Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The Flashman books, all bought at Congress Avenue, were passed along and never made their way back. Somewhere, someone's reading them, I have no doubt. And now George MacDonald Fraser has moved on to another plane of existence. The Flashman stories are uneven from book to book and from segment to segment within some individual books. Some find them unreadable. A liking for historical fiction, the nineteenth century, and postage stamps of the British Empire seems to correlate well with a taste for Flashman. When I was trying to remember the name of a prolific author of big fat books set in Colonial times, some in Maine, I ran across this funny annotated list created for a public library in Maine; included on it are mysteries and even so-called "bodice-ripper" romances, just so long as they're setting is regional. Before I scrolled down that far on the list (and it seems to end abruptly and prematurely), I remembered that Kenneth Roberts was the name I was looking for. Every novel was on the library shelves and I read them all. They were favorites because they were l-o-n-g. I think I read all the Thomas B. Costain fiction and some of the non-fiction. I wonder what I'd think of any of these now. Anyhow, the Flashman books and the Aubrey-Maturin series were the first and last excursions into this sort of escape in a long time. I think, from reading various obituaries for GMcDF, that there are non-Flashman books he wrote that I'd enjoy.


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