Friday, January 04, 2008

Bad News

What a bummer. George MacDonald Fraser was one of my favorite authors, I absolutely love his Flashman series and his accounts, fictionalized and otherwise, of military service in the Highland Light Infantry during and after WWII are absolutely amazing. The Flashman books are especially enjoyable; they chronicle the adventures of a (fictional) prominent Victorian soldier whose horniness and cowardice are only surpassed by his luck, leading him through amazing adventures that take him all over the world, where he meets every interesting character of the times, blunders into every interesting event of the times, and beds most of the interesting women of the times. They're extremely well written and, other than the presence of the main character, historically accurate, especially as concerns the language and local customs of the era. He also wrote the screenplay for the only Three Musketeers movie I've ever enjoyed, the 1973 version with Oliver Reed, Michael York, Faye Dunaway, Charlton Heston, Raquel Welch and Richard Chamberlain.

Just as enjoyable are his MacAuslan books, fictional retellings of his military service that are variously hilarious, poignant, heartwarming and fulfilling. I really loved Quartered Safe Out Here, his factual account of WWII service in Burma, but for some reason I keep rereading the fictional stuff and I like it more and more each time. I've reread a lot of his stuff, especially the Flashman books, but I'll probably reread the MacAuslan and Flashman stories for the rest of my life. They're just that good.

Godspeed, good sir. You'll be missed.

UPDATE: cool article by Christopher Hitchens here.

1 comment:

Mick said...

GMF must be rolling in his grave at being accused of serving in the Highland Light Infantry. He was of course a Gordon Highlander.

I'm a big fan of his books too by the way.