Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £12.99

Buy Now for £12.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Harry Flashman: the unrepentant bully of Tom Brown's schooldays, now with a Victoria Cross, has three main talents - horsemanship, facility with foreign languages and fornication. A reluctant military hero, Flashman plays a key part in most of the defining military campaigns of the nineteenth century despite trying his utmost to escape them all.

Flashman, soldier, duellist, lover, imposter, coward, cad, and hero triumphs in this first installment of The Flashman Papers. His adventures as the reluctant secret agent in Afghanistan and his entry into the exclusive company of Lord Cardigan's Hussars culminate in his foulest hour - his part in the historic disaster of the Retreat from Kabul.

This is the story of a blackguard who enjoyed villainy for its own sake. Shameless, exciting, and funny, Flashman's deplorable odyssey is observed with the cynical eye of a scoundrel who was honest only in reporting what he saw. He makes all other black sheep look respectably grey.

©2015 George MacDonald Fraser (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What listeners say about Flashman

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    494
  • 4 Stars
    129
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    457
  • 4 Stars
    105
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    447
  • 4 Stars
    108
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Spoilt by Poor Narration

Would you try another book written by George MacDonald Fraser or narrated by Colin Mace?

This is one of my favourite books, full of humour, history and excitement. This recording is spoilt by bland narration. The story is told by Flashman writing at the end of his life but we get neither the cynical and knowing old man nor the passionate, excitable, terrified young one. Instead it sounds like the vicar giving a geography lecture to the Women's Institute.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Colin Mace?

The Flashman books read by Timothy West seem to have disappeared from Audible. They were infinitely superior, a real joy to listen to.

Any additional comments?

Bring back Timothy West

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Flashman rides forth.....

I'm a fan of the Flashman books, and loved the Timothy West-narrated versions that used to be available. Sadly, only a few titles were ever released, so I've had to wait until now to be able to hear the rest of the stories in their full unabridged versions, now with Colin Mace in the narrators chair. The story itself is classic Flashman, the cowardly bully from Tom Brown's Schooldays, charting his expulsion from school to joining the Army and his adventures in Afghanistan. It's a perfect place to start.

For the narration, Colin Mace does a good job, whilst not *quite* reaching the level of sheer caddishness that Timothy West managed to convey. Mace sounds a little "younger" when narrating, which does sit a little awkwardly to the "fact" that this is an elderly Flashie telling of his adventures. I'd also add that he has a habit of speaking a little quieterwhen not conveying speech, which can sometimes make you keep adjusting the volume to try to hear everything without it being too loud. That wouldn't be a problem for listeners at home, but if you're listening in a car like I do, it can be a bit niggly to have to do this. It's a minor thing, though.

I'll definitely be adding others from the mace-narrated collection to my library.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Rip roaring storytelling at its best.

This is storytelling of the highest quality. Wins no awards for political correctness but scores highly for pleasure, humour and amusement.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant Fantastic a real ripper of a story

A true great autobiography of one the bravest men who made our British empire great !

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Massively enjoyed listening to Flashman.

A friend of mine advised me to listen to Flashman, I am more into flying adventures, but I have to admit, I loved it! He's a fantastic character and his adventures are fantastically read by Colin Mace! Very enjoyable!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My inner flashman...

New to the world of the mercurial Mr flashman..where have I been all this time??? grinning to myself on lonely train journeys to work on his adventures and miscomings. I am A very new fan to his ecacapes and wonder who he might tumble with or escape from next.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant!

excellent character, fantastic writing, great humour and you can't help but like the chap...scoundrel though he may be!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book

Read this when I was young and listening again on audio years later it’s still as funny

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A rip roaring adventure

A rip roaring adventure.

An old friend encouraged me to read Flashman over 15 years ago and I finally got around to following his advice.

What a jolly good friend he was.

I loved this book and cannot wait to see what Flashy gets up to next.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

No idea what other reviews have listened to?

I listened to this after listening to Professor Moriarty as it was suggested by audible and the reviews seemed good.

The performance is average at best.

The story is cumbersome and the dated terminology used is not needed and no I’m not some woke snowflake, it is just not needed and doesn’t add anything.

I won’t be listening on for the other books as there as much better ones out there I suggest you do the same and look elsewhere

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Andrew Little
  • Andrew Little
  • 18-03-18

What a fantastic listen

I don’t no what every body is going on about, complaining about Colin Mace. He was superb and really brought Flashman to life in my eye. Each to their own I suppose.

Great listen don’t let the other reviews put you off like it nearly made me do so glad I took a chance and it paid off

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Thomas Herlofsen
  • Thomas Herlofsen
  • 24-02-19

Fun, fabulously un-PC

All the worst parts of British culture hung out to dry. Satire on par with Yes, Minister, but far more salty. Spike Lee should make this into a TV show, the perfect picture of how we became so horrible in Europe. In a time when works of art are judged by the morality of the main character this is utterly irredeemable of course; a story of the Man, British colonial superiority, a cross between James Bond and Indiana Jones. Cheerfully racist and misogynist. Great naughty fun.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Andrew P
  • Andrew P
  • 29-11-21

Well written, well read, but not well aged

An excellent reading of a well written and often funny book - but much as Fraser makes clear that it's a satire and that Flashman is not supposed to be seen as a hero, it's nevertheless difficult to really enjoy a book with Flashman as a first-person protagonist. He - the character, one must presume, not the author - cheerfully displays many of those traits that were more common among the colonial British tag many would like to believe, and his casual racism and awful treatment of women is made no more palatable as entertainment by its realism.

It's a good book, but even knowing the point Fraser meant to make I just couldn't enjoy it. Perhaps I'll finish listening to it one day, but probably not.