So Long, Flashy

For many years one of my most beloved guilty pleasures has been reading George MacDonald Frasier's books. Not just the Flashman Papers, which I have found delightful and from which I have learned a lot of 19th century history, but also his McAusland novels, his Mr. American,his spirited adventure novel Candlemass Road (which, at a taut 181 pages, is one of the finest examples of economical action writing ever), and his masterful history of the Scottish boarder wars, The Steel Bonnets.

Fraser also wrote two of my favorite movies: The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers, as well as a third, based loosely on Twenty Years On, The Return of the Musketeers, which not only reunited Richard Lester, Oliver Reed, Michael York, and Frank Finlay, but added a very under-rated Kim Cattrall. (Fraser had some fun in Return, deciding that, since D'Artagnan made a guest appearance in Cyrano de Begerac, that Cyrano should do a cameo in a Musketeers flick. The poet comes across as a braggart and a drunk, which means he fit right in.)

Here, in an excerpt from his autobiography, The Light's On at the Signpost, Fraser vents his spleen on political correctness. Flashman obviously took after his creator.

Fraser died on January 2, 2008 in a hospice on the Isle of Man. As much as I'll miss Flashman, I'll miss Fraser's precise, pointed style far more. It has given me many fine moments over the years.

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Al Marcy's picture

Yes, sometimes I find myself thinking I am not fit for this moderne world. On better days, I realize this planet is simply uninhabitable. We all do what best we can, it just gets worse. It ain't news, but, it often seems a bit less humorous as we get close to the finale. Music is good, despite the lyrics ;)

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