Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Review: "The Reavers"

Maybe The Reavers (Knopf, 2008) just isn't the best introductory book to George MacDonald Fraser's works. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood. Or maybe I just really didn't know what to make of this very strange book. In any event, I struggled to finish it, and don't think I'll try to give it another go. It seems to be (from what he says at the beginning) a sort of light entertainment for Fraser in the writing, and that's certainly how it came across to me.

The book is an odd mish-mash; set in the late Elizabethan period on the English/Scottish border, the characters speak in modern dialects and are constantly spouting anachronisms and modern pop culture references, which was just totally off-putting for some reason (on the other hand, I feel like if it had been done with a little more care, it might have been completely hilarious).

Not a book I connected with, aside from the occasional chuckle or eye-roll.

1 comment:

Bill Peschel said...

I'm a big fan of Fraser, and would have to agree. His last few books were decent, but not nearly as good as his other works.

"The Reavers" was an attempt in the same vein as "The Pyrates," which I highly recommend. His Flashman books are mostly excellent for their historical detail and dark cynicism (although he was best at depicting England, India, Sarawak and Afghanistan; not so much the U.S.).

He also wrote some WWII books based on his experiences in Burma (I think that's right) called "The General Danced at Dawn" and "Quartered Safe Out Here." I just got the omnibus edition on my to-read stack (and I had read them years before, so that should tell you something).