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Scaramouche Paperback – September 25, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

All in all, this "sheer knight-errantcy" is a marvelous entertainment. --Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Rafael Sabatini was born to an English mother and Italian father, both well-known opera singers. At seventeen Sabatini moved to England, where, after a brief stint in the business world, he started to write. His major breakthrough came with Scaramouche, which became an international bestseller and was followed by the equally successful Captain Blood. All his earlier books were then rushed into reprint. Many of his novels were subsequently adapted into classic films which appealed to both a male and female market with their drama, romance and action, set against a variety of historical settings. 'One wonders if there is another storyteller so adroit at filling his pages with intrigue and counter-intrigue, with danger threaded with romance, with a background of lavish colour, of silks and velvets, of swords and jewels' - Daily Telegraph
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466213507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466213500
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,320,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad..." Thus begins "Scaramouche", the novel that made Rafael Sabatini famous. The novel follows the adventures of Andre-Louis Moreau through the years immediately prior to, as well as during, the French Revolution. The bastard son of unknown parents, raised by his country-squire godfather and educated as a lawyer, Moreau starts out without any political convictions. However, that changes after he is forced to witness the death of his politically-active best friend in an unequal duel with a powerful aristocrat, a duel contrived by the aristocrat with the specific purpose of killing the young man in order to silence his "dangerous eloquence". Moreau vows to avenge his friend, not with the sword, but by assuming the voice of the dead man, despite the fact that he doesn't really share his friend's convictions. Thus Moreau begins playing the first of may roles that he is to assume in the course of the story; including revolutionary orator, actor, fencing instructor and politician.

This is a fast-moving story that sweeps the reader along through a series of surprising twists. Not least of those twists is Moreau's career as a member of a troop of Commedia Dell'Arte actors. Pursued by the police on a charge of sedition, Moreau persuades the troop to make him part of their company. Among them he assumes the role of Scaramouche, the cold, sly and glib trickster who manipulates the characters and the action without ever taking an active hand himself. It is a part Moreau finds singularly suited to his personality. It is also a role that, to some degree, he continues to play in all his subsequent careers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this item because it was the only available new edition of this novel on Amazon. It seemed pricey (over $30), but I needed a copy of the book, so I ordered it. When it arrived, I discovered that it was not really a "book" but one of these new print-on-demand things masquerading as a book. It appears that someone scanned the type from a previous edition and poured it into pages and bound them. The paragraphs are separated by spaces rather than indented; the apostrophes and quotation marks are straight rather than curly (it's like reading a very long email); the subtitle of the book appears nowhere on the cover or title page. The edition looks like it was produced without any human intervention. All in all, quite a subpar presentation, and expensive to boot. Maybe this is the future of publishing (heaven help us), but for now, let the buyer beware. I returned this copy for a refund and found a brand new copy of the Signet Classic edition on ebay for $6.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a classic novel and i am so pleased I read it again after several decades.
Scaramouche the character is so well developed by RS and I can not imagine anybody doing it in modern prose. It is a charming story made more so by the style of writing from the period.
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When I was a kid, Raphael Sabatini was my favorite story teller and I read all his books. Herma Bond, the local librarian, used to fuss at me for reading such 'swashbuckling' stories but I liked them anyway. I still do
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The hero of this book is nearly a twin to The Scarlet Pimpernel, with a dash of revenge from The Count of Monte Cristo, for good measure.

There now, I really don't need to say anything else, do I, because you're already on your way to the library, aren't you.

Andre-Louis Moran may just be my favorite hero ever. Sorry, Teddy Lawrence and Gilbert Blythe and Rhett Butler and the two mentioned above and...all the rest.

Seriously, he's sarcastic, funny, nonchalant, laughing in the face of death, clever, rakishly brave...shall I go on?

The main female characters exasperated me, the plot intrigued me, and I accidentally learned a bit about the French Revolution along the way.

But the hero definitely made this book. (And yes, my husband thinks so too. Why do you ask?)
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"Scaramouche" is the third of Rafael Sabatini's books that I have read and enjoyed recently. I relish his eloquent and lyrical prose, particularly his use of seemingly antiquated language.
Set in France during the days of the Third Estate and the pending downfall of the monarchy, the story is told from an insider's perspective.
Andre-Louis's character manifests as Scaramouche, also as a fencing master and a politician and each facet of his career is cleverly portrayed.
"Scaramouche" is an excellent read marred only by the tangled romantic elements and, for me, a contrived but fairly predictable ending.
However, for anyone who has not read any of Sabatini's works, I would thoroughly recommend this book.
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This classic of historical fiction has some great lines (particularly the opening line) and takes place during the French revolution from the point of view of the common man. The writing style is dated, but still reads well, and some of the plot tricks unsurprising, but I enjoyed the story, and learned more about that time and place than I have from any other book.

For those interested in the historical fiction genre, this is a wonderful book to add.
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