Try an audiobook on us

Royal Flash

The Flashman Papers, Book 2
Narrated by: Colin Mace
Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (229 ratings)
Regular price: £12.99
£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

In volume II of The Flashman Papers, Flashman tangles with femme fatale Lola Montez and the dastardly Otto Von Bismarck in a battle of wits which will decide the destiny of a continent.

In this volume of The Flashman Papers, Flashman, the arch-cad and toady, matches his wits, his talents for deceit and malice, and above all his speed in evasion against the most brilliant European statesman and against the most beautiful and unscrupulous adventuress of the era.

From London gaming halls and English hunting fields to European dungeons and throne rooms, he is involved in a desperate succession of escapes, disguises, amours, and (when he cannot avoid them) hand-to-hand combats. All the while the destiny of a continent rests on his broad and failing shoulders.

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

Critic reviews

"Sparkling one-liners adorn every chapter.... It is the verve of the storytelling, together with the verbal inventiveness, that lingers in the memory." ( Sunday Telegraph)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    168
  • 4 Stars
    50
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    167
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    159
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Flashy does it again!

What made the experience of listening to Royal Flash the most enjoyable?

The narrator is good but I wish they would use a female voice for the female parts as it all sounds a bit pantomime with a bloke reading female responses.

What did you like best about this story?

Continues along the Flashman route,you can't get better.

What does Colin Mace bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He is very good and keeps the momentum going.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No

Any additional comments?

Just good fun stories

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Ruined by the wrong reader

I read all of the Flashman books many years ago and loved them, Flashman is described in the books as big and bluff and hearty, so with that image in mind, why choose this reader? He reads perfectly well, but not in a way suitable for this character at all. I had to stop listening as it just ruined it all for me. Maybe if I didn't already know the books and have my own version of the character's 'voice' in mind, it wouldn't matter, but I am so disappointed with it that I can't listen to any more. If they were read by someone suitable, I'd order them all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Poor narration spoils a great story

Elaborating on my criticism of the first Flashman in this audio series, I'm so disappointed with the narration that I won't continue with the rest.

I enjoy revisiting books that I love; having them read to you by a skilled actor on a second visit can enrich the text, bringing out nuances in character and other elements which make the re-read well worthwhile. A great example of this is the Aubrey-Maturin "Master & Commander" series. I loved the books the first time and then felt like I'd doubled the enjoyment by listening to Ric Jerrom's take on the characters.

I was so looking forward to seeing what a narrator could do with Flashy. One of literature's great comic creations deserved something special and Coin Mace has done nothing to bring this off. If you had never read the Flashman novels then you might get through these recordings having enjoyed the stories as they were. If it comes to the words alone, then Macdonald Fraser's books are an absolute delight. But if this is your second time around and, like me, you were hoping for something special, then you will be severely disappointed.

Mace's delivery adds nothing, and in many ways detracts from the story. He reads like someone who has never seen the words before. Intonation and rhythm is repetitive and inappropriate. Time and time again he misses great comic lines and sounds like someone reading a text for the first time with no rehearsal.

Harry Flashman deserves more. He is a character whose words paint a picture of a historical past, but also of a spineless rogue. The books are his words and they needed, not only an actor who could live up to this challenge, but one who could add to it too.

I'm not going to listen to any more of this series because it irritates me so much. It irritates me that Flashy hasn't been brought off the page in a way that I know other characters have been. But the narration actually grates. Sentence stress and intonation in this recording is indicative of someone who is taking no interest in what he is saying and instead attempting to enliven it by randomly dramatising parts which don't need it and passing over parts which do.

Huge opportunity missed. What a shame.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

cracking book

can't beat a bit of flashy, irreverent and timeless tales, refreshingly politically incorrect and funny

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Entertaining!

Brilliant story. Narrator not bad, but not in Timothy West's league. Still enjoyed it though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Very refreshingly un-pc, and bloody funny!

There is nothing to compare these books to, they stand alone in all their splendid glory! A bigger bigot, racist, cheat and charming coward will not be found. And yet, you can't help but root for him. Will probably be enjoyed by the English listener more than most!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Flashes blood may be blue but his liver's yellow!

Narrators voice leant itself perfectly to the ambiance of the story. The story certainly has elements of 'the prisoner of zenda' but with uniquely rogue flashy twists!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A cad, chauvinist, misogynist, adulterer

“I was sufficiently recovered from my nervous condition – or else the booze was beginning to work ...

Royal Flash is the second of the Flashman novels. Written in 1970 by George MacDonald Fraser, Fraser based the book on the plot of The Prisoner of Zenda. Set during the Revolutions of 1848 the story is amusing enough. It is set in the fictional Duchy of Strackenz. This makes it the only Flashman novel to be set in a fictitious location. The story sees Flashman (view spoiler)

In Royal Flash we see old Flashy in all his guises. Coward, scoundrel, lover and cheat. He uses his wits and skill to out of all manner of sticky situations. Well researched and full of detail, the mixture of history, humour and adventure makes for a great read.

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

The diary of an unscrupulous cad....hilarious!

Being in the forces myself, I can very much identify with the drunken debauchery and cowardly antics of the cad and boulder that is Lt Harry Flashman and the way that somehow, through his keen instinct for self preservation, he always evades danger of death and emerges victorious, decorated as a hero. The book is written in the style of a true biography based upon Flashman’s journals. He really is just so wrong and un-politically correct by both past and present standards than one can’t help but to laugh, even when his actions are despicable.

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

Great stuff

I just can't stop listening to this fantastical story of revenge , daring do and treachery . I loved it . Historical fiction with a devilish twist