Thursday, January 03, 2008

George MacDonald Fraser (1925-2008)

It is with some sadness that I read today of George MacDonald Fraser's death. I won't write my own obituary for him nor give you a resume of his life and work - better people than me have made that available. All I will say is that his books gave me endless pleasure. I loved the Flashman books and roared at the adventures of McAuslan. But for me his best book was The Pyrates (1983) in which he somehow managed to capture every plot from every pirate book and film every produced. It follows the adventures of improbably handsome Naval hero Long Ben Avery and his quest to win the hand of the fair Lady Vanity and reunite the pieces of a fabulous crown currently in the dastardly hands of Calico Jack Rackham, Black Sheba, Firebeard and a host of other colourful buccaneers. They wear Gucci boots, listen to Tortuga FM pirate radio and speak in piratical cliches, wi' a curse! It's absolutely hilarious and was one of my favourite books listed last year (See blog post here). His last book, The Reavers (2007) has much of the same tone and wit and is a good one to go out with.

A real loss.

Read his obituary in the Times here.

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