I picked up Flashman because it references Ruritania, a particular interest of mine and slogged through to find the reference. The book is well written and interesting from an historical perspective. However, I really cannot encourage anyone to read it. The lead character (in this instance a true anti-hero) is despicable. I have no doubt such people did then and still do exist, but does anyone really want to know them? Had the author made him humorous, Flashman might, possibly, have been bearable. This was not the case. I will definitely NOT read any of the sequels.