Thursday, January 03, 2008

George MacDonald Fraser, O.B.E, 1925-2007

George MacDonald Fraser died January 2 in his home on the Isle of Man. He was the author of many books, and two screenplays. He is the creator of one of fiction's immortal characters, Brig. Gen. Sir Harry Flashman.

I will say little of the Flashman books except this: Go read them. Now, when they will promoted vigorously in the afterman of his death. I can think of nobody who wouldn't enjoy them. Ripping yarns, accurate history, and hilarious comedy, all at once. The news that Fraser did not live to actually write his account of Flashman's service in the U.S. Civil War (honored by both sides) is of deep personal sadness to me.

But hell, creating an immortal character is pretty good for any writer. Popular fiction, like sportswriting, is a somewhat denigrated form of writing. All it does is give others pleasure.

Not many better obituaries than that last sentence.


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