Mama, I’m Coming Home

Oh, I could make excuses, say I was busy, ill, feeding cats, hosting orgies, missing broadband (come back, MTNL, all is forgiven), whatever. The truth is the Babu quite enjoyed his blog break. He spent it meeting authors while he was sober, meeting authors while they were sloshed to the gills, meeting a publisher who could be, drunk or sober, blood brother to the chap who played Jaws in the film (same bite, better dentist), and finally unplugging the phone and going to bed, promiscuously, with seventeen different books at the same time. Books. Not authors. Big difference.

So now I’m back, and whassup?

Flashman-bahadur, for one, whose latest exploits are reviewed by John Updike in The New Yorker:

He is the antihero of Empire, the negative of the imperial virtues, printed as a positive in the muddle of battle. The irony weakens, though, in the course of the eleven sequels. To survive and triumph as he invariably does, Flashman must manifest at least two admirable traits: an almost supernatural gift for languages that carries him through many a covert operation, and a winning way with women that does much the same thing. Women get him out of as much trouble as they get him into, and the reader gathers an impression of a personal attractiveness and coolheadedness of which scarcely a hint existed in the craven bully of the relentlessly cautionary “Tom Brown’s School Days.”

The New York Times has an article on the book with a bit on George Macdonald Fraser:

Mr. Fraser has a reputation in England for being a bit of a curmudgeon and a knee-jerk Tory – a member not so much of the Old School, an article in The Sunday Telegraph put it, as of the school they knocked down when the Old School was built. But the Flashman books actually add up to a revisionist critique of received British history, at least in its romanticized imperial phase.

The Babu approves: Flashy, full of wind and horror, finally receiving his due from the critical establishment.

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