Wednesday, January 02, 2008

RIP, George MacDonald Fraser

George MacDonald Fraser is dead.
The novelist George MacDonald Fraser, author of the Flashman adventure stories, has died aged 82, his publisher has said.

The popular books saw womanising anti-hero Sir Harry Flashman, fight his way around the British Empire.

MacDonald Fraser, who was appointed an OBE in 1999, also wrote the screenplay for James Bond film Octopussy.

The Carlisle-born journalist turned author, who lived on the Isle of Man, had fought cancer for several years.

He was married and had three children.

The Flashman books are quite brilliant, and he wrote a good number of other books too. In fact, I particularly enjoyed The Pyrates, which was recommended to me—in Cloisters, my local pub—by Joe Gordon.

It was Joe Gordon who started me blogging, almost as a protest, when he was sacked by Waterstones in Edinburgh for writing about them on his blog, the Woolamaloo Gazette. In fact, that was the very first time that I had even heard of blogging.

So, there you go...


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This is rather sad... I'd just got my dad Macfraser's latest book 'The Reavers' for Christmas cos he is a huge fan of the Flashman series. For some reason I've always put off reading them... well no longer. If a man has to die in order to get me to read his books then so be it.

Anonymous said...

I am desolate, no new Flashman.

I will just have to read them all over again, again.

Pyrates was entertaining as were all of his books, even his autobiography, 'The Light's on at the Signpost'.

I remeber reading Flashman and the Dragon while visiting China in the '90's. I was in the somewhat charred Summer Palace surprised to be finding out both from the various plaques and Flashman that we (The Brits) had burnt it down.

A great source of history in a very entertaining format, they should be compulsory at school.

Anonymous said...

Damn. Another good man gone. Read his autobiography.

Bayete GMF.

Anonymous said...

A grievous blow and no mistake. Of his non-Flashman books, I didn't really get on with Pyrates but Light's on at Signpost and Quartered Safe Out Here were pretty good. I am always jealous of those like Dick Pennis who still have Flashman to look forward to. My fave? Flashman and the Great Game, about the Indian Mutiny. MacDonald Fraser was *very* sound politically, BTW, if you concur with most of what's on DK, that is.

Anonymous said...

No more Flashmans.


Must go cut self.

Blood will blot out the tristesse.

Yo, baby, yo, baby, yo.

Anonymous said...

I was saddened to read here that George MacDonald Frasier has died. I have always said that his Flashman novels were the best series of history lessons about the later half of the 19th century that you are likely to read.

His Flashman and semi autobiographical McAuslan books are great reads and snorting out loud on the tube funny.

As a man of his generation with views that are unlikely to find favour with the BBC I took a look to see if the website had anything.

On the England had this bbcws=2

Not too bad apart from a couple of things.

One it seems to have been written from his Wikepidia entry rather that any serious research. Of the three times he was busted from Lance Corporal to Private, by far the most memorable was when he lost a guardhouse when on guard duty. (It was a bell tent and another unit stole it whilst he was asleep in it).

The other odd thing is this statement from the BBC

“A man of panache, passionately opposed to metrification but nonetheless made an OBE in 1999”

Can a Beeoid please explain why panache or favouring Imperial measurements means you are unlikely to receive an OBE?

Anonymous said...

Damn. I have all the 'Flashman' books. Gutted to hear the news. There are a number of great stories that I was hoping he would finish before he threw a seven. Never mind. A re-read of all G. Mac. Fraser's Flashman's novels are in order and a toast to his memory.

Anonymous said...

Damn, I have given virtually all of my Flashman books away. I had a full set over the years.

Just looked on Amazon and some editions are on sale at ridiculous prices.

I hope they do a full hardback set.

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