted reviews inside, that Cyril is gay. Yet Cyril's sexuality is the central theme of the book. I can only assume that this is a marketing decision, with which I strongly disagree.

16-year-old Catherine is forced out of her Cork village by the parish continue.

Review: Flashman and the Angel of the Lord

Title: Flashman and the Angel of the Lord
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1994
Pages: 400
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 27 August–4 September, 2016
Flashman Papers X: 1858–59

Flashman and the Angel of the Lord finds Flashy back in America where everybody wants him to be the aide-de-camp to the abo­li­tion­ist John Brown, who's plotting a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry. The Un­der­ground Railroad want him to help Brown to start a slave rebellion; Kuklos (a proto KKK) want Brown to start a civil war to cause disunion; and finally the secret service want Flashman to sabotage Brown so as to continue.

Review: Flashman in the Great Game

Title: Flashman in the Great Game
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1975
Pages: 322
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 16–25 August, 2016
Flashman Papers V: 1856–58

Flashman in the Great Game finds Flashy back to India, sent there by prime minister Lord Palmerston to look into worrying rumors of mutiny amongst the Indian troops and to sweet talk the re­cal­ci­trant Rani of Jhansi. After an attempt upon his life by Thugees, Flashman goes undercover in the native cavalry at Meerut, where the Sepoy Mutiny begins soon after. He then finds himself in the Siege of Cawnpore and the Siege of Lucknow and imprisoned at Gwalior before being almost continue.

Review: Flashman At The Charge

Title: Flashman At The Charge
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1973
Pages: 288
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 7–16 August, 2016
Flashman Papers IV: 1854–55

Flashman At The Charge finds our hero, newly promoted to Colonel, nurse­maid­ing a minor Royal cousin in the Crimean War. Somehow he finds himself in the thick of the Charge of the Light Brigade, which he survives only to be taken captive by the Russians. Sent off to Count Pencher­jevsky's estate, he luxuriates there for some time, bedding the count's daughter Valla. When he and another British officer overhear the Tsar discussing Russian plans to invade India, he re­luc­tant­ly escapes. After he is captured continue.

Review: Flashman And The Redskins

Title: Flashman And The Redskins
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1982
Pages: 480
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 20 July–7 August, 2016
Flashman Papers VII: 1849–50 and 1875–76

Flashman And The Redskins is the seventh volume of the Flashman Papers, although it opens im­me­di­ate­ly after Flash For Freedom! In the first part, which takes place in 1849–50, Flashman is fleeing from New Orleans in the company of a madam who is taking her entire brothel westward to take advantage of the California Gold Rush. He sees the opening of the West and the beginning of huge changes to the Plains. He is taken captive by Apaches continue.

Review: Flash For Freedom!

Title: Flash For Freedom!
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1971
Pages: 304
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 11–20 July, 2016
Flashman Papers III: 1848–49

Flash For Freedom! is the third volume of the Flashman Papers, in which Flashy gets caught up in the slave trade. After a scandal involving cheating and assault, England becomes too hot for young Flashman and his father-in-law ships him off. Flashman quickly realizes that he's on a slave ship captained by a lunatic that is bound for Africa to take on a cargo of slaves, and he's horrified. Not so much about slavery but that running slaves is proscribed in 1848 and he's continue.

Review: Flashman and the Mountain of Light

Title: Flashman and the Mountain of Light
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1990
Pages: 368
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 29 June–10 July, 2016
Flashman Papers IX: 1845–46

Flashman and the Mountain of Light takes place just after Flashman's Lady, and it also falls between the two parts of Royal Flash, making it the fourth book chrono­log­i­cal­ly of the Flashman Papers and the ninth book published.

In the prologue, our hero finds himself telling Queen Victoria a much-edited version of how he came to acquire the Koh-i-Noor diamond on the crown's behalf forty years earlier during the First Anglo-Sikh War. The actual story—at least according to Flashman and Fraser—is continue.

Review: Flashman's Lady

Title: Flashman's Lady
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1977
Pages: 330
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 24–29 June, 2016
Flashman Papers VI: 1842–45

Flashman's Lady takes place between the two parts of Royal Flash, making it the third book chrono­log­i­cal­ly of the Flashman Papers and the sixth book published.

Flashman and his wife, Elspeth, become friendly with Don Solomon Haslam, a rich merchant from the East Indies. Losing a wager to Haslam, who is smitten with Elspeth, Flashy has to let Haslam take Elspeth and her father on a trip to Singapore. As things have become hot for him in England, he sails east with them. Haslam's feelings continue.

Review: Royal Flash

Title: Royal Flash
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1970
Pages: 256
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 19–22 June, 2016
Flashman Papers II: 1842–43, 1847–48

Having made an enemy of Otto von Bismarck a few years earlier, Flashman now finds himself compelled by Bismarck to im­per­son­ate a Danish prince in a German duchy, taking his place in a marriage to the duchess. Flashman is a dop­pel­gänger for Carl Gustaf and with his talent for languages, he's able to pull it off. At first he believes that Carl Gustaf is re­cu­per­at­ing from an em­bar­rass­ing case of the pox, and he settles into enjoying his role. Then he learns that continue.

Review: Flashman

Title: Flashman
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1969
Pages: 256
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 13–18 June, 2016
Flashman Papers I: 1839–42

Brigadier-General Sir Harry Flashman, celebrated Victorian soldier, winner of the Victoria Cross, survivor of the charge of the Light Brigade, the battle of Little Big Horn, and the raid on Harper's Ferry, reveals himself in this frank memoir published long after his death to be “a scoundrel, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a coward—and, oh yes, a toady.”

The central conceit of the fictional Flashman Papers is that Flashy, writing frankly in his old age about his remarkable set of adventures, is perfectly willing to put continue.

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